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Published Date: 23/08/2023

The Equalizer 3 and the Five Greatest Denzel Washington Performances

Denzel Washington returns to our screens as the former government assassin in the third outing in the Equalizer franchise. The two-time Oscar winning actor is once again the fearsome and formidable vigilante, Robert McCall, reuniting with director Antoine Fuqua for The Equalizer 3.

Washington and Fuqua originally worked together on Training Day (2001) for which Washington won the Best Actor Oscar. The first Equalizer came in 2014 and in-between The Equalizer 2 (2018) came their 2016 reimagining of the iconic The Magnificent Seven.

Now, there are many things that are open for discussion, we can all argue at length about favourite films and film stars, but one thing that is not negotiable here at Showcase Cinemas is that Denzel Washington is one of the greatest film stars ever!

And so in honour of the great man we give you our favourite Denzel Washington performances. We are making things hard by narrowing it down to only five and of course we had to include The Equalizer franchise! And so in no particular order here are our Five Greatest Denzel Washington films.



The Equalizer (2014, 2018, 2023)


Denzel Washington excel's as Robert McCall, a man with a mysterious past, a past he clearly wants to put firmly in the rear-view mirror! Mysterious his past maybe, but what is clear, if you're clever enough to pick up the signs, is he is a man who is not to be crossed. You do not want to get on the bad side of the ex-CIA man. McCall is drawn out of self-imposed retirement, ready to avenge the helpless, to equalise a wrong, a task in which Denzel Washington is a master!



Training Day (2001)

Denzel plays LAPD Detective Alonzo Harris, probably the most dirtiest cop ever to grace the screen in Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day. Washington is tasked with taking rookie and ambitious cop, Officer Jake Hoyt, played by Ethan Hawke, for a one-day evaluation. Hawke is great, he received a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, but Washington’s ferocious performance just dominates the film. It was no surprise that he won the 2001 Oscar for Leading Actor.



Inside Man (2006)  


Director Spike Lee gave us such a great heist film. You are left guessing as to the plot twists, but also if Washington is indeed a bad cop? His range is dialled right up to go toe-to-toe with co-stars Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This is a grade one suspenseful film.



Crimson Tide (1995)

Washington’s first collaboration with the late and great Tony Scott, Crimson Tide is a breath-taking claustrophobic thriller. Washington, as the moral second in command is pitted against Gene Hackman’s sadistic submarine captain. It is an edge of your seat film as we see two cinematic giants facing off against each other.    



Malcolm X (1992)

Released in 1992, Washington’s portrayal of the former prisoner, turned preacher and finally martyr, in one of the greatest biopics of all time is nothing short of extraordinary. Director Spike Lee has spoken as to how he and his cast and crew evoked the spirit of David Lean epics such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and boy did they in a film with a run time of over three hours!


Well that was tough, we could have easy included his Oscar turn in Glory (1989), Man on Fire (2004), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Flight (2012), a young Denzel in A Soldier’s Story (1984), 2 Guns (2013) .... To whittle a list of so many great films down to just five took some doing! We certainly left out some greats; tell us your favourite Denzel Washington performances!   



 The Equalizer 3 is out 30 September
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