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Whiplash (2014)

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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 10,363 users   Metascore: 87/100
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A promising young drummer enrolls at a cutthroat 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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 36 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 tries to achieve greatness, and the professor tries to stop him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

15 October 2014 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

The Whiplash Drummer  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$135,388 (USA) (10 October 2014)


$5,087,000 (USA) (19 December 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dane DeHaan turned down the role of Andrew. See more »


Fletcher says EMC Records instead of ECM Records. See more »


Terence Fletcher: Were you rushing or were you dragging? If you deliberately sabotage my band, I will fuck you like a pig. Oh my dear God - are you one of those single tear people? You are a worthless pancy-ass who is now weeping and slobbering all over my drumset like a nine year old girl!
See more »


Features Royal Wedding (1951) See more »


Written by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington
[Exclusive Print Rights for EMI Mills Music, Inc.
Controlled and Administered by Alfred Music
All Rights for Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC]
See more »

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User Reviews

9 September 2014 | by (Oakville, Ontario) – See all my reviews

There are multiple reasons why Whiplash comes to the Toronto International Film Festival with palpable anticipation. The film was showcased at this year's Sundance Film Festival where it went on to both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize award for best dramatic film. Actor Miles Teller was recently named as one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch and J.K. Simmons, well, he's J.K. freakin' Simmons. So the gathering audience at the afternoon screening was primed, ready and eager for the expected greatness about to be screened.

Whiplash stars Miles Teller as Andrew Neyman, a determined 19-year-old drummer who is pushed to his emotional limits by his new instructor Terence (J.K. Simmons). Terence has a reputation for being the best, but mentoring under his tutelage comes at a price. Terrence is no Mr. Miyagi. He is ruthless in his barrage of verbal sewage that attempts to push his students towards the greatness he believes they can achieve. Newcomer Andrew is no spared his ire as evidenced in this heated reaction when Andrew can't find Terence's tempo, , "Were you rushing or were you dragging? If you deliberately sabotage my band, I will gut you like a pig. Oh my dear God - are you one of those single tear people? You are a worthless pancy-ass who is now weeping and slobbering all over my drumset like a nine year old girl!" There is no "Wash-on, Wash-off" PG-ness here.

Being mean is in Terence's nature. And his assault on his young protégés is sometimes hard to watch. Think of Gunnery Sargent Hartman in Full Metal Jacket and imagine the persistent yelling and abuse for an entire film. Throughout, Andrew remains resilient. His goal to become a drummer of future legend has him shun friends and family. He's all alone and the uncomfortable Terence bond that he creates is all that he has.

Audiences will be unsure of where Whiplash is headed. Are we headed for a triumphant climax where the drill sergeant-esque nature of the instructor pays off in a musical crescendo closing that brings audiences to their feet? Or will the pressure and barrage of verbal bullying take effect with a shocking tragedy that spotlights the harassment of our children. Be sure, this is no Mr. Holland's Opus and the hate and evil that Terence employs travels from opening to closing credits without reprieve.

Writer-director Damien Chazelle does a stunning job of keeping us on the edge of our seats wondering when or if a climatic breakdown will occur. We watch in awe as Andrew gets pushed and pushes himself until his hands bleed after hours of relentless play. We feel as uncomfortable for his situation as we feel trapped in finding a solution to Andrew's goal.

The concluding act only further exemplifies the events and personalities that took us to the stage and the audience cheered in Andrew's defiance while gasping at his situation.

The result is a fantastic film that is sure to be considered for Best Picture at next year's Academy Award's. It is a rousing crowd pleaser will have audiences clapping with hands they will want washed of Terence's abuse. J.K. Simmons has the role he was meant to play and his character was not only brilliant but could rank as one of the best cinematic villains of all-time.

16 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Homophobic and abusive filmguyCI
Musician POV: Very Good But Very 'Truthy' mail-2217
Liked the movie but not its message uhsayin
Where were the women? nickryder9
What a REAL jazz drummer (Peter Erskine) has to say about this StevenSmithNYC
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