No one makes cop movies like David Ayer. Born in Champaign but raised on the streets of LA’s South Central, he understands what makes policemen tick, so his screenplays always accumulate some emotional weight even when the situations consist of standard action-movie machismo. Most people know him for the hit thriller Training Day (2001), with Denzel Washington as a corrupt LAPD narcotics detective giving a bitter education to rookie cop Ethan Hawke. But Ayer also wrote the daring Dark Blue (2002), the only Hollywood movie to date about the 1992 riots that followed the Rodney King verdict; made his directing debut with Harsh Times (2005), a politically potent bummer about a former Army Ranger with PTSD who can’t adjust to civilian life; and delivered his best work to date with End of Watch (2012), a slice-of-life depiction of two patrolmen in South Central and the dangerous situations they race into blindly every day. Continue reading >>