Written and directed by David Ayer, End Of Watch follows the daily grind of two young LA police officers – Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) – who are partners and friends, and documents what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves. As the two discover a secret that makes them the target of the country’s most dangerous drug cartel, their skills, courage, and friendship are put to the test as we see the daily risks they take, and the price they and their families are forced to pay.
Filmed in a found footage documentary-style, End Of Watch is a hard-hitting police drama like no other. The use of a hand-held camera makes the film look like a real-life documentary which is where a majority of the powerfully gripping engagement comes from. Feeling like you are witnessing a series of true events as the characters go from case to case, we see some of the most tragic situations that cops have to deal with, so it’s hard not to be moved by the situations that these two officers face.
There isn’t much that happens in terms of plotline, especially considering its nearing-on two-hour runtime, but there’s still a huge depth to the film. This is thanks to its performances. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are brilliant in the leads, both giving excellent performances as believable cops who have a great chemistry as working partners. With a lovely supporting role from Anna Kendrick and a surprising one from America Ferrera, the raw performances will have you feeling every emotion going, and for that it is brilliant.
End Of Watch was released on DVD on 18th March.