“The Accountant” Doesn’t Add Up

the-accountantThe Accountant” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, JK Simmons, Jon Bernthal, and John Lithgow. The movie is about a man who is incredibly gifted at math, but also suffers from a mental disorder, and his tie-up with the Treasury as he starts to get into fishier and fishier business.

This is a movie that I was especially excited to see, as the incredible cast, very intriguing premise, and solid enough director all looked like great signs that this could be a film to get out of this abysmal pattern that 2016 has had.

The Good

Ben Affleck is great as the lead of this film, and he accurately depicts the mental illness he is portraying, and he makes it believable, but at the same time powerful and, at some points, truly terrifying. I also have to shout out Seth Lee, who plays the younger version of Affleck’s character, as he is tremendous in every flashback that this movie has, and really brought home the difficulties of his illness.

The supporting cast was all very solid, with each and every member of this star-studded film showing off in their limited screen time. JK Simmons, who I believe has one of the best performances of all-time in “Whiplash”, shows his ability here, giving a very good performance as Director Raymond King. Jon Bernthal and Anna Kendrick both are also really solid in their supporting roles, as both were slight worries coming in for me, but leaving I had no complaints.

Visually, as well as with its score, the movie looks and sounds great, with a sleek style and very pleasing shots that made for not only some great action scenes, but also for some powerful moments by Affleck and Lee as the titular character.

This film comes out the gate roaring with energy and creative ideas, and it really had me excited for how this film was going to turn out. The whole idea of this accountant with a mental disorder and a dark past had endless opportunities, and there are multiple scenes in the first hour or so that were truly excellent, especially those in which Affleck could show off his abilities.

The Bad

This hurts me to say, but “The Accountant” really screws the pooch in the last hour of the movie. Everything that the first hour has in creativity and intrigue, the second half is almost completely barren of.

Let’s start with clichés, because it is exactly what the first half of the film avoided. This movie looked like a new, inventive movie with loads of very interesting ideas, and the first half of the film has a lot of that. However, the second half is weighed down by loads of generic action, a cheesy romance that I didn’t buy or care for, and a twist that I saw coming from long ways away.

I can deal with generic, there’s been a hell of a lot of it this year, but the plot also becomes a complete mess as the film progresses, which eventually just made me lose almost all interest in what was going on. As I said, the movie appears as if it will be thing unique drama thriller with some action thrown in, but instead it becomes a very simple action movie with a bland, confusing plot.

Along with this, the more I thought about the film, the more I realized that JK Simmons and the whole branch of the Treasury are almost completely unnecessary to the storyline of the movie. They never actually come in contact with Affleck and his storyline directly, and if they were shown in mere glimpses, it would have left time for some much-needed character development, as well as a plot that would be much easier to follow.

The way Gavin O’Connor decides to portray the story, that being in a non-linear sense, just made everything more complicated, and while it kept me on my toes, it just muddled up everything even more. If O’Connor were to have shown more of this very intriguing early years, and focus in on the mental illness of this character instead of making it nearly useless by the end, then “The Accountant” could have been great. Instead, it is one of the biggest disappointments of the entire year.


“The Accountant” has a great lead performance from Affleck, as well as a terrific premise and the film opens with the loads of promise that I was hoping for. The problem, I am so sad to say, comes with nearly everything in the last half of the movie. The film goes from unique to generic, the genre switches from intense drama to dull action, and everything from the confusing plot to the unnecessary romance makes “The Accountant” falter. While it certainly isn’t a terrible movie, “The Accountant” is terribly average and terribly disappointing.Badge-5

Get tickets and showtimes for “The Accountant” here (in theaters 10/14)

Are you excited for “The Accountant”? Comment below what you think.

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