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What’s Your Favorite Denzel Washington Film Or Performance?

What's Your Favorite Denzel Washington Film Or Performance?

We’ve had all kinds of smackdown debates and conversations here at S&A about films, directors, actors and actresses but one person that’s virtually never come up in all those discussions is Denzel Washington and with good reason…he’s the consummate actor.  You may or may not like a film he appears in but you can always count on him giving a riveting performance.

So, since he turns 57 today, I though it would be nice to find out what’s your favorite role and/or film he’s been in?

Often, films like A Soldier’s Story, Malcolm X and Devil In A Blue Dress are usually on the top of everyone’s list but what about Mississippi Masala or Cry Freedom?  Does anyone remember St. Elsewhere?

To start things off, I’d have to say Malcolm X and Training Day definitely top my list.  I completely doubted his ability to play Malcolm.  In fact, I had to be steamrolled into seeing the flick but was utterly shocked by his performance.  Training Day is a favorite not only for his performance but his willingness to step outside his comfort zone and be the bad guy.

So what’s on your list?  Below are clips of the man in action.

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just like the other article i stick by my choices of glory and mo better blues. In mo' better blues it was the first time i'd seen a complex -multilayered sexy black man EVER portrayed on screen.


With apologizes to Malcolm X, Mo' Better Blues and Devil in a Blue Dress, Courage Under Fire is one of my favorite Denzel Washington films. It shows how well he works with other actors and allow them to have moments. You see this with Don Cheadle in Devil in Blue Dress or his rivalry with Wesley Snipes in Mo' Better Blues. In Courage Under Fire, I don't want to say that he made any actor better, but everybody shines.


What he should have won the Oscar for… Malcolm X.


I'm tellin' ya. This is my favorite role of Denzel's, too. He nailed it—with the help of Walter Mosley, that is.


This is a hard one.

O.K I really enjoyed his performances in: John Q, Antoine Fisher, Philadelphia, Fallen, Training Day & The Hurricane. I can't pick one. I love them ALL!


I can't pick a favorite, but I love that man's walk.


Devil In A Blue Dress


Mississippi Masala


He make me cry in Cry Freedom, this film is on of his best act. I love him because he can plays everything.


Well Denzel performance in John Q is better than most actors finest work.


In no particular order: Mo' Better Blues, Malcolm X, Training Day, Antwan Fisher, A Soldier's Story. I hated American Gangster, but I liked Denzel's performance in it.


I can't really choose, but I'm heartened to see that no one picked that damned ridiculous John Q.


For me, it's most definitely Malcolm X.


Glory. Also enjoyed Man on Fire.


I can't do it! NO NO NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO… I rather die than pick one of Denzel's movies over another. But, to do this right and play along, I have to start from the back end. I mean, there is a couple of his movies that do not make my top 300. Okay… let me start with the ridiculous Hughes Brother's The Book of Eli. Yeah, Eli was coming and I should have stayed home. I mean, I can suspend reality with the best of them ( I'm a movie freak) but a blind man walking across America for 30 years (Yes, THIRTY FREAKIN YEARS)… fighting off the most ruthless vagabonds, killers and flesh eating cannibals, was a little too much for me. The man could even shoot down flying birds with a bow and arrow. Nawl, two thumps and ten toes way down. Now, my second stinker is John Q! COOOORNY with a capitol corn! And how exactly was every door, window, garage and fire escape covered and locked? But I suppose some people love sappy tear jerk movies. Anyway, let me cut to the chase and zip to the top. Wait, I have to do this by scenes. Man, that scene in Malcolm X when him and ol'boy were playing Russian Roulette gets me every time. And who can ever forget the series of scenes in Training Day when the rookie is chasing him through the hood. Damn, the scene culminates with him laying in the street bloodied and bruised but he's still talking big sh*t. Then, minutes later he's gunned down in the street. Yeeeah, that's some good sh*t. But damn, where do I start in A Soldier's Story? And, he was ugly super cool in Mo Better Blues. Yeah, I can pick out several scenes in several movies in which he puts that walk on like the world is his and everybody else just needs to get out of the damn way. That reminds me, although many folks didn't feel American Gangster, Denzel had some scenes in that joint that had me trembling like I had messed up his house or his dope, or as if I was driving the car when the cops pulled them over with that dope in the trunk. I mean, when he shot Edris in the head like it was a walk in the park, I said "DAMN… THIS MFer AIN'T PLAYIN'. So nope, I am not going to do it. I can't pick one, two, three or five Denzel movies as my top of all time. Heck, I didn't even mention Philadelphia, Glory and Hurricane, and yawl knows there's some goodies up in them flicks. But wait, on a side note, I might put Will Smith's Portrayal of Ali ahead of Denzel Hurricane? See, I'm a huge boxing fan and Denzel's body and movements didn't capture the image of a true fighter – for me. But Will killed it.


Mo' Better Blues. Underrated film, underrated performance.


3. Training Day–a guilty pleasure

2. The Hurricane–truly elevated the material

1. Malcolm X–wanna see my cry just play that scene with Sam Cooke singing over the top

Pam G.

"Book of Eli" because he never flinched; "Fallen" because he never gave up; Malcolm X because he stirred my sleeping activist and "Bone Collector" because it takes skills to deliver a whole movie from a hospital bed.


Philadelphia and Malcolm X


Carbon Copy. Ok, just kidding. Hast to be Malcolm X and Glory.

James Madsion

Glory and Philadelphia.


It was hard for me to choose but I think Malcolm X is my favorite. Followed closely by Glory. His resemblance to Malcolm during certain parts of the movie was uncanny. And in Glory, I kinda liked him being "difficult"…at first. I wish he had played more "dark", troubled characters.


I'll give you my answer when I stop drooling over his picture. Sheesh.


The Hurricane, hands down. That film brings me to tears every time I see it.

Adam Scott Thompson

Strangely, I think his performance in "He Got Game" was his most important (for the black community) in addressing how a black father's absence — or over-abundance of presence — can affect a black boy's life.


Malcolm X. His performance is a piece of art. His performance in Philadelphia is very underrated, brillant.


"Malcolm X" and "A Soldier's Story"


Training Day, hands down. The control, the artistry, the mastery and last but not least, the subtleties.


Definitely Malcolm X, for which he should have won the Oscar. Training Day, for which he won the Oscar, was fun but not in the same league as Malcolm. My absolute favorite performance, one that few people talk about, is He Got Game. That was devastating!


Malcolm X and John Q. I honestly did not like his role in Training Day at all.


Malcolm X for both, followed by He Got Game.

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