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Generally favorable reviews- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 256

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  1. Sep 21, 2012
    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.
  2. Sep 24, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  3. Sep 23, 2012
    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!!!
  4. Jan 26, 2013
    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. 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
  5. Sep 23, 2012
    After having just finished the 5th season of The Shield, I was skeptical that such a short feature would be able to capture the feeling of a small division within the LAPD. Instead, the film focuses on the chemistry and relationship between it's two leads, who are terrific in this film. There are more than a few genuinely funny moments, but there are also a few extremely intense and graphically violent scenes. Yet the nature of the unique relationship between the officers is what you leave the film with. Expand
  6. Jan 10, 2013
    Mostly shot in a first person point of view giving way to a more realistic yet very shaky imagery, it started off by giving us short bursts/stories in the lives of the two cops and at first it felt it was going nowhere fast. However, as the movie went on, I started to realise that each story was merely a piece of a puzzle to help describe the protagonists through their daily actions which inevitably define who they truly are. Expand
  7. Apr 12, 2013
    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.
  8. Sep 30, 2012
    This movie is horrible. It starts out as a ripoff of the movie "Colors" and then the plot scatterbrains down different paths from there. Predictable, trite, inconsequential, unimportant, and annoying are some of the adjectives that come to mind when describing this awful attempt at cinematography. There are a few chuckles mixed among the ridiculous garbage. Don't waste your time on this nonsense.
  9. Nov 14, 2012
    You know how Training Day was a gritty well written neo-realistic law enforcement drama....well End of Watch isn't. It falls short, real short. Honestly, I fell asleep in the movie. Combination of bad writing, horrible cinematography, tired scenes of LA, and too much popcorn.
  10. Dec 26, 2012
    I watched the movie not knowing what to expect when the main characters were playing completely different type of roles than usual. It chronicled the lives of two cops caught in the war zone of crime, gangs, drugs, and violence and kept a light humor even during the worst scenes. The two young officers, their family involvement, their wives, the job, their fellow officers, personality profiles were set early and the action went from one dramatic scene to the next with gang bangers and street people actively involved in every aspect of their city's subculture. If you aren't ready for violent action, you might want to pass on this. Every minute there was constant action, dialogue, this movie had no dead air time with nothing but scenery. During the non action moments it was full of banter between the two about everything from their families to their sex lives. Some comedy but mostly drama and action. Expand
  11. Dec 27, 2012
    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 plot that is forgettable and disappointing. Expand
  12. Jan 15, 2013
    I had no idea Anna Kendrick was in this movie. She is a doll with her pearly whites. I thought the movie gave us the fact that cops are human. Some truly are out there in the streets to do the right thing. This film showed us that they have families, and they struggle seeing death everyday. I enjoyed Gyllenhaal and Pena's performances. Having to keep the peace in the hood ain't easy. Just like some soldiers never come home from deployments alive. Some cops never make it home alive from the streets. Thumbs up! Check it out if you haven't yet. Expand
  13. Oct 7, 2012
    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, 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
  14. Jun 4, 2013
    "End of Watch is a gritty, reckless and emotional film that, gives us the true in-depth look at inner city cops. Filled with Oscar Worthy performances. It should come as no surprise, End of Watch being one of the best cop dramas in years." B+
  15. Sep 26, 2012
    Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are cop partners riding rough neighborhoods in LA. We get to know them mostly through their snappy banter in the patrol car, while most of the action is purportedly shot through their own cameras. We ride along as they encounter minor and major crimes, but also watch them interact with their fellow officers and their women. This camerawork and editing have a big-budget grittiness that keeps the film rooted in reality, but doesn't get in the way. Performances are outstanding and David Ayer's directorial style has become even more sophisticated, while staying "street." A solid film with modern sensibilities. Expand
  16. Jan 27, 2013
    I found these two cops quite annoying with their lame, childish banter. The acting is fine but the dialouge seems a little unrealistic in parts. Not as gritty as it could be. I got bored and switched it off. Doesn't come close to a single episode of the Shield. Dissapointing
  17. Jan 26, 2013
    This a decent film, its gritty but ultimately it has an easily predictable ending. It's a good action / pseudo documentary film about 2 cops who are partners that find situation after situation of dealing with the worst criminals humanity has to offer in south central LA.
  18. Dec 13, 2012
    This movie is so bad, it is beyond bad. It is basically unwatchable. When every second word in the script is the F word, it makes you want to turn off the sound. The script seems to have been written by a 14 year old. The acting is atrocious. The photography is nauseating. How can anyone sit through the entire length of this shameful attempt ?
  19. Jan 28, 2013
    This movie manages to have a completely unreastic and a realistic feel at the same time. A very good cop movie. The only problem is the partners are a little too nice to each other. Like their trying to push the friendship too hard to lead to more emotion. Comes of as a little cheap.
  20. Nov 3, 2012
    I find the critic and audience score for this movie was overrated. But I must admit it's one of good movie. Tearjerking ending and captivated performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick. But I don't find it's one good example of found footage entry.
  21. Sep 23, 2012
    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.
  22. Oct 5, 2012
    Weak story line, poor photography, mellow dramatic glorification of cops and gangs. It has been done many times before and done better. Nothing new here and nothing like the Movie Trailer. Absolute waste of time
  23. Sep 26, 2012
    Not since Training Day has a movie grown above the cliche'd cop storylines, and Ayer is a master of this genre. This is by far his best work, and it's a heartbreaker. Look for Gyllenhall this Oscar season.
  24. May 26, 2014
    Officers Taylor (Gyllenhaal ) and Zavala (Peña) are LA cops that respect the jib they do. When a seemingly routine traffic stop leads to the discovery of guns and money linked to a Mexican cartel the pair starts investigating, putting a target squarely on their backs.

