Intense, Academy Award-winning student-teacher music drama starring Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) as a young jazz drummer aspiring to make it to the top, but having to go through the brutal tutelage of his ruthless instructor (J.K. Simmons in an Oscar-winning performance).... More
An eager-to-the-point-of-obsessive student at the prestigious (and fictional) Shaffer Conservatory, 19-year-old Andrew Neiman (Teller) pushes himself to become one of the all-time greats behind the drum kit. In the thick of this ultra-competitive environment, he catches the eye of the terrifying Terrence Fletcher (Simmons), who picks Neiman to play in the Conservatory's elite house band. With this opportunity comes a scarcely believable level of abuse, something Fletcher sees as necessary to unlock Neiman's full potential - but will he break him in the process?Hide
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BY Liam Maguren Flicks Writer
As a stress-inducing exercise in cinematic asphyxiation, Whiplash is this year’s Gravity. Where Alfonso Cuarón’s film placed an astronaut into merciless space, writer-director Damien Chazelle chucks 19-year-old jazz drummer Andrew (Miles Teller) into the merciless grasp of a brutal music instructor (JK Simmons). And just like Gravity, Whiplash is bound for Oscars.... More
Teller’s performance transcends his previous roles, infusing Andrew with natural innocence slowly warped by a necessary arrogance as he seeks to “be the best”. This passion drives him, but also traps him in the torturous tutelage of Fletcher, played by the brilliantly frightening Simmons. Andrew wants to please Fletcher, but Fletcher keeps the bar drastically out of reach by implementing physical and psychological cruelty that is not only sickening, it’s calculated – a method he’s refined to an abusive art-form. The tension comes from how far Andrew is willing to stretch himself to get to that impossible bar, and whether or not he’ll snap in the process.
Adding elements of claustrophobia to Fletcher’s fearful classroom, Chazelle confines his shots to confronting close-ups and superb macro-photography of sweat-covered cymbals and Andrew’s bleeding hands. Outside of practice, the filmmaking simplifies, creating a contrasting sense of ease.
A rigid subset of audiences may not accept the plausibility of the scenarios (again, like Gravity), but those who submit to the film will be treated to a masterful finale that stills the lungs and silences the mind. At its last beat of the drum, Whiplash allows you to exhale, only to force you into another quandary: do you applaud in admiration or quiver in horror?Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
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BY Barny wannabe
...and goddamn, JK Simmions 'kin' nailed it!
My fave drum movie is Drumline...cheesy drama but the Drum battles made my heart sore.Hide
BY JackWallace superstar
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
Miles Teller is stupendous as a young jazz drummer tutored by JK Simmons, as a so-committed-he’s-totally-batshit-crazy mentor. The acting is mesmerisingly intense, with Simmons on his finest and most frightening form... More since he first scared the crap out of me in US TV drama, OZ.
It’s a movie about art. A movie that asks how far is too far? How far would you be willing to go to be the best at what you love? Do you have what it takes? Jazz drumming is treated no differently than a movie following a raw recruit who wants to join the Navy Seals, S.A.S or Green Berets. Think the training sequences in G.I. JANE or FULL METAL JACKET - only with more jazz drumming.
Powerful, confrontational, scary, claustrophobic and impossible to take your eyes off - if intensity, provocation, intelligence and stunning acting are to your cinematic taste - check out WHIPLASH - it’s just that good.Hide
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