Denzel Washington in Flight

Denzel Washington in Flight

We love a bit of Denzel Washington here at FemaleFirst and he is back on the big screen this week with his new movie Flight.

The film has already bagged a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his central performances and it is set to be another stellar performance from the double Oscar winner.

So to celebrate the release of the film we take a look back over Washington's career and picked out his best roles.

1. Training Day

When you think Denzel Washington there is always one performance that springs to mind and that is the role of Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day.

The movie saw the actor team up with director Antoine Fuqua and star alongside Ethan Hawke and Eva Mendes.

It is a brutal and fierce performance from Washington and it remains the best of her career.

He really gets his teeth into this meaty villainous role and I prefer it when he gets real baddie roles because he really excels.

This is a performance that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled and it is still incredibly powerful over a decade after hitting the big screen for the first time.

Washington picked up a Best Actor Oscar for the role - the second Oscar of his career.

Click here to buy Training Day on DVD

2. Glory

His first Oscar came in 1989 for his supporting role in the Edward Zwick directed film Glory.

Glory is a celebration of a little-known act of mass courage during the Civil War and saw Washington team up with Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman.

Glory is widely regarded as one of the best war epics ever made as it is a stirring and moving film that is also intelligent as well as visceral.

This movie really shows that Denzel was on his way to a major movie career as he grabbed everyone's attention with the role of Trip.

For this performance Washington picked up his first Oscar from the second nomination of his career.

Click here to buy Glory on DVD

3. Malcolm X

Washington told another true story in 1992 as he teamed up with director Spike Lee for movie Malcolm X.

The movie followed key events in his life including his criminal career as well as his time in jail and conversion to Islam.

Malcolm X is a powerful movie that unflinchingly looked at racism and it was an ambitious and dramatic film from the director.

It was another fantastic performance from Washington as he seemed to really get under the skin of this man.

He delivers a very dignified performance that is incredibly powerful and he picked up another Oscar nod for Best Actor - but he lost out to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman.

Click here to buy Malcolm X on DVD

4. American Gangster

One of the his best performances in recent years came in 2007 in the form of American Gangster - which saw him work with Ridley Scott.

The movie saw Washington go head to head with fellow Oscar winner Russell Crowe as two men on the opposite sides of the law.

American Gangster was back on the criminal career of Frank Lucas (Washington) a gangster who smuggled heroine into the U.S.

Once again this was another baddie role for Washington to get his teeth into as he deliver another mean role.

There is only one scene in the film where Washington and Crowe come face to face and it is the best in the film - much like Heat with De Niro and Pacino.

Click here to buy American Gangster on DVD

5. The Hurricane

Another Best Actor Oscar nod came in 1999 when he took on the role of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter in The Hurricane.

Directed by Norman Jewison the movie was a biopic about the boxer who was convicted of triple murder.

This is an incredibly powerful true story that is incredibly emotional and hard hitting.

The success of this film really does lie on the shoulder of Washington and once again he shows why he is one of the best actors of his generation.

He commands the screen and dominates ever scene that he is in and he really is the driving force behind this film.

And Oscar nod followed but he missed out to Kevin Spacey for American Beauty.

Click here to buy The Hurricane on DVD

Other performance by the actor that are not to be missed includes Man on Fire, Cry Freedom. The Book of Eli and Safe House.

Flight is released 1st February


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  1. by Gem 28th Jan 2013 11:19

    I love Denzel and it is great that he is back on the big screen this week. Training Day will always be my fave role of his because he delivers such an excellent performance.

  2. by Paula 28th Jan 2013 11:20

    The Hurricane is such a fantastic performance for the actor. He really is one of the best in Hollywood!!!!