Excerpt: Writer-director David Ayer ("Training Day," "Street Kings") has made his career from plumbing the depths of corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department, reliving the heady days of the Rampart Division investigations over and over and over again. It's only fair then that he give back a little to those from whom he has earned so much. And so we get "End of Watch," Ayer's paean to the men and women of the LAPD.
Excerpt: End of Watch purports to be an inside look at being a cop in the midst of South Central L.A. Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) work together on the streets, driving through general patrols and finding themselves in an uncharacteristically escalated scenario. A little Hollywood theatrics do not dampen End of Watch . A lot of Hollywood theatrics do.
Excerpt: Cop dramas these days don’t warrant much of a reaction from me. It’s when they try to do something that hasn’t been completely beaten over the head as a cliché where I stand up and take some notice.
Excerpt: Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain ) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña, Tower Heist ) are LAPD partners, patrolling South Central. Every day, it's something—sometimes, something small, like settling a dispute, other times, something much bigger, like rescuing children from an abusive situation. Here is an extraordinary film made out of pretty ordinary circumstances. The cops here are not superheroes. They are not involved in some intriguing caper.
Excerpt: The Film There are a ton of gritty cop movies out there; enough that it's practically its own genre at this point. So what makes End of Watch so special? Well, it's not the best of the bunch, but writer/director David Ayer has a certain knack for putting a spin on the action -- just like he did in another gritty cop drama, Training Day .
Pros: Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo, David Harbour, Director: David Ayer, Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Number of Discs: 2, Rating: R, Studio: Universal, Blu-ray Disc Release Date: January 22, 2013, Run Time: 110 minutes, List Price: $34.98, Extras: Feature Commentary with Writer/Director David Ayer Deleted Scene Featur...
Conclusion: Sixty percent of End of Watch really is one of the best films of 2012. Unfortunately, Gyllenhaal and Peña's performances, however award-worthy, and the story's most painful gut punches aren't enough to make up for the remaining forty percent. Ayer's drama and shifting points of view grow more and more indulgent as the film goes along, the supporting cast languishes (minus the nigh unshakable Kendrick and Martinez), and the third act neglects much of what renders the...
Conclusion: Despite featuring a very familiar plot, 'End of Watch' is a heart-stopping, compelling action thriller that feels fresh, thanks in large part to the energized feel of the "found footage" camerawork. At the center, the chemistry-driven and excellent performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña keep the narrative at a captivating pace until the emotionally shocking final moments.