When people first saw the general idea for this movie, it probably had to catch their attention somewhat. This is a movie about a socially challenged accountant who is better with numbers than people who also puts lots of bullets in people's heads on the side. We don't see this type of deal too often. Yes, it has the potential to go either way easily, but that shouldn't entirely dissuade us... right?
Christian Wolff is the character described in the title of this film; born with some form of autism (it's never fully specified). He appears to lead a decent life as a CPA accountant, despite his social issues. As we are guided through an investigation of this accountant in the U.S. Treasury (he's a mysterious figure there), we find that most of his clients are actually criminal organizations (cartels, mobs, etc). And he's done a fair amount of assassinating himself.
In an unusual move, not much about the actual plot of the movie was revealed even in the marketing; mostly just info about the titular character. Which leaves me in a bit of a pinch on how much I can say, since I generally don't say any more than what was already shown in movie trailers. Basically, he gets drawn into a situation where one of his clients has some serious financial discrepancies. And getting involved only leads to getting him and the Anna Kendrick accountant character (Dana) who first discovered it in danger.
The fact that little about the plot was revealed going in is actually a bigger payoff than usual; the actual story that is going on is probably not what you were guessing at all. And the movie gives you multiple surprises during the second half that help explain oddball things from before that were previously unexplained (which would make a second viewing probably rewarding, as you notice things you couldn't have before).
If there's one issue with the direction of this film, it's that it's a little disjointed at times. During the first half, there's more focus on the actual "accounting" part of things as well as more info about Christian's condition. But much of that gets thrown out of the window later as we get more fighting scenes (which are pretty good, even if a little brutal) and more of a drama thriller feel overall. For the most part, it gets by okay, but there are some slow scenes here and there. And the pacing is inconsistent at times, too. It does feel a little bit at times like the movie can't really decide what type of movie it is.
But for the most part, it's actually a pretty fulfilling experience by the end. The casting is mostly pretty good; Ben Affleck gets one of his better roles ever (though that's not saying much). J.K. Simmons is good, as always; even if slightly more subdued than usual. Jon Bernthal, however, is the pleasant surprise of the film; playing another hitman who has quite a way with words and facial expressions. Another separate thing about this film I was impressed with was the unusual generally positive attitude towards autism--something Hollywood often doesn't address at all--and actually giving mostly accurate depictions of it without being necessarily overblown.
The Accountant is ultimately one of the few breaths of fresh air in 2016 with regards to being an actually original movie and being one that actually has some surprising twists and turns. I've seen less original movies from 2016 that I actually enjoyed more, and were better made (hard to deny the direction is a tad sloppy at times here). But this is one that really shouldn't be overlooked the way it was. It might not really be for a super-casual moviegoer--it's a little bit more of a thinking man's movie--but otherwise, it's worth taking a look at.