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The Best Denzel Washington Movies

Updated on October 17, 2014

Oscar winning actor

Denzel Washington is my favorite actor. It is difficult to think of a performance in a movie that I did not enjoy. His movies tend to be intense dramas were he may be the bad guy or just as easily be the good guy. He is extremely versatile and brings weight to any character he plays.

He has won two Academy Awards. His first was best supporting actor for his role as Private Tripp in the Civil War drama "Glory". His other Oscar was one for best actor for his role as Detective Alonzo Harris in "Training Day".

He has starred in many of Hollywood's favorite movies such as Malcom X, Courage Under Fire, Philadelphia, American Gangster and the recent Safe House. Undoubtedly he is one of the most sought after actors and highly paid. Studios figure if they put Denzel in their movie it will be a box office hit and directors know they will have a professional actor to portray a character in their movie. He is truly one of the all-time great actors.

Photo: Theatrical release poster

glory
glory

Glory

Glory is my favorite Civil War movie. Denzel played the part of Private Tripp, a runaway slave from Tennessee that joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. This was the first unit comprised of black men to serve during the war. Tripp was an agitator that apparently had been through horrific enslavement. The most memorable scene of the movie was when Tripp was caught leaving the encampment. Unbeknownst to the command he was simply trying to find himself some shoes, but they assumed he was deserting. He was brought before Colonel Shaw who decided to proceed with the punishment of whipping. Upon removing Tripp's shirt it could be seen that he was the victim of previous beatings. In defiance Tripp stared at Shaw through the whole whipping until a tear dropped down Denzel's face. Quite a poignant scene.

This is a great movie that also starred such great actors as Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman and Andre Braugher.

Glory on Blueray

Glory [Blu-ray]
Glory [Blu-ray]

My favorite Civil War movie with my favorite actor.

 

Glory Whipping Scene

The emotional scene of Tripp getting whipped.

Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans

Funny, I'm not much of a football fan but some of the best movies are about football like "Remember the Titans". Denzel plays the coach of desegregated T. C. Williams High School in 1971. The movie shows the racial tension in during that era as white boys and black boys play together on their first desegregated team.

The movie shows how through adversity the boys came together to create an unbeaten football. The town, despite early misgivings, finally came around to support Caoch Boone and the rest of the boys.

This is a heart warming movie. With pletny of emotional highs and lows I can recommend it as one of the best sports movies ever.

Remember the Titans on Blue Ray

Remember the Titans (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Remember the Titans (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

If you like football movies then this one should be added to your collection. An inspiring movie of a coach, played by Denzel, coaching the high school's newly desegregated football team in 1971. Full of wonderful highs and low this is one of the great sport movies.

 

Who's Your Daddy?

Coach Boone setting the tone for football training camp. Funny but serious scene

training day
training day

Training Day

Surely the most gritty role that Denzel has played in the movies. He won a well-deserved Oscar for his role as Detective Alonzo Harris. The story involves a day on the streets with Harris evaluating Jake Hoyt wh is trying to further his career.

Through the mean streets of L.A. Jake must play along as Harris, being a dirty cop and owing money to the Russian gangs, messes with Jake and uses him as a pawn in his survival.

This is Denzel as a bag guy. A real bad dude. He is a corrupt cop who has gotten in too deep and during a day as a training officer tries to fix his problems with the L.A. underworld of gangs. A very gritty movie.

Training Day on Blu Ray

Training Day [Blu-ray]
Training Day [Blu-ray]

This is the movie that earned Denzel an Academy Award. A gritty and amazing performance. If you want to see what a bad guy Denzel looks like then this is your movie.

 

Oscar Winning Performance in Training Day

Denzel's character defiant to the end

crimson tide
crimson tide

Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide is a military drama starring Denzel along with Gene Hackman. They are sailors aboard the submarine Crimson Tide. This movie a tour de force of two great actors. It is truly amazing to watch these two actors together as they vie for command of the ship.

Denzel's character is the submarine's executive officer. He is new and has to prove himself both to his new crew as well as the command as played by Hackman. During deployment they receive word that a faction in Russia has taken control of a nuclear base and threatens to nuke the U.S. The Crimson Tide is the first line of defense and they are getting poorly communicated messages to determine if they should fire their nukes before the Russians have time to fire theirs.

Hackman wants to launch. Denzel says to wait and see if they can verify the intent of the message. The movie then becomes a battle of the will of these two men for control of the sub.

Crimson Tide on Blue Ray

Crimson Tide [Blu-ray]
Crimson Tide [Blu-ray]

Crimson Tide is an exciting military thriller. Starring Denzel and Gene Hackman, these two fine actors are at the top of their game as their characters try to wrestle control of the submarine during a nuclear strike crisis. The movie is tense and exciting and it is truly amazing watching these two act opposite each other.

 

Crimson Tide - Hackman Versus Washington

Initial confrontation between Hackman and Washington.

book of eli
book of eli

The Book of Eli

In The Book of Eli, Denzel plays Eli who is living in a post-apocalyptic earth. He has a very important book that he is trying to get to a safe location on the west coast of the United States. Along the way he demonstrates his survival skills. There are many amazing fighting scenes were he shows off his athletic prowess.

He ends up in a town that is controlled by Gary Oldman's character. He is savvy enough to recognize that Eli has the last remaining copy of the bible. He hopes to use the book for power. Eli will not let that happen.

I really like this movie. People who enjoy survival type movies will enjoy it as well as those that appreciate a spiritual message in their movie. There is some surprises along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

The Book of Eli on Blu Ray

The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]
The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]

The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic tale of a man on a journey. He carries an important book to safe keeping in the west coast of the U.S. He has amazing fighting skills to protect the book. An exciting and rather inspiring movie.

 

Denzel Washington Movies

Do you have a favorite Denzel Washington movie?

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    • fitsara profile image

      fitsara 5 years ago

      Love most anything that he is in but I really liked his performance in Glory.