Denzel Washington 15 Highest Paid Movies

If you are a fan of action/thriller movies, guess you’ve come across movies like American Gangster, Inside Man, Deja Vu, Unstoppable, and Flight, and you can tell that majority of those movies are interesting. Those are Denzel Washington movies. 

Denzel Washington movies are very interesting, and after watching one, it can keep you wanting more. So, to help you know about Denzel Washington highest paid movies, we’ve put together this piece. In this article, you will learn about Denzel Washington’s highest paid movies and their earnings.

Who Is Denzel Washington? 

According to Wikipedia, Denzel Washington is an American actor, director, and producer. Known for his performances on the screen and stage, he has been described as an actor who reconfigured “the concept of classic movie stardom.”

Denzel Washington was born on 28 December 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York, United States.

Also, he has received many prestigious awards, including Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, AFI Life Achievement Award, Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and many more.

Below is a summary of the list of Denzel Washington’s highest paid movies in 2022:

  • American Gangster 
  • Safe House 
  • Philadelphia 
  • The Pelican Brief 
  • The Equalizer 
  • Inside Man 
  • Deja Vu 
  • Unstoppable 
  • Flight 
  • The Book Of Eli 
  • Training Day 
  • Crimson Tide 
  • Devil In a Blue Dress
  • American Gangster 
  • Crimson Tide 

#1 American Gangster 

American Gangster is the first on our list of Denzel Washington highest paid movies in 2022. 

In this movie, director Ridley Scott returns to the slower-paced filmmaking approach evident in his seminal science fiction work, Blade Runner. 

As he recreates mid-70s Harlem, the director’s world-building talents, which are never in question, are put on full show. But once more, the character is given more importance in his writing than quick action. 

With a strong supporting cast, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe bring life to this actor’s piece, consistently delighting the audience. Washington is Frank Lucas, a former mafia boss’s right-hand man who rose to become New York City’s most powerful and independent heroin dealer.

Lucas encapsulates the American dream, criminal or not.

However, Washington and Crowe, the former cold and scary and the latter drooping and untidy, are the film stars. The moment they eventually meet, the movie goes into overdrive. 

American Gangster is filled with performances that elevate genre filmmaking to the level of art from start to finish, making the movie generate an estimated $269,755,430. 

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#2 Safe House

Another Denzel Washington highest paid movie is Safe House. Denzel plays Tobin Frost, a former veteran CIA agent who is held in a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa.

Always attempting to think outside the box, Denzel excels in roles where he goes against the grain for a just cause.

Frost is left in the custody of a low-level officer named Matt Weston, who is portrayed by actor and comic Ryan Reynolds, while the CIA interrogates him. However, after a squad of mercenaries comes into the safe house and executes most of the operatives, the two are forced to flee.

Reynolds and Denzel make for an exciting pairing, which was apparent as the movie was a significant commercial success.

According to the box office, it made around $208,076,205.

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#3 Philadelphia

If you’ve seen Denzel in action, you know how good he is at debating. That’s also why Philadelphia makes it to the list of Denzel Washington highest paid movies.

He demonstrated this in The Great Debate(2007) with Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, and Denzel Whitaker. But even before that, his performance as Joe Miller, a lawyer in Philadelphia, displayed a depth of passion and superior acting skills, solidifying Denzel’s place among Hollywood’s top actors.

In the movie, he is forced to defend Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a different attorney who is suing his Philadelphia law firm for discrimination after being sacked for developing HIV/AIDS and being gay.

Philadelphia has been said to one of Denzel’s most successful films to date, making about $206,678,440

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#4 The Pelican Brief

It is not an act of flattery when Denzel is said to be one of the greatest performers of all time. You draw other people on your level when you are the best at what you do. So it comes as no surprise that Denzel has crossed paths with some of Hollywood’s top stars, including Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. 

The Pelican Brief, a film about a law student (Darby Shaw) who hitmen hunt because of her legal brief concerning two assassinated Supreme Court justices, starred the two of them.

She then flees on the run with Gray Grantham, a handsome young journalist played by Denzel Washington, who assists her in learning the truth about other senior people.

A pretty amount of $195,268,056 was made from the movie at the box office, making it number four on our list of Denzel Washington highest paid movies.

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#5 The Equalizer 

Denzel Washington stars in the 2014 action/thriller “The Equalizer” as a redeeming lone wolf with an enigmatic past. Robert McCall, the character he plays, tries to start over and put the past behind him.

When he sees a young woman named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz) being abused by a violent group of Russian mobsters, his urge to stand up for the oppressed takes precedence over his attempts to live a tranquil life.

The movie made $192,330,738 million at the box office and $34 million during its opening weekend, ranking it among Denzel Washington’s highest paid movies. 

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#6. Inside Man  

Denzel puts on a commanding performance as a detective determined to apprehend an evasive bank robber in the crime thriller Inside Man, which has a somewhat more sophisticated plot than The Bank Job with Jason Statham.  

Jodie Foster portrays Madeline White, a sophisticated, powerful power broker tasked with looking after Arthur Case, the bank’s board chairman, who Christopher Plummer plays.

One of the most intense bank robbery movies ever made, grossing $186,003,591 million at the box office.

#7 Deja Vu

Deja Vu is another movie on our list of Denzel Washington highest paid movies. The suspense, apprehension, and genuine emotion depicted in “Deja Vu” make it one of Denzel Washington’s best movies.

He portrays Doug Carlin, a cunning ATF agent, who responds to a ferry combing by going on the lookout for the terrorist who is responsible, represented by Jim Caviezel.

He hears of a top-secret device that can warp time and travel through time when he is invited to collaborate with FBI Agent Paul Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer) and his team. 

To prevent Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton), who can identify the terrorist, from being killed and silenced, Denzel’s character must do this action.

At the box office, the movie made a handsome $181 million.

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#8 Unstoppable 

Unstoppable, a 2010 action film, is filled from beginning to end with nonstop action and suspense. 

According to his previous work, this film is also based on the Crazy Eights Incident, a real-life incident in Ohio in May 2001 when a runaway freight train towed 47 cars loaded with dangerous chemicals escaped control. 

Furthermore, a seasoned train engineer named Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) and a rookie conductor named Will Colson (Chris Pine) avert a catastrophic explosion that might potentially kill many people, which is the film’s exact plot.

The movie earned $168 million at the box office and received an Oscar nomination making it rank on our list o Denzel Washington highest paid movies.

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#9 Flight 

And just when you thought he was finished, he turns in another captivating performance in the 2012 film Flight.

The drama movie is partially based on the tragic accident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in which all 88 people aboard including the pilots and crew were killed.

Denzel portrayed William “Whip” Whitaker Sr, a commercial airline pilot who struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction but manages to crash land the plane, rescuing 96 out of 102 passengers and crew. 

Although the primary cause of the disaster was an internal technical maintenance issue, blood tests performed after the crash show that Whip was drunk during the flight.

The pilot, however, admits his intoxication on the morning of the flight out of shame for his careless acts.

The mysterious and sobering film made $162 million worldwide.

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#10 The Book Of Eli

The Book of Eli won the popular vote despite receiving negative ratings from critics. The 2010 post-apocalyptic action movie stars Denzel Washington as Eli, a lone warrior traversing the barren wastes of what was once the best of America on foot.

Eli is on a quest to deliver the Bible, a mystery book, to the American West Coast. 

However, he runs into difficulty when he comes upon a decrepit town ruled by a tyrant named Carnegie and his henchmen, who are also seeking the book Eli has as a way of keeping the uneducated people beneath them under their control.

Solara (Mila Kunis), soon encounters Eli and accompanies him on his mission.

The high-action fight scenes and desolate setting led to the film generating $157 million at the box office, making it among Denzel Washington’s highest paid movies.

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#11 Training Day

Next on our list of Denzel Washington highest paid movies in 2022 is training Day.

Denzel Washington plays Alonzo Harris, an LAPD narcotics officer who can’t truly be termed “corrupt” since that word is an understatement in his darkest and possibly best role.

When he adopts Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), his viciousness, Machiavellian tendencies, and magnetism make for a highly explosive situation. 

Watching Jake respond to a scenario for which he is obviously unprepared and struggles valiantly to maintain his moral principles in the face of an arrogant, megalomaniacal con man posing as one of society’s protectors is one of the movie’s greatest joys.

According to the box, office film made $104,876,233.

#12 Crimson Tide

A good submarine movie is truly unrivaled, and Crimson Tide is about as good as they come. The Tony Scott-directed thriller from 1995 takes place during a tense arms race between the United States and post-Soviet Russia.

Old-fashioned U.S. missile submarine Captain Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) clashes with composed Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter in the movie’s primary fight (Denzel Washington).

The fact that they are submarines and Hans Zimmer’s Grammy-winning synth score makes scenes of confrontation between the two characters even tenser.

Of course, tremendous performances heighten this tension (Washington is at the height of his powers here). 

Crimson Tide also has a refreshingly nuanced take on patriotism, good, and evil which is very refreshing, making it our next Denzel Washington highest paid movie in 2022.

It made about $157,387,190.

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#13 Malcolm X

Malcolm X is another Denzel Washington highest paid movie. Do the Right Thing is considered by many to be Spike Lee’s greatest film, but his epic biography of the contentious 1960s activist stands as his other career high point.

The heart of the movie is Denzel Washington’s magnificent performance.

Lee takes on the challenge of demythologizing a contemporary figure, unwilling to delve into the depths of man’s ideological and personal weaknesses.

The haunting call for civil rights is juxtaposed with the suspenseful events leading up to Malcolm X’s murder in Otis Redding’s A Change is Gonna Come, creating a whopping $48,169,900 at the box office 

#14 Glory

Although Matthew Broderick plays Col. Robert Gould Shaw in the principal role, Denzel Washington (Pvt. Trip), Morgan Freeman (Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins), Andre Braugher (Cpl. Thomas Searles), and Jhimi Kennedy deserve the glory (Pvt. Jupiter Sharts). 

As soldiers of the first all-black regiment in the Union army during the Civil War, these performers give outstanding performances, with Washington winning the 1990 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Instead of focusing on the obvious North vs. South binary, Glory follows the men as they struggle against Northern racism and their perceptions of what it means to be Black, and what it means to be Black in an army where they are almost never seen as equals despite fighting on the same “side” as their white counterparts. 

However, with a hauntingly beautiful score, and some of the most memorable war scenes directed by Edward Zwick, Glory is one of the most important films. Not just about the Civil War, but about America’s eternally complicated history of racism and the black pride that persists in spite, on the battlefield and beyond that’s why it is also ranked among Denzel Washington highest paid movies.

It made the sum of $26,979,160.

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#15 Devil In a Blue Dress

Denzel Washington plays a down-on-his-luck WWII soldier who moves to Los Angeles admirably in “Devil in a Blue Dress” to launch a brand new profession as a private investigator. The man invariably becomes involved in a challenging murder investigation.

In his film, writer/director Carl Franklin utilizes the detective story as a springboard to examine the racial climate of 1940s America, giving the well-worn noir plotlines his unique spin. 

Although Philip Marlowe experienced his fair share of unpleasant situations, he was fortunate in that his race was never used as a quick indicator of someone’s character.

Devil in a Blue Dress is a tempting spin on the noir genre, especially when Don Cheadle steals the show.

It made $16,140,822, making it rank among the Denzel Washington highest paid movies

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FAQs on Denzel Washington 15 Highest Paid Movies

How much does Denzel earn per movie?

Given his drawing power at the box office, Washington brings in an estimated $20 million per film. 

How much money did Denzel Washington make?

Denzel’s net worth in 2022 is $280 million.

What movies did Denzel win Oscars for?

Denzel won Oscar for the Edward Zwick Civil War film Glory.

How much does it cost to hire Denzel Washington for a movie?

One example fee to book Denzel Washington is in the starting range of $750,000-$999,998. Also, their speaking fee might differ from the fee shown for the cost to perform or appear.

How many Oscars does Denzel Washington own?

Denzel Washington owns two Oscars.


Denzel Washington movies are exceptional with the action and passion he puts in playing the roles, making his movie rank high in the industry.

Just as we’ve seen in this article, with this list, including Malcolm X, the Pelican Brief, and flight, you now have an idea of Denzel Washington’s best and highest-paid movies. 


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