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.
Devil in a Blue Dress Movie Poster
Devil in a Blue Dress
Based on 21 critics

In late 1940s Los Angeles, Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is an unemployed black World War II veteran... Read More

The Hurricane Movie Poster
The Hurricane
Based on 30 critics

Denzel Washington is Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a man whose dreams of winning the middleweight boxing... Read More

Malcolm X Movie Poster
Malcolm X
Based on 9 critics

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit... Read More

Remember the Titans Movie Poster
Remember the Titans
Based on 32 critics

In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more... Read More

Much Ado About Nothing Movie Poster
Much Ado About Nothing
In Theaters on May 7, 1993

In this Shakespearean farce, Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and her groom-to-be, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard),... Read More

Philadelphia Movie Poster
Based on 21 critics

Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) hides his homosexuality and... Read More

Training Day Movie Poster
Training Day
Based on 35 critics

Police drama about a veteran officer who escorts a rookie on his first day with the LAPD's tough inner-city... Read More

Glory Movie Poster
In Theaters on 1989

Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the... Read More

Man on Fire Movie Poster
Man on Fire
Based on 36 critics

In a Mexico City wracked by a recent wave of kidnappings, ex-CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington)... Read More

Inside Man Movie Poster
Inside Man
Based on 39 critics

A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense... Read More

Unstoppable Movie Poster
Based on 34 critics

When a massive, unmanned locomotive roars out of control, the threat is more ominous than just a derailment.... Read More