The Grade Book: “End of Watch”

End of Watch

Plot: Two police officers are targeted by a cartel after confiscating a large sum of money.

Director: David Ayer. 

Writer: David Ayer. 

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, and Frank Grillo. 

Genre: Crime Drama, Action, Mystery.

Running Time: 1 hour and 49 minutes.

MPAA Rating: R.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Realistic, intense, and funny, End of Watch is one of the best police dramas in recent years. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena have terrific chemistry, and both turn in top-notch performances.


  • Tyler Christian:

Grade: B+

A surprisingly realistic, gritty police procedural led by two incredible lead performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, both who have terrific chemistry with each other, too. The guerilla filming style may not be for everyone, but it only enhances the realism the film carries throughout. The only flaw really lies in the story not being particularly original, but for the most part this film is one of the much better cop dramas of the past decade.

  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: A+

Great cinematography, wonderful acting and a wonderful screenplay. The film is a visual treat. Anna Kendrick, though underused, is quite marvelous. The real showstopper is Jake Gyllenhaal. Overall, the film is amazing. And it is hard to come by good materials like this.

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: B+

Jake and Michael have perfect chemistry in this great cop drama that had me invested to the very end.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: B+

Surprisingly solid cop movie. This movie is quite realistic and you really feel for Gyllenhaal and Pena. The movie has some very funny moments, but by the end it gets serious/sad. The shaky cam annoyed me somewhat as it blocked certain action sequences, but aside from that this is a very good movie that everyone should see.

  • Anthony Hurtado:

Grade: A+

Really intense film with great dramatic chemistry between Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal. The best cop movie I’ve seen in recent years and has brought back a good reputation for cop movies to come.

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: A-

Gritty, intense, emotional, and funny, End of Watch is one of the best police dramas of recent years. Gyllenhaal and Pena are both excellent and have perfect chemistry, and writer/director Ayer gives the film a highly realistic feel. It touches on some familiar territory and goes on a bit long, but it’s still one of the best of the year.

  • Brandt Sohn:

Grade: A-

Gyllenhaal and Pena both turn in great performances and are very believable in their roles. Their banter seems off the cuff and never feels scripted. The camera work makes this film feel all the more raw and puts you right into the shoes of these cops as they carry on their procedural. This is some of the most visceral, brutal, and intense film-making of the year. The genuine tension, paired with incredible acting and the captivating day-to-day procedural makes this one of the more powerful cop dramas I’ve seen.


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