My Top 5 Nicolas Cage Movies

Updated on March 5, 2020
Kyle Atwood profile image

Kyle Atwood is a published author of fiction who plays too many video games and watches too many movies to be of sound mind.


Nicolas Cage has earned notoriety in today's film scene.

He's remembered for his angry and weird roles that he seemed to always be afflicted with.

Until recently, Nicolas Cage seemed to be finished in the film industry. He has seemingly been forever labeled as "that guy from Ghost Rider and Wicker Man" and it was heartbreaking, honestly.

Cage is a talented actor, simply put, who was dealt a lot of really bad deals. His talent becomes even more apparent when he tries to make something presentable out of these deals.


5: The Wicker Man

Yeah, I know I opened with defending Cage's reputation as an actor talking about how he's more than just "that guy from Wicker Man" but how could I not talk about this movie? As I mentioned before, Cage's talent shines as he tries to make this role work. Instead of blaming the failure of The Wicker Man on Cage, we should be blaming it on the politics and writing revolving around this film that was meant to be a quick cash grab.

The movie is hot garbage. Everything about it is awful. The Wicker Man should have been an amazing remake of an amazing, low budget horror film but fell flat in almost every department.

Cage's bizarre performance, however, is the reason this movie has made it on this list at number five. He tries his best to service an unserviceable script and he, as expected, falls flat. But hard work isn't enough to save this movie, but yet it has made its way to my list. Well, humble reader, this is not only for the bizarre performance of Cage but also for the infamous line about the bees.

But in all honesty, it's because of Cage's commitment to the role and to praise his professionalism.


4: National Treasure

Perhaps I am blinded by nostalgia on this one because so many reviewers just do not enjoy National Treasure.

For me, National Treasure is so outlandish with some of its mysteries and thrills that I can't help but be entertained by Nicolas Cage's performance. It's got silly chase scenes and wild stunts that come at the viewer rapidly throughout the movie. Sure, it's historically inaccurate and the naivety of the whole thing is kind of adorable, but it succeeds at the only thing that matters to me when thinking of a Disney film, and that is the amount of fun I am able to have with this movie. It's not deep, it's almost completely forgettable, but it is a fun and entertaining movie for someone to just sit down and unwind to.


3: Con Air (1997)

Asinine and trite, Con Air is one of those defining movies of the 90s action scene and everybody loves it. Even if you don't, I know you secretly do.

It may have a terrible script, but Con Air has some of the best action scenes I've seen and the most entertaining role Nicolas Cage has ever performed in.

Whether it be during some summertime day on TV or an odd Con Air marathon airing on Spike, we can always find comfort in its forgettable script and mind-blowing explosions.


2: Joe (2013)

Up until now, I have talked a lot about the comedic and action-packed roles Nicolas Cage had always seemed to find himself in and I apologize to each of his fans that I might have offended. But now we're in the meat of this list, the two movies that inspired me to create this list in the first place.

In Joe, Nicolas Cage really shows us the scope of his true talents as an actor. He has stepped away from his manic, crazy, rage-filled personas and found himself in strong, character-driven roles

When revisiting this movie and seeing some of the reviews about it, I can't help but wonder why so many reviewers found this film unfavorable. As a result, Joe has kind of flown under the radar when looking at other articles about Nicolas Cage.

Joe is a film that seeps with quiet determination and rural, Southern Gothic drama. To put it simply, Joe is a movie filled with all the right kind of melancholic emotions and, for that, I can't help but put this movie so high on this list.

The film revolves around a tormented man who hires a teenage boy and protects him from his abusive father.

Joe's plot is simple, yet provocative due to Cage's and the supporting cast's phenomenal performance.


1: Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Let me just say wow. Leaving Las Vegas is a heartbreaking film, to say the least.

Leaving Las Vegas is a love story like no other. This film is a bleak and mesmerizing story of self-destruction that ignores all of the uplifting conventions of your typical Hollywood romances of the time.

The artistic direction of the director keeps his message honest and cruel, but this film belongs to Nicolas Cage for all the right reasons. As if this role was the one he was born to play.

Cage's fierce and unwavering performance rightfully earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Grim but compelling, sad but not depressing. Leaving Las Vegas is easily Nicolas Cage's best performance.


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