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Training Day (2001)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 155
Fresh: 111 | Rotten: 44

The ending may be less than satisfying, but Denzel Washington reminds us why he's such a great actor in this taut and brutal police drama.


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 11

The ending may be less than satisfying, but Denzel Washington reminds us why he's such a great actor in this taut and brutal police drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 296,913

My Rating

Movie Info

The Fast and the Furious (2001) screenwriter David Ayer follows up that fast-paced action hit with this gritty cop drama from director Antoine Fuqua. Ethan Hawke stars as Jake Hoyt, a fresh-faced Los Angeles Police Department rookie anxious to join the elite narcotics squad headed up by 13-year veteran Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington). Harris has agreed to give Hoyt a shot at joining his team with a one-day ride-along during which Hoyt must prove his mettle. As the day wears


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

David Ayer

Jun 1, 2004


Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (160) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (44) | DVD (37)

If he makes it through the trial by fire -- and a blandly twisting plot with no meaningful revelations or substantial themes -- Hawke will get a promotion, but there's nothing in it for us.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (11)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Fuqua keeps it slick and sleazy and stokes up the race some, but this only accelerates the movie's deafening rush toward the top and ever over.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On a purely visceral level, Training Day is easily the most exciting movie out there right now, but as a morality tale with anything large on its mind, it's a cop-out.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Training Day isn't just one of the finest cops-and-robbers thrillers of recent years, full of devious twists and gut-grinding tension, but it also steers clear of convenient moral formulas.

October 12, 2001 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Training Day is a tense, polished, well-made action thriller that suffers from bad timing.

October 11, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As usual Washington is astounding. He grabs the screen like a vise and never lets go.

October 8, 2001 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Great performances, but for adults only.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A surprisingly excellent movie with Incredible performances...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The movie moves rapidly, is extremely violent and not entirely plausible.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comments (7)
Observer [UK]

This isn't a serious movie, despite Denzel Washington in full eruption and giving his calloused lines more weight and authority than they deserve.

August 5, 2007 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)

My guess is that the conceit was meant to be that Denzel's a bad guy, and that's fun to watch. Instead, this just adds another to his list of bad film's he's acted in...

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Cast against type as a corrupt cop, Denzel Washington, usually seen in noble and heroic roles, is nothing short of brilliant; with some luck, he should earn an Oscar nomination.

January 4, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comment (1)

Marred slightly by an unsatisfactory climax, this is a cracking cop drama anchored by great performances and intelligent direction from Fuqua.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Thumbs up, without question. Unfortunately, Training Day could have been so much more than it is.

October 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies
Zertinet Movies

Denzel Washington delivers a remarkable performance in this enthralling and unique tale of a corrupt cop, completely transforming himself into an unexpectedly imposing threat.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Radio Free Entertainment
Radio Free Entertainment intelligent and riveting action movie that doesn't rely on a lot of special effects to tell a genuinely interesting story.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

While most critics have chosen to highlight Washington's performance as the standout, it would be unfair not to mention Ethan Hawke, who plays the rookie Hoyt with a perfect patina of guileless enthusiasm.

February 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

It is unfortunate that the script by David Ayer is so riddled with pretense, but Washington, Hawke, and their supporting cast do all they can to play through.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Denzel Washington's performance is tremendous... really up there amongst the best of his career.

January 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Hot Button | Comment (1)
Hot Button

Gritty good-cop/bad-cop drama is elevated to greatness by Denzel Washington.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

Trashy cop-thriller entertainment of the highest quality: well-made and superbly acted, with Washington in line for a possible Oscar nomination.

October 30, 2002 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Washington's swaggering, larger-than-life portrayal dominates the film in a towering performance that may well win him another Oscar nomination.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

For those of us who rank Denzel Washington among the best actors America has ever produced, it is more a thrill than a shock to see him take on the showy, villainous role he plays in Training Day.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

A bristling, cocksure... exploration of vigilantiasm and the morally dubious world we plunge our officers of law into.

September 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Audience Reviews for Training Day

August 31, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

This cop thriller spans over not much more than 12 hours of tough, gritty and morally grey work in the ugly parts of LA. Between drug addicts, dealers and gang members the rookie gets his lessons by the leader of the pack. Washington and Hawke are perfect choices for their roles and especially Denzel's performance is magnificent, keeping his character somewhere between insanity and reason, menacing and jovial at the same time, deserving the Oscar he got for it. As an outsider, it is hard to say how realistic the film, as it isn't exactly painting a very flattering picture of the LAPD. But it is the lack of any morally comforting formulas that makes the plot so enthralling. Does the rookie get an important lesson or is he in the car with the devil? This question, carried by the strong performances and a great cinematography make this film work. As things get more and more dire, the audience can't help but get engaged. Excellent.
May 31, 2012

Super Reviewer

Ethan Hawke plays a rookie cop looking to make detective by becoming part of Denzel Washington's narcotics task force. But is he teaching the rules of survival on the dog eat dog streets, or is he a psychotic and corrupt loose cannon using Hawke's inexperience for his own ends? The biggest appeal in this glossy cop thriller is seeing Denzel playing totally against his usual holier than holy type and if he'd taken more of these parts, I'd like him a whole lot more. Unfortunately it's the reliance on surface gloss that is the film's Achilles heel. If you asked a middle class 15 year old white boy what it's like to live in the "hood", this is exactly what he'd describe; basically a living hip-hop video, complete with rappers, lowriders and hot and gratuitously naked Puerto Rican babes. The story and direction is effective but it chugs along with little pause for suspense and it lacks the grittiness and believability of the similar Narc. It is clearly a quality action thriller that's fuelled by Washington's powerhouse performance but the female demographic may be put off by the constant macho posturing that makes it positively reek of testosterone.
April 18, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Denzel's performance is absolutely riveting. Every scene he's in, he's got the audience captivated. The East-LA, gritty gang setting is revealing and shocking but the movie suffers from poor production value, poor cinematography & camera work, and little substance. This movie is extremely forgettable; what isn't forgettable? Denzel Washington's performance. Yup, he's that good. He carries the entire movie.
March 9, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

    1. Alonzo Harris: You gotta be a wolf to catch a wolf.
    – Submitted by D.j. N (16 months ago)
    1. Jake Hoyt: You gotta control your smiles & cries because that's all you have & nobody can take that away from you.
    – Submitted by Bryan O (18 months ago)
    1. Alonzo Harris: You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home?
    – Submitted by Willie J (20 months ago)
    1. Alonzo Harris: It's not what you know, it's what you can prove.
    – Submitted by Chris R (21 months ago)
    1. Alonzo Harris: This is a newspaper right? Its 90% bullshit, but it's entertaining. That's why I read it because it entertains me. YOU won't let me read it, so you entertain me with your bullshit. Tell me a story right now, go...
    – Submitted by James M (23 months ago)
    1. Alonzo Harris: Hey, hey, hey. You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home?
    – Submitted by Luong N (2 years ago)
View all quotes (12)

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Foreign Titles

  • Training (DE)
  • Training (UK)
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