Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Story: Action thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor which follows math savant Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who has more affinity with numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.
With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division (Crime Enforcement Division), run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.
Verdict: This movie became a bit of a surprise and a hidden gem since as it had a solid plot which was really presented well. It has a bit of throw back feel to the action movies of the 80’s and 90’s that really work in its favor, it has a good level of suspense and despite some of its cliched dialogue everything really works here. The action is well-paced and Ben Affleck gives a really fitting sombre performance. Definitely a worthy intense action-packed thriller with one of Affleck’s better performances.REVIEWS
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 20)
Young Chris’s Mother: We came here because we heard you specialized in What is it? What does he have?
Neurologist: I’m not a fan of labels, ma’am. Your son is a remarkable young man.
Young Chris’s Mother: Who goes crazy when you turn the vacuum on. He wears one T-shirt, won’t let you hug him.
Neurologist: Loud noises, bright lights can be especially difficult for someone like your son. The shirt, most likely fabric sensitivity. Hugging, closeness, touching, That can be a challenge, yes.
Young Chris’s Mother: When it’s somebody else’s child, it’s a challenge. When it’s yours, it’s a problem.
Neurologist: My practice focuses on education. I’d like to work with your son, at his speed. Help him develop the skills he’ll need to lead a full life. Communicating, eye contact, understanding non-verbal cues, making friends.
Young Chris’s Mother: The only friend he has is his little brother. I’m sure moving from base to base hasn’t helped. My husband’s in the Army, which means we all are.
Neurologist: Would you be willing to let your son stay with us for the summer free of charge, working with me in a sensory-friendly environment?
Young Chris’s Father: That’s not gonna happen. If loud noises and bright lights bother him, he needs more of it, not less. The world is not a sensory-friendly place, and that’s where he needs to learn to live. Not in here. Doctor, in your opinion, can our son lead a normal life?
Neurologist: Define normal.
[Marybeth goes through the photos of Christian meeting various people]
Ray King: Tell me what you see.
Marybeth Medina: Yeah, I remember most of these arrests. They were huge.
Ray King: Focus. They’re not all arrests.
Marybeth Medina: It’s the same man.
Ray King: “Lou Carroll.” For what it’s worth, it’s an alias. The Hong Kong photo goes back about five years. In that one, he’s “Carl Gauss.” Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Naples. There was a sighting in Tehran. All describing the same man. An accountant. Our accountant. The accountant.
Marybeth Medina: The accountant, like a CPA accountant? Okay.
Ray King: Say you’re the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Now, the cartels count their money by weighing it in 18-wheelers. But one sunny Mexican day, your in-house money scrubber comes to you and says you’re 30 million light. Who can you trust to do the forensic accounting, track your stolen cash? Deloitte and Touche? H&R Block? You somehow contact an individual capable of coming in cold, un-cooking years of books, and getting out alive. I retire in seven months, before I do, I need to know who he is, how he does it. I mean, who survives this kind of clientele? The secrets this guy has.
Marybeth Medina: What exactly do you want me to do?
Ray King: Report directly to me. No other case work. No other Treasury personnel involved. At the end of the month, one of two things will have occurred. Resolution of this case, or we update your photo.
Francis Silverberg: You know, I’m old. I may be remembering things a little rosier than they were. I mean, you want to fill out ten-forty’s and itemize deductions, and pull in fifty grand a year? I mean, that’s a living. Because if you go down this road, this road you can’t go back, you understand? It’s dangerous. Do you understand?
Christian Wolff: I understand.
Francis Silverberg: You find one person you can trust, just one. And do not make my mistake, you keep moving your ass around.
[on the phone]
Woman’s Voice: There’s an uptick in online chatter. People looking for you.
Christian Wolff: What people?
Woman’s Voice: The unfriendly kind. Let’s try a legitimate client for once. No cartels, arms brokers, money launderers, assassins. I like safe. I like you safe.
Christian Wolff: Everyone’s hiding something. At least there’s honor among thieves.
Woman’s Voice: There’s honor among Illinois electronics manufacturers. They’re in your current backyard. No risk of movement. You’ll meet?
