End of Watch

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 275 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 275
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  1. Apr 12, 2013
    5
    Two things I am tired of in movies are the hand-held "I am taking this film" technique and the inability of a half dozen people at point blank range with military grade weapons being until to hit their target. If you love cop films you might like this one, but I found it tedious.
  2. Jan 26, 2013
    6
    A good LA Police Department movie using the reality film point of view (although not overdone). A Bromance movie about 2 low level LAPD cops who get in over their head. In summary, it is a good story that show that in the end friendships and family are most important. It does a great job a showing parallels between the police vs. gang life (they are not that different). Good vs. EvilA good LA Police Department movie using the reality film point of view (although not overdone). A Bromance movie about 2 low level LAPD cops who get in over their head. In summary, it is a good story that show that in the end friendships and family are most important. It does a great job a showing parallels between the police vs. gang life (they are not that different). Good vs. Evil was well documented and shows that everyone wants to move up the food chain. The movie make you feel sad in parts where you know they pulled the story-lines from actual police reports. Expand
  3. Dec 27, 2012
    4
    It was difficult for me to to watch an amazingly talented actor like J. G. trudge his way through this extended episode of 'Cops'. He is the movie's only saving grace amidst a poorly written screenplay that feels cliché and strips the LAPD of an opportunity to be depicted somewhat accurately in a fictional setting. Yes, it's gunfights and bro-banter entertain, but are lost in a plotIt was difficult for me to to watch an amazingly talented actor like J. G. trudge his way through this extended episode of 'Cops'. He is the movie's only saving grace amidst a poorly written screenplay that feels cliché and strips the LAPD of an opportunity to be depicted somewhat accurately in a fictional setting. Yes, it's gunfights and bro-banter entertain, but are lost in a plot that is forgettable and disappointing. Expand
  4. Oct 7, 2012
    6
    Great movie (would have given it a 7 but took off one star for the following) but DON'T SIT CLOSE TO THE SCREEN (or rent it on DVD) if you are prone to motion sickness, like I am. Halfway through the movie, due to the way it is filmed with lots of camera panning I felt somewhat nauseous and kept hoping it would go away. However, the style of filming persists throughout the movie, soGreat movie (would have given it a 7 but took off one star for the following) but DON'T SIT CLOSE TO THE SCREEN (or rent it on DVD) if you are prone to motion sickness, like I am. Halfway through the movie, due to the way it is filmed with lots of camera panning I felt somewhat nauseous and kept hoping it would go away. However, the style of filming persists throughout the movie, so either sit far away or take some Dramamine before you go (I would recommend a half pill). It took me about a half hour after it ended before I felt okay again. Expand
  5. Sep 23, 2012
    6
    It is good but left me struggling to think whether to recommend it. The middle slows down a bit while the ending is solid. Be prepared for the handheld camera moves that work for awhile... then your eyes tire and you have to look away just to focus. it has many great parts to it.
  6. Jan 25, 2013
    6
    Intense, vulgar, disturbing. End of Watch is an unexpectedly over-the-top shoot-em-up, comparable to an episode of Southland on cocaine. Too soon through the movie does the language just get annoying, and the ridiculous lack of common sense the cops have questions the movie's reflection of the LAPD. Gyllenhaal is barely able to save this movie. 63/100
  7. Mar 17, 2013
    5
    An absolutely generic police-drama, buddy-film with good performances, but without originality. There is nothing here we have not seen before in these type of movies.
  8. Feb 15, 2013
    5
    I like the actors who star in this film. I really do. I find some of the scenes well done and well performed. What the movie wants to say can be slightly interesting. But overall it is really boring. It feels way longer than what it is. Nobody in the whole theater seemed to enjoy it. It becomes a little bit more emotional towards the end, but it can´t save the film overall. Nice try, butI like the actors who star in this film. I really do. I find some of the scenes well done and well performed. What the movie wants to say can be slightly interesting. But overall it is really boring. It feels way longer than what it is. Nobody in the whole theater seemed to enjoy it. It becomes a little bit more emotional towards the end, but it can´t save the film overall. Nice try, but just that, a try. I give it a better score than what I give to the typical crappy action films which don´t have any decent thing to say. But just that. Expand
  9. Mar 22, 2013
    6
    Although End of Watch manages to avoid most of the typical cliches associated with the genre of law enforcement movies, there is still loose cannon & family man- pair around. The movie is worth seeing but I think I would have been better off watching the old episodes of Cops instead.
  10. Mar 6, 2013
    6
    Even tho I didnt hate this movie I didnt particularly enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It just seemed juvenile and the story was mediocre at best. The camera shots and action were great and the ending was the best part in the movie. But everything leading up to it was boring childish banter between the two officers. The worse thing about the movie beside the nonsensical plot was theEven tho I didnt hate this movie I didnt particularly enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It just seemed juvenile and the story was mediocre at best. The camera shots and action were great and the ending was the best part in the movie. But everything leading up to it was boring childish banter between the two officers. The worse thing about the movie beside the nonsensical plot was the absurd language in this film. Its like the only words in the script were f**ck this and f**ck that every second throughout the film. It gets f**king annoying hearing it over and over and over again. In short if you enjoy good cop movies with a good story look elsewhere. However if u like movies with nonsensical plots and an insane amount of profanity youll love this movie Collapse
  11. Jun 30, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With all of the lushly exquisite terrain and affluent neighborhoods that fill southern California, the concept of criminal activity ravishing the area may go wayside when conjuring mental images of this corner of the United States. End of Watch is determined to reinvigorate your imagination, even if it is done with a hyperbolic touch. The film tracks the Los Angeles police duo of Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal, Zodiac) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña, World Trade Center) as they struggle to subdue the rising threat of crime in an already lethal section of the ghetto. Writer-director David Ayer has crafted a thrilling story that only raises the stakes as it runs. Pervasive are the moments disguised to allow viewer recovery, but instead exploit the vulnerable moment and slap on another heavy turn. The scarce breathing room withstanding, Watch, a representation of very real issues, delivers in a spectacle, playing out like a Miami Vice highlights reel.

