Special Report

The Best Nicolas Cage Movies

Nicolas Cage is one of the most talented and eccentric actors of his generation. Cage, who shares motion-picture DNA with his uncle Francis Ford Coppola; his aunt, Talia Shire; and his cousin Sofia Coppola, among other relatives, has been nominated for two Academy Awards and won a Best Actor statue for “Leaving Las Vegas.” (Cage is obviously part of one of Hollywood’s most famous dynasties.)

Cage has more than 80 acting credits and 10 of his films have received a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critics’ score of 90% or above. Ten of his films have also grossed more than $100 million at the box office. 

To determine the best Nicolas Cage movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of September 2022, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies where Nicolas Cage was credited as one of the leading four actors on IMDb were considered. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

After getting notice for quirky and intense characters in his earlier films, Cage broke through as Cher’s love interest in “Moonstruck” in 1987. He followed that up with the well-received “Raising Arizona” (1987), the hit “Vampire’s Kiss” (1989), and his Oscar-winning “Leaving Las Vegas.” Cage has appeared in five films with a Las Vegas theme: “Honeymoon in Vegas” (1992), “Leaving Las Vegas” (1995), “Con Air” (1997), “Next” (2007) and “The Trust” (2016).

Cage established himself as an actor who invests himself in his roles. In the film, “Birdy,” he had some teeth pulled to make his performance more authentic, and he ate a real cockroach for the movie “Vampire’s Kiss.”

Click here to see the best Nicholas Cage movies

Onscreen, Cage has played quirky and flamboyant characters. Off-camera, his life has been just as colorful. His off-screen life could be its own movie. Cage, whose personal worth had been as much as $150 million, has purchased a haunted mansion in New Orleans, castles in Europe, and a private island in the Bahamas. His other curious acquisitions included a pet octopus; a $450,000 Lamborghini once owned by Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the former prince of Iran; and a dinosaur skull.

His freewheeling spending led to his nearly going bankrupt, forcing him to take roles in movies that were panned and tainted his career. (His was one of the biggest celebrity IRS audits.)

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