From the desk of The Movie Snob.
End of Watch (A-). I had heard that this cop movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code) and Michael Pena (Babel) was good, but it was even better than I was expecting. Gyllenhaal and Pena are Brian and Mike, a couple of ordinary cops in Los Angeles, and basically the movie plays like a documentary about life on the beat. (Brian is supposedly filming stuff for a film class, but that has no bearing on the plot.) I have no idea how accurate the movie is to real life, but it felt very real. Brian and Mike aren’t sticklers for the rules, but they are plainly decent guys who enjoy being cops and who are good at their job. Along with plenty of tense moments in the field, we also get to see glimpses of their personal lives, with Mike’s pregnant wife and Brian’s new girlfriend (an unexpected Anna Kendrick, 50/50). America Ferrera leaves Ugly Betty far behind as another cop on the force who turns up from time to time. Suspense begins to build as the two buddies unwittingly cross a drug cartel that is trying to solidify a base in south-central L.A., and by the end I was on the edge of my seat. I thought it was a very interesting movie with some fine performances. It’s not for the squeamish, but I highly recommend it.