He's often cited as the greatest African-American actor since Sidney Poitier and we can't argue with that. Denzel Washintgon's career has spanned almost thirty years and has consistently given Oscar-worthy performances. What's more, as well, is the range of his performances. From corrupt cop Alonzo Harris to political leader Malcolm X, Denzel is one of the greatest living actors. Here's five of his best...
5. 'MALCOLM X' / MALCOLM X
Denzel Washington's partnership with Spike Lee began with another film, Mo'Money Mo'Problems, however it really began to flourish with 1992's Malcolm X. Focusing on the rise of the political leader and the controversial Nation of Islam, Washington was incredible in the title role. However, he lost out at the Oscars to Al Pacino; many people believing that Washington's perfomrnace was better. The film runs for almost three hours, but stick it out. It's easily one of the best biopic films ever made.
4. 'AMERICAN GANGSTER' / FRANK LUCAS
American Gangster is easily one of Ridley Scott's best films and really showed his ability to move away from hyped-up, over-produced films. Playing real-life crime boss Frank Lucas, Denzel gave one of his most chilling performances. Cold, calculating and ruthless, Washington steals every scene he's in and leaves Crowe, his co-star, in the dust. It's not that he's chewing up scenery or screaming at the top of his lungs. It's the quiet moments that make him so terrifying. Here's one particular scene with Idris Elba, star of BBC's Luther.
3. 'HE GOT GAME' / JAKE SHUTTLEWORTH
Sports films, by and large, only work if there's a larger theme. With Spike Lee's basketball film, He Got Game, the film wasn't about the sport, but rather the relationships between fathers and sons. After being sent to prison for accidentally killing his wife, street basketballer Jake Shuttleworth (Denzel Washington) is released on parole on the condition he convinces his prodigy son to sign for a particular college. His son, played by NBA star Ray Allen, is reticent to take him back into his life after their fractious relationship. Denzel is brilliant in his role, perfectly mixing hardened values with a genuine desire for his son to be the best he can be. The final scene - a one-on-one match between father and son - is heartbreaking stuff to watch, but it's a must-see for sports fan and non-sports fan alike.
2. 'PHILADELPHIA' / JOE MILLER
It's true, you immediately think of Tom Hanks when you think of Philadelphia. However, the relationship that develops between Hanks and Washington is what the film is really about. Washington is the Devil's Advocate in 'Philadelphia' - he says exactly what people were thinking then, and unfortunately, are probably still thinking now with regards to HIV and homosexuality. Like Malcolm X, it was a controversial film that dealt with controversial topics, but it's absolutely required viewing. One of the best courtroom dramas ever made.
1. 'TRAINING DAY' / ALONZO HARRIS
Denzel Washington won his first and only Oscar - so far - for his role as Alonzo Harris. Up until then, Washington had often played heros, or in one or two cases, anti-heroes. But here in Training Day, he was the out and out villain of the piece. Playing a corrupt narcotics detective who, over the course of a single day, brings on a rookie cop by Ethan Hawke. It's filled with quotable scenes and fantastic music, but it's Washington's bravado and charisma that makes the character so enjoyable to watch. King Kong ain't got shit on him.
Xtra-vision is one of Ireland's best known iconic retail brands and has a leading position in rental and retail of both Film and Games, along with a growing presence in Music, Mobile Telephony, a range of Consumer Electronic products and Confectionery. Every week we bring you the latest top new releases like Flight with Denzel Washington, A Good Day to Die Hard with Bruce Willis and Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis.
To celebrate the launch of Man Cave, Xtra-vision have teamed up with entertainment.ie to offer you the chance to win the ultimate guys goodie bag worth €200.
The goodie bag includes:
Denzel Washington 6 movie Boxset | Flight DVD | Skyfall Blu-ray/DVD | The Hobbit 3D/Blu-ray | Argo Blu-ray | Men in Black Trilogy Blu-ray | The Dictator DVD | American Pie Reunion DVD | Dark Knight Rises DVD | Need for Speed Most Wanted XBOX 360.
How to Enter:
Denzel Washington's Flight is out on DVD and Blu-ray from Friday 31st May. To be in with a chance to win the ultimate guys Xtra-vision goodie bag worth €200 we want you to tell us your craziest airplane story in the comment section below.
The best and most entertaining story wins (as chosen by an entertainment.ie panel). Competition closes 10am Wednesday 29th May.
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Thanks all for entering - today's winner is: "spud"