Name any movie where a hot talent and a burning ambition are yet to combust. The same question will invariably be asked of the protagonist. Do you have what it takes? The question this astonishing make-it-or-break-it drama asks is far more interesting. Do you want back what it took? By the time you get to the extraordinary answer, you will already have experienced one of the best films of this year. A promising drummer, Andrew (Miles Teller), gains entry to an exclusive music conservatorium. His main instructor, Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), takes an active interest in Andrew’s development, while also displaying a blatant dislike of the young hopeful. So far, so familiar, huh? Well, Whiplash will soon give you pause to reconsider that position, by virtue of the incisive way it drills down into the cores of these two very different, very motivated characters.