"There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job,"
declares Terence Fletcher, the viciously demanding jazz instructor in Damien Chazelle's Whiplash
. This sentiment doesn't seem to have registered with critics, though, because Whiplash
is one of the best-reviewed films of 2014. The lobby poster is chockablock with glowing blurbs and studded with the sort of gerunds that make publicists tremble: exhilarating . . . astounding . . . electrifying.
Rotten Tomatoes (for whatever it's worth) assigns the movie a positive score of 97 percent. "Even if you couldn't care less about jazz drumming . . . Whiplash
is a thrill to watch," raves Dana Stevens in Slate. Chris Nashawaty echoes this sentiment in Entertainment Weekly
: "You don't have to be a jazz fan for Whiplash
to zap you. . . . If you can appreciate the sight of two totally dialed-in performers simmering until they boil over, that's enough. And P.S., that's pretty much the definition of jazz." Continue reading >>