Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
Box Office Discussion: The Equalizer, The Boxtrolls
By BOP Staff
October 1, 2014
Kim Hollis: What are your favorite Denzel Washington movies? What is your least favorite?
Jay Barney: For me the defining role of Denzel Washington was Glory. I know it was very early in his career, but it was such a significant historical film, and many of his scenes were key to the plot. He got to work with a lot of great actors, and delivered a performance that will be remembered for a long, long time.
Edwin Davies: The word on The Equalizer is that it might mark Denzel Washington's first potential franchise, especially after this weekend, which just makes me wistful that Devil in a Blue Dress wasn't a bigger hit and didn't result in a whole series of films in which he and Don Cheadle solve crimes. That film is easily my favorite of his, both in terms of his performance and just from being a fantastically entertaining, engrossing mystery. His collaborations with Spike Lee - Mo' Better Blues, He Got Game, Inside Man and especially Malcolm X - all rank pretty damn high as well.
Oh, and he's great in Much Ado About Nothing.
Max Braden: My favorite Denzel Washington performance has to be Training Day. He has a tendency to deliver his roles with a subdued style, but Training Day is where he's the most dynamic, and both charming and dangerous at the same time. I don't question his other nominated roles, but I think Training Day is the one where he really put his stamp on the role in a way few others could, making it iconic for him. Another odd one that I always think of but can't explain is The Mighty Quinn. I didn't necessarily like the movie because there's not much too it, but he comes across really charming in that one. It just sticks with me and pops into my head from time to time, even though I can't have seen it more than twice (as an HBO rotation back in the late '80s). A least favorite choice is pretty hard to come up with for Denzel Washington. Maybe The Manchurian Candidate? That one didn't stick with me at all.
Reagen Sulewski: His role in Malcolm X goes down not just as my favorite role of his, but one of my favorite performances in cinema history. No one's quite dominated the screen in such a way before or since, while capturing all facets of a complicated and flawed man. His nadir for me might be The Bone Collector, a late ‘90s attempt to cash in on the serial killer procedural that also tied him to a bed for the entire movie.
David Mumpower: Washington claims one of the finest filmographies of our era. Picking a favorite is brutal, but I think that my favorite movie in which he has participated is Remember the Titans. Everything about that story is wonderful, and it is one of the best sports movies ever made. Right behind it is Inside Man, arguably the best heist flick of the past decade.
Going back a while, I was a huge fan of The Pelican Brief and Crimson Tide, two of the films that placed him squarely on the path to superstardom. I also agree with Edwin about Much Ado about Nothing. I want to add a couple of other recommendations that are less heralded performances. Déjà vu is a very clever science fiction film that I felt deserved a better fate. Mississippi Masala was a revelation upon its release in 1991. And Fallen has one of the best premises for a villain ever. Finally, Virtuosity may not be a great film, but it does include one of the best lines of dialogue I’ve ever heard. “Just because I'm carrying around the joy of killing your family inside me doesn't mean we can't be friends.”
With regards to least favorite, I actually enjoy most of his career choices. The one that stands out as a mistake in my eyes is The Preacher's Wife. It was a remake that nobody requested, and it was so forgettable that I expect several of you to have to google to remember/learn the film.