Movies like Whiplash
These movies about perfectionists are brilliant classics that will stand the test of time. The stories about human triumph and sacrifice, all while striving for perfection of their craft. It mostly features the gargantuan struggles these a-type individuals have while being able to overcome them.
Black Swan (2010)
Black Swan is a 2010 psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers and Mila Kunis as Odette. Beautifully directed by Daren Aronofsky, this movie showcases the world of professional ballerinas, and the grueling regimen they have to endure. It also gives one a peek into the mind of ultra-competitive people who still have to maintain close ties with their competitors.
Nina starts out applying for a huge part in the classic ballet show “Swan Lake”. She fails to get the part at first and even experienced some sexual advances from her mentor. To her surprise, she gets a call that she got the part. In comes, Odette, a total opposite of Nina’s persona, who also wants to play the part.
Darren Aronofsky’s visual style of storytelling turns a relatively uninteresting topic like ballet and turns it into a graphic and chilling tale of obsession for excellence. It’s the obsession for the craft that makes movies like Black Swan stand out.
The Novice (2021)
The Novice (2021) is an American Psychological Drama directed by Lauren Hadaway. It stars Isabelle Fuhrman and Amy Forsyth. Movies like The Novice which depict extreme competitiveness make for a fascinating character study.
The movie is about an ultra-competitive person named Alex, who’s able to join a prestigious university through an academic scholarship. She decides to join the school’s rowing varsity but suddenly becomes needlessly obsessed over it.
All throughout the movie, she chooses to struggle instead of focusing on her academic strengths. It even comes to a point where even her grades risk suffering but for Alex, it does not matter. Seeing that she is an underdog amongst her peers in the rowing squad applicants, she gives everything she has to compete and even surpass her teammates.
All this needless suffering and struggle comes at a high cost. It isolates her from everyone who cares but it only feeds her unhealthy desires for success even more. It’s a brilliant and stylistic movie that resembles that of Whiplash the movie. The similarities come as no surprise as Lauren Hadaway, the movie’s director was once The Whiplash sound editor.
Steve Jobs (2015)
Steve Jobs is a biopic drama about the great and brilliant creator of Apple Computers. Michael Fassbender takes on the role of Steve and just hits it out of the park. Add Danny Boyle’s direction and Aaron Sorkin’s screenwriting and you have a guaranteed masterpiece.
The complex intricacies of Job’s persona are both mystifying and fascinating. His journey from being a relative slacker hippie in college to creating the most influential brands of the 20th century is a thing to behold. Movies like Steve Jobs which portray such an insane pursuit for perfection make this biopic an instant classic.
The movie showcases his constant struggle toward perfection and how it helped shape him as a modern-day marketing genius of sorts. This did not come without a price, as the movie depicts how it likewise ruined his interpersonal relationships with a lot of people he holds dear to his heart. It is a masterpiece at showing his contrasting success and failures in life and is definitely a must-watch for any type of movie fan.
Whiplash is a psychological drama directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars J.K. Simmons, and Myles Teller and has become a cult classic. J.K. Simmons won the best actor award for this and rightfully so. The story is about a troubled who tries to make something of himself through music that he loves. He meets a mentor who is diabolically out to torture the genius out of his students.
The fascinating and intense relationship between both Tate Fletcher (Simmons) and Andrew Neiman (Teller) will hold you glued to the screen. Time will be non-existent and their scenes together will feel like gospel. It’s a visceral journey of hard work and success that inspires, frightens, and delights you all at once.
Whiplash is one of those movies that stick with you. You’ll find yourself watching it over and over and still be provided with new subtle hints and nuances that you missed. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and this is why it’s the standard for movies in this article.
The Wrestler (2008)
The Wrestler is a very successful comeback movie of Mickey Rourke directed by Darren Aronofsky. This surprise of surprises garnered Rourke a BAFTA, Globes awards, plus a nomination for an Oscar.
The story is about personal triumph, sacrifice, and loss. Just like the other movies on this list, The Wrestler focuses on ordinary people giving everything they have and more, for the ideas of personal success and excellence. It doesn’t even matter how important or trivial the goal is collectively, because it becomes all about the individual.
Mickey Rourke plays Robin Ramzinski / Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. An aging wrestler with nothing to show for except his waning craft and glorious past. In his journey, he has estranged his daughter and realizes that too it’s too late.
He then decides against his health, to pursue his only shot at redemption, which is to be in the spotlight as a champion professional wrestler once again. The movie tells his sad and lonely journey in trying to mend broken relationships and giving it a last shot at glory. It’s movies like the wrestler that remind us about what’s really important in life and Aronofsky showcases it masterfully.
Success comes in many interpretations and forms. Some shoot for the stars hoping to land on the moon and some are happy to be excellent even at the tiniest things. Movies like whiplash are a perfect way to be circumspect about what segment you belong to.
In this age of insane work ethic and grinding being ever so popular, these movies are a great reminder of the cost. We’ve enjoyed watching all these movies and if you’re looking for inspiration to get something done, these movies are perfect.