Top 10 Films – Nicolas Cage

The Rock

Yep, Cage is pretty happy right here in his action flick The Rock

List compiled by Eddie on 30/01/2015

While there is little doubt about that fact that now days Nicolas Cage is very much an actor for hire (supposedly due to some outstanding taxes) there was a time when Cage was one of the biggest actors in the business, an Oscar winner that also garnered some huge box office receipts the world over and a performer at home in big budget action flicks as well as small scale comedies.

During the mid to late 90’s in particular Cage appeared in many hits that flowed into the new millennium and then plateaued in the late 2000’s. Many pundits predicted a renaissance of sorts when Cage almost stole the show in 2010 cult classic Kick-Ass but sadly that has yet to eventuate as anyone who may have seen Left Behind may attest to, although Cage’s award worthy turn in 2013’s Joe showcased once more that the man can seriously act.

Cage is absolutely a strange character, a man prone to bizarre public behaviour and even more bizarre movie appearances and for every quality turn there is a Wicker Man,Drive Angry or shudder Ghost Rider just waiting around the corner but one feels we haven’t yet seen the end of Cages acting high points, with the right project he may just one day appear once more in the end of year Awards circuits although some may still just be wishing that their favourite crazy eyed maniac had brought his antics to the suit of Superman way back when.

Once more as always is the case, this Top 10 Films list is not based on Cage’s performances alone but the movie as a whole so all judgements should go in line with this.

Happy reading and happy watching.

Face - Off

Look into the eyes the eyes, not around the eyes look into the eyes. Things get wild eyed in Face/Off

10. Face/Off (1997)

Cage plays – Castor Troy/Sean Archer

As with any John Woo film Face/Off comes with a pre-warning of over the top baked goodies, for as per usual things are totally unbelievable here yet utterly entertaining. The matchup of John Travolta and Cage works cheesy wonders on a typically irreverent 90’s action movie that’s perfect for those nights in with a pizza or two.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – No, just a few crazy eyed scenes.

9. Joe (2013)

Cage plays – Joe

The first fully fledged sign of acting life Cage has had in a leading role in quiet sometime, indie filmmaking golden child David Gordon Green elicits a fantastic turn from Cage and the rest of his cast and portrays an undiluted look into the harsh lifestyle of many country folk. A brutal and honest drama, you can read our full review here.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – No, just lush bearded growth.

8. Raising Arizona (1987)

Cage plays – H.I. McDunnough

It’s a shame the Coen Brothers have never again teamed up with the wild eyed Cage for another bout of comedic shenanigans for if it were to be as mad-capped and entertaining as this late 80’s venture we’d all be in for a movie treat. Cage is at his entertaining best in this wacky caper that showcased many elements of the Coen’s that would later on be staples of their very successful career.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Yes, frizztacular!

7. The Rock (1996)

Cage plays – Stanley Goodspeed

The presence of Scottish legend Sean Connery certainly helps with the pedigree of this action fest but The Rock is once more the perfect example of the late 90’s action fair that saturated much of the market at that time. From one liners, over the top violence and scenarios that don’t pretend to make much sense this is a great movie for all fans of movies with a care free attitude.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – No, surprisingly normal.

6. Adaptation (2002)

Cage plays – Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman

If you like you’re movies served with an entrée of strange, a main of weird and a desert of flat out insane then Adaptation is by far your meal of choice. A great insight into creative madness and the screen writing process, this Spike Jonze comedy is just the type of affair you’d expect from the man that gave birth to Jackass and Being John Malkovich and with a cast of seasoned veterans is an intriguing watch from start to finish and a great double-up of on form Nicolas Cage characters.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Yes, some strange type of rug.

Adaptation

Two crazy Cages for the price of one? Cage found success in Spike Jonze’s bizarre comedy Adaptation

5. Con Air (1997)

Cage plays – Cameron Poe

While we have already given air time to Con Air as one of our most guilty of guilty pleasure movies, there is always more room for mullet wielding Nicolas Cage’s and bonkers story lines. Con Air is downright ludicrous in its set up, but with solid direction from Simon West and with a cast of some of Hollywood’s finest having a blast this is rewarding B grade stuff.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Yes, mullet for the win.

4. Kick-Ass (2010)

Cage plays – Damon Macready/Big Daddy

A cult classic almost the day after it was realised (and a predecessor to a tired follow-up) Matthew Vaughan’s energetic and original comic book adaptation is fresh, fast and furious and produced a Cage supporting turn that made many think he was back in business. An unquestionably controversial movie not for all tastes, this is however a fantastic example of what a comic book movie can be with a little creativity.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Yes, a weird parted type styling.

3. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Cage plays – Ben Sanderson

The movie that will forever be known as the venture that nabbed Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew a Best Actor Oscar, Leaving Las Vegas is a downbeat and effective drama that is for all accounts and purposes a showcase for the talent that Cage possesses when given the right material and forgoing the lunatic act for the sake of his art.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Half and half, at times restrained, at others untamed.

2. Matchstick Men (2003)

Cage plays – Roy Waller

A little seen gem from famed director Ridley Scott, this con man, OCD, family drama co-starring the always good Sam Rockwell is a dramedy of the highest order. Nothing overly unique occurs throughout this tale but with top notch acting, some understated yet appealing direction from Scott and with a nice story set-up, if you’re yet to see this low key movie you could do worse than to check it out.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – Half and half, sometimes cared for, other times unleashed.

1. Lord of War (2005)

Cage plays – Yuri Orlov

Expertly directed by the underrated Andrew Niccol and well played by leads Cage, Ethan Hawke and the now super famous Jared Leto, Lord of War is the true life tale of Yuri Orlov and his gun exportation businesses that needs to be seen to be believed. From its killer opening through to its more sombre moments, Lord of War is a ripping tale that deserves to have more recognition than it gets.

Does Cage sport a crazy hairdo? – No, pretty businessman-like here.

Lord of War

This is the meaning of swagger, Cage owns the screen in Lord of War

 Honourable mentions – World Trade Center, Windtalkers, Wild at Heart, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

 How does this list rate compared your favourite “Sir Crazy Eyes” movies? Should there be a little more adventure in National Tressure or maybe some wacky Sci-Fi in Knowing? Let us know in the comments below!

In case you were wondering - yes this is Cage wearing a t-shirt of his own face and drinking from a goblet at a Guns and Roses gig

In case you were wondering – yes this is Cage wearing a t-shirt of his own face and drinking from a goblet at a Guns and Roses gig

For more of our actor Top 10’s check out below –

Robert De Niro

Brad Pitt

Bruce Willis

Leonardo DiCaprio

Tom Hanks

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50 responses to “Top 10 Films – Nicolas Cage

  1. Good read, and good list. Although he has made some poor choices, and continues to do so, he is one of the more fun actors to watch. And whether it’s a straight to DVD film, or more mainstream viewing, Nicolas Cage always gives a memorable performance.

  2. An excellent list man, so nice to see you recognize his effort in ‘Matchstick Men;’ I agree that is an incredibly overlooked movie, both as a Ridley Scott production and a Nic Cage-starring vehicle. Also, ‘Lord of War’ is too often overlooked. That movie is pretty sickening when you think about it.

  3. Definitely would of had National Treasure on mine, but that’s because that’s one of my favorites lol can’t get enough of treasure hunt films. Can’t argue with your list though.

  4. Glad you put Adaptation, Kick Ass and Matchstick Men on here. The man may make some bad movies, but at least he takes chances and keeps working. Nothing wrong with that. Great post man

  5. I love him in Moonstruck. He is so smoldering, angry and completely magnetic. It is such a well written movie. Almost more like a play than a movie.

  6. I have seen the second half of Face/Off, it was alright. I once saw the end of Knowing, it was weird. The Rock is pretty good, but I would say my favourite of his films (the ones I have seen anyway) would be Con Air.

  7. That’s a respectable Cage-list you got there. Nice to see Matchstick getting some love, and of course Leaving Las Vegas is fantastic. My list looks like this: (1) Wild at Heart (2) Adaptation (3) Matchstick Men (4) Leaving Las Vegas (5) Bringing Out the Dead (6) Raising Arizona (7) Vampire’s Kiss (8) Bad Lieutenant: Port (9) Deadfall (10) Kiss of Death. IMO no Best of Cage list is complete without Deadfall being included. The movie as a whole is pretty meh, but holy smokes Cage is insaaaaaaaane in that! Really, a whole other level of batshit.

  8. Great list. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people hacking on Nicolas Cage as being a terrible actor. Sure, he’s been in some absolute stinkers, but when he’s good, he’s dynamite on screen.

  9. Great list. I need to watch “Raising Arizona” again — love that flick. Forced myself to watch “Left Behind” last night. It would be bad as a made-for-TV film, let alone as a theatrical release. The words “What were you thinking?” just kept running through my head!

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