End of Watch

Rated 4.0

Two cops (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña) patrol the mean gang-ridden streets of South Central Los Angeles with courage and edgy gallows humor, even when a routine traffic stop nets a bonanza of cash, firearms and smuggled drugs, putting them on the hit list of a ruthless Mexican cartel. Writer-director David Ayer adopts a found-footage style that’s become clichéd by now. But he uses it well, even abandoning it when necessary, and his movie has an intensity and immediacy that breathes new life into the conventions of the cop-buddy movie that serve as his basic template. Gyllenhaal and Peña have an effortless screen chemistry, which they share generously with Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez as their respective wives. David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrara and Cody Horn round out the excellent ensemble.