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Police drama with grit
There are no dirty cops in “End of Watch,” a tense, violent — and surprisingly affecting — police drama from writer David Ayer, who also directs. He has created a portrait of law enforcement under pressure that proves as ennobling as it is gritty.
Rapper Yahira “Flakiss” Garcia plays a scary gangbanger that L.A.P.D. officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) tangle with when, in the course of their routine patrols, they inadvertently interfere with the local operation of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel.
On the downside, it’s yet another movie utilizing the “found footage” gimmick. Much of the film consists of shaky, handheld images purportedly shot by Brian for a filmmaking class he’s taking. It’s an unnecessary distraction from the story, which is a good one.
The DVD and Blu-ray (Universal, $25-$35) include commentary, deleted scenes and five featurettes.
Colin Covert’s take: The actors’ outstanding work in spasms of ferocity and moments of gentleness makes “End of Watch” a victory of craft over clichés.
Also out Tuesday:
Movies: “Death Race 3: Inferno,” “The Paperboy,” “Searching for Sugar Man,” “Tai Chi Zero,” “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.”
TV: “The Abolitionists,” “The Men Who Built America,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” (Season 4).
Blu-ray debuts: “Deadly Blessing,” “Pina,” “The Quiet Man,” “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.”
Poll: Who’s your favorite character from the original “Star Trek” series?