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18 Fascinating Movies Like Whiplash Everyone Should Watch

Updated on May 6, 2017
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

How far are you willing to go to make it to the top and to be the best? Whiplash tells a story of a teenager, who would do anything it takes to get an entry in a famous studio band. He endures the trauma inflicted upon him by his mentor, deals with his personal problems and almost gives up before becoming the best. It’s an inspiring, blood-pumping tail that makes your life’s hardships look pretty tiny in comparison.

If you were inspired by it, it’s only fitting that you’d be looking for some movies like Whiplash. Take a look at the list I’ve compiled.

Birdman

The plot revolves around Riggan, a struggling actor hoping to make a comeback in Hollywood 20 years after his “Birdman” character had made it big. Having walked away from everything 20 years ago, his journey to be relevant again is not easy. Can he silence his own demons?

I am surprised that a lot of critiques have rated it low. It’s supposed to be a satirical look at how people struggle to remain relevant in Hollywood. The point of this movie is to show the not-so-pretty facet of Hollywood, and it does its job excellently.

All an all, Birdman is an amazing movie like Whiplash that deserves your time.

Almost Famous

Now, something for those who’re into rock music. Almost Famous is a movie revolving around a high-school boy, who’s given an opportunity to accompany a rock band on their tour and write about them for Rolling Stone Magazine.

There is a lot going on for this movie, setting it apart from the others of the same genre. For starters, the cast is loaded with talented artists like Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, putting a mesmerizing performance together.

And not to mention the fascinating script by Cameron Crowe, which makes it a pleasant ride all the way through.


The plot, of course, is not original. If you’re a music fan, however, you’d love what Almost Famous brings to the table. Even if you’re not interested in music industry, you’d like it. It’s much more than just about music, touching on issues like journalism ethics – something that’d make you think for a while.

Nighcrawler – One of the latest movies like Whiplash

How far can a man go to pursue his passion, his work? How far is too far?

Directed by Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler tells a story of Louis Bloom, a loner who’s desperate to find some work. When he comes across an independent new reporter, he decides to become one. Equipped with a camera and police scanner, he begins hunting for some intriguing news. As money starts rolling in, he starts becoming more obsessive with his work, spiraling things out of control.

Nightcrawler doesn’t rely on any big-budget action sequences to pull the crowd. The script is work of pure genius, making you laugh at even its darkest moments. At the same moment, it’s deeply disturbing all the way through, showing how someone can cross all the boundaries for success and fame.

If you’re looking for some good movies like Whiplash, Nightcrawler should be right up your alley.

Frank

“Frank” is a story about an upcoming musician, whose aspirations lead him to join a band led by Frank – a sassy, welcoming person. Despite his shortcomings, he welcomes Joe into his team. Pretty soon, though, he finds out that he has bitten off more than he can chew. It’s his journey from being a no one to the life of band.

It’s hilarious, weird but still serious about conveying the underlying message to audience. And did I mention that it’s on Netflix!

Hustle & Flow – A movie like Whiplash

The plot revolves around an aspiring emcee Djay who’s trying to make it big in the hip-hop world. Then there are people who don’t want him to succeed. When a huge star visits his area, he tries to get his attention by all means necessary in a last-ditch effort to make something of his life. With everything at stake, will he prove himself?

Hustle and Flow aptly depicts the daily struggles of someone who’s right at the bottom of ladder. And it sure is not pretty. If you’re seeking inspiration here, I’m afraid you’d be disappointed. To appreciate the beauty of this movie, you’d have to go in with an open mind. Try not to judge its characters and you’d come to love them.

If you’re looking for a gritty movie like Whiplash, Hustle & Flow must be up your alley.

Purple Rain

Purple Rain is a touching story of a talented young musician, who has everything it takes to become successful. In his quest to make something of his life, he meets another aspiring singer, who makes him realize that potential is not enough to make it big here. He must separate his personal problems from his professional life and deal with both of them like a pro.

8 Mile – A film like Whiplash based on the life of Eminem

Every fan of Eminem knows about his journey to become a legendary rapper. The pain, anger and regret reflect in lyrics and his way of delivering them. With the passage of time, his rhymes have only become sharper and more intelligent.

So When I heard that they are making a movie about his life. I was excited as well as skeptical about it. I mean, autobiography is one thing. A movie based upon his life seemed a little far-fetched though.

