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

  • Best Supporting Actor (Simmons), Editing and Sound Mixing at the 2015 Academy Awards; Best Supporting Actor (Simmons) at the 2015 Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards; Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award (Dramatic) winner, Sundance Film Festival 2014; Best Sound at the 2015 BAFTA Awards

    • Drama, Music
    • 105mins
    • Rating: R13 Offensive language and content that may disturb
    • USA

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Flicks Review

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

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 6 reviews
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BY ems superstar

JK Simmons was amazing, Great story to.

BY Barny superstar

I've gotta be honest (and call me a hater) I didn't like it at all, JK Simmons was amazing but the story was rather wanky, it didn't show Jazz musicians as having any kinda rapport or organic soul, it paid no lip service to the greats like Max Jones, Art Blakey, or Elvin Jones, but rather served as a mouth piece for the film maker's upset at not making the cut as a drummer in his earlier school of music days. It's well made and there's drama (rather "as if") and the story reminded me of 'Flash... More Dance' meets 'Full Metal Jacket'
...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 counties wannabe

This wa a very, very good movie. See it

BY JackWallace superstar

Damien Chazelle's Sundance award-winning Whiplash is an intoxicating, provocative drama. Ambitious 19-year-old jazz drummer Andrew Neyman wants to be great. The next Buddy Rich. He enrolls at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory, mentored by ruthless music instructor Terence Fletcher. Fletcher uses dehumanizing methods of physical and psychological cruelty to motivate his student. Andrew must sacrifice his humanity to achieve perfection. Fletcher's classroom is incredibly intense and... More claustrophobic, filming close-ups of crashing blood-and-sweat-covered cymbals and Andrew's bleeding, blistered hands. Miles Teller, one of the great young actors of this generation, is extraordinary as Andrew Neyman. J.K. Simmons' brilliant and terrifying performance as Terence Fletcher deserves the Oscar. Despite some implausible moments, Whiplash's jaw-dropping finale blew me away. One of the year's best films.Hide

If you see only one movie this month - make it WHIPLASH. A searing study in the sacrifice and sheer damn hard work it takes to realise your full potential. Writer / Director Damien Chazelle turns the lens on his actors and never takes his finger off the maximum intensity gauge.

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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The Press Reviews

96% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Scrapes the far edge of crazy passion. It never apologizes. Full Review

  • Demolishes the cliches of the musical-prodigy genre, investing the traditionally polite stages and rehearsal studios... with all the psychological intensity of a battlefield or sports arena. Full Review

  • The antithesis of “let’s-put-on-a-show” fluff, Whiplash...is about the wages of all-out sacrifice and commitment. Full Review

  • It's rare to see a film about music that professes its love for the music and its characters equally. Full Review

  • The film’s aversion toward clichés and hitting expected beats lends it a rare, welcome edge of danger. Full Review

  • As for the strangely exhilarating ending, it makes clear that what we have been watching is less a statement about art than a love story: a twisted one, but romantic in every sense. Full Review

  • It may get a few things wrong, but it aims at, and finally achieves, an authenticity at once more exalted and more primal than mere verisimilitude. Full Review

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