Denzel. Say no more. The name means consistency in Hollywood: always a good role, always a great performance, and (almost) always in the running for top awards. With today's release of the runaway train thriller 'Unstoppable,' the versatile Denzel Washington once again brings his formidable dramatic skills to the screen.

Sure, Will Smith wins at the box office, but Washington, with two Oscars and five Oscar nominations, is arguably the pre-eminent African-American actor of his time. All of that made it tough to whittle down his resume to a top 10. (Though with full disclosure, it was easy to lop off 'Carbon Copy,' on the grounds that sometimes a young actor will do anything just to get a break.) Otherwise, with his subtle delivery, total immersion into a wide range of characters, and a smoldering intensity that always has the potential to go volcanic, Washington is that rare actor who either makes you hold your breath or leave you just plain breathless. Here are his top 10 heart-stopping performances.
categories Features, Best and Worst