The Top 10 Colin Farrell Films, Ranked

 Colin Farrell Day should be renamed March 4, 2022. On Friday, the actor has not one, but two films in theatres. If you want a big blockbuster, there’s always The Batman, in which Farrell plays Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, with prosthetics and a Robert De Niro impersonation. If you prefer something a little more low-key, After Yang, South Korean director Kogonada’s stunning sci-fi feature from A24 about a man (Farrell) attempting to repair his family’s broken robot, is available. These two films demonstrate Farrell’s wide range. In one, he’s hamming it up as a villain, while in another, he’s subdued, contemplating the mysteries of existence.

Over the course of his career, Farrell has proven that he is more than just a sex symbol, as his early roles may have suggested. He’s one of our best actors, pursuing a variety of roles with a variety of directors, and he’s never afraid to go as strange as possible. In honour of his big weekend, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten Farrell performances. Also read From ‘Rudra’ to ‘No Time To Die,’ here is a list of shows and movies to watch this weekend on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and other services

1. The Miami Vice (2006)

The Miami Vice (2006)

“I’m a sucker for mojitos.” Could Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, or Chris Evans sell a line like that? No matter how many contemplative A24 indies or big-budget superhero tentpoles he stars in, Farrell’s sleazy, rougeish magnetism sets him apart from other male stars of his generation. Working with director Michael Mann, who nimbly reimagined his own groundbreaking ’80s TV hit into a digitally smeared Florida crime epic, Farrell brings a sweaty intensity to the role of Detective “Sonny” Crocket, the headstrong cop first played by Don Johnson on the show. Farrell finds poetry and grace in a part that could have felt like an empty exercise in cool-guy iconography in his charged-up dealings with Jamie Foxx’s “Tubbs” and his speed-boat romance with Gong Li’s Isabella. Yes, he has the ability to shoot a gun and take down a drug lord. But what you really want is his hand in a mojito and his feet on the dance floor. —DJ

2. A Lobster (2015)

Lobster (2015)

Colin Farrell manages to be quite the shapeshifter for a man who looks like he does, using his symmetrical face and floppy hair to play a cavalcade of sleezes and assholes. But Yorgos Lathimos, the Greek director behind Dogtooth, apparently saw something in Farrell that no one else had. Enter 2015’s The Lobster, starring Farrell as David, a schlubby man who, after his wife leaves him, is ordered to go to a hotel for 45 days as a single person, and if he does not find a partner within that timeframe, he will be turned into an animal. Isn’t that a crazy (but not completely unrealistic) premise? As he navigates trying to find a new partner, he plays David with an aching awkwardness, all of his usual charms buttoned up and shelved. He tentatively courts women, but an insurmountable loneliness lurks on the outskirts. At the same time, Lathimos brings out the situation’s dark humour, allowing Farrell to explore it in his own drily awkward way. It’s a performance that changed Farrell’s perception of himself as a leading man. —Cadenas, Kerensa

3. In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges (2008)

Farrell is a perfect match for Martin McDonagh’s Irish cynicism, and it’s on full display in In Bruges. He plays a depressed, misanthropic assassin who accidentally kills a child during a hit and has been quasi-exiled to the title’s quaint Brussels town to await further instructions. Farrell’s perpetual sneer contrasts with his co-star Brendan Gleeson’s wide-eyed energy, but he also reveals the true pain hidden beneath his character’s smug exterior. —EZ

4. After Yang (2022)

Following Yang (2022)

One of Farrell’s most recent performances also happens to be one of his best. Farrell is more subdued in Kogonada’s After Yang. It’s not as stilted as his work with Yorgos Lanthimos, but it’s in a gorgeously minor key. He plays Jake, a tea shop owner in a futuristic city, in the film. When his family’s robot Yang (Justin H. Min) breaks down, Jake embarks on a quest to repair the technosapien who has taken on the role of a big brother to his young daughter. To accomplish this, Jake is forced to literally delve into Yang’s memories, and then confront how he, as a human, sees the world. Farrell’s astute interpretation depicts a father attempting to relate to his daughter through the lens of the robot she adores. He also does a Werner Herzog impression, which is just the cherry on top. —EZ

5. Widows (2018)

Widows (2018)

Colin Farrell’s gift is that he’s a character actor in the body of a total dreamboat, and his performance in Steve McQueen’s Widows is proof of that. When he isn’t covered in prosthetics, as he is when he plays the Penguin in The Batman, he uses his good looks to his advantage by playing slimy characters such as alderman Jack Mulligan. In McQueen’s underrated and fascinating heist film, Jack embodies a kind of old white Chicago politician with only a thinly veiled contempt for the Black people he purports to represent. Even when McQueen isn’t looking at him, Farrell lets that shine through: Even though the camera is fixed on the outside of his car in the best scene, we can hear his dialogue. —Esther

6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Farrell’s character, Dr. Steven Murphy, is presented with a moral quandary in his second collaboration with Yorgos Lanthimos. When we discover that the surgeon is a mentor to a young man named Martin, we realise that not everything is as it appears (Barry Keoghan). When it’s revealed that Dr. Murphy murdered Martin’s father during an operation years ago, Martin arranges a tit for tat with the doctor and his family, allowing us to see Farrell at his most terrifying. Although the film has a cold, restrictive tone, Farrell’s distress is anything but as he is forced to confront a Sophie’s Choice involving questions of blame, regret, and revenge. Keoghan may be the disturbing scene-stealer in the end, but few could have been a better sparring partner and tormentor than Farrell. —SB

7. The New World (2005)

The New World (2005)

In Terrence Malick’s lyrical depiction of the settlement of Virginia, Colin Farrell lends the reluctant explorer a rugged, rough around the edges characterization that blends well with Malick’s mournful and complex version of our country’s discovery. Farrell’s John Smith is soft-spoken but commanding, a hero who isn’t necessarily heroic and whose emotions are interiorized in contrast to co-star Q’orianka Kilcher’s spirited Pocahontas. With flowing romance novel hair, a rough cut beard, and constantly unbuttoned sweaty shirts, this may be the most devastating Farrell has ever looked on screen. —ES

8. Minority Report 8 (2002)

Minority Report 8 (2002)

Colin Farrell had only been famous in America for a few years when he starred opposite Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg’s dystopian action adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, in which he played smarmy Department of Justice agent Danny Witwer, who was sent to audit near-future D.C.’s “Precrime” prototype police division, which uses clairvoyant “precogs” to predict crimes before they happen and arrest the would-be perpetrator When the precogs predict that one of the program’s officers, John Anderton (Cruise), is about to commit a murder, Witwer leads the manhunt for Anderton when he flees.—Emma Stefansky

9. The Beguiled (2017)

The Beguiled (2017)

It’s difficult to imagine another man turning so many dignified ladies into horny messes like Colin Farrell. That’s what he does as Corporal McBurney in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, a union soldier who is treated to the hospitality of a group of southern belles after being discovered wounded on the grounds of their all-girls school. Although Coppola emphasises the women and their gothic storey of sisterhood in this remake, Farrell makes it easy to see why Nicole Kidman’s straight-laced Miss Martha and Kirsten Dunst’s lovelorn Edwina would faint in his presence—the Virginia humidity having nothing to do with it. He’s just as seductive as his sexually repressed hosts, portraying McBurney as a shapeshifter who is sincere and charismatic at first, until his attempt to seduce as much as he can out of Miss Martha Farnsworth’s Seminary for Young Ladies turns him into a monster. Sadie Bell

10. Phone Booth (2002)

Phone Booth (2002)

The Times Square-set screenplay for Phone Booth was written by New York genre film master Larry Cohen (God Told Me To, The Stuff). With Farrell’s smarmy publicist forced to pay for his sins, the film has an Old Testament sense of morality, but director Joel Schumacher also tricks out the film with slick split-screen effects to sell the ticking-clock 24-like urgency. (It helps that the irritated sniper is voiced by Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland.) Schumacher cast Farrell in Tigerland, the actor’s breakthrough film, and the director demonstrates a real perceptive of his contributions here, weaponizing Farrell’s pride, attraction, and susceptibility to make the audience squirm. —David Jackson.

Also read From ‘Rudra’ to ‘No Time To Die,’ here is a list of shows and movies to watch this weekend on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and other services

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