10. 'Horrible Bosses' (2011)
It’s a rare treat to see Farrell in a straight-up comedic role. The actor traded his good looks for a comb-over and a paunch as Jason Sudiekis’ horrible boss Bobby Pellitt. As sleazy, coke-head Bobby, Farrell really lets loose in the over-the-top role, we wonder why he doesn’t get cast in more comedies.
9. 'Tigerland' (2000)
20th Century Fox
Farrell is on the brink of stardom in "Tigerland", perfectly cast as a soldier who stands out of the close-cropped pack. Bozz’s leadership skills and friendship with a fellow trainee are at the crux of a movie that’s more about preparing for life than it is about preparing for war. It’s the Farrell film that first made everyone stand up and take notice of the actor.
8. 'Triage' (2009)
Farrell’s performance is filled with unrelenting intensity and complexity as Mark, an emotionally and physically scarred war photojournalist in another tragically under-watched film. In a multifaceted and nuanced performance Farrell drifts between pre- and post-war Mark, balancing his character’s physical and emotional damage. It’s a difficult and heavy role for the actor, and an excellent display of his acting chops.
7. 'Intermission' (2003)
In an Irish ensemble comedy about a group of Dubliners, Colin Farrell is petty-thief Lehiff, the not-so-bright bad boy in this series of interweaving tales from "Brooklyn" director John Crowley. You’re not quite sure if you’re laughing at him or with him as he hunts down the boy who threw a rock at his car or sweet talks a local cashier just to reach his hand in the till and run off with a handful of cash. In his first turn in a dark comedy, Farrell flexes his comedy muscle and shows us just what he’s capable of, setting the tone for his later roles in “Horrible Bosses”, “Seven Psychopaths” and “In Bruges”.
6. 'Fright Night' (2011)
The suburban campy vampire remake showed us that Colin Farrell can be funny, charming, and downright menacing. Always the smooth talker, Farrell’s vampiric charms work on everyone but his keen-eyed nerdy neighbour, who discovers the vampire’s true nature. Farrell seems to enjoy every blood-sucking minute he’s on screen firmly cementing his role as scary Jerry in our list of bests.
5. 'The Recruit' (2003)
A brilliant CIA recruit gets an intense training session he won’t soon forget, thanks to his mentor (Al Pacino) in "The Recruit". In an easily overlooked role, Farrell’s portrayal of recruit James runs the gamut from extreme anxiety, pure nerve, and fear to intense physical and mental challenges. It takes a strong actor to stand up to a shouty Pacino on screen but Farrell proves an even match in this game of wits as he shows off his strong cinematic presence.
4. 'Phone Booth' (2002)
Colin Farrell spends 90 minutes trapped in a phone booth and makes each one of those minutes a nail-biter in this Hitchcockian thriller. All eyes are on Farrell in this one as we don’t get to see the man responsible for holding him there, referred to as “The Caller” (Kiefer Sutherland). This is virtually a one-man show and Farrell excels.
3. 'Minority Report' (2002)
Pitted against a pre-couch-jumping Tom Cruise, Farrell starred in this box office smash earning over $350 million worldwide. The pairing of a relatively unknown against one of the world’s biggest stars was a coup for Farrell, who played the cocky Department of Justice agent with swagger. Competing for screen time with the scenery-chewing Cruise isn’t an easy task but Farrell reaches a "Cruise" level of intensity to become a formidable foe in hot pursuit of the film’s star.
2. 'The Lobster' (2015)
Farrell’s first pairing with Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos is brilliant, brutish and absurd. In a society where the unlucky in love visit a hotel with the hopes of finding a romantic partner lest they be turned into the animal of their choice – like a lobster or a parrot. It manages to somehow be not quite as dark as his next project with the director, “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer”.
1. 'In Bruges' (2008)
It’s a dark buddy comedy at heart as Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play a pair of hitmen seeking refuge in the Belgian city of Bruges after a job goes horribly awry. Packed with action, suspense, and dark humour, "In Bruges" is Colin Farrell at his best as the incredulous comic everyman who can’t believe he’s gotten himself into this situation (see: "Seven Psychopaths").
Farrell is manic, witty and likable and will have you rooting for his guilt-ridden Ray to out-run ruthless boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes).