End of Watch

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 299 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 299

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User Reviews

  1. Sep 22, 2012
    8
    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 themExcellent 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
  2. 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
  3. Feb 3, 2016
    8
    With dynamic cinematography and some good writing, "End Of Watch" is an excellent film that takes the usual brotherhood cop formula and juices it up with some adrenaline.
  4. 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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  5. Sep 25, 2012
    9
    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 somethingWow! 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
  6. 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
  7. Jun 30, 2016
    6
    By now, everyone knows that I hate these camcorder films, because they are lazy and don't really have much of a story to them, but there is an exception to that rule, and that is the TV show Cops. Police work comes with natural real life drama and action, in this instance the script really does write itself, so I was okay with it being used for a film like this. I just wish it had beenBy now, everyone knows that I hate these camcorder films, because they are lazy and don't really have much of a story to them, but there is an exception to that rule, and that is the TV show Cops. Police work comes with natural real life drama and action, in this instance the script really does write itself, so I was okay with it being used for a film like this. I just wish it had been done more naturally. I understand that the film takes place in a gang infested area of L.A. and that they needed to make it more dramatic and action packed for it to succeed in theaters, but you talk about going over the top. That's where Director, David Ayer comes in, after all gangs and going over the top are his specialty. End of Watch does have some great chase scenes and some really cool moments between partners, but for the most part it's just one non-stop explosion filled gun battle after another, making Los Angeles look like Fallujah. The point of view cameras do give us an interesting look at the action and some new perspective into how it's all made, which I thought was really cool, but I mean the lack of story line and constant shooting was beyond ridiculous. I'm some what surprised they'd didn't just go full on crazy and release the whole thing in 3-D. Expand
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dec 20, 2013
    9
    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.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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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  28. 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
  29. 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!
  30. 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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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.