Whiplash ★★★★

Full Metal Jazz Kit

Jettisons extraneous character details and hyperfocuses on the nasty and the visceral aspects of being a great musician (or a great anything, for that matter). In the process it ends up being more stressful and thrilling than most thrillers (some of the incidents have to be recreations of recurring nightmares that professional musicians suffer). There are at least two great dramatic scenes that consist of nothing but Miles Teller playing drums and J.K. Simmons reacting, but this is very unlike any other recent performance film or drama about a musician: It has more in common with MARTYRS than RAY.

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