Tough, gritty and excellent-a hard buddy movie,
This review is from: End of Watch [DVD]  (DVD)
The first point here is that whoever gave this a 15 cert should have their blue pencil taken away and ritually broken. I have never seen anything more deserving of an 18 cert. Outside of a Tim Minchin lyric, I've never come across such a concentration of f words. It may be accurate in the gang culture depicted, I don't know, but this should be an 18.
OK, rant over.
I'm rarely happy with point of view camera movies, but this one generally works in that respect, and gives a bit of reasoning for the POV filming.
The story is tough, gritty, all that and more, and mostly pretty convincing. You could easily believe a bad LA precinct is like this. The bad guys' shooting is as bad as Star Wars Stormtroopers, and two scenes are almost risible because of that.
However, there are great scenes, the dancing-best dance scene I've seen outside of "Billy Elliot".
The performances, excellent; I now have to remember to think of Jake Gyllenhaal not one of the best young actors, but simply one of the best actors around. Michal Pena, excellent, and the supporting cast on the cops' side superb. Less convincing were the gang members, as I said earlier.
In some ways, it ran for me like a super hard-edged remake of "Fort Apache, the Bronx" - high praise as that's genuinely one of my favourite cop movies.
Oh, and some really good elements in the ending.
The amount of swearing- sorry to come back to it- may stop people watching it- I certainly had to watch it on my own. So, if you watch it on my say-so (I can't believe anyone would), don't blame me, I'd have liked less f words, too.
BUT: a damned good film, too flawed for five stars, but a very solid four.
When I remember to review "Donnie Darko", I think JG will have an average of 4 2/3 stars for movies I'll have reviewed him in. He is brilliant.