it takes a safe subject matter and makes it look timely and relevant (cause freedom of the press always is). but what makes it a good movie is that Spielberg managed to make a film about story with a well known outcome seem interesting and thrilling. but it is not outstanding in any way. it's just a good movie.
the plot sounds so simple - an ambitious drummer Andrew, a loner student at the prestigious music conservatory, joins the jazz band conducted by strict and cruel perfectionist Fletcher. Whiplash is the movie about ambition, addictive pursuit of greatness and perfection, madness and revenge. it is electrifying, tense, thrilling and emotionally very powerful, just like jazz itself (minus tense maybe). it's enhanced by the wonderful performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. both actor are incredible in their roles and they play each other off so well. Teller makes you feel every drop of Andrew's sweat and Simmons makes your blood boil.