End of Watch

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 290 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 290

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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  13. 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
  14. 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!
  15. Jan 26, 2016
    9
    A car stocked with criminals nearly made me quit in disgust as their verbal exchanges were so interspaced with curses that it felt pointless to watch more of the crude bro conversation. It wasn't only offensive, it was just hard to follow the maimed speech. I did however resist the temptation, as I did when confronted by the gung-ho style of the main protagonists, two cops, one withA car stocked with criminals nearly made me quit in disgust as their verbal exchanges were so interspaced with curses that it felt pointless to watch more of the crude bro conversation. It wasn't only offensive, it was just hard to follow the maimed speech. I did however resist the temptation, as I did when confronted by the gung-ho style of the main protagonists, two cops, one with Mexican background and the other more mainstream american.
    The movie is a bit of an acquired taste therefore. It shows mostly the interaction between the two policemen, whom we follow through their daily routines in keeping a measure of order in a criminal invested neighborhood in LA. There isn't much of a story in it as we mostly follow the guys from incident to incident, most of which are unrelated to each other. The feel of reality is reinforced by the use fake 'handy cam' imagery. Luckily the movie makers resisted the temptation to make the whole movie that way. When used in a careful way this camera work reinforces instead of annoys, like when it became a hype some time ago. I recall a Dutch television series that was shot that way while it did nothing to add to the experience. It was just overdone and annoying.
    We also get a peek into the private lives of the cops, thus giving us more of a connection, but in my case it never quite worked out that way. I just didn't get to like the guys with their too brazen attitudes, so I never got to care what happened to them in the end. This is partly because the acting wasn't really remarkable.
    What this movie made me wonder is why it was made at all? It seems to pretend to be a documentary. If you want to pretend to be one, why not just make a real one? With real people, for once.

    I gave it a 9 anyway because of my self imposed score system. I score in 1,5,9 and 10. Since this movie is better than a five because of the smart camera use and the near real feeling I think it deserves to be in the 9 score more. But barely so.

    .
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  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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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  19. 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
  20. Feb 21, 2013
    7
    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
    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.
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  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Nov 1, 2014
    10
    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!
  24. Nov 17, 2014
    8
    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 theEnd 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
  25. Aug 26, 2013
    7
    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 homeThis 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
  26. Sep 7, 2013
    9
    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 (andI'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
  27. Sep 8, 2013
    10
    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!
  28. Sep 22, 2013
    9
    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 wellNot 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. Expand
  29. Dec 4, 2014
    9
    This movie is probably one of my favorite in recent memory. It have great action scenes and well written dialog between the two characters. It have a very realistic feel to it, plus some drama for good measure definitely worth it
  30. Jan 20, 2016
    8
    Deeply affecting, powerful film that's a thrilling experience. Highly recommended.

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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.