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Whiplash (2014)

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A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

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Top Rated Movies #46 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 89 wins & 136 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Kramer
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Dorm Neighbor
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Bassist (Nassau)
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Assistant - Sophie
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Storyline

A young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him. Written by andrewhodkinson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The road to greatness can take you to the edge

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 2014 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Whiplash: Música y obsesión  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$135,388, 10 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,092,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,982,041
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andrew appears in every scene. See more »

Goofs

When Fletcher kicks the trombone player out of the band for being out of tune, he congratulates the alternate and tells him that he is now on the fourth trombone part. But the piece they were playing (Whiplash) has only three trombone parts, plus a bass trombone. The player he kicked out was sitting on the end where the bass trombone would sit, but he was not playing a bass trombone. A top-notch college band would have a bass trombone player. And a jazz conductor would never refer to a bass trombone as a fourth trombone. See more »

Quotes

[First Lines]
Andrew: [Andrew stop playing because Fletcher enters the room] I'm sorry, I...
Terence Fletcher: What's your name?
Andrew: Andrew Neiman sir.
Terence Fletcher: What year are you?
Andrew: I'm a... first year.
Terence Fletcher: You know who I am?
Andrew: Yes sir.
Terence Fletcher: So, you know that I'm looking for players?
Andrew: Yes sir.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Countdown: Episode #72.58 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Cathy's Song
Written & Performed by Buddy Rich
Courtesy of Cathy Rich & Cathy Marie Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Just My Tempo
26 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The pursuit of greatness is not always pretty. No matter if your dream is athletics, dancing, music or some other; you can be sure hard work and sacrifice will be part of your routine. You will likely have a mentor, teacher or coach whose job is to cultivate your skills while pushing you to new limits. This film questions whether the best approach is intimidation or society's current preferred method of nurturing.

Miles Teller plays Andrew, a first year student at an elite Manhattan music conservatory. Andrew dreams of being a great jazz drummer in the vein of Buddy Rich. When offered a rare shot at the top ensemble, Andrew quickly discovers the conductor is a breed unlike anything he has ever encountered. The best movie comparison I can offer for JK Simmons' portrayal of Terence Fletcher is R Lee Ermey's Drill Instructor in Full Metal Jacket. This is no Mr Holland's Opus. Fletcher bullies, intimidates, humiliates and uses every imaginable form of verbal abuse to push his musicians, and especially young Andrew, to reach for greater heights.

Andrew and Fletcher go head to head through the entire movie, with Fletcher's mental torment turning this into a psychological thriller ... albeit with tremendous music. We witness Andrew shut out all pieces of a personal life, and even take on some of Fletcher's less desirable traits. Andrew's diner break-up with his girlfriend (Melissa Benoist) is much shorter, but just as cold as the infamous opening scene in The Social Network. At a small dinner party, Andrew loses some of the sweetness he inherited from his dad (Paul Reiser), and unloads some Fletcherisms on some unsuspecting family friends.

Writer/Director Damien Chazelle has turned his Sundance award-winning short film into a fascinatingly brutal message movie that begs for discussion and debate. The open-ended approach is brilliant, though I found myself initially upset at the missing clean wrap that Hollywood so often provides. What price greatness? Is comeuppance a reward? Are mentors cruel to be kind? For the past few years, I have been proclaiming that Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) is the next John Cusack. Perhaps that bar is too low. Teller just gets better with each film. His relentless energy draws us in, and we find ourselves in his corner ... even though this time, he's not the greatest guy himself. Still, as strong as Teller is, the film is owned by JK Simmons. Most think of him as the dad in Juno, or the ever-present insurance spokesman on TV, but he previously flashed his bad side as the white supremacist in "Oz". Even that, doesn't prepare us for Simmons' powerhouse performance ... just enough humanity to heighten his psychological torturing of musicians.

You should see this one for Simmons' performance. Or see it for the up and coming Teller. Enjoy the terrific music, especially Duke Ellington's "Caravan". See it for the talking points about teachers, society and personal greatness. See it for any or all these reasons - just don't tell director Damien Chazelle "good job".


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