Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 21, 2012
    100
    Mythic, thrilling and brilliantly made motion picture.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Sep 20, 2012
    100
    The best scenes are filmed inside the cruiser, dashboard shots that face inward instead of out, catching Gyllenhaal and Peña in moments so playful and true they make all other buddy cops look bogus by comparison.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 19, 2012
    100
    One of the best police movies in recent years, a virtuoso fusion of performances and often startling action.
  4. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sep 19, 2012
    91
    Nerve-rattling in the best way, the sharp, visceral urban police procedural End of Watch is one of the best American cop movies I've seen in a long time.
  5. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 20, 2012
    88
    David Ayer, the writer of "Training Day," director of "Street Kings," writer/director of "Harsh Times," does not make movies about princesses with witchy curses, about yuppie commitment-phobes, about talking plush toys. His territory is narrow, but he owns it: cops, in Los Angeles.
  6. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 20, 2012
    88
    The problem with End of Watch, a gripping police drama, is director David Ayer's stylistic decision to shoot nearly the entire movie tripod-less. Or, to put it another way, there's a whole lotta shakin' going on.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 21, 2012
    83
    I wish that the Mexican drug cartel subplot was not so overwrought and Oliver Stone-ish, and the decision to shoot much of the film "Cops"-style is also problematic. But the film puts you right inside an everyday inferno and, to its credit, doesn't turn down the heat.
  8. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Nov 19, 2012
    80
    It's a collection of cop-movie clichés but presented with sufficient flair and strong performances that the ride is enough, even if it's on rails.
  9. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Sep 22, 2012
    80
    There's nothing in David Ayer's cop drama End of Watch that you haven't already seen, but the film has moments so riveting that you might not care too much.
  10. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Sep 21, 2012
    80
    End of Watch is one thriller where the adrenaline rush, considerable as it is, is almost always put in the service of character. Happily, the character on display turns out to be considerable, too.
  11. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 20, 2012
    80
    A visceral story of beat cops that is rare in its sensitivity, rash in its violence and raw in its humor.
  12. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 20, 2012
    80
    If Ayer had taken as much care with his bad guys as he does with his leads (and their deftly sketched wives and colleagues, played by Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera and Frank Grillo, among others), he might have crafted a seamless picture.
  13. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Sep 19, 2012
    80
    Ayer should have dropped the movie-within-a-movie, which is confusing in an unproductive way -- we share the men's point of view without it. [24 Sept. 2012, p. 98]
  14. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Sep 19, 2012
    80
    As social insight, End of Watch is useless, but as engrossing entertainment, it's irresistible, thanks to Ayer's gift for dialogue, the relentless pacing set by film editor Dody Dorn, and gorgeous performances by Gyllenhaal and Peña.
  15. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 19, 2012
    80
    The action and the chemistry is stronger than the story, because Gyllenhaal and Peña are good. In that respect End of Watch works better as a series of vignettes held together somewhat loosely by a larger story.
  16. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Sep 15, 2012
    80
    Easily one of the year's best films and one of the best ever in the well-worn cop genre.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 9, 2012
    80
    Ultimately, the mock-doc device works because Gyllenhaal and Pena so completely reinvent themselves in-character. Instead of wearing the roles like costumes or uniforms, they let the job seep into their skin, a feat without which "End of Watch's" pseudo-reality never would have worked.
  18. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    America Ferrara ("Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants'') turns in an image-changing role as a tough lesbian officer who develops a grudging admiration for our heroes.
  19. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    The two cops are cocky and funny and young, and it still takes a good half hour to accept that they may be as forthright and dedicated to their jobs as they appear to be.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    Unlike many action thrillers where the viewer is fairly certain that no real harm can come to the protagonists, such is never the case here. In this gritty ride-along, we sense that anything can happen, which adds to the propulsive momentum of a riveting story.
  21. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 20, 2012
    70
    A muscular, maddening exploitation movie embellished with art-house style and anchored by solid performances.
  22. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    In the last 15 minutes of the film, he burns up some of the credibility he established by not pushing extreme situations too far earlier on.
  23. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 19, 2012
    67
    End of Watch is more than the sum of its parts, though; it ends on a downbeat note, but that's something I've come to expect from Ayer.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Sep 21, 2012
    63
    It's powerful stuff, but I almost felt like I needed an intermission.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    End of Watch gives you the savage whoosh of being on a job that can get you killed. Sins of cop clichés can be forgiven when a movie pays honest tribute to police on the line.
  26. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    The camera is just everywhere, from the point of view of everything. When I left the movie the other night, people complained of seasickness.
  27. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    No doubt, these twin saviours are a likeable tandem, and they bear their cross lightly. Still, End of Watch suffers from no end of sanctimony. Sainthood is all well and fine but it ain't drama and, on screen at least, the question cries out: Where's a corrupt cop when you need him?
  28. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    The drawback of the film's visual approach, however, is a considerable one. The relentless first-person shooting in End of Watch - figurative and literal - is less about YouTube factuality than it is about Xbox gaming reconfigured for the movies.
  29. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Nov 25, 2012
    60
    Forceful and arresting, Ayer's follow-up to "Harsh Times" and "Street Kings" sees him confidently playing to his strengths.
  30. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 19, 2012
    58
    Gyllenhaal and Peña's relationship, a sort of heterosexual love affair, is depicted with a sense of tenderness and care that does not extend to the cartoonish villains that dominate the film's lackluster final act.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 72
  2. Negative: 7 out of 72
  1. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    An amazing police thriller/drama film that reminds you of such great cop show oldies like Adam-12 and 21 Jump Street. With deep characters, great acting and superb directing, End of Watch is worth watching. Full Review »
  2. Sep 24, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. There were racist jokes, a gold-plated AK-47, a man who survives being stabbed in the eye with a knife. There's simply not enough of that in movies. Also, the bad guys were cast well. Big Evil plays big evil very well. Full Review »
  3. Sep 23, 2012
    10
    This film humanizes cops. Excellent movie! The movie contains a lot of criminal trends. It may seem fake to a lot of people but the truth is that what this movie contains in it is reality. When watching this movie people may say "that doesn't happen" the truth is that it does. I will watch this movie again in the next couple of days!!! Full Review »