Movie Review: In End of Watch, the Cops Are Actually the Good Guys for Once

There’s nothing in David Ayer’s cop drama End of Watch that you haven’t already seen, but the film has moments so riveting that you might not care too much. Ayer has done the macho police thing before: He wrote the momentous Training Day (2001), in which a very angry Denzel Washington played a crooked cop, and he wrote and directed the problematic-but-compelling Harsh Times (2005), in which an even angrier Christian Bale played a crooked vet trying to become a cop. The characters in End of Watch match the ones in those films for sheer jacked-up explosiveness, but this time, the boys in blue are never actually dirty — though they are rowdy, arrogant, and occasionally even stupid. Gone are the moral complications and ethical gray areas of Ayer’s earlier work: Ably played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, young partners Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala always stand on the right side of the law, in between bouts of jawing at each other or talking about their girls. And in a movie world where cops are always expected to be compromised in some way, these guys are refreshingly old-fashioned. Read More...


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