Denzel Washington’s 25 Best Films

Does winning an award make the film one of the best? Or is it the screenplay? Or is it simply that Washington has such charisma on the screen one is merely drawn in by his acting? Let's break down Denzel Washington's 25 best films from top to bottom.


Set during the Civil War with a focus on the first all-Black volunteer regiment for the Union, Glory is undeniably one of Washington's best. Glory gave Denzel Washington his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as Trip.

Malcolm X

Spike Lee's biopic about the controversial civil rights leader is one of Denzel Washington's most famous roles. In Malcolm X, Washington takes viewers on a masterful journey through all the sides of Malcolm's personality.

Training Day

The Academy couldn't deny Denzel Washington after his turn as corrupt LA Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day. Is Harris a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Washington's performance leaves viewers guessing for a large portion of the film.

Crimson Tide

Almost all of Crimson Tide is set inside a naval submarine, the USS Alabama. This scaled-down, almost claustrophobic set allows some of the most intense dialogue between Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman to explode off the screen.


Denzel Washington had already won a Tony for the 2010 stage revival of Fences when he served as director, producer, and star of the same-named film in 2016. He reprised his role as former baseball player Troy Maxon alongside Viola Davis as his wife, Rose.

American Gangster

Washington appeared in several movies with brothers Tony Scott and Ridley Scott as his director. 2007's American Gangster is one of his most memorable roles under Ridley Scott's direction.

The Equalizer

Robert McCall is a defender of the defenseless in director Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer. Denzel Washington is phenomenal as the quiet but skilled vigilante determined to help those who cannot help themselves.

Swipe up to learn more!