"American Gangster" (2007) — Directed By: Ridley Scott —
What better way to let America know just how ill you are as an actor than to play the bad guy?! It worked for Al Pacino in "Scarface," equally so for Robert De Niro in "Cape Fear," but when Denzel donned the Harlem-esque threads to play notorious gangster Frank Lucas, he showed a range and versatility that cemented his legendary status.
Ridley Scott's "American Gangster," was the fueled necessary to bring Jay-Z out of his creative rut (does anybody still listen to "Kingdom Come"?); and gave plenty of other rappers work (see: Common and T.I.). Washington's presence on screen is immense as every scene centers on profiling his natural charisma that beguiles a dangerous charm behind a luxury smile.
Watch the trailer here: