Looking at Nicolas Cage movies. you’ll agreer that in Hollywood, there are people who have found ways to successfully diversify their talents; such people are not limited to just one aspect of the film making alone. They have had successful careers as directors, producers, and actors. One of such people is the award-winning actor Nicolas Cage.
The actor was born Nicolas Kim Coppola to a father who was a professor of literature while his mother worked as a dancer and also did choreography. His parents are named August Coppola and Joy Vogelsang. Cage is related to the director Francis Ford Coppola and his two brothers are also part of the entertainment industry; while one works on the radio, the other is a film director.
Nicolas Cage attended the prestigious Beverly Hills High School and because of the immense popularity the name Coppola had in Hollywood as a result of the numerous works his uncle had done, Nicolas changed his surname to Cage. The choice of Cage as his surname was in honor of the Marvel comic character Luke Cage as Nicolas Cage himself is a big fan of comic books, owning more than 300 vintage copies which he auctioned in 2002.
This actor has appeared in over ninety films in his acting career which has spanned about four decades. Cage has been at the receiving ends of backlash and applause for his different roles and even his style of acting, which some critics have described as over the top.
He is not a perfect actor and has had performances in movies that begged for more while in some movies he has delivered the best of himself and received praise for those performances. Cage has had an array of roles in comedy, drama and even action, which all prove the range of his talent and skill. He has acted in television shows as well as movies but this is a list of ten of Nicolas Cage movies ranging from the worst to the best.
List of 10 Nicolas Cage Movies – From Worst to Best
This is one of Nicolas Cage’s earlier films; it was made in 1993 and was directed and written by his brother Christopher Coppola. Nicolas plays the role of Eddie Fisher, who is a sidekick to the con man Lou Donan played by James Coburn. The movie was not just a box office flop but was heavily panned by critics. It was made with a budget of $10 million and managed to make the meager sum of $18,369.
A spin-off was released in 2017, and was direct to video production; it starred Nicolas Cage in the role of Eddie Fisher once more but just like its predecessor, it was a fail with critics as most of them disliked Cage’s performance and were quick to call out his typical “overacting”.
The Wicker Man (2006)
The 2006 version of this film (in which Nicolas Cage starred) was adapted from the 1967 novel, Ritual as well as the 1973 British version of the film but relied more on the original source material – which is the novel.
This supernatural horror film, sees Nicolas Cage play Edward Malus, the victim of a man-hating murderous cult who traps him on a remote island with the ruse that his daughter is missing and will be burnt alive. His daughter played by Erika Shaye Gair happens to be in on the lie and helps in the sacrifice of her father; the sacrifice is in hopes of taking back the honey production of the island to what it used to be.
The film had pockets of attempts at comedy that did not suit the somber tone of the film. Cage himself had described the film as absurd but regardless of the reception it had from critics, it was a hit at the box office and as such, one of the good ones.
Ghost Rider (2007)
This is one of Nicolas Cage movies that sees him act in a more unusual role as he played the role of the Marvel comic superhero, Johnny Blaze, also known as the Ghost Rider alongside Eva Mendes. Johnny Depp had initially shown interest in the lead role but when Cage got wind of Depp’s interest in the film, he spoke to the director Stephen Norrington and was cast as Johnny Blaze. Eric Bana was also considered for the role but got cast as the Hulk instead.
Although it was a hit at the box office, making more than double the amount they spent on the movie, which was $110 million, it was still a flop to critics; with its rating of 27% based on the 139 reviews that were conducted on Rotten Tomatoes. To add to that, Nicolas Cage was nominated for a Raspberry Award in the category of Worst Actor.
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
In 1986, five years after his debut in acting with a role in a television show, Nicolas Cages got cast in the movie, Peggy Sue Got Married. He was cast alongside Kathleen Turner while the film was directed by his uncle, Francis Coppola. For a young actor, Cage was able to deliver a performance that was worthy of praise and recognition. It was also a hit at the box office and has been considered as one of his really impressive performances.
But his co-star, Turner, had talked about Cage’s behavior on set and had described it as being erratic claiming that he stole a dog and was drunk most of the time. These claims were in her memoir, Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love and Leading Roles, but Cage sued her for defamation and he won the suit. Turner also complained that Coppola’s handling of the film and the cast members bordered on nepotism, with him letting Cage do as he pleased.
Time to Kill (1989)
This is one of Nicolas Cage movies and it is his first foreign film where he plays the role of Lieutenant Silvestri. The story is set in 1936 and the actual name of the film is in Italian and it is called Tempo di uccidere. He plays a soldier who in a bid to get to a dentist passes through the jungle as a short cut and finds a woman in the jungle, takes advantage of her and rapes her before he finds out that she is leprous. The knowledge of this accompanied with a sore on his arm drives him into a delusional state that also leads him on a murderous spree. The movie has an above average rating of 5.3/10 on IMBD.
Vampire’s Kiss (1989)
This is the first comedy film to make the list and it is another one of Cage’s peculiar performances that elicited a rather strange reaction from fans and critics. Peter Loew played by Nicolas Cage is a literary agent who lives a reckless life that follows the cycle of work during the day and party at night. He, however, suffers from serious mental issues and believes that he has been transformed into a vampire. This delusion is what leads to his end.
In a twist of unusual reactions to films, critics loved the film and on the aggregate critic site Rotten Tomatoes, Vampire’s Kiss has a score of 61%. However, the movie flopped at the box office and its makers did not recoup the cost of production but regardless of this, it has become a cult classic.
The Family Man (2000)
This movie asks the age-old existential question “what if”. At the beginning of the film, Nicolas Cage’s character gets the opportunity to go to the United Kingdom to start a career. His girlfriend (played by Tea Leoni) begs him not to leave for their relationship’s sake but he assures her their love will last, which wasn’t the case. Thirteen years later, on Christmas Eve, he gets a glimpse into what his life would have been like if he had never left.
It was described by critics as a heartfelt movie about the Christmas holiday and this might be the reason for the $15 million it was able to rake in on its first week of release.
The Rock (1996)
Nicolas Cage is the chemical weapons specialist Stanley Goodspeed who works for the FBI and has to team up with the eccentric prisoner John Mason played by Sean Connery to stop a group of terrorists who were Marines and are led by the disgruntled Brigadier General Frank Hummel played by Ed Harris.
This movie will be remembered for being the source of falsified information about Saddam Hussein. For the brilliance of the film, it was nominated for some awards and a critic compared it to Mission Impossible, saying that it is what the franchise aspires to be.
In 2002, Nicolas Cage was cast as the prolific Charlie Kaufman and his fictional twin, Donald. This has been described as one of Cage’s best performances as he had to play two characters that are very different. Cage himself described the role as one of his most taxing roles. The film was nominated for a number of awards, especially for its writing and production.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
This can be rightfully described as the magnum opus of Nicolas Cage’s career for how well it resonated with critics and award bodies. It is an adaptation of a novel with the same name by John O’Brien. To prepare for his role as the alcoholic Ben Sanderson, Cage went on a drinking spree in Dublin for 2 weeks and spoke to alcoholics who spent time in and out of the hospital for their drinking. For his excellent work, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globes as well.