Devil In A Blue Dress: TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
EW Staff
February 18, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Great role: Don Cheadle in ”Devil in a Blue Dress”

PREMISE Sleuth Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington, right), looking for the title dame, is aided by his loyal pal Mouse (Cheadle, left), a flashy thug with a gold-toothed grin and an itchy trigger finger.

FUN FACT In Entertainment Weekly’s 1999 retrospective of the films of the ’90s, Cheadle’s turn here was rated the decade’s best unsung performance.

WHY IT’S GREAT Denzel is his smooth self, but Cheadle steals the movie from him with his funny, frightening, inventive performance, and with lines like: ”You said don’t shoot him, right? Well, I didn’t; I strangled him. If you didn’t want me to kill him, why did you leave me alone with him?”

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