Ben Affleck’s movie about a super-buff bookkeeper raises the question: How frequently does an accountant usage a high-powered rifle? So we asked a real one.

You are watching: Everything wrong with the accountant


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Warner Bros. Pictures
There have actually been a variety of noteworthy accountants in cinema over the years: The battle each other in Midnight Run, Loretta in Moonstruck, Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, Henry in The royal Tenenbaums — I could go on. Yet while every one of those accountants play pivotal functions in their respective films, nobody of those movies were dubbed The Accountant. And also due to the preeminence that, if you space making the critical movie about something, you have actually to contact it The <Something> — those movie accountants can not be the definitive movie portrayals the what it’s like to be an accountant.

As a result, the gap between “what us know around being one accountant” and “what we want to know around being an accountant” has actually remained agonizingly large. Who are these people? What renders them tick? What provides them … them? Either no one knew, or nobody was talking.

But v Friday’s relax of The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck and also Anna Kendrick and Jeffrey Tambor a little and Jon Bernthal Is A STAR™, every little thing is poised to change.


I saw Gavin O’Connor’s film critical week, and was enthralled. Top top one level, it was a movie about Ben Affleck being smart after all and knowing about math and philosophy and also owning an initial Renoir and post-investing in gold bricks and also Gus van Sant didn’t write a word of Good will Hunting no one word it is a bullshit rumor go fuck yourself.

But on an additional level, i swear to god, it type of was a movie about accounting.

Every minute of the movie felt favor a actual “moment” — a peeling-back the the bookkeeping curtain that had actually been pulled over my eyes for so long. Oh, ns thought, as soon as Affleck’s accountant hit the smiley-faced micropumpkin between the eyes v a long-distance sniper rifle from over a mile out. That’s what happens. Ahhh, I claimed to myself, ~ Affleck’s accountant took out an upstream hit squad v the back component of a casual acquaintance’s toilet. Now I acquire it. OK — of course. That’s how that works. It was dense, sure, yet it was likewise edifying and fun. After seeing The Accountant, ns realized that ns was currently one that the very first people in the entire world to understand what gift an accountant to be like. And that feeling amazing.

But then the strangest point happened. I began to hear rumors. I started to listen that few of what was shown in The Accountant … well: It might not have actually been strictly accurate. The opportunity hit me choose a ton that bricks. After every one of the wait and all of the excitement: i realized that i still might not understand what gift an accountant is like.

Lost, ns went searching for answers, and also where i should have actually gone years ago: right to the source. I spoke to a real-life accountant — one that has functioned for a large Four accountancy firm, and also who agreed come talk v us under the problem of anonymity. Ns asked him come separate truth from fiction. What does The Accountant obtain wrong about accounting? and what walk it get right?

Here is everything he told me:

FACT: Accountants stay in great shape.

One that the best stretches the The Accountant, right off the bat, seems to be the Ben Affleck is so … buff. Ns mean, so buff. Ns mean, let’s just say it: He perfect Batman, and he liked how he looked, and he said, “This is me now.” And good for him.

But look at him:

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Warner Bros. Pictures That’s not an accountant.

Or is it? ours accountant assured me that Affleck’s body in reality checks out — and that he himself additionally stays in shape.

“A normal biceps day for me, I’d say, is 3 sets that 20-pound curls,” ours accountant told me, without hesitation. “And ns doing that double a week. Sorry, mine fiancée is looking at me and also she’s saying, ‘That’s a an excellent week.’ <Asks fiancée> carry out I ever before do any earlier and shoulder exercises? … Oh, yeah, so, for shoulders, I’ll do three to adjust of shoulder presses with, like, a 15-pound weight. Because that chest, common day, most likely 40 push-ups. Two sets the 20.”

FACT: an accountant would say hi to Anna Kendrick if he were sitting on a bench external next to she on a lunch break.

In among the film’s pivotal scenes, Affleck and Kendrick bond on an the end bench over lunch after lock strike up a conversation.

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Warner Bros. Pictures ns asked ours accountant if this was even remotely realistic.

“I’m trying to imagine this scenario,” the said. “If we’re sitting on a bench … ns think I would certainly . I’ve watched celebrities before, and I don’t try to stroked nerves them. But if she was just sitting top top a bench and not through someone? Yeah, I would certainly say hi … or whatever.”

And however our accountant does have a bone come pick with the film’s BYO-lunch vibes. “Lunch would be Seamless,” he claims with confidence.

FACT: Accountants have a soft spot for Anna Kendrick.

But that isn’t simply lunch. An additional implausibility in The Accountant seems to be its effort at conjuring romantic chemistry between Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick.

