Taylor and Zavala are awarded the Medal of Valor after rescuing three children from a house fire.Upon further investigating a house, they arrest a man who is also in possession of several ornate firearms, and is guarding a cell full of human trafficking victims.Instead of wearing the roles like costumes or uniforms, they let the job seep into their skin." An aspect of the film criticized in numerous reviews was its handheld camerawork and cinematography.Richard Corliss wrote for Time that the found footage style of cinematography "borders on the ludicrous" and that "the tactic fatally substitutes photo realism for fauxto realism".Shortly after Janet gets pregnant, the officers are baited into chasing a reckless driver into an apartment complex, where they are ambushed by the same group of Latino gang members.They fight their way into an alley, where Taylor is shot in the chest.Olly Richards, writing for Empire, gave the film 4 out of 5 stars and summarized it as "a collection of cop-movie clichés but presented with sufficient flair and strong performances that the ride is enough, even if its on rails".
Lisa Schwarzbaum, who gave the film an A-, described it as "one of the best American cop movies I've seen in a long time [and] also one of the few I've seen that pay serious attention to what cop life feels like, both on and off duty".
The next day, the officers perform a welfare check on an elderly woman.
In her house, they discover drugs, dismembered corpses, and a message from the cartel.
The website's consensus states: "End of Watch has the energy, devotion to characters, and charismatic performances to overcome the familiar pitfalls of its genre and handheld format." Film critic James Berardinelli described End of Watch as "satisfying and emotionally potent ...
a good, gritty drama of the sort that seems increasingly rare within the thriller genre", giving the film 3.5 out of 4 stars.