I was all set to give it 3.5 stars, and then the weird credit sequence at the end-- fittingly bizarre and wonderful-- nudged me to four. Low-key sweet, sad, strange, and funny. If you're into that kind of thing.
An exciting glimpse into early 80s New York hip hop. While the MC battles are a bit corny and dated, it's easy to recognize the influence they spread throughout future generations of rappers. The scenes of emceeing and dancing and spray painting bring all kinds of different energies together into one wonderful, encompassing whole: lively, rhythmic, musical, visual, kinetic, wild.
I think, even if you're totally disinterested in basketball, that this movie is such a superbly-told love story, it's worth giving it a shot. Standout performances by Omar Epps, and especially Sanaa Lathan, anchor a true-to-life relationship over 20 years in the making.
If you do happen to be a basketball fan, the verisimilitude and attention to detail provides that much more tension to already entertaining scenes of play. For instance: Lathan's first-person sequence during her high school championship game.…
I don't know about you, but the premise sounds dull enough that I would have passed on this movie if not for some really positive word of mouth. And am I glad I listened, because Whiplash is thrilling -- I mean, scenes of jazz band rehearsal had me actually thrilled more than any goddamn helicopter explosion or whatever probably could have.
Miles Teller plays an unassuming college freshman, the kind of teen who still goes to the movies with his…