DVD Review: End of Watch

Just another day at the office.
You know, busting up human trafficking rings, getting shot at, running into drug dealers. Being an inner city Los Angeles police officer looks tough.
End of Watch follows two police officers, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) as they go about their days. Taylor is initially taping his every day life on the job for a class, but the entire film is shot documentary style. It's always done with a hand held camera, and our characters speak to the camera plenty of times. Eventually, the men bust the wrong cartel and will have to endure some serious consequences.
What sets End of Watch apart from other cop movies was the way it was shot.  It felt deeper and more realistic as we continue to see what Taylor and Zavala's every day lives are like. We meet their wives, their co-workers, we get to know them so well that when the film ends, I was actually left disappointed.
Granted, I'm no police officer. I don't know what protocol is, but I found that them running out into the open (and stepping over a few spare guns along the way) during an ambush seemed really risky. They already had called back up, wouldn't you just wait for back up to arrive and try to barricade yourself in? It just makes me sad. I invested into these two guys, and I felt like the ending was just trying to be edgy and just ended up being a bit questionable.
Recommended: Yes (despite the ending, I still think this is a good cop movie to watch. It's very different)
Grade: B-
Memorable Quote: "Did you check to see if it's unlocked first?" - Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal)


  1. I was so moved by this movie. Like, I didn't expect it in the least and yet...wow. The ending totally got me. I even gave it a spot in my 'Top Five Tear Jerking Moments of 2012'


    1. The ending hurt my feelings because I wanted everything to be ok, and it just wasn't. I was so disappointed with the last half of this movie. I know it's more realistic this way, but damn it, where's my happy fairy tale ending when I want it?

  2. I don't think I've read many bad reviews of this. I'm not a fan of handheld cameras, but this is definitely on my watch list!

  3. I had the same reaction to their charging in without waiting for back-up -- something I see in loads of movies. :-) I did enjoy this for the sense of realism and the relationship between the two protagonists.

  4. I'd give it the same rating. It's flawed, but Gyllenhaal and Pena give great performances.


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