Christian Wolff: Yeah, I’ll meet.
Woman’s Voice: One last piece of business.
Christian Wolff: Just the Renoir.
Woman’s Voice: I don’t have a buyer for the Renoir. The Pollock can move. Will you ever let it go?
[Christian thinks for a moment]
Woman’s Voice: Hello?
Christian Wolff: Just the Renoir. Drop the price.
Woman’s Voice: Heavy sigh. Go to work, dreamboat.
Dana Cummings: What do you have to hit to dent a steel thermos?
Christian Wolff: It’s just old.
Dana Cummings: How did you, um, get into financial consulting?
Christian Wolff: Department of Labor statistics indicate it’s one of the fastest-growing professions. Actuarial sciences are experiencing tremendous growth as well.
Dana Cummings: Okay. I like the balance of it. You know, I like finding things that aren’t obvious. Plus, my dad was an accountant. He actually, you know, he had the whole shtick. The, uh, you know, the little amortization book, and the green eyeshade, and the, like, dorky pocket protector and…
Christian Wolff: I have a pocket protector.
[he lifts his jacket to show it to her]
Dana Cummings: That’s a nice one. I mean, his was dorky, that’s… Yours is nice. Um, but he convinced me to go into the field. Because I wanted to study art at the Art Institute of Chicago, but art doesn’t pay the mortgage. “Art doesn’t pay the mortgage, young lady.” Dad’s tastes ran more to Dogs Playing Poker.
Christian Wolff: I like Dogs Playing Poker. Because dogs would never bet on things, and so, it’s incongruous. I like incongruity.
Dana Cummings: Yeah, Dogs Playing Poker is nice. It’s just sort of a… Just different. So, I studied accounting at the University of Chicago, where fun goes to die.
Christian Wolff: Why?
Dana Cummings: Why what?
Christian Wolff: Why does fun go to die at the University of Chicago?
Dana Cummings: Oh, no, it’s just an expression. I’m joking.
Christian Wolff: Right.
Dana Cummings: Um, I’ll leave you to it.
Christian Wolff: Okay.
Dana Cummings: Let me know if you need anything while you’re here.
Christian Wolff: Have a nice day.
Dana Cummings: Yes. You, too.
[to Dana; after killing the men that tried to kill Dana at her apartment]
Christian Wolff: We should go.
[on the phone]
Brax: Since when are accountants difficult to ventilate? Dead? Christ, What did he do, hit him over the head with an adding machine? Oh, God. Alright, just put me in touch with the client. I’ll handle this accountant myself.
Dana Cummings: Running isn’t an option for me. I can’t just walk out on my life! We have to go to the police. That’s what normal, taxpaying people do!
Christian Wolff: Police can’t protect you from someone who can afford to return sixty-one million dollars.
Dana Cummings: Return? What are you talking about, “return”?
Christian Wolff: The money was being put back. Stay here.
[Dana enters Christian’s trailer where he keeps his weapons and money]
Christian Wolff: What are you doing in here?
Dana Cummings: Who are you?
Christian Wolff: You can’t… You should not be here. Sit down. Sit right there.
Dana Cummings: What is this place?
Dana Cummings: This is where you live?
Christian Wolff: No, I don’t live here. This is a storage unit. That would be weird.
Dana Cummings: That’s what would be weird?
Christian Wolff: I’d like to spend more time here. However, I’m afraid some of my clients might follow me.
Dana Cummings: Why would your clients follow you? You’re an accountant! How do you know what to do here? Why are you prepared for this?
Christian Wolff: Plus, this is on wheels, which means I can hook it up and be gone in twelve minutes. Usually.
Dana Cummings: Sarcasm? Is that sarcasm?
Christian Wolff: No, that’s not sarcasm. I don’t use sarcasm. It’s irritation. Everything in the world that is important to me is in this trailer. And right now, changing my routine for you is jeopardizing that.
Dana Cummings: Tell me that’s not an original Pollock.
Christian Wolff: We should go. Now.
Christian Wolff: My father was an officer in the Army. Psychological Operations. He was concerned that I might be taken advantage of somehow, so he arranged for me to train with a number of specialists throughout my childhood. We lived in thirty-four homes in seventeen years.
