Movie Review: The Accountant

The movie has a really interesting premise, which I don’t feel is quite adequately portrayed in the trailer. It shows the story of Christian Wolff, an accountant with some very special talents. Wolff has high functioning autism, and an incredible talent for numbers. He works for high profile corporations, and occasionally mobs and other shady operations, finding errors in their accounting records. He runs a small town accounting firm, helping local citizens with their taxes, as a bit of a front. He is also very good with a number of weapons, and can fight proficiently with everything from his hands to a sniper rifle. The movie follows his story as he tries to uncook the books for a massive corporation, where there are (of course) some deep-seated problems which lead him down dangerous roads.

The action that ensues is quite good. The fight scenes were all well choreographed, and quite exciting. None of them were too long, and I never really felt any action fatigue. Some of them were a little on the brutal side for my taste, but it fit the tone of the film, so I didn’t really mind.

The overall plot was fairly straightforward. I got lost a few times, and had to ask the friend who saw the movie with me to explain some of the more subtle elements to me after the movie was over, but overall, it was engaging and solidly done.

I was quite happy that the writers didn’t try to force any unrealistic romance into the movie. Wolff has high functioning autism, and he is, accurately, socially awkward. He is not the kind of person who would quickly form romantic attachments, or attract other people to him. There were definitely moments in the movie where the writers could have used the trope of having the hero be universally loved, but it would have felt horribly forced and out of character, and I am very glad that it was not done.

Not just with the romance, but overall, the portrayals of autism in the movie felt very authentic. The scene where Wolff is obsessively working on an accounting set of books, for example. The level of attention he gives to the work, the way he sets everything out so he can see it, and his reaction when his work are interrupted are all spot on. In addition, his sensitivity to noise, his desensitization training, and everything down to the little details like how he arranges his food on his plate, give the movie a very authentic and accurate feel. I absolutely loved this aspect of the film.

In summary, despite the high level of violence, the solid plot moved the film along, and the spot on depictions of an autistic main character who is also incredibly capable were amazing, and I absolutely loved it. If you have an autistic friend or family member (who is old enough to watch a fairly violent action movie), I highly recommend watching this film with them. I guarantee they will poke you several times throughout and say, “Yeah, that’s exactly right. That’s how it is.”

Five out of Five stars, easily. I’ll be watching this one again on my computer at some point, I’m absolutely certain.

5 Books I’m Excited to See on the Screen

More and more books are being optioned and developed, either for TV or the big screen these days, though they’re still giving the short end of the stick to some authors such as Sanderson. Most people credit Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones for this success, and they’re probably not wrong. Here’s my list of the top 5 upcoming movies and tv shows made from books (that I’ve loved and read) that I’m really excited for.

5. Shannara.

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This one may be a bit of a hit or miss. I loved the Shannara books when I was a kid. They were the first books that kept me up at night, under the covers, with a flashlight, lying to my mom and saying I had gone to sleep, so that I could finish reading them. In some ways, they’re what inspired my love of the fantasy genre.

But they started coming out in the 70’s, and fantasy has matured a lot since then. If they’re done right, of course, the stories can still feel fresh—LoTR is much older, and was amazing—but I have doubts about MTV’s ability to do them right. Regardless, they’re treasured fantasy that remains close to my heart, and I’m definitely going to give the show a try before I decide whether it’s good or not—and I’m really hoping it is good.

4. Jonathan Strage and Mr. Norrell.

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Okay, I know this one is already out, at least partially, but because it’s still ongoing, and I haven’t seen it yet, I’m still counting it on the list. I read this book last year, and I loved it for the stuffy sense of atmosphere, mixed with the brilliantly rich worldbuilding and characters. I have high hopes that the right adaptation would be able to bring that amazing world to the screen, and perhaps add just a touch of tension and movement to the story, making it into a great series. I’m definitely binge-watching this over a weekend later this summer when it’s all available at once. The trailer looks pretty cool, too.

3. Time Salvager.

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I know, I know. It’s not fair to tease you with this one when the book isn’t even out yet. I’m not sorry. This was an amazing book, and it has the potential, with the right screenplay, to be an amazing movie. There are many ways it could go wrong, of course—especially directed by someone known for explosions over plot, but I am optimistic that we will get an amazing movie. I’ll have my review of the book up on release day, but I urge you to preorder it now. It may be my favorite time travel adventure novel I’ve ever read.

2. The Martian.

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My top two entries have a bit of an unfair advantage, as their trailers have already been released—and they are amazing. If you’ve not read The Martian yet, the trailer is a pretty darn good introduction.

I’ve never read anything quite like it before. I was expecting another Apollo 13/Gravity rehash, with just a bunch of scary space moments that still can drive a good story—but I got so much more. The science, and the level of detail that Andy Weir put into the thought behind this book—this book reads more like Einstein pulling a Robinson Crusoe on Mars… Plus the Apollo 13/Gravity moments that everyone loves so much. It’s amazing, and they look like they’ve done a perfect job with casting the characters. I am super excited to see this one, and I’m glad they moved the release date up so I can watch it sooner.

1. Mockingjay Part 2.

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The Hunger Games trilogy is a masterpiece. In particular, I feel that the second half of the third book, the basis of this movie, is utterly brilliant in its depiction of the final struggle against evil and the repercussions of war and trauma. It makes me cry, and messes me up like not much else can do—and I love it for that. The first trailer just came out for this one too, and here it is:

(Brienne!) I get chills every time I watch that. The music, the characters, everything. If they stick to the landing half as well as the book did, this is going to be a freaking brilliant movie. Extra bonus: It comes out on my birthday. I’ve gone to the last 2 movies for my birthday party, and I already have plans to do that for this one too.

What movies or TV series are you looking forward to that came from books?