Training Day (2001)

There are few actors out there that I would watch performing paint dry. Denzel Washington is one of those actors. No stranger to being lauded, he would pick up his second Oscar playing a memorable bad guy in 2001’s Training Day.

"a thrilling ride into hell"

Officer Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is an eager young recruit to Alonzo Harris’s (Washington) elite narcotics squad. In a baptism of fire, Hoyt is thrown into a dark world where the lines between those who enforce the law and those who break it aren’t so clear. When Alonzo’s true motivations for bringing Hoyt in are made clear, the young policeman begins a fight for his reputation, even his very life, before his corrupt boss ensnares him forever.

This corrupt cop story, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is hardly a new concept. But, with the acting chops of Washington, Hawke and Scott Glenn you get a thrilling ride into hell. The reveals aren’t revelatory (Hoyt is being set up!) but how they get there is interesting and at time surgical in its precision. While the plotting is far from original, the crisp characterisations (especially some of the dialogue) really immerse you into this awful world.Training Day (2001)

There is some stunt casting (Macy Gray and Snoop Dog) but within the confines of the story’s locale it doesn’t jar. In fact, it works! This was also one of the first big budget movies for a little-known actor by the name of Eva Mendes. The likes of Glenn, Barry and Berenger elevate bit parts to something memorable and aid, even compliment, in giving Washington something to scene chew. And talk about scene chewing, Cliff Curtis, Raymond Cruz and Noel Gugliemi turn in utterly terrifying performances as LA gangbangers. All the performances immerse you and land believably.

This was Fuqua’s third theatrical release, after The Replacement Killers and Bent, and he had well and truly nailed down his style in this one. His use of Dutch angles and symmetrical framing really helps to evoke Hoyt’s growing anxiety. Loved his work in this one.

This is a gripping day in the life tale that puts its protagonist through the ringer. Always on point, never lulling, and with award winning/nominated performances, this is a must see for this kind of flick. This is a premium ticket to an anxiety causing drama that grips you to the end credits. Of all Washington’s flicks this is still a standout for me.

4/5 stars


Training Day (2001)

4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- February 28, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English SDH; French; German SDH; Italian SDH; Japanese; Spanish; Cantonese; Czech; Danish; Dutch; Finnish; Korean; Mandarin (Traditional); Norwegian; Romanian; Swedish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A


The blu-ray for this one was always a little on the soft side for me (actually, it sucked!). This new native 2160p scan of the original camera negative produces a far superior viewing experience. Everything, from fine detail, contrast and especially the washed out blacks of yore are spectacularly better in this transfer. The HDR10 delivers a bolder more immersive picture over all (even against the 1080p disc included with the same transfer). There is also and noticeable shift in colour timing, that is closer to the theatrical presentation I saw back in the day. It leaned heavily into the cooler greens of the spectrum and is noticeably different than the previous release. This is a no-brainer for an upgrade. If you are a Washington tragic, and want the best version of his films, then this is it!


We get a brand new DOLBY Atmos 7.1 mix! It sets itself apart from the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix (not included) every bit as much as the video upgrade. Overheads are used judiciously but effectively in environmental and ambient ways. Dialogue is crisper and centre focused. It delivers throaty base and undertones that far outstrip the previous releases. It’s a perfectly balanced, effective mix that is also worth the double/triple dip for this title.



  • With director Antoine Fuqua

Special Features:

Smiles and cries’ to quote Hoyt. In this section it’s all tears. Warners have ported over the same limited tat from the previous releases. Not even a new commentary! SNORE!

  • HDR Presentation of the FIlm
  • DOLBY ATMOS Audio Track
  • Additional scenes
  • Alternate ending
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Training Day: Crossing the Line - Featurette
  • Two music videos: Nelly's "#1" and Pharoahe Monch's "Got You"
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles for the main feature

4k rating divider

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars

Film Details

Training Day (2001)

MPAA Rating: R.
122 mins
: Antoine Fuqua
David Ayer
Denzel Washington; Ethan Hawke; Scott Glenn
: Action | Crime

Memorable Movie Quote: "To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 5, 2001
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 28, 2023.
Synopsis: Police drama about a veteran officer who escorts a rookie on his first day with the LAPD's tough inner-city narcotics unit. "Training Day" is a blistering action drama that asks the audience to decide what is necessary, what is heroic and what crosses the line in the harrowing gray zone of fighting urban crime. Does law-abiding law enforcement come at the expense of justice and public safety? If so, do we demand safe streets at any cost?


Training Day (2001)