The Accountant

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

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

Brief flirting.

Language

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.

Consumerism

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 6, 13, and 16 year old Written byJim C. November 12, 2016

More than just an action movie!

Not for kids, but one of the best action movies I've seen. Unlike most action movies, there was great character development and a deeper look into why the... Continue reading
Adult Written bySaatvik M. October 23, 2016
Teen, 14 years old Written byzombieface October 16, 2016

Very complex but interesting movie

The Accountant is a very interesting movie. It has a very complex and sometimes hard to follow storyline which also is very unique in that it is different from... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 16, 2016

Gory, disturbing, interesting tale of account/killer is entertaining, visually dazzling.

My rating:R for bloody violence, disturbing images, and language.

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

For kids who love thrills

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