Content and Trigger Warning Guide: Whiplash

Note: This guide may contain spoilers.

Synopsis: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. (Source: IMDb)

MPAA Rating: R

Estimated Self-Censored Rating Using Full Guide: PG13 or R based on the language still in the film.

Content Warnings

  • Blood (4)
    • 31:25 Andrew ( Miles Teller) gets a big, bloody blister between his thumb and forefinger.
    • 31:52-32:23 Andrew’s hand keeps bleeding while playing and trying to build calluses.
    • 52:49-53:02 Andrew puts his hand covered in blood in a bucket of ice water.
    • 01:06:36-01:10:32 Andrew is bleeding from head and hand wounds due to a car accident. He returns to the competition, but can’t play due to the inability to hold the sticks. They have to forfeit the competition. Andrew tackles Fletcher (JK Simmons) on stage and threatens his life. 
  • Graphic Violence (1)
    • 01:06:19-01:06:30 Andrew gets in a car accident while speeding back to the competition after forgetting his sticks. He is hit by a diesel truck and his car is flipped.

Trigger Warnings

  • Sexual Abuse (1)
    • 11:35-11:38 Fletcher harasses a female student by saying she only got first chair because she is “cute”
  • Slurs (7)
    • Retard (1)
    • Faggot (2)
    • Cocksuckers (2)
    • Heimy (1)
    • Mick (1)
    • There is a string of these used from 57:23-58:55 This happens while the three drummers are competing to see who gets to play at the competition.
  • Bullying/Verbal/Physical Abuse (6)
    • 3:18-3:47 Verbal abuse by Fletcher to Andrew when they first meet and Andrew plays for him.
    • 18:50-18:55 Fletcher uses homophobia to bully a student while referring to oral sex.
    • 20:08-22:39 Fletcher bullies students and abuses them verbally. He calls one student “Elmer Fudd,” makes fun of his weight, makes him cry, and kicks him out of the band. Then Fletcher reveals this student Metz wasn’t ever the one out of tune but had to be punished since he didn’t know for himself.
    • 27:09-29:46 Fletcher throws a chair at Andrew’s head because he isn’t playing to Fletcher’s expectations. Fletcher slaps Andrew’s face to make him see the difference between rushing or dragging. Fletcher yells at and belittles Andrew about his ability to read music and why he is crying. Fletcher makes Andrew yell “I’m upset” to humiliate him in front of the entire band.
    • 39:28-39:35 Andrew is belittled by other bandmates because he lost the first seat drummers music folder.
    • 56:08-01:01:27 Continual verbal abuse from Fletcher, including slurs, leading to mental abuse. He throws pieces of the drumkit at the players and bangs a cowbell in Andrew’s ear before throwing it at his head. This happens while the three drummers are competing to see who gets to play at the competition. In the end Andrew earns the spot. 

This guide was completed by Robby Moore, a film lover/critic in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

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