With the release of his newest movie, The Equalizer 3, there’s never been a better time to look back on Denzel Washington‘s career. Denzel Washington has easily proved himself to be one of the best actors of all time, and has spent years working with some of the best directors and producing groundbreaking work since day one.
But of all the best Denzel Washington movies, it might be tricky to pick out which one is the greatest. Specifically, which one is his most badass. After all, he’s starred in many of the best movies around. But fans of Washington have come together to discuss (and debate) which of his past roles are top dog.
In a post on the ‘Movies’ subreddit, one user asked “Was American Gangster Denzel’s most badass role?” Of course, this set off a chain reaction of responses and counter picks, with everyone throwing their favorite movie into the ring to claim top prize.
Of course, for most actors, starring in movies based on a true story and real life figures are an excellent way of showcasing their best abilities. It didn’t take long for someone to point out Malcolm X, the biopic starring Washington as the famous civil rights activist.
“It was as Malcolm X,” wrote Curse_ye_Winslow. “He embodied the role down to the man’s mannerisms; a man who was the subject of the phrase ‘No one man should have all that power’ when it was first uttered.”
Obviously, some of the best action movies in Washington’s repertoire had to receive shout-outs, with the most common being The Equalizer movies. Ever since the first installment came out in 2014, Washington has proved himself to be an expert in the kicking-ass-and-taking-names department, having taken down countless bad guys in the most creative ways possible as Robert McCall.
“Yo, have you seen the Equalizer movies? My dude was John Wick before John Wick was John Wick,” wrote TechTheTerrible.
But Washington isn’t always the good guy. In the past, he’s used his talents to play some of the best movie villains around, including the role of Alonzo Harris in the 2001 thriller movie Training Day. “He was the perfect villain you loved to hate in Training Day,” said Goozy89. “I think that’s his best badass role.”
But even in some of his tamer work, such as that of 2012’s Flight, Washington has proved that he can do a lot with any character he’s given, and will still find way to maintain his badass-ery.
“Hysterical copilot notwithstanding, flying an MD80 inverted in Flight was pretty badass,” wrote Bodhrans-Not-Bombs.
Of course, it’s a subject that could be debated all day. When you’ve starred in as many movies as Denzel Washington, and proven yourself as a bona fide badass many times over, whichever movies are the best is almost a moot point. A point that was articulated perfectly by user Limp_Distribution, who said:
“It’s not the role that makes Denzel a badass. Denzel is just a badass, period.” Well said.
Denzel Washington will be back on our screens when the Gladiator 2 release date comes around. You can also check out our guides to all the new movies coming out this year, like the Killers of the Flower Moon release date and The Marvels release date. What’s more, we’ve got a list of the best spy movies of all time, for more badasses.