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Five favorite Denzel Washington roles

TRAINING DAY, Denzel Washington, 2001

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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

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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