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 students potential.
Nineteen year old Andrew Niemann wants to be the greatest jazz drummer in the world, in a league with . This goal is despite not coming from a pedigree of greatest, musical or otherwise, with Jim, his high school teacher father, being a failed writer. Andrew is starting his first year at Shaffer Conservatory of Music, the best music school in the United States. At Shaffer, being the best means being accepted to study under Terence Fletcher and being asked to play in his studio band, which represents the school at jazz competitions. Based on their less than positive first meeting, Andrew is surprised that Fletcher asks him to join the band, albeit in the alternate drummer position which he is more than happy to do initially. Andrew quickly learns that Fletcher operates on fear and intimidation, never settling for what he considers less than the best each and every time. Being the best in Fletchers mind does not only entail playing well, but knowing that youre playing well and if not what youre doing wrong. His modus operandi creates an atmosphere of fear and of every man or woman for him/herself within the band. Regardless, Andrew works hard to be the best. He has to figure out his life priorities and what he is willing to sacrifice to be the best. The other question becomes how much emotional abuse he will endure by Fletcher to reach that greatness, which he may believe he can only achieve with the avenues opened up by Fletcher.
Andrew Neiman, a 19-year-old jazz drummer is determined to rise to the top of the countrys most elite music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons, Juno), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young mans life. Andrews passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.