Revealing both the dangers and payoffs of artistic ambition, Whiplash is sure to establish Chazelle as a directorial force to be reckoned with.
The movie swings - physically, musically, psychologically, racially.
It would be an insult to call Chazelle a "promising" filmmaker, as this movie doesn't indicate mere potential - it is evidence of authentic, sometimes blazing talent.
Such a cooked-up piece of claptrap that I half expected Darth Vader to pick up the baton.
'Whiplash' is electric from beginning to end, a musical story of obsession, frustration and outright cruelty built on two knockout performances.
Director Damien Chazelle, who based the story on his own experience as a student jazz drummer in the thrall of an Alpha task-master, has created a remarkably economical and claustrophobic piece of storytelling.
Movies set in a Juilliard-like music school aren't supposed to make your heart race in nervous anticipation. Yet that's exactly why this taut drama rates as one of the year's best.
Primarily two actors and a jazz score, but the result is a crackling good drama that feels almost like a thriller. Smart, stylish and intense.
The film works, often wonderfully, as a remarkable visualization of jazz music - you feel it and breathe it, just like the musicians - and as a showcase for the two actors at its center.