Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time

One of the greatest and most iconic actors ever is Denzel Washington. Before he became an Oscar winner and an A-list movie star, he was similar to many enthusiasts of drama back in high school. However, he chose to pursue a career in acting. Today, we have listed the best Denzel Washington movies of all time for you to watch. Get out your popcorns and let’s get started.

It all began when Denzel Washington was studying journalism at Fordham University. Upon graduation, he went to San Francisco and had big dreams. Lucky for all of us, his dreams came true. His first acting job was in Wings of the Morning, a summer stock theater production at St. Mary’s City. He acted as Mathias Da Sousa, the historical figure. He won a NAACP award for his wonderful performance as Best Supporting Actor. It was only the beginning of a long-lasting career for Denzel Washington. When he won that award, he started getting roes in TV shows and movies such as Carbon Copy (1981), For Queen & Country (1988), and Cry Freedom (1987).

Since he has acted in more than 60 movies throughout the course of his career and shining, it is obvious that he is one of the greatest stars in Hollywood. Here are the best must-see Denzel Washington performances that you do not want to miss. Let’s get to it.

Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time

The are only a few actors that have the same acclaim and level of fame as Denzel Washington. He is known as one of the greatest actors of all time courtesy of his incredible performances and beloved movies for many decades now. Two of his performances won Oscar awards and for his performance in The Tragedy of Macbeth, he got his ninth nomination. For those interested in checking his work out, here are the best Denzel Washington films of all time.

11. Training Day 2001

Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time
  • Genre: Crime/Thriller
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Eva Mendes, Tom Berenger
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 74%, IMDb 7.7

One of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time is Training Day. After 38 years, there was another black performer who won the Academy Award for Best Actor following Sidney Poitier’s amazing victory for Lilies of the Field 1963. It is great and fitting that Washington won the award at the same night that Poitier receive his honorary Oscar. Washington plays the role of Alonzo Harris in the movie Training Day. Harris is a rogue LAPD detective who is tasked with showing an amateur the ropes in a first day that is full of action. Washington was excellent in his somewhat villainous performance. the director of the movie was Antoine Fuqua, with whom Washington reunited on The Equalizer 2014 and The Magnificent Seven 2016.

Read more: Best Thriller Movies of All Time

10. Flight 2012

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Nadine Velazquez
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 77%, IMDb 7.3

Another one of the best Denzel Washington films ever is Flight, which came out in 2012. It marked the 11th year of being away from the Oscar race for Denzel Washington following his win for Training Day 2001. It was definitely worth the wait as his performance as the alcoholic pilot was outstanding. He saves all of the passengers with a daring landing when on the sauce. However, playing the role of a drunk man did not bring him an Oscar award as he lost to Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln. Despite that, it is one of the greatest Denzel Washington movies ever that you should not miss.

9. Philadelphia 1993

  • Genre: Drama/Trial Drama
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Antonio Banderas, Mary Steenburgen, Buzz Kilman
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 7.7

Although most of the praise for this Oscar-winning film of Jonathan Demme goes to the incredible performance of Tom Hanks as a gay lawyer dying from AIDS, Washington’s performance is just as fascinating as his. He plays the role of the homophobic ambulance chaser tasked with representing him when his law firm wrongfully terminates him. unfortunately, Washington did not get any recognition for his performance but that does not make it any less of an amazing role for Washington. Don’t miss this wonderful film as it is one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time.

Read more: Best Drama Movies of All Time

8. American Gangster 2007

  • Genre: Drama/Crime
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Lymari Nadal, Russell Crowe
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 7.8

Ridley Scott directed this gangster epic, in which Russell Crowe plays the role of a NYPD cop named Richie Roberts. He is criticized and banished by his colleagues for handing over a million dollars that he found in a gangster’s car. In addition, he is tasked with an unenviable job and has to track down suave drug smuggler Frank Lucas, portrayed by Denzel Washington. The two start a deadly game of cat and mouse. This movie proved once again that Washington is great when playing bad. This is yet another one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time on this list.

