There is no actor who commands the attention of the viewers like Denzel Washington. He is a rare talent who transcends whatever role he plays. His acting is so complex and realistic that you can see the character coming to life right in front of you, whether he terrifies you with a threat or helps you in adjusting your moral compass. With a wide variety of roles he has played, Washington has proven himself to be a versatile actor. Here are the 15 best Denzel Washington movies of all time:
15. He Got Game (1998)
This movie revolves around a man who is convicted of murdering his wife but is released for a week to convince his son to play for governor’s Alma mater and in exchange, his sentence will be shortened. Washington managed to turn this unrealistic story into a strong story about a father-son bond. The performance was heart touching and you would feel the powerful emotions of a father trying to improve his son’s life.
This movie opened at the first spot on its opening weekend and earned a total of $21.5 million. Washington earned a number of nominations for his role, including an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture.
14. Courage Under Fire (1996)
Washington plays the role of an army officer who is investigating the worthiness of a deceased female commander for the Medal of Honor. Dejected after his own fatal mistake which was hushed by his seniors, he plunges deeper into the case and realizes all is not what it seems to be. This movie opened at rank three at the box office and earned a total of $100,860,818.
With truly an outstanding performance loaded with anguish and grief, Washington gave one of his best performances in this movie. He earned a number of nominations, including BSFC Award for Best Actor, and CFCA Award for Best Actor. He also won a number of awards including Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture and Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best Actor.
13. Devil in A Blue Dress (1995)
In this neo-noir classic, Washington dives in the land of dope, dames, and scandal. Trying to save himself from financial troubles, he agrees to find a missing girl but he soon realizes that there is something massive brewing up and he has stepped into a murderous scandal.
With electrifying performances, especially by Washington, this movie earned a lot of positive critical acclaim. Washington earned a few award nominations for his performance, including CFCA Award for Best Actor.
12. Philadelphia (1993)
This movie showcases one of the best performances by the two legendary actors Hollywood has to offer – Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks. Washington plays a lawyer, the only lawyer who is willing to help Hanks to file a case of discrimination against the company that fired him upon finding out about his homosexuality and HIV status. Impressive performances by both the leads but unfortunately Washington’s terrific performance didn’t earn him much award nominations. However, the critics highly praised his acting skills.
This movie was a massive success at the box office and grossed $206,678,440 worldwide and was the 12th highest grossing movie of 1993.
11. Flight (2012)
This movie revolves around an alcoholic pilot who managed to save the lives of almost all his passengers with a bold landing. With this accident, he vows to change his habits but it also leads to an investigation that exposes his drug and alcohol addiction.
Another amazing performance by Washington which earned him an Oscar nomination Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, along with winning a number of awards, including AAFCA Award for Best Actor. This movie was a success at box office, earning more than $161 million worldwide.
10. Remember the Titans (2000)
This movie narrates the true story of a newly appointed African-American coach of a high school team about to start their first season as a racially integrated team. This is a truly inspirational story with an outstanding performance of Washington, as the coach, making it even more heartwarming.
This movie was a box office success, grossing $136,706,683 worldwide. Washington won the BET Award for Best Actor and received a number of award nominations including Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Drama.
9. The Great Debaters (2007)
This movie is based on true events. Washington plays the role of a professor at predominately black Wiley College in 1935 Texas. He forms the first debate team of the school. The team goes on to challenge Harvard in the championship.
Washington has given another truly amazing performance in this role of a professor. He won the Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. This movie opened at 11th rank in the box office and grossed $30,236,407 in the US alone.
8. Unstoppable (2010)
This movie is an action thriller which will keep you hooked right from the start till the end. The story revolves around an out of control train which is carrying tons of fuel and is headed straight to the city. A veteran and a newbie team up to stop a catastrophe from happening.
Washington and Pine have a great chemistry together. Washington’s portrayal of a pro, who has to teach his young counterpart his job but whom he doesn’t trust much is spot on. He shows the right amount of pride in his job as well as the bitterness at the fact that he can easily be replaced by his boss. This movie grossed $167,805,466 worldwide.