The Accountant (2016 film)

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The Accountant
The Accountant (2016 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGavin O'Connor
Written byBill Dubuque
Produced by
CinematographySeamus McGarvey
Edited byRichard Pearson
Music byMark Isham
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • October 10, 2016 (2016-10-10) (TCL Chinese Theatre)
  • October 14, 2016 (2016-10-14) (United States)
Running time
128 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$44 million[2]
Box office$155.2 million[2]

The Accountant is a 2016 American action-thriller film[1][3] directed by Gavin O'Connor, written by Bill Dubuque and starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, and John Lithgow. The storyline follows Christian Wolff, a certified public accountant with high-functioning autism who makes his living uncooking the books of criminal and terrorist organizations around the world that are experiencing internal embezzlement.

The Accountant premiered in Los Angeles on October 10, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 14, 2016. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film grossed $155 million worldwide. It received praise for the action sequences featuring Pencak silat, an Indonesian martial art.[4]


Christian Wolff is diagnosed with autism at Harbor Neuroscience as a child. His father refuses to let him stay over the summer, believing that his home environment is better for his sensory processing disorder and that he must overcome the hardships of his condition by being exposed to more sensory stimulus, not less. Chris's overwhelmed mother disagrees with this, and the tension caused by Christian's tantrums prompts her to eventually abandon the family. Fearing others will exploit Chris, his father, a US Army PSYOP officer, begins a brutal regimen of stoicism and martial-arts training for Chris and his younger brother, Braxton.

In the present, Chris is a forensic accountant with a small office in Plainfield, Illinois. He unmasks insider financial deceptions, often for criminal enterprises. His clients contact him through the Voice, an unidentified woman who calls him "Dreamboat". He exposes himself daily to loud, hard-driving Metal Rock and flashing lights to inure himself to any kind of sensory overload.

Chris is hired to audit the firm Living Robotics after the company's founder and CEO, Lamar Blackburn, and his sister Rita, are told of financial discrepancies from in-house accountant Dana Cummings. Reviewing a decade of the company's financial records, he finds that more than $61 million has been embezzled. CFO Ed Chilton, a diabetic, is forced by a hitman to overdose on his insulin. Lamar dismisses Chris, claiming Chilton killed himself over the theft. This leaves Chris distraught because he cannot finish his forensic audit.

Meanwhile, the director of FinCEN, Ray King, pursues Chris, known to him as just "the Accountant". King blackmails Treasury data analyst Marybeth Medina, threatening to reveal she falsified her background on her government job application in order to force her to locate the Accountant. Her leads include Chris's cover names, various photos, and a recording from his killing of nine members of the Gambino crime family.

Medina isolates Chris's voice from the recording of the Gambino killing, repeating the nursery rhyme "Solomon Grundy". She learns that his vocal cadence is reminiscent of autistic individuals and that Chris's aliases are famed mathematicians, including his current identity, Christian Wolff. Using IRS data and records, she locates his Illinois office.

Assassins attempt to kill Chris, who easily subdues them; one reveals that Dana is the next target. Chris saves her, taking her to his storage unit. It contains an Airstream RV he can use to quickly flee when necessary and holds artwork, other valuables, and the tools of his killing trade. As they talk, Dana grows fonder of him and leans in for a kiss. At that moment he jumps up and realizes the embezzlement at Living Robotics is a scheme like Crazy Eddie's: money stolen from the company is returned to it, boosting profits and increasing the company's valuation as it prepares for an initial public offering. When he goes to confront Rita, he finds that she has been contract-murdered, now exposing Lamar as the crook behind the fraud.

Government agents search Chris's heavily secured home. King tells Medina that Chris was imprisoned at Leavenworth because of a fight at his estranged mother's funeral, where his father was killed protecting Chris. During his incarceration, he learned forensic accounting from Francis Silverberg, the Gambino crime family accountant, who had become an FBI informant. King was Silverberg's handler, but his inaction led to Silverberg being brutally tortured and murdered by the Gambinos. During his stakeout of the Gambinos, Chris came to avenge his mentor. He could have easily killed King, but let him go after asking if he was a good father. Thereafter, King began getting vital information through the Voice whenever criminals violated Chris's moral code, King becoming director of FinCEN as a result. King reveals that he expects Medina to take over when he retires. The phone rings, and the Voice informs Medina about Living Robotics' situation.

Chris goes to Lamar's mansion, where the hitman and his team await. During the ensuing battle, the hitman recognizes Chris repeating the nursery rhyme and reveals that he is his brother, Braxton; they have not seen each other since Chris's imprisonment a decade earlier. Braxton attacks Chris, blaming him for their father's death. After their fight, Lamar appears and tries to justify his criminal actions; Chris kills him with a single shot when he has heard enough. Chris agrees to meet with Braxton in a week, saying that he will find him.

