Top 30 Best Nicolas Cage Movies

Top 30 Best Nicolas Cage Movies of All Time

Maybe you'll see your favorite on this list of 30 best Nicolas Cage movies.

While he does have his low points, Nicolas Cage is one of the best actors in the game when it comes to his filmography. There’s a very high chance you’ve seen at least one of his movies, probably even one we cover below. We’ve compiled a list of the 30 best Nicolas Cage movies ever in no particular ranking.

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The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man
Image Source: Warner Bros., Alcon Entertainment, and Millennium Films

This is easily the most meme-y Nicolas Cage film in existence, and that is saying something considering Face/Off exists. Cage stars as Edward Malus, a policeman summoned to a creepy island by his ex with news that their daughter is missing. While memes might have spoiled the ending, we won’t remind you. Just know that this island is incredibly odd and there’s something about bees.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and Saturn Films

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is most certainly the role with the coolest Nicolas Cage character name: Balthazar Blake, a wizard who trained under Merlin. When a young boy is revealed to be the next Merlin but also traps Balthazar under a 10-year curse, things aren’t great for New York when that curse is lifted. Nicolas Cage embodies the grumpy old wizard like it was the role he was born to play, resulting in one of his best movies in his repertoire.

Drive Angry

Drive Angry
Image Source: Summit Entertainment, Millennium Films, and Michael De Luca Productions

Drive Angry has an interesting place in Nicolas Cage’s filmography as it kind of signaled the start of the crazy film era. The film stars Nicolas Cage as John Milton (a nice Paradise Lost reference) who escapes hell for the chance to save his granddaughter from cultists out to sacrifice her to Satan. While this movie is great, it definitely walked so Mandy could run.

Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass
Image Source: Marv Films, Plan B Entertainment, and DMG Entertainment

Hands down one of the best Nicolas Cage movies, Kick-Ass is about a high-schooler who decides one day that he wants to be a superhero. This movie proves real life is definitely not like comic books. Kick-Ass sits in the lone spot on this list of not technically being a full Nicolas Cage film. Even with that, his role in the film as Damon Macready/Big Daddy is incredibly important to the story. Plus, getting to see Nicolas Cage play a badass Batman-type character is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Rage

Rage
Image Source: Patriot Pictures, Hannibal Classics, and Saturn Films

Nicolas Cage stars as Paul Maguire, an ex-mobster who was finally able to go straight years before after a chance meeting with a Russian mob courier. In the present, Paul leaves his daughter alone and with a couple of her friends. At dinner, he is informed his daughter is missing and the information her friends give is that she was kidnapped. Paul, who is sure this is his past coming back to haunt him, must dive back into the underworld for revenge.

Moonstruck

Moonstruck
Image Source: MGM, Star Partners

Moonstruck is special for many reasons, the main one being that it won Cher the Oscar for Best Actress. This movie follows Loretta Castorini, an Italian-American who has been unlucky in love since her previous husband died. The course of the film sees her interacting and courting two separate men, one of them being Ronny Cammareri, a baker played by none other than Nicolas Cage. Come for the amazing Cher performance, and stay for a fun romantic comedy and one of the best Nicolas Cage movies no less.

Adaptation

Adaptation
Image Source: Beverly Detroit, Clinica Estetico, and Good Machine

In this sort of meta-story of a screenwriter struggling to adapt a novel into a script, Nicolas Cage plays twin brothers, Chalie and Donald Kaufman. Charlie Kaufman (named after the film’s actual writer) is anxious and exasperated with the novel he determines is unadaptable. Adaptation also features an amazing Meryl Streep performance.

It Could Happen to You

It Could Happen to You
Image Source: TriStar Pictures

It Could Happen to You exists as the only Nicolas Cage movie based on a true story. In the film, Nicolas Cage plays a policeman who after making a promise to a waitress he couldn’t tip, gives her half of his $4 million lottery winnings. It’s a heartwarming story of humanity and selflessness that every Nicolas Cage fan should see.

Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes
Image Source: Paramount Pictures, DeBart, and Touchstone Pictures

Legendary director Brian de Palma (Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables) tackles this story of a morally questionable detective caught up in an assassination at an Atlantic City boxing match. Nicolas Cage plays said detective, Rick Santoro, who wears a brown jacket and very vibrant yellow undershirt the whole movie. Snake Eyes is full of double-crosses and conspiracies, definitely the right movie to watch on a Friday night.

Willy’s Wonderland

Willy's Wonderland
Image Source: JD Entertainment, Landafar Entertainment, and Landmark Studio Group

Strap yourself in for one of the most bizarre and great modern Nicolas Cage movies. Nicolas Cage plays a nameless guy who never speaks and is forced into serving as an overnight janitor at the long closed-down Willy’s Wonderland, a Chucky Cheese-like establishment. The only issue here is that the animatronic animals inside are actually alive, and terrifyingly bloodthirsty. Willy’s Wonderland is absolutely the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie people have been wanting.

Pig

Pig
Image Source: AI-Film, Altitude Film, and BlockBox Entertainment

Pig features an enigmatic man who lives in the woods with his beloved truffle-hunting pig. One day the man is assaulted by unknown assailants and his pig is kidnapped. Now he must reemerge into society to find where she has been taken. The character Nicolas Cage plays is definitely more muted and unassuming than in the bulk of his modern roles, and it allows the film to flow emotionally.

Bringing Out the Dead

Bringing Out the Dead
Image Source: De Fina-Cappa, Paramount Pictures, and Touchstone Pictures

Bringing Out the Dead also exists as a movie in which Nicolas Cage plays a depressed character incredibly well. Cage stars as Frank Pierce, a burned-out paramedic who has had an awful streak of losing patients. Things have gotten so bad for Frank that he has begun to hallucinate seeing the ghosts of the deceased. If you’re a fan of Martin Scorsese, Bringing Out the Dead is a must-see.

Red Rock West

Red Rock West
Image Source: Propaganda Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

After failing to secure a job that was set up for him due to being too honest, ex-Marine Michael Williams is told there might be work in Red Rock, Wyoming. Once in town, Michael stops at the main bar in town and is immediately accosted by the bartender that he is late for the job and refers to Michael as “Lyle from Dallas.” In this case of mistaken identity, Michael undertakes a hitman gig to kill the man’s wife.

Guarding Tess

Guarding Tess
Image Source: Channel Films and TriStar Pictures

In this, Nicolas Cage plays Doug Chesnic, a Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the abrasive widow of a former U.S. President. After thinking he had already put in his time and looking forward to a new assignment, Doug is coerced by the President himself to continue protecting Tess Carlisle. He is once again forced into dealing with Tess whether he likes it or not.

National Treasure

National Treasure
Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and Junction Entertainment

It would be a fair bet that this is one of the most known Nicolas Cage movies in existence. Between some iconic dialogue and a ridiculous U.S. history-based scavenger hunt, National Treasure has stayed in the pop culture spotlight somehow through all these years. Nicolas Cage plays Ben Gates, a treasure hunter who takes on a job from the wrong millionaire and gets double-crossed. Ben must figure out a way to stay ahead of the man with all the resources while he has just about none.

The Rock

The Rock
Image Source: Hollywood Pictures and Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

The Rock teams Nicolas Cage up with one of the all-time action movie greats, Sean Connery. That’s right; when the job is breaking into Alcatraz to stop a bunch of traitorous Marines from launching rockets of nerve gas, you call James Bond. Nicolas Cage plays FBI chemist Dr. Stanley Goodspeed who requires the help of John Mason to break into Alcatraz as he is the only man in history who has ever broken out.

Con Air

Con Air
Image Source: Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and Kouf/Bigelow Productions

When picking from a list of the worst hair ever put on Nicolas Cage for a role, Cameron Poe absolutely takes the cake. After being sentenced to jail for manslaughter, ex-Army Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself on a big plane transporting dangerous prisoners to a supermax prison for the rest of their sentences. After one of the inmates manages to create a distraction, the rest of them hijack the plane completely, putting the task of stopping them squarely in the hands of Cameron Poe.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Gone in 60 Seconds
Image Source: Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films

It’s funny to consider that this awesome car heist movie came out one year before The Fast and the Furious took car movies to new (and maybe worse) heights. In this movie, Nicolas Cage plays Memphis Raines (awesome name) a retired car thief who must return to save his brother after he botched a huge heist job. Now, Memphis has 72 hours to steal 50 cars. One of the best things about this movie is that Nicolas Cage did a large portion of his driving stunts.

