The Accountant

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Accountant Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Heavy violence, language in tale of killer with autism.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 128 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Offers an unusual, powerful look at autism, with the message that people with autism aren't "lesser" than anyone. Secondary messages about whether or not to be a victim and loyalty to family. But the movie also celebrates killing and extreme violence, with no real consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character has a high-functioning form of autism; he's strong and powerful, challenging the notion that he has any kind of disability. But he's still not really a role model, given that his business is ruthless violence and that he never faces any consequences. Some diversity within the cast.


Lots of intense, comic book-style violence, with fast-paced martial arts-style fighting and punching, shooting, and brief stabbing. Many bad guys die, frequently via point-blank shots to the face. Spurts of blood; bloody pools. Many guns shown, including heavy artillery. Nail through a hand. Images of children panicking and/or in somewhat dangerous situations.


Brief flirting.


Language is strong but not especially frequent and includes "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "pr--k," "bitch," "goddamn," "hell," "ass," and "piss." Middle-finger gesture given by a child.


A few brands/products shown: A T-shirt with the Huy Fong Sriracha rooster hot sauce logo, a Thermos, a Sharpie pen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character takes prescription medication.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Accountant is an action movie about Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), a man with a high-functioning form of autism who uses his math skills for very powerful people -- and his fighting and killing skills when trouble arises. While his character shows that people with autism aren't lesser than others, he's also extremely violent, which makes him an iffy role model at best. Most of the violence is fairly over the top, with lots of fighting (punching, bashing, martial arts) and shooting (lots of blood and point-blank shots to the face). Kids are shown in tense, possibly dangerous situations. Language isn't constant but includes "f--k," "s--t," and more. The main character takes prescription medications.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 16-year-old Written byMovieMom128 August 26, 2018
Adult Written bydarthsitkur September 19, 2017

Great movie :)

I thought the accountant was great, Ben affleck's performance was great and the action was really intense
Teen, 13 years old Written byLeonvol January 25, 2021


The story is much more different then other movies and that was the thing I like with this movie it meditated on the characters Emotions, and the characters is... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byThe_Stoic January 13, 2021

It was alright

It was very slow but I really like the ending, I don't want to give it away if you haven't watched it, but it's worth a rent, but it's not o... Continue reading

What's the story?

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), who has a high-functioning form of autism, is a math whiz who works as a humble accountant. Occasionally, he takes side jobs smoothing out the books for shady corporations. He was raised in a military family, and his father made sure he was trained to fight and shoot so he could defend himself against those who might call him "different." When Wolff's latest job puts the life of a mid-level employee (Anna Kendrick) in danger, he springs into action. Meanwhile, the head of the Treasury Department (J.K. Simmons) has recruited a new agent (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to discover Wolff's true identity.

Is it any good?

The movie's main storyline of an accountant/hit man with autism is somewhat ordinary and predictable, but its fabric is made up of enough good scenes and characters to make it worthwhile. Working from a screenplay by Bill Dubuque (The Judge), director Gavin O'Connor builds worlds for all of his characters to inhabit. It's not a coincidence that the cast includes terrific performers and great character actors; they all bite into these roles with juicy histories.

Wolff in particular comes with all kinds of props, routines, and traits that are endlessly fascinating. He requires a minimalist performance that Affleck handles well. After his many ups and downs in the movie business, the star finally looks like he's lived a life. But The Accountant doesn't short any of the other characters, either; they each get several moments to come alive. It's too bad the overall plot couldn't have come up with something a tad fresher, but at least it gets the job done.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Accountant's violence. How intense is it? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie portray autism? How does that compare to the way you've seen it portrayed in other movies and TV shows? What message does that send?

  • Are there consequences for the main character's many killings? Why does that matter?

  • What's the appeal of movies about professional killers/hit men? How is The Accountant similar to or different from others in the genre?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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