To fully appreciate J. K. Simmons’ Oscar-winning performance as a sadistic music teacher in 2014’s Whiplash, revisit another indie hit, 2007’s Juno. It seems impossible that for Simmons, who by then was 52, with dozens of movie and TV appearances to his credit, Juno was a breakout role. As the father of a pregnant teen, he is plainspoken and sardonic, and the effect is utterly endearing. In Whiplash he tweaks those two ingredients and then turns up the heat, and he’s as frightening as any movie villain. Since then his stock has only continued to rise. Along with appearing in current critical favorite La La Land, he costars in the true-life thriller Patriots Day.