The Accountant (2016 film)

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The Accountant
The Accountant (2016 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Produced by
  • Lynette Howell Taylor
  • Mark Williams
Written by Bill Dubuque
Starring
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by Richard Pearson
Production
companies
  • Electric City Entertainment
  • Advanced Underwriting Concepts
  • RatPac Entertainment
  • Zero Gravity Management
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 10, 2016 (2016-10-10) (TCL Chinese Theatre)
  • October 14, 2016 (2016-10-14) (United States)
Running time
128 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $44 million[2]
Box office $155.2 million[2]

The Accountant is a 2016 American crime thriller film directed by Gavin O'Connor, written by Bill Dubuque and starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and John Lithgow. The storyline follows a small-town Illinois certified public accountant with high-functioning autism[3] who actually makes his living uncooking the books of dangerous criminal organizations around the world that are experiencing internal embezzlement.

The Accountant premiered in Los Angeles on October 10, 2016, and saw its European premiere in London on October 17.[4] The film was theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 14, 2016. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $155 million worldwide. A sequel is currently in development.

Plot[edit]

As a child, Christian Wolff is diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism at Harbor Neuroscience, where he meets the doctor's daughter, Justine. Chris's father declines for his son to stay in a sensory friendly environment, believing that Chris must overcome the hardships inherent in his condition. Afraid that others will exploit his son, Chris's father begins a brutal regimen of stoicism and martial arts training for both him and his brother, Braxton.

In the present, Chris works as a forensic accountant from a small strip mall office. He unmasks insider financial deceptions, often for criminal and terrorist enterprises. His daily regimen includes exposing himself to loud music and flashing lights while abusing his own shinbone to inure himself to sensory overload.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) Director Ray King pursues Chris, known to them as "the Accountant" and recruits Treasury data analyst Marybeth Medina to help him locate the Accountant. Her leads include Chris's cover names, a recording from his killing of members of the Gambino crime family, and some photos.

Chris is hired to audit Living Robotics after the company's CEO, Lamar Blackburn, learns of discrepancies from in-house accountant Dana Cummings. Chris digs into the records and finds that over $61 million has been embezzled from the company. That night, CFO Ed Chilton is forced by a hitman to commit suicide via insulin overdose. Lamar dismisses Chris, claiming Chilton killed himself because of the investigation of the embezzlement, leaving Chris very distraught because he cannot finish the audit.

Hitmen show up at one of his tax customer's farms (who invited him to practice shooting at their farm as an act of appreciation for helping them). As a result of his self-defense capabilities, Chris dispatches them all but one. Finding that Dana is the next target, Chris saves her before taking her to his storage unit, containing an Airstream with artwork and other valuables. Chris realizes that the embezzlement at Living Robotics is a scheme; money stolen from the company is returned to it, boosting profits and increasing the company's valuation as it prepares for an IPO, exposing Lamar as the embezzler.

Medina isolates Chris's voice from the recording, hearing him repeating the nursery rhyme Solomon Grundy. She learns that his cadence is reminiscent to autism and that Chris's aliases come from names of famous mathematicians. Using IRS records, she finds his Illinois office.

King later explains to Medina that Chris was imprisoned at Leavenworth where he learned accounting from Francis Silverberg, a Gambino family accountant turned FBI informant. King was Silverberg's handler, but his inaction led to Silverberg's death. King was also investigating the Gambinos when Chris came to avenge his mentor. King began getting information from the Voice when criminals violated Chris's moral code, and King became director of FinCen. The phone rings and the Voice tells Medina about Living Robotics.

Chris goes to Lamar's mansion, where the hitman and his men await. During the battle, the hitman recognizes Chris and greets him. Chris recognizes him as Braxton although they have not seen each other since Chris's imprisonment. Braxton attacks Chris, resentful over his brother's estrangement from him and for their father's death. Lamar arrogantly interrupts and Chris shoots him and amicably agrees to meet Braxton in a week, saying he will find him.

As another set of parents visits Harbor Neuroscience with their child, the boy meets an older Justine; the Voice. Dana receives a Jackson Pollock painting she saw in the trailer as Chris drives out of town.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

On November 12, 2014, Variety reported that Anna Kendrick was in early talks to co-star in the film, alongside Affleck.[5] Later that day, J. K. Simmons was also announced as being in talks to join the cast.[6] On November 14, 2014, Jon Bernthal was also in talks.[7] On January 6, 2015, Variety reported that Cynthia Addai-Robinson was added to the cast.[8] On January 14, 2015, Jeffrey Tambor[9] and John Lithgow[10] were added to the cast of the film. Lithgow had previously appeared in another thriller about autism, Silent Fall (1994).

