We can think of lots of movies that are intense, but few deserve that label as much as “Whiplash,” which hits so hard that it feels like an attack. With challenging themes about what it takes to achieve and refine genius, blistering verbal abuse, and a toxic but radiant shared obsession, the film pushes viewers to their limits. Once it’s over, you have to catch your breath. Part of the intensity comes from verisimilitude; writer/director Damien Chazelle was once a drummer in a well-regarded high school jazz band led by a passionate instructor. There’s just no way to get this one out of your head.
We’ve thought long and hard about all the different qualities that make “Whiplash” leave such an indelible impression. The 14 movies below take a lot of different approaches, but they all channel part of what makes “Whiplash” great — and they all add their own unique strengths to the mix. We promise that, short of having J.K. Simmons show up in your living room to scream at you, this is the closest you can get to more “Whiplash.”