With a seemingly effortless ability to bring to life totally unique characters time and time again, it is little wonder Denzel Washington has become one of the most celebrated actors in film today. With award season already in full swing, it is no surprise that his latest film, Paramount's Flight, and his venture as Captain Whip Whitaker, is once again creating some serious buzz for him. So in honour of this, we have put together a list of Mr. Washington's Top 5 Films. We just can't get enough!
Based on the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, Glory dramatises the efforts of the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry - the first African-American unit for the United States during the Civil War. Washington stars as Private Trip, an escaped slave who enjoys breaking the rules and pushing his fellow soldier's buttons. Washington earned numerous awards for this role, including both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.
MALCOLM X (1992)
This American biographical film saw Washington take on the role of the eponymous character, famous African-American activist Malcolm X. The film charts key events of X's life from his criminal activities through to his assassination in 1965. Washington's portrayal was widely acclaimed, earning him both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor - again! The film was also entered into the United States National Film Registry in 2010 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"; just another achievement Mr Washington can add to his collection!
AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007)
In this release, another biographical film; Washington stars alongside Russell Crowe as gangster, Frank Lucas. Telling the story of Lucas' career in heading up a heroin smuggling operation into the US using American service planes returning from the Vietnam War, the film was both a critical and commercial hit. Washington was praised for his portrayal of drug lord Lucas, gaining numerous nominations, including a Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
TRAINING DAY (2001)
In yet another brilliantly gripping film comes Training Day, in which Washington plays LAPD narcotics Detective Alonzo Harris. The film tracks Washington and co-star Ethan Hawke over a 24 hour period in the gang neighbourhoods of South Central, North Western, and Eastern areas of Los Angeles. Gritty and poignant, this film will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. And it is doubly famous for winning Washington the Academy Award for Best Actor, at the time making him only the second African-American Actor to have ever done so, the first being Sidney Poitier who also received an honorary Oscar that very same night!
With his role as a pilot with addiction issues, Denzel continues on his course of playing gritty characters as Captain Whip Whittaker in Flight. When a routine flight takes a turn for the worse, Captain Whittaker must draw on his supreme talent to safely crash land the plane in order to save as many passengers as he can - a feat that no one else could have achieved. But things take a swift nosedive when the pilot is quickly thrust into the limelight and his whole life begins to unravel before him. Reaffirming his supreme acting talent, Washington has already been nominated for several awards, once again including a Golden Globe and Academy Award. We can't wait to see where his career takes him next.
Catch Denzel reaching new heights in Flight from February 1st!