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End of Watch More at IMDbPro »

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Very worth seeing, and far more interesting than most of what comes out of Hollywood

Author: runamokprods from US
16 November 2016

Interesting, moving, tense if occasionally uneven mix of very rough, hand-held visual style, improvisational feeling acting, and occasionally much more conventional plot turns. This study of two slightly gonzo, gung-ho, but basically righteous cops is alternately deeply engrossing and affecting, and occasionally frustrating.

When it all works, it feels about as real as any police drama I've ever seen. When it gets in it's own way, it's annoying-- as when the camera-work becomes so self-conscious that you start thinking about it (Why do so many of the characters just happen to have cameras? Why are many of the shots from angles that could never be from a home video camera, if this is following a "found video" conceit?). Or when the acting occasionally stops feeling real and suddenly comes off as self-conscious improv. Or when the villains start seeming more like cartoons. Or when our heroes our in firefights that look real, but follow Hollywood rules of logic as to how they turn out. Then the film is maddening, because it's SO good when it's on target.

Very worth seeing, and far more interesting than most of what comes out of Hollywood. It only grew on a 2nd viewing. It had all the same flaws, but somehow they seemed easier to forgive in light of how much was excellent and strong.

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Author: adonis98-743-186503 from Greece
2 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In South Central Los Angeles, street cops Brian and Mike are partners - balls-out cowboys patrolling the streets as Latino gangs are in a power struggle with Blacks. Brian and Mike get lucky a couple of times, making big drug and human-trafficking busts, so a Mexican cartel orders their deaths. We meet Mike's pregnant wife (whom he married out of high school) and watch Brian's search for a soul mate. There are internal squabbles within the ranks of the LAPD and lots of squad-car conversation. Can the lads escape the cartel's murderous reach? End of Watche packs 2 great performances by Gyllenhaal and Pena and even tho it was very violent it worked so well thanks to some pretty good performances and direction by David Ayer (Sabotage and Suicide Squad).

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Surprisingly enjoyable with a mixture of intense drama, humour and confronting moments.

Author: The Grand Master from Australia
11 September 2016

End of Watch was surprisingly cleverly done from start to finish. It looks like a derivative police procedural action drama on paper, however in the hands of writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, Street Kings) and with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as the charismatic leads, End of Watch was a pleasure to watch from start to finish and also one of the most memorable movies of 2012.

The movie focuses on inseparable LAPD patrol officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal, Donnie Darko) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena, Shooter) who patrol one of the most dangerous divisions of Los Angeles. As part of a filmmaking class, Taylor is filming his day to day activities while on duty much to the chagrin of fellow officers including Van Hauser (David Harbour, The Equalizer), Sarge (Frank Grillo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Orozco (America Ferrara, Ugly Betty), and Davis (Cody Horn, Magic Mike). Taylor and Zavala find themselves in gun fights, fist fights, dealing with gang members, and rescuing those in harms way. Apart from bonding over crude banter, sarcasm, machismo and the unwritten rule of having each other's backs, we also venture outside their professional lives and explores the personal relationships with Taylor's girlfriend Janet (Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect) and Zavala's wife Gabby (Natalie Martinez, Under the Dome).

Jake Gyllenhaal, as always is excellent and he has come a long way from his groundbreaking role in Donnie Darko (2001) which made audiences sit up and take notice of the new talent on the bloke. Michael Pena always does a fine job and here it is no different.

David Ayer has always been a talented writer following his work with U-571 (2000) and Training Day (2001) and he is gradually making his mark as a director with Harsh Times (2005) and Street Kings (2008). Here in End of Watch, he feels like his is just right at home.

End of Watch is a violent movie with some unsettling moments and with 326 uses of the f word, it is certainly a movie for mature audiences.

End of Watch looked to be a run of the mill crime drama but upon watching it at the cinema, this movie left an impressionable mark on me. From start to finish, End of Watch is a combination of intense drama, plenty of humour, and some very confronting moments. It certainly is a movie that I enjoy watching from time to time and it now sits upon my DVD/Blu-Ray collection.


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A lesson for those who say that this movie sucks

Author: hgrahovac4 from Zagreb, Croatia
18 June 2016

I re-watched this movie because my sister and her boyfriend told me that the movie sucked, the cinematography was epilepsy inducing and which I consider one of the dumbest arguments ever, too much swearing. Seeing this for the second time very carefully I realized that this is a really good cop movie. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena nail their roles as Taylor and Zavala. That dumb argument about too much swearing is actually that Mexican gang (Curbside Locos, I believe) who aren't even that much in the movie. The cinematography isn't epilepsy inducing because it was shot documentary style although it is frustrating to see the camera shake most of the time. All in all, End of Watch is a great cop movie which again showcases Ayer as a great writer of dramas set in LA and as a director. For you DC fans, I recommend watching this and Fury due to the fact that Roman Vasyanov shot both of these movies in preparation for Suicide Squad this August.

