Movies

End of Watch

Release Date 23 Nov 2012 TBA

  • User rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

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Certificate:

Genre: Drama

Police officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal, SOURCE CODE) and Zavala (Michael Peña, CRASH) are partners and best friends. A night-school student in film production, Taylor affixes tiny cameras to his and Zavala’s uniforms to record their daily routines, collecting material for a short video about the real lives of the LAPD. Life is good — until a seemingly routine vehicle check finds the pair stepping on the toes of powerful drug traffickers.

Cast:
Cody Horn | Anna Kendrick | Jake Gyllenhaal | America Ferrera | Frank Grillo

Writers:
David Ayer

Producers:

Directors:
David Ayer

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

Movies.ie Critic Review

MOVIES.IE’S ONE TO WATCH!
END OF WATCH (USA/16/109mins)
Directed by David Ayer.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, American Ferrera, Cle Sloan, Maurice Compte, Yahira ‘Flakiss’ Garcia.
THE PLOT: LA, South Central, and LAPD partners Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Pena) are plainly good at their job. To the extent that, when Zavala is challenged to go a few rounds with gang member Mr. Tre (Sloan) in the latter’s living room, the last-man-standing bout is strictly off the books. Respect!
But there’s trouble out on the streets, and it’s obvious that at least one hard rain is about to fall.
As part of an escalating turf war, one of Tre’s crew is gunned down by the Mexican Curbside gang, led by Big Evil (Compte) and La La (Garcia), whilst the random unearthing of some human trafficking quickly puts a price on Taylor – who’s keeping a video diary of his daily life on the beat - and Zavala’s heads…
THE VERDICT: It may be a buddy-buddy cop movie on the surface, but End Of Watch is more interested in the gritty truth than any loose cars, fast women and high-fivin’ shoot-outs. This is LA’s thin blue line through blood-tinted glasses, and the comparison to HBO’s The Wire are there pretty much from the start. And despite the buddy-buddy element, and another fine performance from Pena, this is really Gyllenhaal’s movie.
Having recently stated that witnessing a death during the early stages of research with the LAPD changed his life, young Jake has also now vowed to make only challenging movies from hereon in. Take that, Bruckheimer!
So, writer/director David Ayer (the South Central native who has so far concentrated largely on bad cops, writing the likes of Training Day and Harsh Times) has plainly gotten to his leading man here. And it’s easy to see why - even if End Of Watch isn’t quite Gyllenhaal’s Drive. Ayers is far too happy employing stereotypes here, and the odd 40-foot signpost for his subtle, underlying social commentary.
It doesn’t help that we’ve been here before, many times, from Colors to Training Day, from L.A. Confidential to Boyz n The Hood, not to mention last year’s Chinatown-esque Rampart. Still, End Of Watch works on its own terms, and if the mock-doc element makes about as much real sense as TV’s Modern Family, this is still a movie that leaves an aftertaste. 

RATING: 4/5

Review by P Byrne

  • Avg User rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    bigslick184

    Went to this with some good expectations as Training Day is one of my fav films ever (one of, calm down :p) and was interested to see what could ev done with this material. I wasn't disappointed. High octane action that will keep your heart pumping all the way through. Hugely enjoyable. Not a load of deep deep plot, but the story really revolves around the relationship between the two leads. Laughs, yells and high emotions

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    jony_dols

    I happened to catch EoW yesterday without really hearing too much about it beforehand, and WOW; was I blown away. While on the surface it may seem like a gritty 'handy-cam' crime film, not too dissimilar to David Ayer's previous LA capers (Harsh Times & Training Day), but once you scratch underneath the surface, you'll find a genuine & often funny story of two cops out on patrol of one of the US's most dangerous 'beats'; South Central LA. The film is focused primarily on Gyllenhaal & Pena, and they are excellent together, suitably drawing you into their world, even as their banter is interspersed with drug busts, domestic assaults & the occasional shootout. The handy-cam style for the most part works; but it had the habit of pulling you out of the film's sense of realism, when for an example; a 'mystery cameraman' is apparently standing in the corner of the bedroom filming a more intimate scene between Gyllenhaal & his GF (Anna Kendrick)! But apart from the occasional gripe with the camera & that the title gives away the finale, EoW is my surprise hit of the year!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    Onionhead

    it's tough to go wrong with End Of Watch if you're a fan of the genre. Even if you're not particularly fond of cop movies, I'd still recommend it. It's a highly entertaining, tension filled ride of a movie. It may not be as deep as some other movies coming out now, but it really brings you into another world well. It's well written, well directed, well acted, and was well enjoyed by the whole crowd. Check it out.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    mart

