8.5/10
687,460
1,204 user 582 critic

Whiplash (2014)

Trailer
2:08 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Damien Chazelle

Writer:

Damien Chazelle
Popularity
333 ( 15)
Top Rated Movies #46 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 91 wins & 143 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles Teller ... Andrew
J.K. Simmons ... Fletcher
Paul Reiser ... Jim Neimann
Melissa Benoist ... Nicole
Austin Stowell ... Ryan
Nate Lang Nate Lang ... Carl Tanner
Chris Mulkey ... Uncle Frank
Damon Gupton ... Mr. Kramer
Suanne Spoke ... Aunt Emma
Max Kasch ... Dorm Neighbor
Charlie Ian Charlie Ian ... Dustin
Jayson Blair ... Travis
Kofi Siriboe ... Bassist (Nassau)
Kavita Patil ... Assistant - Sophie
C.J. Vana ... Metz
Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
The Prestige (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
The Pianist (2002)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay
Se7en (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Fight Club (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf
The Departed (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
The Matrix (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate and other historical events unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
Edit

Storyline

Nineteen year old Andrew Niemann wants to be the greatest jazz drummer in the world, in a league with Buddy Rich. This goal is despite not coming from a pedigree of greatest, musical or otherwise, with Jim, his high school teacher father, being a failed writer. Andrew is starting his first year at Shaffer Conservatory of Music, the best music school in the United States. At Shaffer, being the best means being accepted to study under Terence Fletcher and being asked to play in his studio band, which represents the school at jazz competitions. Based on their less than positive first meeting, Andrew is surprised that Fletcher asks him to join the band, albeit in the alternate drummer position which he is more than happy to do initially. Andrew quickly learns that Fletcher operates on fear and intimidation, never settling for what he considers less than the best each and every time. Being the best in Fletcher's mind does not only entail playing well, but knowing that you're playing well ... Written by Huggo

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is one of the lowest grossing movies ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

When Andrew is sitting with his father at the cinema as the lights dim, he is initially faced down looking at the ground, but in the next shot he is faced up looking at the screen, although there is no time gap suggested, as his father's conversation continues unbroken between the shots. See more »

Quotes

Terence Fletcher: [in calm,soothing manner to Andrew] Listen, the key is to just relax. Don't worry about the numbers. Don't worry about what the other guys are thinking. You're here for a reason. You believe that, right?
See more »


Soundtracks

Fletcher's Song in Club
Written by Justin Hurwitz
Courtesy of 5AM Music Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Just My Tempo
26 October 2014 | by ferguson-6See 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".


190 of 268 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,204 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 2014 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

Whiplash See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$135,388, 12 October 2014

Gross USA:

$13,092,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,982,041
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed