A contender for the best film of the year, it is the first 2014 movie I’ve seen that felt fresh. Slim on plot but bursting with energy, director┬áDamien Chazelle doesn’t cheapen out by making this overly-emotional nor leaning too much on the music. When you have two stellar performances anchoring your film – Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons are equally terrific – it might be easy to settle for that, but Chazelle injects personality and life into every aspect of the film, especially the cinematography. The last ten minutes of the film are absolutely phenomenal but only because the preceding 90 minutes were nearly as captivating. Finally, a film that I can actually get behind this year.