    Moving past the fact that the ‘found footage’ aspect makes little sense in this context (even the director actively
    ignores it at points!) the film moves along at a break neck speed whilst still finding time to explore the lead characters lives to the extent necessary that audiences can invest in the two leads. The action set pieces are also brilliantly shot meaning that, while it can stretch plausibility at times, End of Watch's almost two hour running time flies by. Expand
  25. Sep 22, 2012
    Excellent film. Spot on performances by the main cast and secondary characters. Fresh take on the buddy cop film. More a character study of the two main subjects than focusing on the plot, which is fairly straight forward. Many of the incidents during the film don't get explained to any extent, and some characters pop into the film and then disappear without much information about them The pacing is really good but the camera work is not always successful. The over use of the hand held, shaky cam reduces the film to an episode of Southland and certain times. This is film, not TV. A bit of a splatter fest at times. A must see if you're into this genre of film. Expand
  26. Sep 27, 2012
    This was a purely great film. Great performances delivered into a great story. It was thrilling, it was hilarious, and it was dramatic. The only issue i had with gthe movie was the annoyance of the switching of cameras, i wanted them to just stick to one but it kept switching but after a ways into the film i got used to it but other than that this movie was great. Im not a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal or Michael Pena fan but they were both perfect and hilarious in this film, they're "brotherhood" was so strong which made the film so much better because of how well they blended together. If you don't like violence or alot of strong language then don't bother with End of Watch, but if not then you must see this! Its well worth your money and your time! 9.5/10 Expand
  27. Jan 16, 2014
    As an Netflix instant watch film, End of Watch was one of the better finds I have located on there. I was very surprised by the quality of this film. Both lead actors make their roles believable and very human for the audience. The gritty way in which the movie was shot made the personal touch that much more apparent. Very well written and directed film.
  28. Jan 21, 2013
    this jerky camera crap was old with blair witch; unless you're 13 or enjoy that nonsense, give this film a skip. oh and if the excuse is "hey it's cause they're video-taping themselves" then get a camcorder and go out and make your own film; you couldn't do any worse than this.
  29. Jul 24, 2013
    The various points of view and personality of End of Watch have created one of the best police dramas in years, with the shaky cam and POV technique that really immerses the viewer in the film, with said film outlining perhaps the dark side of being on the right side of the law, the trials of day to day routine but also the obstacles faced when there is always someone with a higher pay grade. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as the two LAPD officers, Taylor and Zavala who create a tension of unpredictability and lack of safety as the film progresses. As the documentary style film unfolds, we realise these two officers end up investigating much deeper into the criminal activity in south central LA, nothing really screams new that hasn't been done before, but the way in which it unfolds can sometimes be frightening, often edgy but seriously entertaining.
    The story is a character-driven account of these two officers as they deal with their job but also their personal lives, they discuss their ambitions and their love life, these two perfectly fit the bill of a buddy cop film, but it properly explores these two individuals and the closely wound lives they lead, they have weaknesses and fears, something which the two actors perfectly portray, these two officers are friends, they spend their social lives in each others company which makes the film hit home that much more.
    The film itself as mentioned explores the gritty side of the police work, and the film tells a brutal tale involving trafficking and brutality of the highest level, with some very gruesome and edgy scenes that come alive with the documentary style and approach. There are laughs to be had at the very real conversations that the two share, with an excellent supporting cast to back up some of these moments.
    Writer/Director David Ayer had consistently showed his strength in the cop genre of films, and his latest is a no holds barred action flick that has a lot of heart, but tells a tragic and powerful tale of friendship and doing the right thing, End of Watch succeeds in being real, honest and forthright in the story it tells, leaving room for both the police drama and the personal story the two central characters have, elevating the charisma and heart the film has.
  30. Sep 25, 2012
    Wow! I was pretty blown away by this! Great movie. Gyllenhall and Pena are amazing together. Fantastic cop movie, though the one negative for me was that there were some extremely grisly, upsetting scenes. One scene in particular affected me more than I can remember any scene in a movie affecting me in a long time(though I am kind of a wuss in that regard!). Definitely not something to take the kids to. But a really good movie. Expand
