- From Empire
In 1988, Oscar-grabbing blockbuster Rain Man drew the blueprint for portraying autism in mainstream cinema, painting the condition as a kind of adorable super power, thanks to Dustin Hoffman’s shuffling performance as maths savant Raymond Babbitt.
The Accountant riffs on this now familiar approach, imbuing its autistic lead character Christian Wolff (Affleck) with a supernatural talent for preparing accurate tax returns, but also shooting guns — especially the gigantic sniper rifle he keeps in his modest rural home.
Sure enough, as Wolff is drawn deeper into the movie’s elaborate corruption plot, we discover that he’s an efficient and emotionless killer, dispatching hitmen and mercenaries with cold, calculated indifference.
An epilogue at the close of the movie acts like a public information film about how people with autism are not dangerous loners, they’re just different — a point that the proceeding two hours does its best to muddy.
Indeed, The Accountant is as confusing and seemingly futile as an HMRC tax credit form — and it only takes marginally less time to complete.