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Powerful and emotionally effective, hilarious at parts and devastating at others

Author: lachlanjamesgriffiths from Australia
21 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie really draws you in with the comedy of 'bro'ship', makes you love the characters and then busts out some gore (sometimes hilarious) yet quite confronting at times. In my perspective, I don't watch many cop movies or programs but I've heard some people calling it a cliché, though from my point of view it is a masterpiece in its own right. End of Watch shows the risks of the life style, and brings to light the tragedies police men and women on face day to day, made me realize 'wow this stuff happens', all while kicking your guts with suspense and blasting action (and for once minimal SGI), even showing the personal lives of the partners. The movie is extremely emotionally effective and a gold mine of unique camera angles, some annoying jump cuts were used but not in important scenes thankfully. Over all it is definitely one of my favorite movies of the genre and my favorite 'cop flick', JJ is quickly becoming a favorite of mine yet his partner definitely deserves more recognition for his effort in the film, pieced together quite well with a good flow, short but lengthy in your mind (attention grabber).

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Nice story flow and mood control topped with a dramatic ending

Author: Johan Dondokambey from Indonesia
24 December 2014

I really like how the story takes the viewers through the mood increase and decrease alternately. It does this not by restarting the action buildup, but by inserting scenes and sequences of the family matters of each main character. The crime buildup feels quite shocking to see, but it feels like a probability seeing that the movie takes place in South Central. The sub plots with the families, the extra stretch with the others cops and the inserts about the gang members nicely complete the story. The movie's ending comes quite unexpectedly as a very quick escalation. And it ends with a very dramatic ending, complete with the nice twist at the epilogue. The acting side sees nice balancing done by Michael Pena alongside the experienced Jake Gyllenhaal in acting out the two main characters. Here Pena can complete the scenes well even though it seems that Zavala fell out of the spotlight at times.

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Good initial setup but some plot issues

Author: diomavro from United Kingdom
4 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Overall I really enjoyed the movie

Characters: I found all the acting and characters in this movie to be all around great.

Camera work: This kind of shooting is always a little high risk but somehow this movie does it well for the most part. I feel like a little more consistency on where the camera is would have been nice. The realism in the way some of the shots are only make it that much more unrealistic when we see shots which are obviously not taken from the personal cam perspective, which sometimes ruins the continuity. It might have made things a little more difficult to convey but it would be worth it from an immersion point of view. For instance the ending scene would have been great if it was caught from the cops point of view.

Plot issues: I felt like we didn't need to see the scene where the hit is placed on the cops, especially since we hear them being warned like 5 minutes later(from the personal cam), just a little bit more emphasis on it would have been enough.

I have a little bit of an issue with their actions in the ambush, I don't understand why they didn't just leave through the apartment door, which would give them much more time to escape and instead they went straight through the balcony in plain view bullet-less, if the guy who ambushed them really had any idea about guns he would have heard the guns being out of ammo and lifted his head up and shot them.

Also when they got out of the building, they were like jogging/walking in plain sight, absolutely ridiculous, you either run as fast as you can or take cover, there were a bunch of fences they could have jumped over to hide under instead they decide to walk down the most obvious way possible. These kind of errors destroyed any form of realism for me.

Overall I thought this was a little bit below Training Day but anyone who enjoyed that should also enjoy this.

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A good watch

Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
18 October 2014

Writer/director David Ayer likes to show a realistic element of urban Los Angeles as he previously wrote Training Day, SWAT and The Fast and the Furious. He has a fondness for a hard hitting take on the police and criminals.

End Of Watch has a POV documentary footage take as Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are two patrol officers in the streets of South Central Los Angeles. Jake is taking footage via a concealed camera, wants to be more than a patrol officer. He wants to be in on the action and ultimately wants to be a lawyer. Pena is the one who is the family man.

Both cops are good friends and seem to be close as they are there for each other professionally and domestically, both risk life and limb to save a family from a fire. However they seem to have gone too close to send some Mexican gangster on edge and find out belatedly that they are marked men.

The footage point of view can seem confusing and some of the shots look too much like a video game, in fact you might think they have inserted footage from a games console.

Both actors are very good but the plot is rather rudimentary, you see them patrolling the streets taking on bad guys and you know once the plot kicks in that it might not turn out too well for both of them. There are no real surprises as the film lacks depth. There is too much swearing as we have gangsters using nothing but the F**K word repeatedly and too much reference from one police officer that the LAPD will not be there for you when the chips are down, rather ominous during the conclusion of the film.

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One of the best police dramas you'll ever see

Author: grantss from Sydney, Australia
13 October 2014

Brilliant police drama.

Certainly not your standard one and no Hollywood ending. Gritty, real and emotional - explores the human side of cop life, the personal relationships, trials and tribulations, as well as police work. No punches are pulled in engaging the viewer.

Great performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena in the lead roles. The interactions and relationship between their characters are what makes this movie so great - it is spot-on. Good support from Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez.

One of the best cop dramas you'll ever see.

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I thought I didn't like it...

Author: kitmccaughey from United Kingdom
26 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And then, I watched it again...

I initially dismissed this, believing it might be a re-hashing of the excellent 1988 film 'Colors' that dealt with the same 'boots-on-the-ground', basic policing of the long-running Gang wars in South Central Los Angeles.

On second viewing, I realised I was wrong.

Whereas 'Colors' deals with the Rookie/Veteran issue, 'End of Watch' deals with partners who know each other, respect each other and trust each other implicitly.

I don't know how much of that is down to the directing, the writing, the actors, or their on-screen/off-screen chemistry (or a combination of all of those things).

There are only couple of minor things that annoy me about 'End of Watch'. For the sake of avoiding anything that might be regarded as a 'spoiler', I'll keep those to myself. However, If an old cynic like me can only find only one or two minor things annoying about any modern film, I'm pretty sure it must be good in some way...

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