  31. Mar 4, 2013
    End of Watch is one of the best cop films I've ever seen and it all starts with the fantastic cast. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are both incredible actors and the supporting cast is just as great. Because of the entire cast's acting ability, the emotion and drama felt real and authentic and really pulled you in. The action sequences were also done really well. You felt the intensity through the realism and the emoting and it really made you get on the edge of your seat at times. I also felt the the plot developed really well. Yes, the movie dragged a bit about two-thirds in but that was necessary for the development of the characters and their relationships. Without that portion, you may not care as much so I do not hold that against the movie. The only things that I do think brought the movie down were the extreme overuse of the shaky camera effect and some of the editing of scenes felt too episodic. When you're starting to almost feel a bit dizzy because the camera is shaking so much, I'm pretty sure that means dial it back a bit. I understand that there are plenty of handheld cameras used in the film as part of the plot but those are not the examples I'm referring to. The only other thing I felt was worth mentioning was the blatant foreshadowing in the film. There's a particular scene that essentially spoils the ending. I'm sure not everyone caught it but when I saw the scene I practically threw my hands into the air because I knew right then and there how the movie would end. I'm aware that directors love these little foreshadowing elements because it adds a certain level of cinematic quality but they're supposed to be subtle. Overall though, I'd say that this was a great movie and one that most people, at least those not easily offended by vulgar language and violence, would enjoy. Expand
  32. Dec 9, 2012
    Best Movie of the Year, Period. 5 or 6 years down the line, ask any cop about his fav movie and there's a good chance that it's gonna be this one. One of the best Guy/Buddy movies of all times.
  33. Oct 15, 2012
    End of Watch is the big sorprise of this year -in my opinion- the story can have a simple development, but when the movie start you watch that have an intelligent development, and the performances of the cast are awesome, the script can have some mistakes, but is not much. End of Watch is interesting, funny and is a sorprise.
  34. Dec 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To be honest going into this movie I didn't know what to expect but it really was great.
    The actors did a great job and the movie established a connection between me and the character.
    My only real critique would have to be the ending. It seem so... abrupt, just kind of ended. Other than that I would highly recommend.
  35. Sep 1, 2014
    A moving, powerful film about not only policemen but brothers--poignantly portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. End of Watch is a new hand-held classic.
  36. Oct 21, 2012
    Not being the biggest fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, I was a bit skeptical about whether or not I would like this movie before I saw it. After seeing it I must say I enjoyed it allot. His acting is pretty good in this film. The camera movement is a little choppy at times but the way the movie pieces together was interesting. Lots of action and violence. All in All a solid movie.
  37. Oct 7, 2012
    There's been much noise out there about this piece of filmmaking cinematic history. I actually read somewhere a mention of "Training Day" in the same sentence as "End of Watch." Well, let's put our two cents out there... Even, both films share the same scribe, This is not, in any way shape or form, remotely in the category of "Training Day", and all that noise about this film, well, let's save it for something else worth barking about.
    I was actually baffled to find myself reacting this way to this movie, since David Ayer has a long list of cool movies to his credit. I guess everyone missed a home run here and there. And, then again, this is just my two cents...
    Swimming somewhere deep in the current idiotic trend to shoot movies with video cameras the filmmakers found what barely passes for inspiration as a visual theme. Bring a bottle of Advil with you. The camera work is in deed that bad.
    But if the imagery wasnt bad enough of an insult to the audience's intelligence, don't waste your time finding any character development or plot evolution. This is a linear one way ride into what can be best described as an exercise in boredom.
    And, no, shooting Mexicans for the same tired old reason we've all seen before, and exchanging a never ending repartee of pointless dialogue in a patrol car, does not pass for creative thinking.
  38. Jan 12, 2013
