“The Accountant” – A Hidden Asset

[I am now reviewing movies for BlogCritics.org and the following review first appeared on their site March 17. ]



The Accountant is a 2016 American action thriller that deserves more recognition than it has received to date. Chris Wolff (Ben Affleck), whose brilliance as a forensic accountant is demanded by organized crime syndicates around the globe, is a high functioning Asperger math savant. Chris’s backstory equips him with the martial arts necessary to defend himself against the most violent of his clients.

His clients communicate via cell phone to an anonymous woman whose identity is not known until the very last five minutes of the film. In pursuit of Chris are Ray King (the always satisfying J.K. Simmons), a director in the Treasury Department, and Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who is bullied into cooperation.

With the Treasury Department’s financial crime division in hot pursuit, Chris is hired by a robotics company to analyze a multi-million dollar accounting discrepancy. Dana (Anna Kendrick), a low-ranking accountant, is asked to support Chris as he disentangles the complicated income statements. Together they realize that the company has a very troublesome past of malfeasance. Soon the body count rises.

The script is so well crafted and intricate, with major subplots involving what seems like minor characters at first, that the viewer will not know what’s coming. A complicated structure that requires patience and a high level of focus, The Accountant will not be for those whose minds wander as in so many action thrillers. But this brainy film is certainly not your typical adrenaline-pumping action flick. The writers combine the autistic/accounting sides of the savant with the backstory of intense family dysfunction. The tragic family dynamics switch to humor, at moments, for relief.

An intricately structured thriller boasting multiple plot twists and heart-pounding surprise turns, some viewers may think the narrative requires too much concentration. An entertaining, high calibre action drama makes The Accountant a largely satisfying crowd-pleaser for those who like something else besides sniper attacks and car chases. Four out off five stars!

Comments (4)

  • On a recent trip to Mexico, one of the movies offered on the plane was “The Accountant”. Because of your previous review, I watched it and was rewarded by an engaging performance by two of my favorite actors, Ben Affleck and J.K. Simmons. The premise of the movie seems a little far fetched and complex, which could have been very simplixtically presented, but it was made credible by the good writing and acting of the characters.
    even on the terrible plane system, I found this film engaging and action filled.

  • Hi, Diana,
    thanks for the review. The film looked interesting when I saw a trailer. Affleck is very good, so is his lesser known brother, Casey. (So happy Casey well-rewarded.)
    I’ll get out and see it.


  • Hi Diana:
    First, congrats on being a movie reviewer for BlogCritics.org. A smart move for BlogCritics since you do spot-on reviews.

    And thanks for the heads-up on The Accountant. I knew about it, but wasn’t sure it was the movie for me. Now I’m quite interested.

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