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on January 19, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.[11][12] On March 16–20, filming was taking place at the Georgia Institute of Technology.[13] Filming wrapped on April 2, 2015.[14]

Fight choreography[edit]

The action fighting sequences in the film featured the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat.[15][16][17]

Marketing[edit]

On July 9, 2015, a year before the film's release, it had received graphic novelization published by Vertigo, a limited comic book imprint owned by Warner Bros. Pictures.[18]

Release[edit]

The film was released in the United States on October 14, 2016.[19] Before that, Warner Bros. had scheduled it for January 29, 2016 and October 7, 2016.[20][21]

Home media[edit]

The Accountant was released on Digital HD on December 27, 2016 and on Blu-ray and DVD on January 10, 2017. In April 2018, the MPAA reported it was the top-rented film of 2017 for both disc and digital.[22]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Accountant grossed $86.3 million in the United States and Canada and $68.9 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $155.2 million, against a production budget of $44 million.[2]

The Accountant was released alongside Max Steel and Kevin Hart: What Now?, and was expected to gross $20–25 million from 3,332 theaters in its opening weekend, although the studio was projecting a conservative $15 million opening.[23] The film made $1.35 million from its Thursday night previews, more than Affleck's Gone Girl ($1.2 million) in 2014. It grossed $9.1 million on its first day and $24.7 million in its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office and was the second highest-debut for a thriller of Affleck's career, behind Gone Girl ($37.5 million).[24] In its second weekend, the film grossed $13.6 million (a drop of 44.8%), finishing 4th at the box office.[25]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 52% based on 255 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Accountant writes off a committed performance from Ben Affleck, leaving viewers with a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions."[26] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale,[28] while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 84% overall positive score and a 64% "definite recommend".[24]

Vince Mancini of Uproxx gave the film a positive review, writing, "It’s transparent in its attempt both to pimp a future franchise and give autistic kids their own superhero. There’s a genuine sweetness to the latter that converts me on the former. Headshots, math problems, and pained social interactions? Sign me up. Of the two movies Ben Affleck has been in so far this year, The Accountant and Batman V Superman, The Accountant has by far the most franchise potential."[29] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, saying: "Madness abounds in The Accountant, an intense, intricate, darkly amusing and action-infused thriller that doesn’t always add up but who cares, it’s BIG FUN."[30]

Richard Brody of The New Yorker panned the film, stating: "This thrill-free thriller...piles up plotlines like an overbuilt house of cards that comes crashing down at the first well-earned guffaw of ridicule."[31]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Jupiter Awards March 29, 2017 Best International Film The Accountant Nominated [32]
Best International Actor Ben Affleck Nominated
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Thriller Film The Accountant Nominated [33]

Sequel[edit]

In June 2017, it was announced Warner Bros. was developing a sequel, with Affleck, Dubuque and O’Connor all scheduled to return.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Accountant (15)". British Board of Film Classification. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Accountant (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ Anderson, Jeffrey M. (October 14, 2016). "The Accountant Movie Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ Alvarez, Joe (19 December 2016). "Ben Affleck London Premiere of The Accountant". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 12, 2014). "Anna Kendrick In Talks to Join Ben Affleck in 'The Accountant'". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (November 12, 2014). "J.K. Simmons Joining Ben Affleck in 'The Accountant'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 14, 2014). "'Fury' Star Jon Bernthal in Talks to Join Ben Affleck in 'The Accountant'". TheWrap. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin. "'Arrow' Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson Joins 'The Accountant'". Variety. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (January 14, 2015). "Jeffrey Tambor Joins Ben Affleck Thriller 'The Accountant'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 14, 2015). "John Lithgow Joins Ben Affleck on 'The Accountant' Ledger". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ "'The Accountant', starring Ben Affleck, begins filming in Atlanta next week". onlocationvacations.com. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ "On the Set for 1/19/15: Kevin Spacey Begins on Elvis & Nixon, Director Joel Edgerton Starts on Blumhouse Film & More". ssninsider.com. January 19, 2015. Archived from the original on February 21, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ "'The Accountant', starring Ben Affleck, is filming at Georgia Tech all week". onlocationvacations.com. March 16, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ FilmL.A. (June 2017). "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Retrieved June 14, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Ben Affleck mastered Indonesian fighting style for new film". TV3. 
  16. ^ "The Accountant: Interview With Director Gavin O'Connor". October 15, 2016. 
  17. ^ Video on YouTube @13:19.
  18. ^ "Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' Is Getting Its Own Comic Book". ScreenCrush. 
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 8, 2016). "Warner Bros. Shifts Release Dates For 'The Accountant', 'Going In Style' & 'The House'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  20. ^ Hayden, Erik (August 7, 2015). "Ben Affleck's 'Accountant' and 'Live By Night' Pushed Back by Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (May 19, 2015). "Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' Set for Jan. 29". Variety. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  22. ^ Lang, Brent (April 4, 2018). "'Moana,' 'The Accountant' Top Home Entertainment Charts in 2017". Variety. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' is expected to unseat 'Girl On the Train' in slow box office weekend". Los Angeles Times. 
  24. ^ a b "'The Accountant' Calculates $24.7M Opening; 'Max Steel' Rusts". Deadline Hollywood. October 17, 2016. 
  25. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (October 23, 2016). "'Madea' To Push Well Past $27M As 'Jack Reacher' Takes $22M to $23M; 'Joneses' Can't Keep Up – Sun. AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  26. ^ "The Accountant (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 22, 2018. 
  27. ^ "The Accountant Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 8, 2016. 
  28. ^ "CinemaScore Grades". CinemaScore – via Twitter. 
  29. ^ Mancini, Vince (October 12, 2016). "'The Accountant' Is The Year's Best Superhero Movie And Probably Deserves A Sequel". Uproxx. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  30. ^ "'The Accountant': Ben Affleck an entertaining transaction hero". Chicago Sun Times. October 12, 2016. 
  31. ^ "The Accountant". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  32. ^ "The Jupiter Awards 2017". Jupiter Awards. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  33. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  34. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (June 26, 2017). "Ben Affleck & Gavin O'Connor Back For 'The Accountant' Sequel; Will Jon Bernthal Return?". Deadline Hollywood. 

External links[edit]