And however our resource confirms the film’s position: The couple makes sense. Or at least: Accountants absolutely have a point for Anna Kendrick.

“I’m very ‘for’ Anna Kendrick,” ours accountant said. “I think she’s hot. She seems favor she’s down to earth. You don’t check out her in the tabloids. It seems like she make the efforts to it is in an actress, and then does her appearances. We don’t view her make the efforts to it is in public out there, like, one Angelina Jolie–type thing. She’s talented.”

FICTION: If an accountant is doing accounting on a whiteboard in a windowed conference room, and also he runs the end of room on the whiteboard, he’ll use the windows in the conference room, prefer in ‘A Beautiful Mind.’

In one more pivotal scene, we see Affleck’s Christian Wolff traction an all-nighter while functioning on a large case at a client site. However this isn’t just your standard … cocaine-and-doughnuts, midtier accountant all-nighter. This is among those “go man Forbes Nash Jr.’s Ghost–level apeshit on her client’s most likely benevolent yet on the other hand probably the nicest guy in the room has a murderous plan to cake up before taking the company public, I’ve checked out it happen before, I’m telling you, decade-spanning bookkeeping problem” all-nighters.

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Warner Bros. Pictures/Entertainment Weekly and the movie knows simply what’s up. This is your one chance to make bookkeeping seem cool. And also so they milk the for every it’s worth. Numbers flying everywhere … one overbearing soundtrack … whisper-speed-counting top top whisper-speed-counting ~ above <extremely whisper-speed-counting voice> whisper-speed-counting. It’s prefer the training scene in Creed but if the youngsters on the bikes were dry-erase markers and also at the finish of the workout the went approximately Anna Kendrick and said, “Look what i did.”

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Warner Bros. Pictures Anyway, that a pretty gripping scene. However it also feels choose a little of a stretch. On the windows — really?

“Wouldn’t happen,” our accountant called us. “I would certainly take a snapshot and also wipe it turn off the board and also reuse it.”

FACT: Accountants are good at puzzles.

Affleck’s accountant is significant at puzzles: that does them in minutes — and the does them upside down. Go this inspect out?

“I’m pretty great at puzzles, I would certainly say,” ours accountant said us. “ act them through my baby nieces and also nephews. It to be a pair years ago. It to be a picture of, like, a bench, or … not, the was prefer a lion, or an animal or something choose that.” asked to rate himself at puzzles ~ above a scale of 1 to 10, our accountant to be firm. “At that puzzle? i would price myself a 10.”

So it checks out.

FACT: Accountants to trust John Lithgow.

One of the biggest tactical missteps that Affleck’s Wolff provides in the film is placing too lot trust in Lamar Black, a robotics firm founder play by john Lithgow. Because that such a smart guy, it’s a nice rookie mistake: Lithgow is the most famed actor that the movie’s potential villains, by far — and the only really viable selection for its large Bad. It i do not care plainly noticeable the film is transforming him heel approximately the half-hour mark.

Is it believable that a genius favor Wolff would miss out on these warning signs and trust man Lithgow a prohibitive amount?

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Warner Bros. Pictures “Sure,” our accountant answered, once asked if he trusts man Lithgow.

I pressed for more. Why the trust?

“He’s been about for a while, in the public sphere,” ours accountant offered. “And I’ve never ever heard noþeles bad about him. Once I was at the JCC farming up, 3rd rock From the Sun to be on the TV there.”

FICTION: account have substantial combat training.

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But out of every one of The Accountant’s litany of implausibilities, the toughest one come negotiate is more than likely its decision come let Ben Affleck’s accountant go complete Jason Bourne. It’s simply not necessary. Like: my dude is currently a BUFF GENIUS mathematics WIZARD with movie-star looks and a Midwestern disposition. Did us really also need to offer him a combat fighter rating the “Deadshot x Wolverine”?

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Warner Bros. Pictures “No,” ours accountant called me, point-blank, once asked if accountants are raised from childhood to it is in undefeatable, virtuoso death machines. “Not true.” As far as real-life fighting experience, our accountant tells me, “I acquired into a pair of fights in middle school. I acquired into a hit on the bus because this man was trying come hit on my girlfriend. I guess the wasn’t really a fight — I mean, i punched the kid and also then our bus stop happened.”

Did the kid ago off? “Yeah.”

Did that hit on our accountant’s girlfriend again? “You know what, ns think that did.”

An earlier version that this story erroneously included a photo of Ben Affleck indigenous The Town; it has actually been replaced with an image from The Accountant.