Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, we’re showing one of the best cop dramas around: “Training Day.” Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for his portrayal of the dirtiest cop ever. Or at least the dirtiest cop this side of Harvel Keitel in “Bad Lieutenant.” Ethan Hawke plays wide-eyed rookie detective-in-training Jake Hoyt who can’t quite grasp what he’s up against when he’s assigned to veteran LAPD superstar Alonzo Harris (Washington) as his professional “evaluator.” Harris is a cool and charismatic celebrity cop who just happens to have his fingers in about two dozen highly illegal and lucrative pots. During their day together, Harris ends up taking Hoyt on the ride of his life as they traverse the mean streets of L.A., with the rookie learning the ways of the world and getting tested at every turn by his supposed mentor who is forcing him to walk a tightrope between ambition and principles. Director Antoine Fuqua does an incredible job of bringing Los Angeles’ underbelly to life in this film.
Denzel Washington won the Oscar for a reason: He injects the film –and his role– with a gritty realism that is hard to deny. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from Washingtong. Whether he’s playing a Navy psychiatrist in “Antwone Fisher” (which by the way is playing today at 3:30 p.m. ET) or a soldier fighting for his freedom or an “Inside Man,” Washington brings a heartfelt sincerity to his parts that make his characters both wildly believable and deeply personal.
Here are five of our other favorite roles played by Denzel Washington:
Creasy in “Man on Fire”
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Pvt. Trip in “Glory”
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Frank Lucas in “American Gangster”
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Malcolm X in “Malcolm X”
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Joe Miller in “Philadelphia”
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“Training Day” airs tonight at 8/7c and again at 10:30 p.m. ET; Sunday, September. 23 at 10:45 PM ET; Monday, September 24 at 1:15 AM ET; Friday, September 28 at 8:00 PM ET; Friday, September 28 at 10:30 PM ET; Thursday, Oct. 4 at 8 PM ET; Thursday, Oct. 4 at 10:30 PM ET; Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 PM ET; Saturday, Oct. 13 at 12:45 AM ET