Colin Farrell: Golden Globe Winner’s Best and Worst Roles

It’s a long way from Ballykissangel to Tinseltown – and Colin Farrell should know.

Undou Inisherin’s Banshees (his first was a Golden Globe for In Bruges in 2009). The movie also earned him the unofficial title of Most Famous Eyebrows in the Movie (how did he get them to do that? Answer on a postcard.)

It’s been a hell of a journey for the Castleknock native, from humble beginnings in a shabby little Irish town soap opera to starring alongside some of the biggest movie stars on the planet. However, since his Hollywood debut in Joel Schumacher’s 2000 war film Tigerland, the 46-year-old has taken on various roles in various genres. From superhero villains to action blockbusters, and quirky indie films to family-friendly Disney movies, Farrell has proven his versatility as well as a some serious acting skills.

However, like any established actor worthy of their salt, there are probably also some roles he’d rather forget among the critically acclaimed ones. Below, we take a look at Farrell’s best and worst roles.

Colin Farrell’s best movies:

Minority Report (2002)

Impressed audiences (and obviously studio heads as well) with roles like Tigerland and hart’s war, this is the movie where Colin Farrell became a true movie star. Co-starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, Farrell succeeds in the big budget sci-fi thriller, playing a government agent embroiled in a futuristic conspiracy involving ‘precogs’ – humans have clairvoyance – and a potential nefarious cover-up. He was also successful.

Take a Break (2003)


Colin Farrell in Break

This criminal has entered Irish cinema lore as a classic, and perhaps Farrell’s first chance to show off his comedic prowess. He plays unlucky young criminal Lehiff in the Mark O’Rowe-written film: a constant thorn in the side of Colm Meaney’s detective Garda, who becomes involved in a clumsy kidnapping plot. He portrayed Lehiff with both amusing rawness and a pleasant sense of innocence – perhaps most memorably in that scene with the tea and brown sauce. F**kin’ delicious, man.

In Bruges (2008)

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Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell first starred together in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges. Photo: Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features

There’s a lot to be said about the script for In Bruges, but when you can’t imagine anyone other than Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the lead roles, you know it was their performance that really elevated Martin McDonagh’s film debut. It was also the beginning of a beautiful friendship and creative alliance between the trio, Farrell playing ‘Dougal’ in front of Gleeson’s straight man with a moderate degree of half-hearted sincerity. Two Irish assassins take down in the ‘boring’ Belgian city after a failed business deal: what could happen?

Lobster (2015)


Colin Farrell plays a recently single man in an outlaw world in the hit independent film The Lobster. Photo: A24 Films

By 2015, he had proven that he could fill major blockbuster roles with confidence – phone booth, Vice Miami and SWAT to name a few – but Farrell seems to be drawn to unusual characters and stories. lobster was his first collaboration with the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (which was followed by the excellent film as well). The killing of a sacred deer in 2017), as David: a man must find a mate and fall in love within 45 days, or else he will be turned into a lobster. Farrell excels in these black comedy roles and this is definitely one of his best.

North Country (2021)

There have been very few television roles on Farrell’s CV since then. Ballykissangel; in addition to cameos like kill death celk and appeared on Sesame StreetHis first big foray into TV was on the second season of True Detective opposite Vince Vaughn. But forget that: while it may not be as critically acclaimed as the HBO show, one of his strongest roles to date has been in BBC soap operas. North Country. It’s not often you see Farrell playing such an all-out obnoxious character, but he really excels as the villainous thug Henry Drax, a member of a 19th-century Arctic whaling expedition failure.

Batman (2022)


Coli Farrell plays the crime king Gotham, the penguin in Matt Reeves’ superhero thriller. Photo: Warner Bros

Robert Pattinson may have created most of the rumors about Batman when he took on the role of the Caped Crusader, but ignoring Farrell’s contribution to Matt Reeves’ superhero reboot would be… well, the criminal. Not only was Farrell not physically recognized as one of the cinematic world’s most memorable villains – Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin – but he made the character his own. me; doesn’t mean following in Danny DeVito’s footsteps. Farrell’s Penguin is presented with a flair, eccentric sense of humor, and insidious intimidation that makes him steal every scene he’s in.

… And Colin Farrell’s Worst Movies:

Alexander (2004)


Angelina Jolie as Olympias and Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great. Photo: Warner Bros/Jaap Buitendijk

Look, you really can’t blame him for taking on a role like Alexander at that point in his career. On paper, there are plenty of opportunities for Oliver Stone’s historical epic about Alexander the Great – not least the opportunity to work with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Plummer and Angelina Jolie. What could have happened, he might have asked himself? Aside from the bad dye job (never blonde again, Colin), it’s a clunky script and ridiculously long runtime. The film was certified as a flop, and arguably it wasn’t one of Farrell’s best moments.

Total Recovery (2012)


In Total Recall, Colin Farrell plays a construction worker who begins to suspect he is a spy after a traumatic experience with a memory-altering company. Photo: AP photo/Michael Gibson

Made a fair fist of the 1980s remake in Vice Miami and horror comedy Night fearyou can see why reboot Total recovery may have appealed to Farrell. Unfortunately for him, the film – loosely based on the 1990 original, with some setting and plot adjustments – neither has the appeal nor the swagger of its predecessor. Admittedly Farrell has a big boot to fill, taking on the role of Douglas Quaid (a man haunted by terrifying dreams about being a spy in a future world) from Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, coupled with a convoluted script, it failed to impress critics as well as the public.

Daredevil (2003)

Let’s chalk this down to experience, shall we? To be fair, Farrell’s turn reckless is about five years ahead of the MCU renaissance, though it stems from the massive success of Tobey Maguire in Marvel’s first Spider-Man reboot: even back in 2003, there was a clear calling. obvious to big movie stars dipping their toes into comic book adaptations. The Dubliner plays Bullseye, one of a number of ‘bad guys’ caught in the sights of masked vigilante Daredevil, aka Ben Affleck. Despite winning at the box office, the film was still heavily panned by critics – which hopefully means we’ll never have to see Colin Farrell in one of those beanies again.

Ondine (2009)

There’s a lot to like about Neil Jordan’s atmospheric modern day fairy tale about a fisherman (Farrell) who one day, one day, catches what may or may not be a god selkie dialogue (Polish actress Alicja Bachleda-Curuś) in his grid – especially the captivating fact that the two co-stars fell in love in real life and had a child, Henry. The most memorable thing about ondine, however, not Farrell’s glamorous locks, his ‘handsome rogue’ antics or even the sheer Oirishness of it all; that’s Farrell’s way of delivering his Cork voice in a way that we can’t forget. Colin Farrell: Golden Globe Winner’s Best and Worst Roles

Fry Electronics Team

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