At Harbor Neuroscience, another set of parents visits with their son. He meets Justine, the daughter of the clinic's director, who is a resident patient there; she is also secretly the Voice, with Chris privately funding the center's activities. Dana receives a framed Dogs Playing Poker painting that they had discussed earlier. She soon discovers Chris's Jackson Pollock painting hidden underneath and is overwhelmed by his gesture. In the meantime, Chris leaves town with the Airstream in tow behind his pickup truck.




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.


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 sequences in the film featured the Indonesian martial art Pencak silat.[15][16][17]


On July 9, 2015, it had received graphic novelization published by Vertigo, a limited comic-book imprint owned by Warner Bros. Pictures.[18] The film's official trailer was released on YouTube on May 12, 2016. It features the song "Everything In Its Right Place" by Radiohead.[19]


The film was released in the United States on October 14, 2016.[20] Before that, Warner Bros. had scheduled it for January 29, 2016 and October 7, 2016.[21][22] It held its European premiere in London on October 17, 2016.[23]

Home media[edit]

The Accountant was released on Digital HD on December 27, 2016, and on Blu-ray and DVD on January 10, 2017. Between January and March 2017, the film sold 463,367 DVDs and 313,279 Blu-rays for a total of $19.2 million.[24] In April 2018, the MPAA reported it was the top-rented film of 2017 for both disc and digital.[25]


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.[26] 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).[27] In its second weekend, the film grossed $13.6 million (a drop of 44.8%), finishing fourth at the box office.[28]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 52% based on 282 reviews, with an average rating of 5.67/10. 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."[29] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on reviews from 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale,[31] while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 84% overall positive score and a 64% "definite recommend".[27]

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."[32] 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."[33]

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."[34]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Jupiter Awards March 29, 2017 Best International Film The Accountant Nominated [35]
Best International Actor Ben Affleck Nominated
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Thriller Film The Accountant Nominated [36]


In June 2017, a sequel was announced to be in development, with Gavin O'Connor and Bill Dubuque returning in their respective roles as director and writer. Affleck was to return in the starring role.[37] In February 2020, Affleck reiterated his desire for a sequel, also noting the possibility of a television series based on the character.[38]

In September 2021, O'Connor announced that deals for the sequel had just been made.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Accountant". British Board of Film Classification. August 30, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "The Accountant (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "Why Ben Affleck's new movie is three genres in one, according to its director".
  4. ^ "The Accountant: Best Adapted Martial Arts In Film". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  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 January 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (January 14, 2015). "Jeffrey Tambor Joins Ben Affleck Thriller 'The Accountant'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (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". 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". 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". 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. ^ "The Accountant Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Ben Affleck Movie HD". YouTube.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (May 19, 2015). "Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' Set for Jan. 29". Variety. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  23. ^ Alvarez, Joe (December 19, 2016). "Ben Affleck London Premiere of The Accountant". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  24. ^ "The Accountant (2016) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  25. ^ Lang, Brent (April 4, 2018). "'Moana,' 'The Accountant' Top Home Entertainment Charts in 2017". Variety. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Ben Affleck's 'The Accountant' is expected to unseat 'Girl On the Train' in slow box office weekend". Los Angeles Times.
  27. ^ a b "'The Accountant' Calculates $24.7M Opening; 'Max Steel' Rusts". Deadline Hollywood. October 17, 2016.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "The Accountant (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  30. ^ "The Accountant Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  31. ^ "CinemaScore Grades". CinemaScore – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Mancini, Vince (October 12, 2016). "'The Accountant' Is The Year's Best Superhero Movie And Probably Deserves A Sequel". Uproxx. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  33. ^ "'The Accountant': Ben Affleck an entertaining transaction hero". Chicago Sun Times. October 12, 2016.
  34. ^ "The Accountant". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  35. ^ "The Jupiter Awards 2017". Jupiter Awards. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  36. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  37. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 26, 2017). "Ben Affleck & Gavin O'Connor Back For 'The Accountant' Sequel; Will Jon Bernthal Return?". Deadline Hollywood.
  38. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (February 27, 2020). "Ben Affleck Offers Update on 'The Accountant' Sequel; Could Be a TV Series".
  39. ^ Hegarty, Tasha (September 3, 2021). "Batman star Ben Affleck's The Accountant 2 teased by director Gavin O'Connor". Digital Spy.

External links[edit]