    David Ayer writer of SWAT, Training Day and Dark Blue cranks out another cop movie...and it's probably the best of the bunch. End of Watch is sort of a 'behind the scenes' of the world of police men and the brotherhood between them. Gyllenhaal & Pena give great an believable performances in this low budget (7m$) film shot on a range of DSLR's, GoPro's en SI-2K's. A good watch if you like cop films. Expand
  39. Nov 13, 2012
    End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What
  40. Jan 25, 2013
    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
  41. Sep 23, 2012
    A great tribute to cops! The film is very realistic but the wavering candid camera photography almost made one of my buddies carsick. The situations are believable and thrust the spectator into the routine rituals and the bizarre situations that cops must face in a major city. The only problem is the ending....for such a well-acted film with a graphically realistic concept, the ending is too melodramatic and almost unbelievable. Expand
  42. Oct 6, 2012
    Really liked this movie, but what I really enjoyed was how you felt attached to all the characters. I love action films, but one of the main flaws is that beyond shooting and killing, there is no story behind them, but that was not the case here. Hell, even the bad guys had a story behind them. Great character development and acting led to an atypical cop drama, but it was still great.
  43. Oct 20, 2012
    End of Watch was so good I was literally sweating from the tense moments it gives you through out this film. The most compelling aspect is the two lead characters, who cannot possibly have more chemistry together and deliver Oscar worthy performances. It's the best performances by these two lead actors who you believe are actual cops. The story makes you care so much for these two that you don't wan't anything to happen to them and you will utterly despise the ghetto gangsters. It has the most hysterical moments between two cops in a movie and then drops you in a hard hitting dramatic scene. The "found-footage" film making style is supposed to make you emotionally impacted and it does that so uniquely well which is unlike most "found-footage" movies. They show some scenes that are so disturbingly authentic which you would otherwise hear about in the news. This is written and directed by David Ayer , who also wrote Training Day, and Harsh Times. This is by far his best work yet. I was very blown away by how well this was written, directed, and acted. It's the best movie I've seen in months. I now have more respect for cops than I ever did. Expand
  44. Mar 17, 2013
    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.
  45. Feb 3, 2014
    The filming is good, the actors/characters are decent, but in my opinion the story lacks some depth and is pretty straightforward, overall an okay movie about policeman everyday life.
  46. Sep 30, 2012
    Amazing movie. Great action, great acting all the way through. Well written. I enjoyed it far more than The Master which is getting all the rave reviews lately. Toward the end there is a bit of subtle foreshadowing, but the ending is still somewhat unexpected.
  47. Nov 15, 2012
    Entertaining because of the ferocious energy with which it is shot and the two charismatic leads, which more than make up for the film's shortcomings in plot.
  48. Jan 13, 2013
    Great movie, one of the best i saw last year, superb acting for the two main characters, Anna Kendrick is amazing in the few minutes she plays, the movie is intense, fun, dramatic all at once. Occasionally it revives some of the shield atmoshere, and the feeling is great. Only the end isn't matching the greatness of the rest but you can survive it. A must to watch.
  49. Nov 18, 2012
    Very entertaining to watch, well worth seeing for anyone who likes the thriller/action or drama genre. Basically what TravisFinn said sums it up well.
  50. Nov 5, 2012
    Awesome film, love the camera work. The acting is natural, and the storyline is compelling. Many scenes put me on the edge of my seat, and I would gladly watch this film again.
  51. Nov 23, 2012
    It is really a thrilling cop movie that i have not seen for a while. Excellent acting and directing all the way. I cannot complain about it, i really loved it and felt the characters. If you think this movie is not a good cop movie, or an action/drama movie, well... looks like you have some brain issues.
  52. Nov 28, 2012
    Brilliantly shot, written, and directed, "End Of Watch" is a thrilling cop drama with some excellent performances from Gyllenhaal and Pena.
  53. Dec 2, 2012
    I didn't know what to expect after I heard of this movie but in the end I loved it.
    Good jokes, good acting, I loved the camera work.
    Very well done for a movie with a little budget.
  54. May 21, 2013
    David Ayer's "End of Watch" is an unflinching cop drama that uses the handheld camera approach to heighten the drama and escalate the tension. “End of Watch" feels closest to Ayer's "Training Day" (2001), albeit with a bit of faux documentary footage thrown in to create a level of authenticity and credibility to what might been seen as yet another buddy cop flick. Stylistically, the 'found footage' makes its debut in this genre, and it leaves you wondering how much more this technique can be pushed on us without boring us, or irritating us through its constant jerkiness.