    The use of Jake's hand-held camera gives a Paranormal Activity feeling (without the headache) that adds to the "realness" of the film. I highly recommend this film and challenge anyone to not be completely moved by the end of it.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.

    enigmab17

    What an absolute gem. It's not often I give a film 5 stars, as frankly, there aren't a lot that deserve it. But from every angle this film was just excellent. Story: Great story. I was gripped throughout the whole thing. Great mix of drama, action and emotional scenes as well. It's only downfall is that at times it was a bit slow-paced, but that was no-where near enough to effect its greatness. Acting: Simply spectacular. As usual JG does a fantastic job, probably one of the finest actors in Hollywood at the moment if you ask me. Peña for me was a huge surprise, I can't say i've seen him in alot of films and didn't really think much of some of the ones he was in. Having said all of that, he did a fantastic job here. Overall a stunning movie.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.

    Randy

    The film isn't quite 'edge of your seat' fare. A lot of the movie is quite boring with brilliant scenes here and there. The performances are great, raw and real. However, some things are being dwelled on for too long and don;t make much sense. YOu'll be thinking about this but it could've been better. Best seen on DVD. Not light-viewing though.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    laume

    It's David Ayer's attempt to breath life into a heavily run-down formula. And it works

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    dainiux

    There's nothing very new or profound in End Of Watch, and yet that doesn't mean there's nothing to see

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    lisa__kelly

    At times I did feel that this movie was a bit of a slow-burner however the genuine chemistry and humour between Gyllenhaal and Pena will maintain the interest of the audience throughout. I am not a big fan of the use of hand-held footage and it contributes to a few uncomfortable scenes in this movie. End of Watch considerably picks up in the final twenty minutes with emotional, tense and gritty scenes that will capture the attention of any viewer. Would definitely recommend it!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    cjudge109

    Once I got over what thought was a pretty pointless filming technique (main character filming) I enjoyed the banter and the action. The main pairing is great and the friendship on scene seems easy and genuine. Michael Pena is excellent. Dodgy baddies (and I mean dodgy dialogue) aside and a few why didn't they just..moments. The film doesn't shy away from the gruesome however it was tempered with moments of humour and you like the two guys and root for them.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    filmbuff2011

    Writer/director David Ayer certainly knows how to portray life on the mean, sun-baked streets of Los Angeles. Essentially cinema's equivalent of James Ellroy, his films have a harsh, gritty edge that is fully believable and committed to telling the truth. There's not a grain of Hollywood sugar-coating in his new film End Of Watch. Once again, we're back with LAPD's finest, but this time from another perspective. Brian (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike (Michael Pena) are two beat cops in grungy South Central LA who crack jokes and make fun of each other in their squad car - but they're also best buds who would take a bullet for each other. We follow their lives as they respond to everyday calls, but then things get messy when they find themselves out of their depth with a drug cartel and human trafficking ring. Occasionally shot from the perspective of our two characters and other hand-held cameras, this, as Gyllenhaal has suggested, is the closest you're going to get to being with the LAPD. Anchored by two superb performances, End Of Watch pulls no punches in its depiction of law enforcement officers putting their lives on the line 'to serve and protect' as the LAPD motto goes. This is no cynical recruitment video like the recent Act Of Valour, but a well-made and heartfelt tribute to the LAPD. It does have some flaws - the baddies are a bit too maniacal and over-the-top - but these are small complaints in a film that gets nearly everything right. Highly recommended.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.

    Mr_Twist

    Very Possibly the best movie I've watched all year. heart felt emotion between the bromance / romance - life death loss and fate. edge of your seat entertainment - I did not want the movie to end

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    Marty hanratty

    End of Watch is utterly committed to its pavement-level perspective, and Ayer resolutely denies us a glimpse of the bigger picture. Instead, the case unfolds from Taylor and Zavala’s point of view: often literally, as both men have digital cameras clipped on to their uniforms.This footage is blended into cinematographer Roman Vasyanov’s own wheeling, darting camerawork, and even the gangsters that prowl through Taylor and Zavala’s turf shoot video as well as semi-automatic weapons. Everyone watches everyone in End of Watch, and the film is fluent in the raspy visual language of the shoot-’em-up and YouTube clip.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    BIGBADBRIAN

    Wasn't what I was expecting. Very well done. Peña and Gyllenhaal are great together. I love the style it was filmed too. I think we're gonna see a lot more David Ayer movies.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    EJM1994

    It was a good storyline, you couldn't predict what was going to happen. Funny throughout which I did not expect to see in a cop movie. Hilarious actually! It's well worth a watch, I really enjoyed it.

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