'End of Watch' is truly gritty

There are no dirty cops in End of Watch, a tense, violent — and surprisingly affecting — police drama from writer David Ayer.

Ayer, who also directs, 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 with whom Los Angeles police officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) tangle when, during the course of their routine patrols, they inadvertently interfere with the local operation of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel.

On the down side, it's yet another movie using the "found footage" gimmick. Much of the film consists of shaky, hand-held images purportedly shot by Brian for a filmmaking class he's taking. Even the villains are of the YouTube generation, bringing a video camera along for a drive-by. It's an unnecessary distraction from the story.

Extras include a commentary with Ayer, deleted scenes and five featurettes: Fate with a Badge, In the Streets, Women on Watch, Watch Your Six and Honors.

End of Watch retails for $24.98 or $34.98 on Blu-ray.


These DVDs were also released this week:

New movies: Searching for Sugar Man; For a Good Time, Call ...; Pina; Nature Calls; The Imposter; Keep the Lights On; Nobody Walks; Officer Down; Abel's Field; Birders: The Central Park Effect; Death Race 3: Inferno; Hansel and Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft; Hard Romanticker; Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai; Tai Chi Zero.

TV: American Experience: The Abolitionists; The Men Who Built America; Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis; Wild Kratts: Lost at Sea; Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete Fourth and Final Season.

Older films: Deadly Blessing: Collector's Edition (1981).