Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Compelling drama about relentless pursuit of perfection.

Movie R 2014 106 minutes
Whiplash Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 27 parent reviews

age 12+

This was one of the best movies I ever saw

I think this movie was one of the best movies I ever saw .There was some heavy language but I think kids can watch if they are with a parent the movie had a little blood not much .It does have scenes where a teacher beats up a student.It’s about a boy who tries to play drums and when he makes a tiny mistake his teacher gets mad at him .In conclusion this was an amazing story.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Incredible, distressing and complex film about obsession and struggle contains pervasive language, disturbing elements

“Whiplash” is a drama film about a struggling college musician who is desperately trying to start a career in music who plays in the group of Terrence Fletcher, an emotionally abusive instructor who both wants his students to succeed and wants them distressed and pained. VIOLENCE: 4/10 Although not remotely violent, this film contains frequent distressing and emotionally intense scenes of obsessive playing of the drums, to the point where the musicians hands bleed everywhere, have horrible wounds causing blood to spill out etc. and in one specific scene the same boy gets into a car crash while trying to get to his band on time, and although bloody on his face and hands he gets out of the car and continues to his concert and attempts to play on stage but drops the bloody sticks and bleeds everywhere. The entire films premise is intensely distressing and fast moving, and the behavior of the musician and his obsession can be found tense. A boy is repeatedly slapped by his music instructor. A chair is hurled at a boys head but misses. A boy violently punches a hole into his drum set while cursing. Incredibly violent cursing is aimed at young adults and boys in a music room including slurs to cause emotional distress, even leading to a boy committing suicide (discussed, not shown) and the man manipulating his students on how he died. LANGUAGE: 9.6/10 The language is the main and only reason for the R rating, and is pervasive and upsetting. 96 uses of “f*ck” including “motherf*cker”, “f*ther f*cking”, “motherf*cking” and countess other offensive variations. Countless other curses are said such as “sh*t”, “pansy”, “pr*ck”, “c*nt”, “f*ggot”,“c*cksucker”, “b*tch”, “retard”, “mick” and multiple variations of offensive slurs. One use of “milk the c*nt” The language is used in an emotionally abusive manner and is very violent and intense. SEXUAL CONTENT: 5/10 Sexual remarks pertaining to the pervasive language such as “this isn’t your boyfriends d*ck, don’t cum early!” And other remarks similar to that, but milder. OVERALL: Depends on maturity, but in my opinion, 13+

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (27):
Kids say (66):

Teller's total investment in his performance means viewers are no longer just viewers; we're also witnesses, and it's this intensity that makes writer-director Damien Chazelle's film so memorable. We pay little mind to its shortcomings: the unnecessary romance (which fails to flesh out Andrew but does expose his own cruelty) and the unfortunate impenetrability of Fletcher's (played brilliantly by Simmons) motives for his madness. Whiplash is both a refreshing, respectful ode to the beauty that is jazz music and a very compelling look at the horror that is a mentor-mentee relationship gone distressingly awry.

There's a particular scene in Whiplash when Andrew is hunched over the drums, aching to get through what may be the most important performance of his life. His hands are moving on their own steam, his body seized with tension and pain, his will driven to its limit. But he will not, he will not, he will not quit, and it's as if Teller has become his character, determined to make his mark with this movie, even if it kills him.

Movie Details

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