Read more: Best Russell Crowe Movies of All Time

7. The Hurricane 1999

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Director: Norman Jewison
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Rubin Carter, Rod Steiger, Live Schreiber
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 83%, IMDb 7.6

The next one on the list of the best Denzel Washington movies ever is The Hurricane, where he performs the role of Rubin Hurricane Carter, with a knockout performance. His character is a boxer that is accused of murder but he did not kill anyone. although this movie appeared to be bringing Washington his second Oscar award, he lost it to Kevin Spacey for the movie American Beauty. Despite that, it is a wonderful film and we highly recommend it to Washington’s fans and those who are into this genre.

6. Inside Man 2006

  • Genre: Crime/Thriller
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86%, IMDb 7.6

Without a doubt, one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time is Inside Man in which he collaborated with Spike Lee. This is the most recent project they had with one another to this day and it is also one of their greatest movies ever. Washington plays the role of a hostage negotiator who finds himself in a bank robbery situation. He gets confronted with a thief, performed by Clive Owen, who has bigger plans in mind. Washington plays effortlessly cool in the leading character so don’t miss Inside Man as it is among the best Denzel Washington movies ever made.

5. Crimson Tide 1995

  • Genre: War/Action
  • Director: Tony Scott
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, James Gandolfini, Viggo Mortensen
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 89%, IMDb 7.3

The fifth one on the list of the best Denzel Washington films ever is Crimson Tide, which marks his first collaboration with director Tony Scott. This was also one of the most important collaborations of his career. This war thriller has Washington performing as a First Officer on a submarine and his disagreement with his commander, played by Gene Hackman, can actually mean the difference between war and peace. The two actors’ strong performances are fun to watch as they go toe-to-toe.

Read more: Best Action Movies of 2022

4. Malcom X 1992

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Giancarlo Esposito
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 89%, IMDb 7.7

Malcom X is yet another one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time, in which Spike Lee gave him the role of his life. This biographical epic tells the controversial story of a Black Nationalist leader. Washington performs amazingly well in the role of Malcom and brings us the full scope of his remarkable life, from back when he was a small hustler to when he became a minister in the Nation of Islam. This movie is way more than just a good history lesson as this work of art is vibrant with great cinematography by Ernest Dickerson. Despite deserving dozens of Oscar nominations, it just received two. Although Washington lost to Al Pacino for Best Actor, he has proven who the greatest actor of 1992 was.

Read more: Best Al Pacino Movies of All Time

3. Fences 2016

Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time
  • Genre: Drama/Historical film
  • Director: Denzel Washington
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley, Jovan Adepo
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 92%, IMDb 7.2

Denzel Washington directed the movie Fences and led it to Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Picture. Fences is an adaptation August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Washington and Viola Davis play the role of a couple who have been married for a long time and they are struggling to raise their son, portrayed by Jovan Adepo in the 50s. Instead of running away from the stage roots, Washington applies them, representing a dynamite actor’s showcase. For this movie, he won his first SAG Award as Best Actor. However, he lost the Academy Award to Casey Affleck’s Manchester by the Sea. Despite that, Fences is among one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time.

2.The Tragedy of Macbeth 2021

  • Genre: Drama/War
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Kathryn Hunter, Harry Melling, Brendan Gleeson
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 92%, IMDb 7.1

In addition to being one of the best actors in movies in the last four decades, Washington has been shining on stage as well, with his Tony Award for August Wilson’s Fences and being a nominee for The Iceman Cometh. Therefore, the fact that The Tragedy of Macbeth was such a success is no surprise. Playing as the villain, he is given a chance to showcase his acting in this William Shakespeare play. The fact that Washington collaborated with Joel Coen helped make this movie a masterpiece as well. He performs the role of MacBeth, a loyal soldier to the king whose ambitions are leading him to darkness. This was a great and haunting take on this classic work and it is one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time.

1. Glory 1989

Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time
  • Genre: Drama/War
  • Director: Edward Zwick
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, Morgan freeman, Matthew Broderick
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 94%, IMDb 7.8

The movie Glory is based on a true story from many high school history books. It was directed by Edward Zwick, who made a powerful war drama telling the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. This is the first all-Black unit during the Civil War, whose members expressed great courage notwithstanding being dealt with as less than second-class citizens. Although Matthew Broderick performs excellently as the white commanding the group, the most outstanding performances come from Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. Freeman plays the role of a Sergeant, and Washington won his first Oscar after this movie for Best Supporting Actor. This is indeed one of the best Denzel Washington movies of all time.

Read more: Best Morgan Freeman Movies of All Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *