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10 Awesome Things Denzel Washington Has Saved in Movies

Denzel Washington in "Flight" Paramount

In this weekend's "Flight," Denzel Washington attempts to pilot his airplane to a soft landing. There's early talk of a Best Actor nomination, and the film is certainly worth a watch. But what other things has Denzel saved during his long and distinguished career?

From his Academy Award wins in "Glory" and "Training Day" to his Academy Award nominations in "The Hurricane," "Malcom X," and "Cry Freedom," Denzel Washington has gone out of his way, on a number of occasions, to save our bacon. So what makes up a proper Denzel save situation, and what what exactly was he saving with his heroic actions? Look no further, we've got the definitive list! 

(Note: salty NSFW language and spoilers in a few of these clips!)

10. "Fallen": The Rolling Stones
Explanation: Back in 1998, you could get away with thinking it was all over for The Rolling Stones. 1995 featured the ill-conceived "Voodoo Lounge Tour," and in '97 they released "Bridges to Babylon" - earning only middling reviews in the process. So who could save them? Who would be the guy to revitalize their career? None other than Denzel Washington and the movie "Fallen" - which brought them back to their roots and made "Time Is On My Side" extremely creepy. Win-win? Indeed.

9. "American Gangster": Entrepreneurship
Explanation: A steady string of movies have taught us that drugs kill. But what about Denzel's self-determination in "American Gangster?" Where does that fit in? Hard to say, but he definitely saved us from being bored throughout this film. Thanks, Denzel!

8. "Unstoppable": Populated areas
Explanation: By now, you understand the consequences of a missile the size of The Chrysler Building derailing in a populated area. Thankfully, D-Wash understood the stakes too, and even better, he knew when it was time to … (double entendre warning) act.

7. "The Book of Eli": Civilization
Explanation: Most people in Denzel's situation would have given up. He was at quite a disadvantage in "Book of Eli," but his faith kept him strong. How strong? Well, check out the scene below, and keep in mind that Denzel's path was a righteous one, as he was saving the bible for future generations!

6. "Saturday Night Live": Jay Pharoah's Career
Explanation: Jay is currently a full-fledged cast member of "Saturday Night Live" - but his first featured season got off to a rocky start. Until this skit! And who does Jay have to thank for bailing him out of the "SNL" doldrums? None other than Denzel Washington.

5. "He Got Game": Ray Allen
Explanation: Denzel Washington wasn't a good dad to Ray Allen in the movie "He Got Game." But, in a way, and in a certain light, he saved him, because he allowed him to vanquish his villain, telling him to let go of the anger. And then Ray Allen went on to win a championship with the Boston Celtics! Can't be a coincidence, right?

4. "The Hurricane": Justice
Explanation: Denzel Washington's "Hurricane Carter" took a long time to learn some very hard lessons. In "The Hurricane," Denzel somehow still believes in the very system that wrongly imprisoned him. Thankfully, "The Hurricane" saves the best for last.

3. "Training Day": The Art of Storytelling
Explanation: Ethan Hawke won't let Denzel read his paper. So he asks for a story! What follows is pure entertainment, and a master's class in Crazytown, U.S.A.

2. "Remember the Titans": The Team
Explanation: The Titans were in-fighting and apart, but it was time to come together. Denzel had the just the speech they needed, in the process saving the team from total destruction.

1. "Crimson Tide": The World
Explanation: Gene Hackman wanted to nuke the Russians, which would have caused the Russians to nuke us, which would have led to a very bad weekend for everyone. Thankfully, Denzel stepped in to save the day, preaching patience and discretion. World, consider yourself saved!

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