Review: The Accountant (2016)

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Numbers obtained from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes on October 17, 2016.

Robert McKee, in his book Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting, makes a point that every scene in a screenplay must have a purpose, otherwise it should be cut. Ever since I read this book, I keep paying extra attention to every scene in a film and wonder “why are they showing this to us? Is this information important to a later event?”. More often than not, those scenes in which you pay less attention or think are less important are the ones with information leading to plot twists or solution of problems at the end.

This introduction was necessary just to explain how many scenes and stories I saw in The Accountant that ended up letting me know how the movie would end halfway through it. It has so many parallel stories and secondary characters that it was obvious to me that they had to have a purpose at the end.

The accountant in question is Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), a math savant who has a small accounting firm used to decoy the fact that he works for the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. Ray King (J.K. Simmons), head of the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, decides to find out who he is and blackmails one of his employees (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to do it. As I mentioned in the beginning, there are other stories. One in particular involving a robotics company that is loosing millions of dollars and hires Christian Wolff to find out why.

The film probably had the intention to say that people within the autism spectrum can live fully and enhance their abilities. However, the therapy used on young Christian is not the one recommended by the doctor: his father (Robert C. Treveiler) decides to put him through a rough training of martial arts so he can learn how to defend himself – these scenes are shown in numerous flashbacks.

After watching the trailer, I thought it would be more interesting and thrilling than it turned out to be. The main plot is not that captivating and the numerous characters with their own agendas don’t contribute that much to improve it.

Therefore, I was a little disappointed with the film, even though I really like everybody in the main cast. Maybe if the story were more concise, it would have been more interesting to watch.


Brazilian lawyer that has more passion for movies, theater and music than for the law.

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