Denzealot Data

because all that data isn't going to chart itself



Vulture rankings

On Friday, Will Leitch and Tim Grierson over at Vulture Devouring Culture published a guide on where to watch Denzel’s films: Want to Watch Some Denzel? Here’s a Streaming Guide to All 44 of His Movies.

Scenes from some of the films are embedded in the article. So, of course, I had to rewatch the ending of Man On Fire. And, of course, I started crying as soon as Pita screamed, “CREASY!” I can’t help it.

Here are Leitch and Grierson’s rankings. I was a little surprised to see The Magnificent Seven ranked so far down on the list. I’d like to hear your thoughts about that and the rest of their rankings.

Rank Film
1 Malcolm X (1992)
2 Training Day (2001)
3 He Got Game (1998)
4 Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
5 Crimson Tide (1995)
6 Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
7 Mississippi Masala (1992)
8 Flight (2012)
9 Glory (1989)
10 Inside Man (2006)
11 The Mighty Quinn (1989)
12 The Hurricane (1999)
13 Man on Fire (2004)
14 Cry Freedom (1987)
15 A Soldier’s Story (1984)
16 American Gangster (2007)
17 Unstoppable (2010)
18 The Equalizer (2014)
19 Antwone Fisher (2002)
20 The Siege (1998)
21 Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
22 Remember the Titans (2000)
23 Out of Time (2003)
24 Courage Under Fire (1996)
25 The Pelican Brief (1993)
26 Power (1986)
27 The Great Debaters (2007)
28 Philadelphia (1993)
29 Safe House (2012)
30 For Queen and Country (1989)
31 Ricochet (1991)
32 The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
33 Fallen (1998)
34 The Book of Eli (2010)
35 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)
36 The Magnificent Seven (2016)
37 The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
38 The Bone Collector (1999)
39 2 Guns (2013)
40 Deja Vu (2006)
41 Virtuosity (1995)
42 John Q. (2002)
43 Carbon Copy (1981)
44 Heart Condition (1990)

Denzel data at FiveThirtyEight

I was thrilled yesterday to see multiple Denzealots reporting on Walt Hickey’s article, The Four Types of Denzel Washington Movies, on FiveThirtyEight. It’s great to see more Denzel data, especially on Nate Silver’s site.


Data update

After almost an entire month, I finally got around to updating the Current Data page. I’ve watched several of the films since my last update on June 21 and have been tracking Denzelisms, so the data is getting a little richer.


I’ve also updated the original chart showing only Kevin’s, Kamau’s, and their guests’ average ratings:


Soon I’ll add the Denzealots’ movie ratings to the mix, and we’ll be able to compare our average ratings to Kevin and Kamau’s. (Isn’t that exciting?)


Here’s a line chart showing Denzelishness over the years, according to the nine Denzelisms that I’m tracking: the walk, general badassery, humor, the lip, the speech, the stutter, the thousand-yard stare, the cough, and the Glory Tear. (Now we’re getting fancy.)

(Note that the chart includes data only for the podcasts that I’ve heard so far (see the Current Data).

The first chart reflects average Denzelishness. (Wait! Isn’t that an oxymoron?)


This second chart reflects total Denzelishness in each year.


This chart will get more dramatic after all the data is compiled.

Data labels

I’m planning some new visualizations of DWITGAOATP data, and I went back to Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s book, Storytelling With Data, to get some ideas. As I was flipping through it, I remembered that she uses data labels on her bar charts, which makes them much easier to read.

So here’s the updated data with labels. Now I need to figure out how to adjust the spacing. It’s a little smashed, which is a bit of a coincidence. (Heh.)


A new data point

I’ve added a new data set.


See Current Data for the updated main chart.

And a huge thank you to Kevin and Kamau for the shout-out on Episode 80. That made my day.


I came late to the DWITGAOATP party, and the more I listen to the podcast, the more I learn about the Denzealot community.

After seven or eight episodes, I jumped ahead to Episode 49, Much Ado About Nothing, because I love that movie. One of my favorite scenes is when Don Pedro, played by Denzel, proposes to Beatrice, played by Emma Thompson. She politely declines, saying, “No, my lord, unless I might have another for working days. Your Grace is too costly to wear every day.”

Anyhow …

During the episode, Kamau and Kevin talk a lot about Liz, who maintains the @Denzealots Twitter account, and Igor Rusinov, who maintains I never realized before today that those are fan accounts. Their sites complement the DWITGAOATP podcast nicely, and I rely on them quite a bit.

Check out the Current Data. It’s starting to take shape. And please be sure to submit your ideas for visualizing the data. I’d appreciate some new perspectives.

Square one

I was three days into this project when I realized that I’m going to have to start thinking like a researcher. Which is a bit of a challenge for me, because, well, I’m not a researcher.

There are holes in my data that need fixing. For example, I listened to the first seven episodes without the intention of gathering data, so my list of Denzelisms is largely from memory.

Back to Episode 2: The Equalizer.

Here’s the starting list of Denzelisms from that episode:

  • The walk
  • General badassery
  • The lip
  • The speech
  • Denzel’s humor
  • The “Oh, really … oh, ok, ok” reaction. (Kamau and Kevin went on to call it something else, but I can’t go there.)

In future episodes they added:

  • The stutter
  • The thousand-yard stare
  • The cough
  • The Glory Tear
  • No white women as lovers (not on the chart yet)

Below is the updated chart (also see the latest table on which it is based):


Clustered bar chart

I changed the bar chart to a clustered bar chart, which will allow for automatic reporting of average film ratings and Denzelims. I haven’t added a key yet, but the blue bars represent the ratings, and the orange bars represent the number of Denzelisms reported by Kevin and Kamau.

And just as a side note, my spell check isn’t offering to add “Denzelism” to my spell check dictionary. WTF?


The first chart

In this first chart, the bars represent the average rating given to each film by Kamau, Kevin, and their guests (if any). The final chart will look similar to this, but in addition to displaying the average ratings, the color of each bar will represent the film’s Denzelishness.

In the example below, the bar for “Glory” is a deep red, which will be reserved for films where Mr. Washington displayed his most Denzelishness. More on that to come.

See the table of data on which this chart is based. Note that the Denzelisms are incomplete. I’ll add more of that data as I listen to the podcasts. (So far I’m capturing the walk, lip, speech, and stutter. I’ll add columns for any others I catch in the podcasts.)

Denzealot Chart (6/2/2016)

My plans for the data

Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period started in November 2014, and Episode 79 was just released yesterday, June 1, 2016.

As of this writing, I’m on Episode 8, so my data and I are very behind. My goal is to prepare a few simple charts that capture the data Kamau and Kevin are generating: their ratings of and the Denzelishness portrayed in all the films.

I have reviewed the episode information on to record the ratings. I’ll have to listen to every podcast to capture the Denzelisms that Kamau and Kevin have noted for each film.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome, especially if you have ideas on presenting the data another way. (No pie chart suggestions, please. Pie charts are evil.)


Welcome to Denzealot Data, where you can view in chart and graph form the data from the greatest podcast of all time, Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period, with Kevin Avery and W. Kamau Bell.

I’m a big fan of the podcast, and I’m an even bigger fan of Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, author of Storytelling With Data (the blog and the book). So the next logical step for me was to start working with the data from DWITGAOATP to get it an easy-to-view format.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

(To view a chart or graph in a larger size, click on the relevant post’s title.)

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