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The Best Nicolas Cage Films

21 Apr 2021
The Best Nicolas Cage Films

One of Hollywood’s most prolific actors is Nicolas Cage. The man has over 100 acting credits on IMDB, with another 4 projects currently in the works. He has starred in blockbusters, horror films and academy award-winning dramas. The man has range. He is one of my all-time favourite actors for many reasons. I love that he can go from 0 – 100 in the space of a couple of seconds. I love that he will appear in anything as well.  Because of the release of two Cage films in April, ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ and ‘The Croods: A New Age’, today I want to discuss Cage’s work by breaking down my favourite films in his filmography. These most certainly are not the best films, but these are the films that I find myself re-watching on a regular basis. Here are my picks for Cage’s best.

Bringing Out The Dead (1999) – Did you know that cage worked with filmmaking legend, Martin Scorsese Well, he did in 1999’s ‘Bringing Out The Dead’. This film sees Cage play an Ambulance Paramedic as he is haunted by those, he has not been able to save. Part thriller, part drama, Cage brings a lot of gravitas to the role of the troubled Frank Pierce. He is brilliant in the film. This is not regarded as one of Cage’s best, but it is one I am quite fond of.

National Treasure & National Treasure Book of Secrets – Cage had a turn as a modern-day Indiana Jones in both ‘National Treasure’ and its sequel ‘Book of Secrets’. Cage was born to be a leading man. Whenever he is on screen, he elevates whatever material he is given. This has never been truer than it is in the ‘National Treasure’ series. He is witty, charming and he sells the action. He is whatever film needs and more. These are among Cage’s most re-watchable films and I am still eagerly awaiting a third instalment of the franchise.  

Ghost Rider (2006) – This film is not a classic. It isn’t even a good film. The reason I am putting it on this list is that Cage is just so goofy and fun in the film. Johnny Blaze aka Ghost Rider is one of Marvel’s b-characters. He isn’t your Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America. So, it is a hard sell from the get-go. But what makes the character burst onto the big screen isn’t the flaming skull, it’s Cage’s portrayal of the character. He hems up the role just having an absolute blast as this absurd character. If the actor is having fun with the character then the audience will too. He is even wackier in the films 2012 sequel ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Matchstick Men (2003) – One thing that Cage can say he has done over his career is work with some of Hollywood’s most talented filmmakers. In 2003, Cage teamed up with prolific Hollywood director, Sir. Ridley Scott in 2003’s ‘Matchstick Men’. Cage plays a character with the obsessive, compulsive disorder (OCD). He plays this so well, balancing the unhinged nature of the character, with a grounded sensibility that makes the character relatable. The film is filled with great moments of comedy that cage relishes. The film also has a compelling mystery at its core that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Raising Arizona (1987) – In 1987, Cage teamed up again with other Hollywood heavyweights ‘The Coen Brothers’ in their offbeat comedy ‘Raising Arizona’. Cage plays an ex-con, H.I. McDunnough as he becomes an unsuspecting father. This is one of Cage’s more heart-warming and subtle performances. Yes, there are still moments of Cage’s zany and wacky antics, but here he is given a character with a lot of depth and a lot of heart. This film not only ranks among one of my favourite cage films, but it is also one of my favourite films, period.

I could go on and list another 40 films of Cage’s that I adore, but I feel as if though the five films I have selected today, perfectly encapsulate the enigma that is Nicolas Cage. He has an Oscar for best actor and nine golden raspberry awards for worst actor. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his imprint on cinema and popular culture. We love you, Nicolas Cage, please never change.

Check out his latest film out on DVD & Blu-ray - Willy's Wonderland here

Christopher Pattison wrote this blog post for Sanity. See more from Chris here

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