David Ayer, 2012
The crooked cop has become such a Hollywood staple that it’s enough to make you wonder: surely there must be at least one honest officer in the LAPD? Writer-director David Ayer posits two. And so we follow Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña – nice guys on the mean streets of South Central – as they go about their duties, and bullshit, bicker and bond between calls. A distracting video diary device gives way to dizzying handheld camerawork in increasingly frenzied skirmishes as the pair stumble on growing piles of drugs and bodies. Naturalistic and likeable performances from Gyllenhaal and Peña make the bromance remarkably believable – and it pays dividends. End of Watch packs an emotional as well as a visceral punch.