John Madden’s political thriller Miss Sloane is a contrived sledgehammer of a film. It navigates a complex subject matter from the top of a soapbox, spouting ersatz-Sorkin dialogue at the top of its lungs. Its near-infallible central character is always the smartest person in the room, except when she’s saved by the latest in a long line of plot conveniences. And though the film is stocked with talented actors, they often struggle to elevate the mediocre writing above the superficiality of a PolySci 101 term paper on the second amendment. Miss Sloane delights in its own cleverness and “message”, but seems to have considered making a film a secondary concern.
Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant is an entertaining thriller that sports a peculiar mix of black ops action and wry humor. It focuses around a high-functioning autistic man named Christian Wolff who handles advanced ballistics just as well as he does advanced calculus. The story is told through multiple flashbacks, and follows multiple characters in the present day as they interact. Not everything gels together perfectly, and the underlying themes are fairly under-developed in favor of a simplistic action sequences, but The Accountant does far more right than it does wrong.