User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 259

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  1. Jan 26, 2013
    8
    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.
  2. 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
  3. Jan 25, 2013
    8
    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 realEnd 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.
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  4. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    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 understandingEnd 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
  5. Jan 23, 2013
    8
    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 killIn 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
  6. Jan 21, 2013
    0
    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.
  7. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    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.
  8. Jan 15, 2013
    8
    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. JustI 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
  9. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Dec 30, 2012
    8
    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!
  13. 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
  14. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    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, personalityI 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
  15. 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 ?
  16. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    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.
  17. Dec 2, 2012
    9
    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.
  18. 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.
  19. Nov 23, 2012
    10
    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.
  20. Nov 18, 2012
    7
    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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What
  24. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    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.
  25. 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.
  26. Oct 21, 2012
    8
    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.
  27. Oct 20, 2012
    10
    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 youEnd 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. Oct 7, 2012
    1
    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'sThere'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.
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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.