Parent reviews for Whiplash

Whiplash Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 56 reviews

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.
age 15+

Very well-made, but not for kids.

I do not usually care for independent movies, but this one is an exception. For a long time, it was my favorite movie of all time. It still is one of my top favorite movies to this day. It shows graphically what the experience is like to attend one of the most advanced music schools in the world and how abusive music instructors can get with their students as their way to make them play better. J.K. Simmons (as Terrence Fletcher) and Miles Teller (Andrew Neyman) do an excellent job at playing their parts and the music is terrific. Positive messages include Andrew’s perseverance and determination to become one of the greatest jazz drummers to exist, but that over time brings him farther and farther from being a positive role model, and Fletcher is not a positive role model at all because of how much he pushes Andrew to play the drums better and better to the point where he abuses him physically, verbally, and emotionally. Language is very frequent with countless uses of the “f--k”, used in many different forms, along with pretty much all the other expletives in the book. One of Fletcher’s abusive ways includes calling his musicians bad names to make them feel bad about themselves and motivate them to try harder. Overall, this is a very well-made movie and people who love music and/or are musicians should see it, but it is not for kids.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
age 13+

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
age 17+

Brilliant but very intense drama about passion and perfection - Mature audiences only!

This movie revolves around a young jazz drummer named Andrew Neiman who pursues fame to be the very best of his elite music conservatory. A brutal but honest instructor, Terence Fletcher, is ruthless on Andrew and does his best to push him to his limits - physically and emotionally. Andrew's passion turns into an indulgence, keeping himself from his loved ones and begins questioning his true passion. The film hits you hard in the core and accomplishes that by making you feel like one of those students who are willing to learn by Fletcher. A lot can be said by the film's title, but truly upsetting is the constant language used by the instructor (very crude, discriminatory) and about 97 uses of the f-word along other words. Blood is pretty much seen in the film, as it was caused by Andrew's indulgence for fame. Expect some violent scenes such as a car accident, object-throwing at students, and Andrew tackling the instructor. I can only reccomend this for mature audiences (17+) but can be entirely up to your child's maturity and understanding that choices they make can really impact their goals.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 12+

Intense drama with important ideas about "giftedness", abuse

I think CSM's review mischaracterises the relationship between the central characters - it is essentially abusive, and I would go so far as to say the movie as a whole is about the kinds of emotional abuse that slip under the radar. Andrew, our main character, is sympathetic but often abrasively awkward, and Fletcher is a hateable but intensely compelling character to watch. It's worth knowing, going into the film, that Fletcher's apocryphal story about Charlie Parker and a cymbal is provably untrue, though it's never stated as such onscreen. Knowing this may well recharacterise your reading of the film's early scenes. I think this film is ultimately very condemnatory of the way we prize achievement, believing it to be a function of innate talent, while choosing not to look at the bloody hands and emotional torment visited upon Andrew. It's also a complicated portrait of a highly talented, perfectionist person who is resistant to understanding. Teenagers with a history of suicidal ideation or emotional abuse may wish to tread carefully around this one, but it's likely to prove as vindicating as it is intense.
age 15+

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of my favorite movies, and for good reason. J. K. Simmons' performance is one of the reasons why, but the other characters shine, too. That being said, it's for older teens and up. There are a hundred uses of the f-word, and Simmons' character hurls several other insults, mostly at his students.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
age 13+

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 15+

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
age 16+

Great movie for adults but not for children!

This movie was very emotionally charged! Great acting. Very, very intense and believable story line. Wayyyyy too much cursing. Definitely not for children under 16 years old.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 12+

Important movie with excellent performances explores music, mature choices; tweens and up

Whiplash is an amazing drama that chronicles the story a young music student struggling with a teacher that pushes him beyond his limits. Its themes and messages make it an important watch, and while it should be alright for mature kids, it's riddled with language; "f--k," "s--t," "f----t," "pr--k," "c--ksucker," and more are used, mostly by Andrew's teacher. Andrew often drums to the point of bleeding, and while rushing to a recital is involved in a non-graphic but still surprising and upsetting accident. For older kids interested in music and anybody else looking for a good film, this is a great choice.

This title has:

Too much swearing