“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 >>