Surprisingly, this movie doesn’t suck. On the contrary, I believe that he Eminem can act as well as he raps. Some people might argue that it must be easy for him to play his character. There is no creativity needed for that. Granted, it’s easier than playing someone else’s character, but it’s still pretty daunting to put yourself out there like that.

Overall, 8 Mile is touching movie like Whiplash that would keep you hooked until credits roll.

Little Voice

The plot revolves around LV - a shy lady who keeps things to herself. After the death of her father, she spends most of her time listening to her father’s favorite old records. When her mother’s boyfriend overheards her singing, he convinces her to perform in public, turning her life upside down.

It might not be a movie for everyone, but there is no denying that it’s one of a kind. Like it or not, you’d definitely love Horrock’s singing here.

Songcatcher

The plot revolves around a musicologist, who decides to visits her sister in Appalachia when she is denied a promotion at her job. Once there, she starts collecting the local ballads, intending to monetize them. These songs have not been heard by anyone else but the local folks. With promotion in her mind, she starts visiting more secluded places, thus finding a new perspective in life. Would she still choose to extort these lands for he own gains?

This movie is not only about music. If new customs and cultures fascinate you, Songcatcher is perfect for you. There is so much to absorb that it might be overwhelming.

Mr Hollands Opus

The plot revolves around Glenn Holland, a musician who wants to compose something of his own, leaving a mark on this world. When he starts teaching music to kids just to be able to pay the bills, he realizes that this is what he wanted to do in the first place. It becomes his success story as he learns to make peace with his shortcomings and challenges in life, thus becoming a more appreciative of what he has.

How often does a movie comes out that everyone can relate to? Not that often. It came out back when I was in kindergarten, and it’s still relevant, inspiring a whole new generation.

If you’re looking for a touching, inspiring movie like Whiplash, you must give Mr Hollands Opus a shot.

All That Jazz – A classic movie like Whiplash

Based on the life of an iconic director and choreographer Bob Fosse, All That Jazz tells the story of a man who’s going through a lot in his life. His romantic and professional life is an utter mess, driving him to drug abuse and addiction. Without those chemicals, he won’t have the energy to keep up with everything that’s going on his life lately. His family and friends try to pull him back from an inevitable fall. Is it too late?

The whole drama is a bit of a mess, but not in a bad way. The phase where he goes through all sorts of addictions is so messed up that it makes you wanna start living on a clean diet. You have to see it to believe it.

You’d love the simplicity of it. It’s not trying to convey any underlying messages. The story is just about someone’s struggle with addictions, and that’s it. If you end up caring about Joe Gideon, you’d love it.

The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes will be 70 years old in 2018. It’s probabaly the oldest movie to ever feature in my list. I normally am not big on classics. This movie, however, was the exception.

The story revolves around a ballerina, who strives for perfection, leaving his personal life in tatters. I won’t go into the plot details too much since I don’t wanna spoil anything. Just go in and have fun. Good luck with finding a copy of it anywhere, though.

The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes will be 70 years old in 2018. It’s probably the oldest movie to ever feature in my list. I normally am not big on classics. This movie, however, was the exception.

The story revolves around a ballerina, who strives for perfection, leaving his personal life in tatters. I won’t go into the plot details too much since I don’t wanna spoil anything. Just go in and have fun. Good luck with finding a copy of it anywhere, though.

The Pianist

The Pianist is based on the real life events, revolving around a Jewish pianist’s struggle to survive during the holocaust. It’s a survival story of just one man as he sees everyone else with him fall, including his family, friends and helpers. With some luck and bravery he manages to escape his fate, thus living to tell one of the most horrific tales to this date.

It’s a depressing yet beautiful tale that never lets up once it gets going. You’re in for a quite a ride. If you’re looking for some good movies like Whiplash, The Pianist should be right up your ally.

Honorable mentions – Other movies similar to Whiplash

If you’re done watching the above movies, you should also watch School of Rock, Pirate Radio, Amadeus, The legend of 1900 and Shine. Did I miss out on any other good movies? Let me know in the comments section.

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    • CYong74 profile image

      Cedric Yong 11 months ago from Singapore

      Haiz. I missed Birdman even though it was available on a flight I was on. Have to get down to watching it.