End of Watch

Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 18+

Disturbingly violent but heroic depiction of L.A. cops.

R 2012 109 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 22 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 14+

Intense, heroic and touching cop story has tons of language and rather shocking/disturbing scenes

End of Watch (2012) follows two city cops through their daily watches, until, due to their investigations, they become entangled by a dangerous cartel. The film can at times be very disturbing, and in the same way shockingly bloody and the language is constant. Despite the mature content, the main characters always put others before themselves, saving lives and putting a good effort to help their community. VIOLENCE: SEVERE Two men fight, throwing (lighter) punches at each other and tackling each other to the ground. Another man cheers for them to keep fighting. Nobody is hurt and we hear it ends in a friendly way. There is a drive-by shooting early on in the film, we see lots of shooting and gunfire, and afterwards a man is shown shot and bleeding on the ground with blood pooled around him and coming out of his shirt. Two babies are found in a closet with their mouths and hands taped and bound, presumably to stop them from making noise, they are unharmed physically, however. The police cut them loose and the parents are restrained and arrested violently. An officer is shown sitting on a curb with a knife protruding from his eye, the wound and knife sticking out is shown up-close, and it is very unsettling and shocking. After we see this, two cops walk behind a house to find a large man violently beating and punching a woman’s face in the ground, the cops hold a shotgun to him and restrain him, and we see the woman’s fave caved in and bloody, we also see that she is an officer. This is a disturbing and violent scene. During a car stop, a man pulls out a gun and tries to shoot a cop, but the gun just fires into the air and the man is restrained. Two police run into a burning building to save 3 young children, everyone is okay but one of the cops almost suffocates. Two cops enter a house and restrain a man when they find a room full of dozens of young children inside for human trafficking, they are shown scared, without proper clothing and clearly suffering. This scene is quite shocking. When two cops enter a house for a welfare check, they discover a dead body in a bag with flies circling it, described as a woman in her mid-70s. However, when they walk into another room, they suddenly discover countless severed limbs, heads and bodies with blood splattered everywhere and threats written on the walls from the cartel who did this. This scene is extremely graphic and disturbing, in fact the most disturbing in the film, as the severed heads and limbs are shown up-close and in full detail. Afterwards they say that forms of torture where used to kill the victims. During the intense shootout at the end, we see lots of violence and action such as, a man shot in the hand with blood shown, a man shot several times through the chest splattering blood all over the wall behind him, a man shot in the head in his car splattering blood all over his car window (shown from different angles), a man shot in the head spraying a mist of blood out from behind his head, a cop is shown shot in the chest/shoulder with blood all over him and coming out of his mouth and face as his buddy tries to save him before he (his partner) is violently shot repeatedly by several gangsters armed with assault rifles, blood sprays all out of his back and body, killing him, but his partner survives. After the gangsters shoot him, they are cornered by police who repeatedly shoot them dead, spraying out some blood and killing them all. This scene is bloody, but not really disturbing or graphic like other scenes in this movie. LANGUAGE: SEVERE Constant, pervasive language. 326 uses of “f*ck” including “motherf*cker”, 100+ uses of “sh*t”, use of “c*ck”, “b*tch”, “d*ck”, “n*gga”, “p*ssy”, “a**hole”, “a**”, “godd*mn”, “d*mn” and “hell”. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Lots of sexual references throughout the film, references to sexual positions a no hand jobs with gestures and hand motions, references to “giving p*ssy”, “banging”, “f*cking” and others. A man tells a story about how he and his girlfriend where about to have sex, but instead he watched her parents have sex from under the bed. These never get overly graphic or frequent though and used in comedic effect. DRUG CONTENT: MILD Some drug use, at a party we see smoking of marijuana and at one point a woman blows her joint into a cops face, we see drugs laying on a table with a man, face down on the couch, accompanying them, we see a man cut open a joint revealing the marijuana, boxes and cans of drugs are shown. A main plot line involves a drug cartel. 14+ for strong violent and disturbing images, pervasive language, sexual references and drug content

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 13+


This movie is only rated R for violence and language.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 21, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: January 22, 2013
  • Cast: Anna Kendrick, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena
  • Director: David Ayer
  • Studio: Open Road Films
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references, and some drug use
  • Last updated: February 17, 2023

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