User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 269
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  1. Sep 1, 2014
    7
    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.
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    8
    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 andJake 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
  3. Mar 28, 2013
    9
    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 aEnd 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
  4. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Brilliantly shot, written, and directed, "End Of Watch" is a thrilling cop drama with some excellent performances from Gyllenhaal and Pena.
  5. Mar 10, 2013
    7
    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.
  6. Oct 6, 2012
    8
    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.
  7. Sep 23, 2012
    8
    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 andAfter 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
  8. Jul 24, 2013
    10
    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 payThe 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.
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  9. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    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 intensityEnd 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
  10. Jan 10, 2013
    8
    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 whichMostly 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
  11. Oct 15, 2012
    9
    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.
  12. May 26, 2014
    8
    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
    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.
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  13. May 21, 2013
    7
    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 'foundDavid 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.'
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  14. Jun 4, 2013
    8
    "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 27, 2012
    9
    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 JakeThis 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
  16. Nov 3, 2012
    7
    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.
  17. Feb 3, 2014
    7
    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.
  18. Dec 13, 2012
    0
    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. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What
  20. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. Mar 27, 2013
    8
    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.
  24. Jan 27, 2013
    3
    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
  25. Jan 12, 2013
    8
    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$) film shot on a range of DSLR's, GoPro's en SI-2K's. A good watch if you likeDavid Ayer writer of SWAT, Training Day and Dark Blue cranks out another cop movie...and it's probably the best of the bunch. End of Watch is sort of a 'behind the scenes' of the world of police men and the brotherhood between them. Gyllenhaal & Pena give great an believable performances in this low budget (7m$) film shot on a range of DSLR's, GoPro's en SI-2K's. A good watch if you like cop films. Expand
  26. 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.
  27. Nov 14, 2012
    1
    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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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.