Whiplash - J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller battle it out on screen
All Andrew wants is to be the best jazz drummer alive today. There's no room for anything else. And when (the quite fearsome looking) music teacher Terence Fletcher gives him a shot, he thinks his dreams are becoming reality.
But Terence Fletcher isn't just a music teacher. Fletcher is a perfectionist who will stop at nothing to get what he wants from his players. What follows for Andrew is an exertion to deliver what Fletcher wants and expects. And at the same time, an extreme drive to prove he is the best drummer around today.
J. K. Simmons
I always found J. K. Simmons to be a bit underrated. It's not like he doesn't get any roles — as a matter of fact, he gets plenty. But I mainly know him as the random sergeant (or whatever other police-rank) from TV, and the guy from Juno.
It always felt like: guys, just give this actor an awesome part and he will deliver. And, yes, this is definitely it. Not only is Miles Teller brilliant as the highly motivated up and coming drummer in Whiplash, you could say Simmons is his equal. They battle it out like nemeses in any recent Marvel film.
This is definitely what makes Whiplash so great. Andrew's struggle to become the best and make a name for himself. And Fletcher's never ending search for greatness, and not accepting anything less than brilliance from his players.
Combine this with a perfect explosive ending and you get one of the best, and at the same time one of the most entertaining indies of the year.