    The narrative follows two beat cops Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena), buddies and best friends for life who take on the meanest districts in the city of Los Angeles. As part of a film course project, Brian carries with him a video camera to record his days at work, and ropes in Mike to also carry around pinhole cameras, which they wear at their breast pockets. Additional footage comes from the multitude of cameras strategically located in and around their patrol car, and then some. It's all not fun and games as they patrol the streets together, and we see different facets to policing, from criminal gang violence to domesticated issues, right down to an unexplored subplot involving serial gang killings. There's a maxi-arc that runs along the entire film with the Mexican drug cartels, especially with our protagonist duo taking it upon themselves to launch some deeper investigations, at times stumbling upon something much larger than what's at face value. Interestingly enough, a group of violent gang members are engaged in exactly the same sort of small-screen self-promotion, living the street life with their own cameras rolling. Eventually, the two sides, the law and the lawlessness, violently collide.

    Well-done with two solid lead performances, the overall pace of the film is quick and the action is continuous. It's respectable, entertaining and worth checking out, but it's not one a would label 'a must see.'
  55. Jan 23, 2013
    In my opinion, there are two different types of Police Dramas. The first being where the Police hunt for and find the suspects of a certain crime. The generic story really. Then there is the second type. This being where the suspects or thugs or whatever you want to call them hunt for the Police Officers and eventually, depending on what movie you're watching, either capture them or kill them. When I started watching End of Watch, I imagined something along the lines of The Town, but from the Cop's point of view. What I got was something I wasn't expecting, in a good way. End of Watch follows the story of two Officers in the LAPD, who are, safe to say, the best of friends. Gyllenhaal and Pena are a great set of actors, in a great setting. The duo shine like a star in End of Watch, and I honestly became attached to these two and their bromance. The story is a little on the vague side. Gyllenhaal and Pena uncover a great deal of human-trafficking and drug distribution within a Mexican drug cartel based out of South Central, Los Angeles. Now that the cartel's operations have been publicly exposed, they want the two dead. Although the story seems a little cliche and generic, they play off of it very well. And the sad, but good ending ties it all together to be a great experience. This movie is heavily recommended. Expand
  56. Dec 30, 2012
    This film is a tribute to all cops just doing there job. I was completely blown away at the end. Having watched so many action movies this was really refreshing and real.

