Training Day

Critics Consensus

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.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 160

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 300,928

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Movie Info

Police drama about a veteran officer who escorts a rookie on his first day with the LAPD's tough inner-city narcotics unit. "Training Day" is a blistering action drama that asks the audience to decide what is necessary, what is heroic and what crosses the line in the harrowing gray zone of fighting urban crime. Does law-abiding law enforcement come at the expense of justice and public safety? If so, do we demand safe streets at any cost?

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Critic Reviews for Training Day

All Critics (160) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (44)

  • We hadn't seen Washington play the bad guy before, and with his ferocious, dominating, and charismatic performance, the Oscar was his...

    March 31, 2020 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • 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…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Good to see Denzel Washington get the meaty villainous role he deserves.

    February 3, 2002 | Full Review…
  • 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
  • A brutal, fierce, and tense police thriller, Training Day takes a well-worn format and infuses it with freshness and verve.

    January 21, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Training Day

  • Aug 30, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2013
    Training Day is a decent film, but let's not deny the main thing keeping it afloat is Denzel. Ethan Hawke doesn't seem like a cop at all, and the script hardly gets you invested in any of the characters. This is not to say it wasn't entertaining: some of the scenes are really tense, particularly in the first half, but the intelligent script starts to wear off later on. Luckily, it does manage to hold together all of it's great themes until the very end. If you're looking for a good corrupted cop movie, L.A. Confidential is better, but Training Day is still worth checking out for Denzel Washington's strong performance.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2012
    It is terribly unbelievable of course but it is so terribly delicious. You can see Denzel Washington just relishing this role and making the most of it. Ethan Hawke can barely stand the pace.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2012
    Training Day is a gripping thriller, despite the fact that it trades in rusty corrupt cop and film noir cliches, plus a wack of borrowed scenes from other movies. This is due to the talents of three men who elevate this into something truly special: Denzel Washington, charismatic leading man doing the best work of his career as a bad guy (he should do more bad ass dudes, and won Oscar for this), Ethan Hawke, who takes on the earnest and idealistic rookie role and makes a meal of it, has never been better, and super talented director Antoine Fuqua, who insisted the real locations and extras, creating a versimilitude of inner city of Los Angeles in a way that has never been done better in a mainstream Hollywood potboiler. The naive rookie coupled with the corrupt veteran has been done a million times, but this works because of the superb chemistry of Denzel and Ethan, and a black humour that coexists on the knife edge of menace. On the down side, the last act and its resolution trades in ridiculous unlikely coincidences that make no sense, but we as viewers are already on board for the ride, so the filmmakers get away with it. For example (spoiler alert) Denzel steals money from his best pal and cruelly executes him just so the greek tragedy is set up for the end. Later, the whole hood, to a man, that Denzel controls conveniently turn against him, for no apparent reason, leading to his demise. Then there are echos of other scenes from better movies such as the Godfather, Sonny Corleone's legendarily brutal machine gun execution which is recreated almost verbatim. See if you can spot others. All in all, a good way to spend two hours, provided you don't expect much originality.
    Josh M Super Reviewer

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