Denzel Washington Movies

10 Most Popular Denzel Washington Movies

Denzel Washington is an Oscar-winning actor who started his career in the early ‘90s. He is best known for his role in the crime thriller Training Day, which gave him an Oscar award for best actor. He is also revered for his professionalism and dedication to his craft. This article lists down the ten most memorable Denzel Washington movies.

Below are Denzel Washington movie ratings:

Movie Rating
Glory7.9
Remember the Titans7.8
American Gangster7.8
Man on Fire7.7
Training Day7.7
Philadelphia7.7
Malcolm X7.7
Inside Man7.6
The Hurricane7.6
The Great Debaters7.6

1. Glory (1989)

This drama war film also stars Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. It is about the first formal unit of the Union Army composed of African-American Women during the American Civil War, as told from the view of point of its white commanding officer. It won Washington the Oscar best supporting actor award for his role as Private Trip. The film was also critically acclaimed, winning awards from the Golden Globe and British Academy.

It wasn’t a big hit though as it took in $26 million at the box-office with a production budget of $18 million.

2. Remember the Titans (2000)

A sports drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin, the film is based on the true story of African-American coach Herman Boone (Washington) who attempts to introduce a racially diverse squad in a high school in Washington D.C.

The film was critically acclaimed for exploring topics like racism and discrimination. It went on to take in more than $130 million at the box office, which made it a financial success because it only had a $30 million budget.

3. American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster is about the criminal career of a North Carolina native, Frank Lucas, who smuggled heroin into the U.S. after returning from the Vietnam War. Washington is paired with another Oscar-winning actor in Russell Crowe. It also stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Ted Levine, and John Ortiz. This is the first team-up of Crowe and Washington since the 1995 hit, Virtuosity.

This was a big hit at the tills, taking home some $260 million in gate receipts.

4. Man on Fire (2004)

This is a film adaptation of the 1980 novel by A.J. Quinnell, with screenplay written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Tony Scott. Washington plays an alcoholic former CIA operative named John Creasy who goes on a killing spree after the family he was hired to protect is abducted in Mexico. It grossed more than $130 million.

5. Training Day (2001)

Hands down the best performance of Washington’s career was in this movie, where he played a corrupt cop paired with a rookie cop played by Ethan Hawke. It follows the two during a 24-hour period as they go through the gang-ridden neighborhoods of Los Angeles. This movie earned Washington the Oscar award for best actor, while Hawke was also nominated for best supporting actor. It wasn’t really a big hit at the box office, though, taking in around $100 million.

6. Philadelphia (1993)

Washington stars with Oscar winner Tom Hanks in this movie about AIDS. Hanks plays the role of a gay lawyer who is fired by his company because of his condition. He then sues the law firm and hires a homophobic lawyer played by Washington. This is one of the first mainstream movies on AIDS, and won Hanks his first Oscar award for best actor. It was also a huge hit, earning more than $200 million at the box office.

7. Malcolm X (1992)

Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, this is a biographical movie of the controversial and highly influential Black Nationalist leader. It was a financial success with a worldwide gross of $48 million. Washington was nominated for an Oscar award for best actor but lost to Al Pacino.

8. Inside Man (2006)

Spike Lee again directs Washington in this crime thriller about an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street. Washington is Detective Keith Frazer, the hostage negotiator while Clive Owen is Dalton Russell, who orchestrated the heist. It grossed over $184 million worldwide, aside from receiving praises from critics.

9. The Hurricane (1999)

The Hurricane is based on the story of boxer Rubin Carter, who was wrongly imprisoned for murder. It also depicts his life in prison and how his Canadian foster family changed his life after prison. This was not the biggest of hits of Denzel Washington flicks as it only grossed $75 million with a $50 million budget.

10. The Great Debaters (2007)

This movie was produced by TV personality Oprah Winfrey. The plot revolves around debate coach Melvin Tolson played by Washington at the historically black Wiley College, and his efforts to put his team on equal footing with other whites in the South during the 1930s. The team eventually fares well that they were able to compete with Harvard University. This was not the biggest of Denzel Washington movies in terms of gross as it only raked in $30 million at the box office.

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