    loved the movie!
  57. Feb 15, 2013
    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, 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
  58. Jan 20, 2013
    End of Watch is not only an emotionally interactive, episodic slice of realism and well done film for its very low budget, it is a gem among its sub-genre of non-horror found footage films.
  59. Jan 24, 2013
    End of Watch is a brilliant and rare police film that makes you love the characters and leaves a true impact on its audience. I didn't know what I was going to think of the movie before watching since the trailer couldn't describe the genius behind what the film is all about. It shows the hardships that police officers must go through every day, and now I have a much better understanding of what it Expand
  60. Jan 25, 2013
    End of Watch merges an uninspired genre and a tired technique that both miraculously contribute to the reason why the film itself is worth seeing. The genre, first and foremost, is the buddy cop film, which, I believe, needs no introduction, and the technique is the unsteady camera employed by either Jake Gyllenhaal's character's handheld camcorder or the camera found on the front of real police cruisers. Merging these two cliches in film seem like a recipe for failure, but when we realize that End of Watch doesn't capitalize off either of those things, we have a good feeling that this film is headed in a better, brighter, more aesthetically and narratively fluent direction.

    The story concerns Jake Gyllenhaal's Brian Taylor and Michael Peña's Miguel Zavala, two South Central Los Angeles police officers, who see more action in one day than most police officers see in their lifetime. They are the enemy of almost everyone in the area they work in, and due to their extensive rabble-rousing in the station and on the streets together, are looked down upon by the remainder of the police department. Their first call is a public disturbance one, and the two men are met with a tall, ominous figure called "Tre," who instigates Zavala into fighting. He accepts and after a merciless brawl between the two men, Tre is taken in for public disturbance, not attacking a police officer. Just on that note alone, I knew this wasn't going the traditional way of cop dramas.

    The fact is the story is much deeper. While it focuses a lot on the day-to-day lives of the two officers, writer/director David Ayer (S.W.A.T. and Training Day) explores the outside lives of these two men. Taylor, an ex-Marine who has had a rugged and sketchy dating life, is currently dating the sweet and smiley Janet (Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect fame, who has silently grown up in this role), while Zavala, on the other hand, is attached to his wife Gabby (Natalie Martinez). The film explores just how deep of a relationship these men have with one another, and how their personal relationships go on to experience notable ups, unfortunate downs, and the sporadic energy and nerve-wracking uncertainty involved with being a cop in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.

    Yet as a cop drama, the film must fulfill the obligation of having some sort of added tension, which in this case is a gang involved with serious drug cartels. Part of this obligation is fulfilled by having concise insight into the gang life, while the rest is achieved by somewhat suspenseful car chases and thrillingly impressive shootouts. I tire easily from these petty additions, but in End of Watch they are used efficiently and work well to the point of being almost more than tacked-on pot boiler effects.

    I believe this is largely thanks to the use of the shaky cam, which contributes to the added effect of realism and suspense. Viewers and opponents of the gimmick will be happy to be informed that the film is only about 25% or 30% documentary-style, and we are, too, provided with numerous different camera angles, one of which, the under-used aerial shot of Taylor and Zavala's cruiser speeding through South Central L.A. The lasting effect is only enhanced by the fuel the humanism brings to the story, resulting in a deeper and more substantial endeavor than just your average summer action movie. By allowing the characters to have more of a human setup and the action to take on a more stylistic approach, there is a nice lack of perfunctory criminal/heist plot and an absence of repetitive serious cop banter. By having numerous little calls result in one big mission for our characters makes this far more interesting and uncertain than one big mission spread out through the course of a near two hour film.

    End of Watch tacks on the ending we sort of saw coming, but Ayer shies away from exploiting it unhealthily. If we feel anything, it's definitely not heavy-handed sentimentality, and if we remember anything, we recall the wonderful chemistry had by the two charming and valuable leading men. It should definitely be noted that two great performances were overlooked during this year's award season.

    Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Nadine Martinez, and America Ferrera. Directed by: David Ayer.
  61. Mar 28, 2013
    End Of Watch is a very fun, brilliantly directed movie. It has been said that team cop movies suck and 21 jump street proved that they don't but End Of Watch is a great new idea with guns, gangsters, and blood. With the makers of Training Day making the film, you know it's a professional film and it is. With its 90 minutes of rollicking, cheesy flicking action this film is superb for a night out with friends. Expand
  62. Mar 22, 2013
    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.
  63. Feb 21, 2013
    Filmed in the style of "found footage" (REC., Blair Witch Project), this police thriller/drama is all about the everyday life of two policemen.

    What I liked: The characters were likeable and the acting was great. You really feel like you are getting to know the characters more and more.The movie itself was never boring and the action sequences were well done and thrilling.

    What I
    didn't like: The antagonists ("the gang") seemed too forced, making it less realistic. Expand
  64. Mar 6, 2013
    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 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 Expand
  65. Mar 27, 2013
    an awesome movie i loved every second of it probably the best police movie i have seen in a long time and i'm gonna watch it again and again on a smaller screen.
  66. Mar 10, 2013
    I really enjoyed the two leads. Their chemistry makes this movie as good as it is. Anna Kendrick is also in this film and is good as always. Overall though if the leads weren't as good as they were this movie would suffer.
  67. Nov 1, 2014
    Amazing film. It's one of those films which doesn't fully hit you how great it is until the end. They achieved so much with it considering they had a small budget. Well worth a watch!
  68. Nov 17, 2014
    End of Watch turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year and it surpassed my expectations dramatically. It's only more recently than I've warmed to Jake Gyllenhaal and both him & Michael Peña are great together here. The chemistry between the duo is one the most convincing and realistic buddy cop pairings I've ever seen. It's the pointless everyday conversations between the pair whilst on patrol that carries the film and makes it believable. Usually I find the found footage style camera work to be a worn out gimmick. But the majority of the time it works well here. And it plays an integral part in making the experience so intense. David Ayer's overall direction is impressive and overall I found this to be a refreshing, original, real and honest take on the buddy cop formula. Expand
  69. Aug 26, 2013
    This was a real unique journey in drama. A mix of studio camera and innovative character cameras interwoven with the story. Casting brought two very strong actors together and their chemistry was right on target. The plot was simple but the ingredient that put this film over the top was realism and believability. Yes it is very raw and if I got a dollar for every "F-bomb" I could by a home in Malibu for sure. Realism is the main course and this film would not lose it's true identity. I found what really put this movie in the must see category is that ...One minute your laughing and the next you're crying. There are very few films that can achieve this element with this level of quality. This is, without a doubt, one of the very best films of the year. Expand
  70. Jun 30, 2013
    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.
  71. Sep 7, 2013
    I'm a huge fan of TNT;s "Southland," so I guess I'll admit to being spoiled as far as seeing realistic depictions of life as a LAPD officer is concerned. By that standard, "End of Watch" is a satisfying, albeit sometimes melodramatic slice of behind the badge that takes us both into the brotherhood that exists between sworn officers and the terror that even the most seasoned must feel (and set aside to do the job) when confronted with horrific violence. Expand
  72. Sep 8, 2013
    I watched this movie because Anna Kendrick is in it and I think it is absolutely amazing! All the actors did a fantastic job and the script was so well written and clever. I am doing a project for school about this movie!
  73. Sep 22, 2013
    Not all movies are meant to be bright and happy, entertaining all audiences. End of Watch is one of these movies. It is raw and gritty and forces the viewer to feel uncomfortable...and it does this very well. It provides a near realistic view of what it is like to be a cop...the good, the bad and the ugly...and examines a sort of "worst case scenario." This movie is well acted and well executed. The camera style is intentionally shaky and raw, giving the viewer a sense of being right there with them. This is the type of movie you will watch and think about for a while. It carries large themes dealing with morals, ethics and a sense of family. It is highly recommended. Collapse
  74. May 3, 2014
    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.

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
    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
    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
    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.