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End of Watch


Are we sick of the found-footage conceit yet? Apparently it doesn’t matter, because the movies keep on coming. The latest attempt to add grit and realism to a well-worn genre is this shaky-cam, faux-documentary version of the buddy-cop movie. In an age where anyone can pick up a camera, make a movie and post it online for all to see, why do professional filmmakers feel the need to re-create this aesthetic? I’m not against all found footage movies. There are strong examples out there, like The Blair Witch Project, [Rec] or even this year’s Chronicle. But it’s beyond tired at this point, and I yearn for genre cinema to return to being, you know, cinematic. Jake Gyllenhaal and the great Michael Peña are two cops in South Central L.A. who say “dude” and “bro” a lot, kill bad guys, and run afoul of a nasty cartel. The near-constant action would be great, if only we could see it. Instead, the camera shakes, the editing sucks, and half the time when writer-director David Ayer—who loves his L.A. crime movies—drops the found-footage shtick, he still can’t compose a damn shot. The performances feel real, but the filmmaking—and the copout (sorry) of an ending—feel false.

  • Genres: Crime drama
  • Running Time: 109 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, November 23, 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Pervasive Language, Sexual References, Some Disturbing Images, Some Drug Use, Strong Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: C-
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal [Brian Taylor], Michael Peña [Mike Zavala], Natalie Martinez [Gabby], Anna Kendrick [Janet], David Harbour [Van Hauser], Frank Grillo [Sarge], America Ferrera [Orozco], Cle Sloan [Mr. Tre], Jaime Fitzsimmons [Capt. Reese], Cody Horn [Davis]
  • Directed by: David Ayer [Director], David Ayer [Screenwriter], John Lesher [Producer], David Ayer [Producer], Nigel Sinclair [Producer], Matt Jackson [Producer], Randall Emmett [Executive Producer], Stepan Martirosyan [Executive Producer], Remington Chase [Executive Producer], Adam Kassan [Executive Producer], Chrisann Verges [Executive Producer], Guy East [Executive Producer], Tobin Armbrust [Executive Producer], Jake Gyllenhaal [Executive Producer], Roman Vasyanov [Cinematographer], Dody Dorn [Film Editor], David Sardy [Original Music], Devorah Herbert [Production Design], Kevin Constant [Art Director], Betty Berberian [Set Decoration], Mary Vernieu [Casting], Lindsay Graham [Casting]
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