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Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 21, 2012
    100
    Mythic, thrilling and brilliantly made motion picture.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 20, 2012
    88
    David Ayer, the writer of "Training Day," director of "Street Kings," writer/director of "Harsh Times," does not make movies about princesses with witchy curses, about yuppie commitment-phobes, about talking plush toys. His territory is narrow, but he owns it: cops, in Los Angeles.
  3. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Sep 22, 2012
    80
    There's nothing in David Ayer's cop drama End of Watch that you haven't already seen, but the film has moments so riveting that you might not care too much.
  4. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    The two cops are cocky and funny and young, and it still takes a good half hour to accept that they may be as forthright and dedicated to their jobs as they appear to be.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 19, 2012
    67
    End of Watch is more than the sum of its parts, though; it ends on a downbeat note, but that's something I've come to expect from Ayer.
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    No doubt, these twin saviours are a likeable tandem, and they bear their cross lightly. Still, End of Watch suffers from no end of sanctimony. Sainthood is all well and fine but it ain't drama and, on screen at least, the question cries out: Where's a corrupt cop when you need him?
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Sep 20, 2012
    0
    End of Watch is a repellent movie, first for its shaky-cam conceit rendering much of the action incomprehensible, and finally for seeking to entertain viewers through the thuggish execution of a police officer.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 72
  2. Negative: 7 out of 72
  1. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    An amazing police thriller/drama film that reminds you of such great cop show oldies like Adam-12 and 21 Jump Street. With deep characters, great acting and superb directing, End of Watch is worth watching. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. Sep 24, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There were racist jokes, a gold-plated AK-47, a man who survives being stabbed in the eye with a knife. There's simply not enough of that in movies. Also, the bad guys were cast well. Big Evil plays big evil very well. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Jun 30, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With all of the lushly exquisite terrain and affluent neighborhoods that fill southern California, the concept of criminal activity ravishing the area may go wayside when conjuring mental images of this corner of the United States. End of Watch is determined to reinvigorate your imagination, even if it is done with a hyperbolic touch. The film tracks the Los Angeles police duo of Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal, Zodiac) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña, World Trade Center) as they struggle to subdue the rising threat of crime in an already lethal section of the ghetto. Writer-director David Ayer has crafted a thrilling story that only raises the stakes as it runs. Pervasive are the moments disguised to allow viewer recovery, but instead exploit the vulnerable moment and slap on another heavy turn. The scarce breathing room withstanding, Watch, a representation of very real issues, delivers in a spectacle, playing out like a Miami Vice highlights reel.

    The team of officers are fresh off a successful shootout, killing two men following a wild car chase through the backstreets of a destitute landscape. The recognition for their work only flares the previously present arrogance raging in the veins the two officers. Taylor, currently in the midst of completing law school, has acquired a handheld camera, intending to record the future happenings of he and Zavala's patrol as part of an assignment for his film class. The handheld documentary style is used intermittently with the general photography of Roman Vasyanov (The East), but more interesting is the use of other handheld devices by multiple characters in the film. It is a connection between cop and criminal.

    Their fame within the department is ephemeral as the two are reassigned to a different district. Quickly revealing itself as a much more problematic area, Taylor and Zavala face a couple unsettling cases. Conflict within the neighborhood is amplified by a drive-by shooting executed by members of the Hispanic "Curbside Gang." Marking the commencement of a turf war between the Hispanics and the blacks of the district, the film seems to be centering the ethnic battle as the driving conflict. However, the film makes an inexplicable desertion of this narrative, plowing onward under alternative guidance. Instead, the story takes focus with the Curbside Gang and it's don, Mr. Big Evil (It's because his "evil is big").

    Having noticed heavy traffic leading to a from Evil's house, Taylor steps outside his realm of duty to play private investigator. He and Zavala begin to become more suspicious of the residence when they recover cash being transported away from the house. They storm the house to make a horrifying discovery: upwards of thirty people are being held captive in a human trafficking business. Mr. Big Evil is not just a local threat, but with his ties to Mexican cartels, he is a force to be reckoned with in the southwestern United States. Even worse, Taylor and Zavala have now presented themselves to be a persistent annoyance to the operations of the cartels, tagging themselves a target on their back.

    Mr. Big Evil's coterie brews a plan to rid themselves of the pestering cops. As the madness unfolds, the militants of the Curbside Gang look more like phantasmal creatures plucked from the virtual reality of Grand Theft Auto and less like a shrewdly wicked conglomerate. The borderline suicidal manner in which this crew operates doesn't suit the furtive pattern established by the villains in the rest of the film. Using the handheld cameras furthers an impractical sense. Yes, Taylor and Zavala bring hell upon themselves with their intrepid hunger for action, but the chronic documentary style comes off as purposeless and superfluous in adding to their immaturity. No final product ever comes of Taylor's "film project" that is frequently mentioned.

    Despite all of this, copious screen time is devoted to the powerful relationship between Taylor and Zavala. Gyllenhaal and Peña display an exceptional chemistry through endearing back-and-forth prodding about their respective love lives. It is the result of sitting elbow-to-elbow in a car for 10 hours a day, the production of enduring fatal possibilities daily. The bond tightens and the emotional investments swell with the Taylor's marriage to Janet (Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air). Mr. Big Evil's threat now surpasses the potential to break a friendship; marriages and families could be torn asunder.

    Ultimately, Watch is much more than it's visual dazzle. There exists a narrative that, at times, overshadows the shock of criminal activity. There are times in cinema when it is commendable for a film to overstep boundaries. After all, a film that fails to overachieve excites more than one that succeeds to underachieve. Watch comes off as one of these films aspiring to overachieve. It's audacity is far from destructive, but works as an abrasive touch.
    Expand
  7. 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 ? Collapse

See all 72 User Reviews

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