9 Best Denzel Washington Movies Ranked

9 Best Denzel Washington Movies Ranked

Denzel Washington is undeniably one of the most talented and versatile actors of our time, with a career spanning decades and numerous acclaimed performances. From intense dramas to gripping thrillers, Washington has consistently delivered captivating performances that have left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. In this blog post, we’ll explore nine of his best movies, ranked based on critical acclaim, box office success, and cultural significance.

1. Training Day (2001)

“Training Day” is a gritty crime thriller that showcases Washington’s remarkable acting prowess. He plays the role of Alonzo Harris, a corrupt narcotics detective who takes a rookie cop under his wing. Washington’s portrayal of the morally ambiguous and manipulative Alonzo earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, solidifying his status as one of Hollywood’s elite performers.

2. Malcolm X (1992)

Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is a powerful biographical drama that chronicles the life of the iconic civil rights leader. Washington delivers a tour-de-force performance as Malcolm X, capturing his evolution from a small-time criminal to a charismatic and influential figure in the fight for racial equality. His portrayal is both nuanced and compelling, earning widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

3. Glory (1989)

“Glory” is a historical drama that follows the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, one of the first African-American units to fight in the Civil War. Washington shines as Private Trip, a defiant and courageous soldier who faces prejudice and adversity on the battlefield. His performance is raw and emotionally resonant, earning him his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

4. Fences (2016)

Adapted from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Fences” is a poignant family drama set in 1950s Pittsburgh. Washington not only stars in the film but also directs it, delivering a masterful portrayal of Troy Maxson, a former baseball player struggling with dashed dreams and familial responsibilities. His performance is deeply affecting, capturing the complexities of race, class, and identity in postwar America.

5. Philadelphia (1993)

“Philadelphia” is a groundbreaking drama that tackles the AIDS epidemic and homophobia in the legal profession. Washington plays Joe Miller, a homophobic lawyer who reluctantly takes on the case of Andrew Beckett, a gay man with AIDS who was wrongfully terminated from his job. Washington’s portrayal is sensitive and nuanced, showcasing his character’s transformation from prejudice to compassion.

6. The Hurricane (1999)

In “The Hurricane,” Washington portrays Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly convicted of murder who fights to prove his innocence. Washington delivers a powerhouse performance, capturing Carter’s resilience and unwavering belief in justice. His portrayal is both heartbreaking and inspiring, shedding light on the injustices faced by African Americans within the criminal justice system.

7. Remember the Titans (2000)

“Remember the Titans” is a feel-good sports drama based on the true story of a high school football team overcoming racial tensions in Virginia during the 1970s. Washington stars as Coach Herman Boone, who leads the team to victory while teaching valuable lessons about unity and respect. His performance is charismatic and inspiring, making “Remember the Titans” a timeless classic.

8. Inside Man (2006)

Directed by Spike Lee, “Inside Man” is a stylish and suspenseful heist thriller that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Washington plays Detective Keith Frazier, who is tasked with negotiating the release of hostages during a bank robbery. His performance is sharp and engaging, adding depth to the cat-and-mouse game between the robbers and the authorities.

9. The Equalizer (2014)

“The Equalizer” is a gripping action thriller that showcases Washington’s commanding screen presence. He stars as Robert McCall, a former black ops operative who seeks redemption by helping those in need. Washington brings intensity and gravitas to the role, making McCall a formidable and compelling hero. The film’s thrilling action sequences and Washington’s standout performance make it a must-watch for fans of the genre.


Denzel Washington’s filmography is a testament to his unparalleled talent and versatility as an actor. From intense dramas to gripping thrillers, he has consistently delivered captivating performances that have earned him critical acclaim and widespread recognition. Whether portraying real-life figures or fictional characters, Washington brings depth, authenticity, and emotional resonance to every role he undertakes, making him one of the most revered actors in Hollywood. As evidenced by the films on this list, his contributions to cinema are both significant and enduring, solidifying his legacy as a true cinematic icon.

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