40. Heart Condition (1990)
In a rare case of Washington taking on a "magical negro" role, he stars as the ghost of a slick-ass lawyer who haunts his archnemesis, a racist cop (Bob Hoskins) who receives his heart during a transplant. Although Washington exhibits a sly playfulness, this movie is downright wretched. Washington eventually fired the agent who talked him into doing this.
39. The Book of Eli (2010)
This Hughes brothers-directed, postapocalyptic Western is also quite possibly the most deranged pro-Christian blockbuster ever made. Washington is the titular character, a lethal, damn-near-impenetrable drifter who becomes a wanted man because he's the only person on Earth with a copy of the King James Bible. Crazy as it is seeing him kick ass for the Lord, he's mostly on autopilot.
38. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Next to Spike Lee, the late Tony Scott is the only director Washington has been comfortable working with over and over. The worst of their team-ups is this remake of the underrated '70s caper flick, where Washington plays a meek traffic cop trying to subdue a crew of criminals (led by an all-over-the-place John Travolta) who have taken a subway car full of people hostage. He's not at his full potential. But then again, neither is the movie.
37. Man on Fire (2004)
Another Washington/Scott collab that is also a remake of another movie (the 1987 version starred Scott Glenn and Joe Pesci). This time, Denzel is a tormented CIA operative-turned-bodyguard who goes on a rampage when the little girl he protects (a still-tiny Dakota Fanning) gets abducted. As hilarious as it is seeing Denzel go lethal in order to save young white girls (see: The Equalizer, The Book of Eli), this movie is a sadistic eyesore.
36. John Q (2002)
Both Denzel and this working-class drama just ooze with pathos. The earnestly named John Q. Archibald is a blue-collar dude-turned-folk hero who takes a hospital hostage so doctors can replace his son's enlarged heart with his. Surrounded by an all-star cast (Robert Duvall! Ray Liotta! Eddie Griffin?), it's still Washington's world, as he tries to stay solemn even when the role requires him to act like he's shit outta luck.