Dana Cummings: You moved thirty-four times?
Christian Wolff: Mm-hmm.
Dana Cummings: God, that’s extraordinary. No, I’m sure it must have been difficult, but I haven’t been anywhere. Well, Cancun. Not my proudest moment. Um, I just mean your life is unique.
Christian Wolff: It’s not unique. I have a high-functioning form of autism, which means I have an extremely narrow focus and a hard time abandoning tasks once I’ve taken them up. I have difficulty socializing with other people, even though I want to.
Dana Cummings: When I was a senior in high school, I wanted this special dress for prom. I told myself that spending a hundred dollars on a trashy dress that I was going to wear one time to an event that I thought was silly in the first place, was…
Christian Wolff: Wasteful.
Dana Cummings: Yes. But Vera Wang made this black, strapless classic. It was more expensive, but you could wear it to all kinds of future events.
Christian Wolff: It was an investment.
Dana Cummings: Yes. Where were you when I was in high school?
Christian Wolff: Oh, North Carolina, Israel.
Dana Cummings: Right. Um, the problem was they wanted seventeen hundred dollars for this dress, and I didn’t have that, so…
Christian Wolff: You asked your parents?
Dana Cummings: No. Hang on. Blackjack. I’d never played a hand, but I went to the library and I checked out all these books on strategy, and I turned the Naperville North math club into a little Vegas.
Christian Wolff: What’s a math club?
Dana Cummings: Math club. You compete against other schools. Theory and speed math. Like, what’s two hundred and ninety-eight thousand five hundred and sixty-seven times ninety-two?
Christian Wolff: Twenty-seven million four hundred and sixty-eight thousand and one hundred and sixty-four.
Dana Cummings: Right. Um, Blackjack. I could tell you when to hit, stand, split, re-split. I moved on to card counting, shuffle tracking, hole carding. And I took everything I had, which was a hundred and eighty-three dollars, and I drove down to Harrah’s in Joliet.
Christian Wolff: Why was this dress so important to you?
Dana Cummings: It wasn’t about the dress. I just wanted to walk into the gym and have everybody say, “Wow!” I was trying to belong. I was trying to connect. I think no matter how different we are, we’re all trying to do the same thing. Um, but I lost all but twenty dollars in the first ten minutes. I fed that into a nickel slot on the way out, and I won two grand.
Christian Wolff: Hmm.
Dana Cummings: I used the extra cash to pay for a limo. Only wore the dress the one time.
Dana Cummings: Chris, why are we here?
Christian Wolff: Um, I thought this hotel had good water pressure.
Dana Cummings: The Holiday Inn Express in Aurora has good water pressure.
Christian Wolff: Yes, but these towels are very fancy, and cheaper hotels have scratchy towels. And I wanted you to like it.
[Christian has flashback]
Young Chris’s Father: Life is a series of choices, none of which are new. The oldest is choosing to be a victim. Or choosing not to. Second oldest; loyalty. Family first, good times or bad.
[as the boys bullying Christian show up]
Young Chris’s Father: Bonjour, fellas.
[referring to his broken glasses]
Young Chris: They’re only glasses.
Young Chris’s Father: You think if you don’t fight back then maybe they’ll like you, stop picking on you and calling you a freak? Well here’s what it is. They don’t like you, they don’t dislike you. They’re afraid of you.You’re different. Sooner or later, different scares people. Victim or not? Make a decision.
[Christian leaves Dana a note as she’s asleep]
“Dana, you deserve Wow. C.”
[he then leaves]
Marybeth Medina: Were you a good dad, Ray King?
Ray King: I’ve given up trying to figure out when I’ll get a call. The “why” though, that I’ve got. Someone breaks his moral code.
Marybeth Medina: Why are you telling me this?
Ray King: I’m retiring in a few months. When she calls, somebody needs to be there to answer.
Marybeth Medina: No. He’s a criminal, Ray.
Ray King: Yeah.
Marybeth Medina: He aids and abets drug cartels, money launderers. He’s a fucking killer.
Ray King: Believe me, I wrestled with the same decision. But when I got that first call, I realized something. I’d spent my whole life only recognizing my lucky breaks after they were gone.
Brax: [to Blackburn] Did you ever see a match-grade round traveling three thousand feet per second go through a window?
[outside Christian shoots at the window, shooting one of the guards dead]
Brax: Nobody does.
Christian Wolff: Hello, Braxton.
Brax: No, no. Don’t. Don’t do that. I’ve been looking for you for ten years, and you’re gonna come at me like we just saw each other yesterday? That’s what you’re gonna do? What did I… What did I think? What did I think, that you were gonna be happy to see me, I guess.
Christian Wolff: I am happy. I need to finish. You should go.
Brax: I should go? Okay. Okay, I’ll just go. But first, I’m gonna ask you a question. You’re gonna give me an answer.
[he suddenly grabs hold of Christian]
Brax: Why would you and Pop go to that funeral? She left us. Do you not remember that? Do you not remember that?
[they start fighting]
Brax: It’s your fault that Pop’s dead! Do you hear me? It’s your fault!
Christian Wolff: I’m sorry, Braxton.
Brax: You’re sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut it, you weird fuck!
[they continue to fight and Christian hits Brax hard in the mouth]
Brax: You don’t give a shit about me? You don’t give a shit about me?
[Brax starts hitting Christian, but Christian doesn’t hit back]
Brax: How about now? How about now?
[Brax continues to hit Christian]
Brax: Are you gonna fight! Fight!
[Brax hits Christian again and this time Christian hits back, knocks Brax to the ground and points his gun at Brax]
[after they stop fighting]
Christian Wolff: I’m sorry, Braxton.
Brax: If you had to see her, if that was something that you had to do, you call me. I’m your brother. I’ve always had your back. You don’t call him, you call me. Did you even wonder where I was?
Christian Wolff: I knew where you were. I just wanted you to be safe, some of my clients are quite dangerous.
Brax: I’m kind of considered fairly dangerous myself.
Christian Wolff: Well, you’ve made improvements.
Brax: Shit, man. You and me here, what are the odds?
Christian Wolff: Well statistically speaking…
Brax: [laughing] Christ, man! It’s rhetorical. I mean, really?
Christian Wolff: I was just saying.
[upon seeing Blackburn]
Christian Wolff: Not happy.
Lamar Blackburn: Do you consider what you do important, Mr. Wolff? To someone other than yourself, I mean? What I do is. Living Robotics’ public offering would’ve been worth billions. Money to be used for neuroprosthetics, nanotechnology. You… Why in God’s name did I ever hire you?
Christian Wolff: To leak-proof your books. Dana found a mistake, and you wanted to be sure it was safe to go public. And now you want to kill her.
Lamar Blackburn: I’m fond of Dana. But I restore lives, not Dana! Me! Men, women, children, I give them hope. Make them whole. Do you even know what that’s like?
Christian Wolff: Yes, I do.
[Christian suddenly shoots Blackburn in the head, killing him instantly]
[after killing Blackburn]
Christian Wolff: Sorry.
Brax: I missed you.
[Christian doesn’t respond]
Brax: “Missed you, too, Braxton.”
[they both chuckle]
Brax: “Missed you, too, because I love you. You’re my brother.”
Christian Wolff: Maybe… Do you want to… Maybe I could see you in a week?
Brax: You name the place, I’ll be there.
[Christian gets up and starts to leave]
Brax: How will I find you?
Christian Wolff: You won’t. I’ll find you.
[talking to an autistic boy’s parents]
Neurologist: What if we’re wrong? What if we’ve been using the wrong tests to quantify intelligence in children with autism? Your son’s not less-than. He’s different. Now, your expectations for your son may change over time. They might include marriage, children, self-sufficiency, and they might not. But I guarantee you, if we let the world set expectations for our children, they’ll start low, and they’ll stay there. Maybe your son’s capable of much more than we know. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t understand how to tell us. Or we haven’t yet learned how to listen.
Total Quotes: 20
The Accountant – Comic Book: