Nicolas Cage, one of the most popular actors of our generation, is known for being bat shit crazy and having one of the largest cult followings of all time. As well all know, there are movies of his that are so awful that you can’t help to throw on just for the comedic value, such as The Wicker Man and Ghost Rider. As I can go on about the worst Nicolas Cage movies and performances for hours, we need to give the man some credit as he has given some damn good performances without losing his absurd edge. Here are the top five must see Nicolas Cage films to date.
In Jon Woo’s Action Thriller, Nicolas Cage plays terrorist Castor Troy. He is hunted down by John Travolta’s character Sean Archer who finds him after a plane crash. Archer than removes Troy’s face and makes it his own. When Troy awakens, he then orders to have Archer’s face placed on his. If this absurd premise doesn’t make you want to check out this movie than I don’t know what’s wrong with you. You will not regret it. Nic Cage with John Travolta’s face and John Travolta with Nic Cage’s face. All you really need to know.
4. Raising Arizona
Probably the best comedy Nicolas Cage has ever starred in is the Coen Brother’s 1987 Raising Arizona. He stars as H.I. McDunnough, a robber, who marries police woman Edwina. The film follows the couple as they go through the most absurd tasks to try and have a child, because they are infertile. Nicolas Cage is absolutely hilarious in this film and is joined by an all star cast of Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, and John Goodman. Nicolas Cage starring in a Coen Brothers film? Sign me up.
Now this film on our list is the most recent film to have been released. In September 2018, Panos Cosmatos dropped an absolute masterpiece and was easily one of the best films of the year. This was a film where all of Nicolas Cage’s euphemisms and tendencies work to perfection. This was a film written for Nicolas Cage. It is one of the trippiest movies you will ever see and is joined by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s last score. To put it simply, Nicole Cage’s character, Red, looks for revenge on a sadistic group in the Pacific Northwest that killed his wife Mandy. That is all you need to know. Do not wait to see it.
2. Leaving Las Vegas
If you are speaking strictly about Nicolas Cage performances, Leaving Las Vegas may take the cake as the best. Nicolas Cage won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1996 for the film. It follows depressed screenwriter Ben Sanderson who looks to cope with his issues by drinking himself to death in Las Vegas. It then focuses on his relationship with prostitute Sera. If your looking for one of the best films of the 90’s and Nicolas Cage’s best performance, look no further.
From one of the best screen writers of all time, Charlie Kaufman, and critically acclaimed director, Spike Jonze, Nicolas Cage stars as Kaufman himself as he is coming off of the release of Being John Malkovich. He is having writers block and is trying to reinvent himself through a new script, more specifically an adaptation of “The Orchid Thief” by Susanne Orlean. While trying to write this script, Kaufman is not only fighting with himself but also with his twin brother Donald who is also played by Cage. Yes that’s right, two Nicolas Cages. What more could we want? This film is hilarious, sad, and one of the most unique films of the 2000s. I promise you have seen nothing like it and is a must see.