Whiplash ★★★★★

One of the things I truly love about this movie is how ambivalent it is about the central toxic dynamic between Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. These two belong together. Simmons is physically, mentally and emotionally abusive, but what he wants for Teller is what Teller wants for himself. So many other students would fold or capitulate to Simmons, but Teller defies him to pursue the greatness Simmons wants to see. Teller is prick ... a rude defiant egomaniac who throws away the one good thing in his life in order to pursue greatness. (But he's kinda right.) The climax is the only moment these two finally click and both get what they want. It's an exhilarating moment of victory for two terrible people.