The Accountant: Tallying Up Accounts

DATELINE:  Unusual Action Film


Not filmed in Boston, The Accountant stars Ben Affleck, meaning he is not the director. It’s a Gavin O’Connor movie, and that isn’t a by-the-numbers action movie.

The Treasury Department puts a T-woman on the case of the most dangerous CPA on the books. This is not your usual action film, and Affleck only needs one or two expressions as he is playing an autistic spatial intelligence genius and math savant.

That makes him more dangerous than the average sociopath—and he knows the tax loopholes too. No cooked books here.

The film is punctuated with marvelous supporting actors—from John Lithgow and Jean Smart to Jeffrey Tambor and J.K. Simmons as the director of the Treasury agents.

If this gains any kind of popularity, it might turn into one of those franchise movies—like the Bourne saga. It has all the ingredients as Affleck’s antihero is a killing machine with panache. His mental instability certainly makes him a master of suspense.

Some of the mystery of Christian Wolff, CPA, will be lost by picture’s end—though it is a satisfying explanation to the mayhem left in the wake of this numbers man. Thoughtful elements probably will not appeal to the viewers who want more cartoon in their action.

As for us, we were unable to step away from our streaming copy, finding it hypnotic and compelling. Affleck may seem a bit more stalwart hero in the Batman mode, but he reins in his larger than life persona to channel himself into a milquetoast demeanor.

If you want smart and intriguing in your action, forget H &R Block this tax season; watch The Accountant instead.