A talented young jazz drummer experiences a trial by fire when he's recruited by a ferocious instructor whose unyielding search for perfection may lead to his undoing. For as far back as Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) can remember, he's been watching his father fail. Determined to make a name for himself no matter what it takes, Andrew enrolls in a prestigious east coast music conservatory where his talent quickly catches the attention of Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) a esteemed music teacher who's notorious for his caustic approach in the classroom. The leader of the school's top jazz ensemble, Fletcher promptly transfers Neyman into his band, giving the ambitious young drummer a shot at true greatness. He may achieve it, too, if Neyman's methods don't drive him to madness first. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Max Kasch, Damon Gupton.
Release Date: Oct 10, 2014
Rated R for strong Language and Some Sexual References
Runtime: 1 hr. 46 min.
The best kind of films are the ones that can make just about any subject riveting, even ones you have very little knowledge or interest. Whiplash is that kind of kinetic freight train of a film. Writer/Director Damien Chazelle allows his film to build steadily and surely until it reaches its nearly exhausting climate. It’s an impressive feat when you think about the subject matter. At its core the film is elevated by two spectacular performances by Simmons and Teller as they engage in some brutal psychological warfare. J.K. Simmons performance is stunningly powerful. At first glance it looks like a variation of R Lee Ermey’s drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket but it becomes readily apparent that it’s a much more complex role as the film progresses. Teller is just as focused and impressive as the student reaching for greatness at all cost. Miles performance allows you to feel the nearly insane amount of drive his character feels. The duo is entrancing when they’re onscreen each focused, performing at an incredibly high level. You can’t really ask for more from a film.