Damien Chazelle (2014)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Pitched somewhere between The School of Rock and Full Metal Jacket (Full Metal Racket, perchance), this blisteringly told tale of an aspiring jazz drummer and his bullying mentor is a hugely entertaining, refreshingly subversive take on the well-worn "inspirational teacher" theme. Miles Teller is the student jazz drummer who's promoted to the elite school band run by the foul-mouthed maestro in charge (Oscar winner JK Simmons), who drives his charges to literal blood and tears in his search for musical perfection. The supporting roles appear a tad underwritten, as Andrew's father - the reliable Paul Reiser - gets little to do other than look sympathetic to his son's travails, but that is just because they pale beside a brace of storming performances from Simmons and Teller. The former peels the wallpaper as the abusive musical drillmaster who thinks nothing of flinging furniture at his students, while Teller demonstrates he is the most promising new arrival in years. He dares to investigate the darker, less appealing facets of artistic obsession, playing the role for reality rather than likeability, which makes the barnstorming, perfectly judged ending all the more satisfying.


A talented young jazz drummer thinks all his dreams have come true when he lands a place at a prestigious music academy. However, the experience turns into a nightmare thanks to an uncompromising tutor who will stop at nothing to make his students realise their potential - including physical and mental abuse. Drama, starring Miles Teller, JK Simmons and Paul Reiser.

Cast & Crew

Andrew Neiman Miles Teller
Terence Fletcher J K Simmons
Jim Paul Reiser
Nicole Melissa Benoist
Ryan Austin Stowell
Uncle Frank Chris Mulkey
Mr Kramer Damon Gupton
Director Damien Chazelle
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SonyGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 16 Jan 2015