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End of Watch has the energy, devotion to characters, and charismatic performances to overcome the familiar pitfalls of its genre and handheld format.
All Critics (176)
| Top Critics (46)
| Fresh (149)
| Rotten (27)
| DVD (1)
Ayer and his cast appear to have so convincingly nailed the way these characters talk and act that you might not even notice the film slipping from workaday grit into out-and-out myth.
The actors, both excellent, get right into Ayer's groove. So by the time we arrive at the unsparing climax, we really know and care about these guys.
Gyllenhaal and Pena are after a lived-in camaraderie and a street-level realism. Pena, especially, succeeds; you buy him every second.
The performances here are so sharp that viewers may wish End of Watch has been shot by someone who knew how to find the right point of view for a scene and leave it there.
Despite the violence and procedural detail, this is about as gritty as Dixon of Dock Green.
Intermittently enjoyable but incredibly frustrating.
Gyllenhaal and Pena have an easy, appealing chemistry with each other and convince us that Brian and Mike are both well-suited to their calling.
End of Watch is viscerally exciting, innovative, hugely violent but also hugely sentimental.
Focal ethos, mixed with gripping action sequences, make for a strong, if imperfect buddy cop drama.
While Ayer and his cast demonstrate a thorough understanding of their subject, and their movie features realistic violence and casual callousness, End Of Watch doesn't really go anywhere.
Capturing the stress and tension of the job detail, as well as the emotional toll on the officers, the line between audience and actor is blurred as the camera alternates between their perspective and that of the audience.
This is the thinking man's action movie, a cop flick that takes us off the beaten track. Above all, though, it is a bromance.
More shaky cam than I generally care for. Both Gyllenhaal and Pena were excellent.
The buddy cop dramedy revisited and made relatable by the spot on performances on it's lead players. The plot setup is somewhat far fetched but its nada but a thrill rise after all. And while not Hope and Crosby, the banter often is not too far from them either.
End of Watch doesn't do anything new, and what it does do has been done better. David Ayer supposedly spent only six days writing the script and it shows, merely creating the basic elements of a safe, cohesive, and marketable plot. Ayers, known for his shrill, marketable approach to filmmaking, chose the trendy documentary-style cinematography, which is supposed to increase the realism or believability of the "footage." Here, it consistently does the opposite and ends up a jumbled mess of first-person and third-person perspectives. Ayers needed a reason why our protagonist cop is carrying a camera, and conveniently has him enrolled in a film class. Are the gang bangers in film class, too? One of the them films themselves and the crew in the car as they heatedly argue -- with guns pointed at each other -- over plans to kill police officers. The other kicker is that the gang's leader yells to get the camera out of his face, while little does he know there are at least 3 more in the car that none of them are even aware of. Yes, Ayers betrays his own movie, as not only does the "amateur" footage look produced, but the majority of the movie is in 3rd person with cameras not present in the story. All that is really accomplished here is 10 minutes of the movie filled with characters complaining about being filmed. Readers would be better served watching any two episodes of The Wire, even if they've already been seen.
I almost turned this off after the first half hour, but I am glad that I stuck it out. I found it a decent story. A thriller at times. Full of good performances, but also relies on typical stereotypes of Mexican gang bangers. Nothing terribly new, and I wasn't really sure why they decided to end it the way they did. All in all, though, worth watching..
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