Every day, there is a war being waged on America's inner city streets--a war between residents, drug dealers and the people sworn to protect one from the other. This war has its casualties, none greater than L.A.P.D. Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), a 13-year veteran narcotics officer whose questionable methodology blurs the line between legality and corruption. His optimism has long since been chipped away by his tour of duty in the streets, where fighting crime by the book can get you killed, and getting the job done often requires Alonzo and his colleagues to break the laws they are empowered to enforce.
A gritty, realistic drama set in the morally ambiguous world of undercover police investigation, Training Day shadows Alonzo as he tests the resolve of idealistic rookie Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), who has one day and one day only to prove himself to his fiercely charismatic superior. Over the next 24 hours, Jake will be pulled deeper and deeper into the ethical mire of Alonzo's logic as both men put their lives and career on the line to serve their conflicting notions of justice. 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? Or do we risk our security by insisting that those empowered to protect us do so within the boundaries of the law?
At a time when police across the nation are battling a public image of rampant corruption, narcotics use, planting evidence and excess brutality while patrolling the meanest streets of America, Training Day paints a gripping and realistic portrait of the war taking place on the urban front lines--and just how high the costs of this battle can be.