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Yes, I know you've heard of Colin Farrell, but do you know him? Chances are that you've managed to overlook this young man's talent because he's often standing in the shadow of some of the marquee names in the business. In "Hart's War," the marketing geared the film towards the Bruce Willis fans that had made his movies the hits that they often are. Colin's face was not featured on the theatrical release poster. Instead, Bruce Willis was taking up most of the poster with a patriotic salute. After seeing the movie, it seems strange to have the poster designed in such a manner beacuse, in truth, it's Willis who serves as the supporting actor to Farrell's lead. There are few scenes within the film that don't include Farrell in some caapacity. The film did not do well at the box office. That's a shame because more people should be aware of the superb performance Farrell delivers as Tommy Hart, a prisoner of war in a prison camp in nazi Germany. Hart is forced to take a journey that will change his character and his convictions. Farrell is placed in a position to give a very one-dimensional performance, but he manages to color Hart with the anger, fear, and honor that the role deserves. Hart is a man out of his element. He is not respected or welcome in the camp and that has to be portrayed in Farrell's reactions to the action taken against him. He pulls it off marvelously. It turned out to be one of the most underrated performances of 2002. In "Minority Report," Farrell plays second fiddle to Tom Cruise, box office champion and ace actor. That doesn't keep Farrell from delivering a well-crafted performance of the man trying to take Cruise's character's job. He's suave and straight-laced, but Farrell hints at the suspicion that hides under the surface of the character. He isn't really given a chance to steal any scenes, but he certainly adds to the quality of the film. In "The Recruit," Farrell received his first leading man role, but he played off of cinema legend Al Pacino. Farrell holds his own in the midst of Pacino, actually stealing a number of scenes from him. The confusion and frustration, not to mention the fear the character has to endure comes across clearly because Farrell is so gifted in portraying those emotions and abstractions on screen. In "Daredevil," Farrell plays Bullseye, a hitman with a craze about him that shakes all the actor's seriousness out of him. He seems almost giddy in the movie. He plays the character with such a distinctive edge that he stands apart from the crowded list of fine actors who tried their hands at playing a superhero villain. The over-the-top role demonstrates the range the actor possesses. But, the finest role of his career and best performance came in the role of Stu in "Phone Booth."  Farrell rolls through the emotions with subtle ease.  He goes from arrogant to a broken shell of a man in a matter of minutes.  That's because the thriller's action unfolds real time.  Farrell is "Phone Booth."  He makes the movie great. The supporting cast is superb, but its Colin's show to win or lose, and wins big time.  But perhaps the uninitated viewer would be better served with a look at Farrell in "Tigerland," his first American movie.  As in "Phone Booth," the movie belongs to him and everyone else serves only to complement his role.  As he often does, he drops his Irish accent, this time in favor of a Texan twang.  He inserts charm into the role and runs away with the movie.  If you look closely, you can see a star being made.  Farrell is sure to grab more of the spotlight as his career progresses, but I want to be able to say that I gave him the credit that was due when it was due. 

recommended Colin Farrell performances:
The Recruit
Hart's War
Minority Report
Phone Booth

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