Top 5: Colin Farrell

© A24

© A24

This week's release of Yorgos Lanthimos's The Killing of a Sacred Deer sees the return of Colin Farrell to the big screen. The Irish actor has been working consistently since the mid-1990s, and he has given the film world a number of memorable performances. In celebration of his new movie's release, I'm counting down my five favorite of Colin Farrell's turns on the big screen. 


5. Syracuse
Ondine, 2009

© Magnolia Pictures

© Magnolia Pictures

Neil Jordan's tale revolving around selkie legend proves to be a bit uneven, but it offered Farrell the opportunity to stretch his dramatic muscles in a way that the mass public hadn't seen him do all that often. Farrell's Syracuse serves more as our window the the story rather than the direct focus of it, but he's able to craft a complex character nonetheless. 

 

4. Travers Goff
Saving Mr. Banks, 2013

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

While the majority of Saving Mr. Banks focused on the relationship between Emma Thompson's P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks's Walt Disney, a number of flashback moments reveal a stirringly emotional turn from Colin Farrell as Travers's father. In a movie that suffers from some highs and lows, Farrell proves to be one constant that benefits the movie every time he appears on-screen. His character offers the dream for creativity and imagination, and it permeates every moment from start to finish. 

 

3. Bobby Pellit
Horrible Bosses, 2011

© Warner Bros.

© Warner Bros.

Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, and Jason Bateman all deal with some pretty terrible bosses in this movie, but Colin Farrell's Bobby Pellit always struck me as the most memorable. Farrell was almost unrecognizable to me on first viewing, and his over-the-top and manipulative actions make him an incredibly engaging villain for the even-tempered Sudeikis. 

 

2. Ray
In Bruges, 2008

© Focus Features

© Focus Features

Martin McDonagh's directorial debut is stellar for a number of reasons, but the chemistry between Farrell and Brendan Gleeson is definitely one of the stronger points. The story of two hitmen hiding out in the ever-so-boring city of Bruges plays for hilarity, and Farrell's manic, comedic performance offers a fantastic dichotomy against the rather dull backdrop. 

 

1. David
The Lobster, 2015

© A24

© A24

Colin Farrell has long been a bit of a sex symbol in Hollywood which makes his performance in The Lobster all the better. He plays against the suave type he had been used to for so long and creates a complex character in Yorgos Lanthimos's first English-language flick. While I have some issues with the film in its entirety, Farrell's David works as the perfect centerpiece to the story, from the hopefully optimistic beginning to the tragically beautiful end.