Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian un-cooks the books he uncovers a massive embezzlement of $61 million; as he gets closer to the truth, he finds himself, Dana and the owners of the company in the sights of a mysterious hit man and his mercenaries. As the body count mounts, Christian turns out to be more than just an “Accountant.” Panned by the critics as “a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions,” the film was well received by audiences. It’s a high-powered, involving, mystery yarn that has sympathetic characters, plenty of twists and turns, state-of-the art violence, and underdog revenge. It’s a fun ride along the lines of the “Taken” and “Mechanic” franchises and, despite the low-key acting chops of Affleck and Kendrick, very watchable.
Vitals: Director: Gavin O’Connor. Stars: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smartm Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 128 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $84.482 million, Warner.
Extras: “Inside the Man” featurette. Blu-ray adds “Behavioral Science” featurette, “The Accountant in Action.”
The Birth of a Nation
Set against the antebellum South, bio-drama follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s
preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities — against himself and his fellow slaves — Turner orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
Vitals: Director: Nate Parker. Stars: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Junior, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union, Aunjanue Ellis.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $15.849
Extras: “Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner” documentary, commentary by director Nate Parker, gallery. .Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, “The Birth of a Nation: The Making of a Movement,” “#AmeriCAN” (short film), “Free God” spoken word, “Celebration of Independent Voices — Nate Parker,” shooting script. (Fox).
Sequel of sorts to the genre-bending “Blair Witch Project.” After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.
Vitals: Director: Adam Wingard. Stars: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Horror, Box office gross: $20.747 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: Audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett; “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” featurette. Blu-ray adds: “Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch” six-part documentary: “Primal Fear: Story Origins,” “Ambiguous Loss: The Cast,” “P.O.V.: On Location,” “Trapped in the Time Loop: Editing,” “Distorted Reality: Music and Sound Design” and “The Reveal.”
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, igniting a massive fireball that kills several crew members. Chief electronics technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his colleagues find themselves fighting for survival as the heat and the flames become stifling and overwhelming. Banding together, the co-workers must use their wits to make it out alive amid all the chaos. The resulting oil spill was the worst in U.S. history.
Vitals: Director: Peter Berg. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Douglas M. Griffin, James DuMont, Joe Chrest, Gina Rodriguez, Brad Leland, John Malkovich, David Maldonado.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Drama, Box office gross: $59.919 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: “The Fury of the Rig” featurette; “Deepwater Surveillance” featurette; “Work Like an American” tributes featuring profiles of a real-life Deepwater Horizon firefighter, an ironworker, a longshoreman and many more hardworking Americans. Blu-ray adds “Beyond the Horizon” hour-long five-part series; “Captain of the Rig: Peter Berg” featurette.
The Girl on the Train
Based on USA TODAY’s 2015 Book of the Year and the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Paula Hawkins. The story of Rachel Watson’s (Emily Blunt) life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing. Vitals: Director: Tate Taylor. Stars: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Mystery Thriller, Box office gross: $73.647 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; “The Women Behind The Girl”: Author Paula Hawkins and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson discuss their thoughts on writing the novel, the adaptation process and the importance of maintaining character integrity; “On Board the Train” behind-the-scenes featurette; commentary with Director Tate Taylor.
From Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of “Oldboy,” “Lady Vengeance,” “Thirst” and “Stoker” comes a ravishing new crime drama inspired by the novel “Fingersmith” by British author Sarah Waters. Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman — a street thief –who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman’s plot to defraud her of her large inheritance. Powered by remarkable performances from Kim Min-hee as Lady Hideko, Ha Jung-woo as the conman who calls himself the Count and sensational debut actress Tae-ri Kim as the maid Sookee, the film borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park’s singular vision and energy to create an unforgettable viewing experience. One of New York Times’ Best Films of 2016 and Certified Fresh (93%) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Vitals: Director: Park Chan-wook. Stars: Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Tae-ri Kim.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 144 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.659 million, Sony.