The Accountant, directed by Gavin O’Connor, is about an autistic man (Ben Affleck) who is an accountant for many dangerous clientele around the world. He uncooks the books for these clients, but is also an extremely dangerous man in his own right. He decides to take on a case that seems to be simple, but it turns out to be much more than it seems.
I first heard about this film a little more than a year ago and just from the premise and the cast that was involved with it, I was immediately excited for it. I am a big fan of Ben Affleck’s (minus most of his early career) and I was excited to see him take on this role that seemed very interesting from the start. Then the trailer hit, which I loved, and this film immediately became one of my most anticipated films for this year. So when I went to see this film, I was pumped because I thought that I was going to see an action movie with some great drama, but instead I saw a great drama with some great action to go along with it.
The best thing about this film is definitely Ben Affleck’s performance (which I don’t want to use his name because of possible spoilers). He is incredible in this film and it is probably one of the best performances that I’ve seen from him. He is able to play a high-functioning autistic man extremely well and it was entirely believable that his character was autistic. Seth Lee, who plays the younger version of Affleck’s character also helped create the idea that this character was autistic based on his intelligence, need to finish different things, and his tantrums. It all felt real and the things that they set up with the younger version of the character helped make the older version more compelling.
The other performances in the film, especially those from Jon Bernthal and Anna Kendrick, were great as well. Bernthal is great in almost everything I see him in and this film is no exception. His cocky hitman is a nice dichotomy to Affleck’s monotone accountant and Bernthal just chews the scenery in every scene that he’s in, to great effect. Anna Kendrick really surprised me as well because I thought that she was originally miscast. However, she plays off of Ben Affleck incredibly well and, since I don’t want to spoil the movie, this is all I’m going to say; she has a great scene towards the middle of the film that shows that her character isn’t just a normal “damsel-in-distress” which was nice to see.
The way that this film told its story was also extremely unconventional, and I loved it because of that. This unconventional story-telling made the mystery more interesting and the characters more compelling and I think that Gavin O’Connor was really smart to tell the story this way. However, I also feel that this unconventional story might turn some people off because not all questions are answered immediately.
The only thing I really didn’t like about this film was one of the sub-plots that had to do with the U.S. Treasury. This subplot just didn’t feel like it fit into the rest of the movie and the characters involved with it were simply not really interesting. Every time that this sub-plot came on screen, I was just itching for it to get back to Ben Affleck’s character.
Overall, this film is a great drama with some solid action in it as well. There were great performances with very interesting story-telling minus one subplot, which made this film one of my favorites of the year.