MOVIE REVIEWS: Short Reviews of Films Playing at 1600 N Broad St.
In “the Accountant”, Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, an accountant with a dark secret and an even darker childhood. While crunching numbers for a very powerful robotics company, he stumbles upon some troubling information that he shouldn’t have, and one by one, people start dropping like flies. With me so far? Okay, good. Because now, it gets a little silly once we find out that Wolff not only has a form of autism, but can also shoot, kick, punch and twist necks like the best of them. Still sound crazy? If so, that’s sort of the point. The best element of “The Accountant” is that no matter how weird and strange its story may get, it’s still compelling and mysterious. It’s never clear where the story is going to go or what else we’re going to find out about these characters. In a way, it’s the piece of cold, dark and violent adult-entertainment that’s so rarely made, only because it’s so hard to get right. Thankfully, the well-cast Affleck and company do get it right, and then some.
The Birth of a Nation
Despite all of the controversy and press surrounding its subject matter, as well as its co-writer/director/star Nate Parker’s past rape allegations, “The Birth of a Nation” still isn’t worth all of the chatter it’s been getting. Parker’s take on the tale of Nat Turner – a slave who, in his very last days of living, decided to hold an uprising against his white owners and die for what he believed in – is certainly passionate and interesting, but it’s also messy. While the movie never loses it’s sense of how terrible racism was during slavery and how, in a way, racism still exists in today’s society, the movie is sluggish. Parker’s slow-pace never fully picks up and certain, more troubling aspects regarding Turner’s life – his moral conflicts, as well as his relationships – never get enough attention to where we feel like we know him. It’s an admirable effort on Parker’s behalf, but next time, more cleaning up will be needed. •