    The team of officers are fresh off a successful shootout, killing two men following a wild car chase through the backstreets of a destitute landscape. The recognition for their work only flares the previously present arrogance raging in the veins the two officers. Taylor, currently in the midst of completing law school, has acquired a handheld camera, intending to record the future happenings of he and Zavala's patrol as part of an assignment for his film class. The handheld documentary style is used intermittently with the general photography of Roman Vasyanov (The East), but more interesting is the use of other handheld devices by multiple characters in the film. It is a connection between cop and criminal.

    Their fame within the department is ephemeral as the two are reassigned to a different district. Quickly revealing itself as a much more problematic area, Taylor and Zavala face a couple unsettling cases. Conflict within the neighborhood is amplified by a drive-by shooting executed by members of the Hispanic "Curbside Gang." Marking the commencement of a turf war between the Hispanics and the blacks of the district, the film seems to be centering the ethnic battle as the driving conflict. However, the film makes an inexplicable desertion of this narrative, plowing onward under alternative guidance. Instead, the story takes focus with the Curbside Gang and it's don, Mr. Big Evil (It's because his "evil is big").

    Having noticed heavy traffic leading to a from Evil's house, Taylor steps outside his realm of duty to play private investigator. He and Zavala begin to become more suspicious of the residence when they recover cash being transported away from the house. They storm the house to make a horrifying discovery: upwards of thirty people are being held captive in a human trafficking business. Mr. Big Evil is not just a local threat, but with his ties to Mexican cartels, he is a force to be reckoned with in the southwestern United States. Even worse, Taylor and Zavala have now presented themselves to be a persistent annoyance to the operations of the cartels, tagging themselves a target on their back.

    Mr. Big Evil's coterie brews a plan to rid themselves of the pestering cops. As the madness unfolds, the militants of the Curbside Gang look more like phantasmal creatures plucked from the virtual reality of Grand Theft Auto and less like a shrewdly wicked conglomerate. The borderline suicidal manner in which this crew operates doesn't suit the furtive pattern established by the villains in the rest of the film. Using the handheld cameras furthers an impractical sense. Yes, Taylor and Zavala bring hell upon themselves with their intrepid hunger for action, but the chronic documentary style comes off as purposeless and superfluous in adding to their immaturity. No final product ever comes of Taylor's "film project" that is frequently mentioned.

    Despite all of this, copious screen time is devoted to the powerful relationship between Taylor and Zavala. Gyllenhaal and Peña display an exceptional chemistry through endearing back-and-forth prodding about their respective love lives. It is the result of sitting elbow-to-elbow in a car for 10 hours a day, the production of enduring fatal possibilities daily. The bond tightens and the emotional investments swell with the Taylor's marriage to Janet (Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air). Mr. Big Evil's threat now surpasses the potential to break a friendship; marriages and families could be torn asunder.

    Ultimately, Watch is much more than it's visual dazzle. There exists a narrative that, at times, overshadows the shock of criminal activity. There are times in cinema when it is commendable for a film to overstep boundaries. After all, a film that fails to overachieve excites more than one that succeeds to underachieve. Watch comes off as one of these films aspiring to overachieve. It's audacity is far from destructive, but works as an abrasive touch.
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  12. May 3, 2014
    5
    Cinematography, characters, acting and story carry this film through the most of the way. The only thing that's wrong in there is some of the dialogue.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 24, 2012
    50
    The performances here are so sharp that viewers may wish End of Watch has been shot by someone who knew how to find the right point of view for a scene and leave it there.