Movie Double Take

Movies Are Good!

Movie Review: The Accountant

How I approach every morning at my job.

How I approach every morning at my job.

Allie’s Take:

 It’s Bob’s favorite month of the year (he loves Halloween and fall!) and we just got back from a tropical honeymoon, so obviously the first weekend we had without plans since we’ve been home, during the fall in New England, we went to see the new Ben Affleck movie.

Sorry Bob.

But if you know me, it should be no surprise that I saw this movie on opening weekend, when there were 5,000 other fall activities to do in Boston and my Hawaiian tan is quickly fading into the oblivion of soon-to-be Boston winter.  Because, Ben Affleck.

The Accountant stars Affleck (and J.K. Simmons, and Anna Kendrick, and John Lithgow…star-studded cast here).  Affleck is a mathematics savant with high-functioning autism who is an accountant, but secretly involved in a dangerous and illegal crime ring, and the film follows him as the government tries to figure out who he is.  There are a variety of twists and honestly this is the type of movie I would have to see again to completely understand—it’s packed with many plots and characters and the math talk is just too much for me on a Friday night—but it is not the smartest movie out there.  It probably could have done with a cleaner script and plot, as there are some things that don’t quite add up (ha, ha, pun intended).  But it does keep you entertained throughout.

As an Affleck fan, it’s also hard to miss the parallels to other movies.  I can’t spoil the ending so I wont mention how that matches another Ben movie, but how you like them apples:


Stars: 5 out of 5 (it’s Ben Affleck)

Bring with you: A calculator


"Ben, what are you doing?  We are supposed to use a paperless filing system!"

"Ben, what are you doing?  We are supposed to use a paperless filing system!"



Bob’s Take:

 The Accountant is a preposterous movie. The premise feels more like a skit on an episode of SNL that Ben Affleck would appear in to demonstrate that he has sense of humor about himself than an actual film. It's astonishing that none of the many competent people in the cast and crew responsible for the production of the film said, "Wait, wait, we're actually making a movie about a murder-happy autistic accountant action hero? Really? Maybe this is isn't such a good idea." 

The flaws of the film are numerous and obvious. The movie has more characters than it knows what to do with, the dialogue feels like it was written by a robot fed nothing but 90's thrillers and rejected Oscar contenders, and nearly all of the many twists are as telegraphed as a magician with a pigeon shaped lump in his sleeve. 

But you know what? The Accountant totally goes for it. This is not a movie guilty of phoning it in. It wants to give you everything: romance, action, intrigue, surprise, suspense, emotion, laughter. And for as many elements that don't work, there are enough that do. The movie is consistently entertaining and well-paced enough (outside of a giant information dump at the end before the climax) that you can never slow down to dwell on just how implausible or ridiculous any individual element may be.

The Accountant is not a great movie, but is an endearingly charming one, and worth a watch if you like ambitious thrillers.

 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

How does it compare to other action about autistic accountants? Best in field.

Movie Review: High Rise


I have no idea what this movie was about.  It was pretentious and rambling and I literally fell asleep in the theater.  It involves someone savagely maiming and eating a dog.  I did not like it. 

Stars: 0.5 out of 5

Bring with you: Nothing.  Don’t go.

Go watch instead: Another Independent Film Festival Boston movie (see our other review of Boyhood, which was also saw at IFF, here.

Allie during the movie.

Allie during the movie.


Like a college freshman trying to impress a bored peer by quoting Kierkegaard, High Rise is painfully empty of any original ideas and not nearly as intelligent as it thinks it is. The central premise of the film is that residents of a high rise slowly go insane and destroy one another as tensions between upper and lower classes simmer into all-out warfare. While the foundation (adapted from the J.G. Ballard novel) is fine, the result is an incredibly indulgent and shallow movie light on characters, interesting dialogue, and clarity of ideas and heavy on visual flair and little else. 

The characters aren't well developed enough to be considered one-dimensional, and any semblance of social commentary feels like an afterthought, to the extent that it feels like the director added in a line in here in there about capitalism in the second cut, once he realized the film was about nothing at all. High Rise is a half-baked waste of time. 

Bob's Rating: 1/5

How does it compare to other science fiction films about dystopian futures?

Worse than: Soylent Green (and nearly all others).

Better than: 27 Dresses