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider
Image Source: Columbia Pictures, Crystal Sky Pictures, and Relativity Media

Coming only one year before the actual start of the MCU was Ghost Rider, with Nicolas Cage playing the role of daredevil Johnny Blaze. Tragically this movie came out too early for anything but a lackluster sequel five years later, but seeing Nicolas Cage let loose and be the skull-faced Spirit of Vengeance is still a sight to behold even all these years later. The first Ghost Rider movie is definitely something every Marvel (and Nicolas Cage) fan should see.

Next

Next
Image Source: Paramount Pictures, Revolution Studios, and Initial Entertainment Group

Next is another movie where Nicolas Cage plays a superhero. Though, this time around he plays a magician with the pretty cool power of being able to see two minutes into the future. While he has done his best to stay under the radar, he is soon approached by the NSA to help them figure out where a group of Russian terrorists is going to set off a nuke. This movie is a little silly, sure, but it’s a really interesting power that the movie doesn’t hesitate to take to the limit.

Mandy

Mandy
Image Source: SpectreVision, Umedia, and XYZ Films

Mandy is just about completely unique when it comes to the filmography of Nicolas Cage, in that it is a very visceral horror movie. In Mandy, Nicolas Cage plays the role of Red, whose wife is kidnapped by a weird cult. After her death at their hands, it becomes a revenge movie, albeit a very grindhouse and trippy revenge movie with all the gore and weird psychedelic scenes. While Mandy takes quite a bit to get going, seeing Nicolas Cage be allowed to be his craziest works so incredibly well this time around.

Face/Off

Face/Off
Image Source: Permut Presentations, Touchstone Pictures, and Paramount Pictures

Face/Off is most certainly one of the most well-known and best Nicolas Cage movies. It’s also one of the only movies that just about simultaneously had Nicolas Cage at his craziest and most reserved. Nicolas Cage plays the part of Castor Troy, but then also FBI agent Sean Archer when it’s his face over John Travolta’s body. If you’ve never seen Face/Off, that probably doesn’t make sense. But, if you’ve never seen Face/ Off? Just watch Face/Off.

Matchstick Men

Matchstick Men
Image Source: Warner Bros., ImageMovers, and Scott Free Productions

Matchstick Men pairs Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell as two conmen applying their craft, and this might very well be the absolute best Nicolas Cage movie ever made. Things turn a little upside down when it turns out the usually completely careful and organized Roy Waller (Cage) finds out he has a 14-year-old daughter he didn’t know about. Nicolas Cage plays the obsessive-compulsive Roy Waller excellently, culminating in one of the best con men films of the early 2000s where you never know what’s next.

The Family Man

The Family Man
Image Source: Universal Pictures, Beacon Communications, and Riche-Ludwig Productions

In another bittersweet family drama, Nicolas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a Wall Street executive who passed up the chance to be with his college sweetheart 13 years before. After a chance meeting with a stranger, Jack Campbell wakes up on Christmas day in a different house and a different life. He now gets to see where life would have taken him had he made the other choice 13 years ago.

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona
Image Source: Circle Films

In a Coen brothers classic, career criminal Hi McDunnough ends up married to a police officer after serving time in prison. The two are unfortunately childless and take a given opportunity to kidnap the baby of a local celebrity. Raising Arizona has all of the sharp wit and fun humor of a Coen brothers movie and is an enjoyable watch. Plus, you get another look at an almost unsettlingly young Nicolas Cage.

Lord of War

Lord of War
Image Source: Entertainment Manufacturing Company, VIP 3 Medienfonds, and Ascendant Pictures

If you’re into action movies with plenty of shooting, this is one of the best picks on the list. Lord of War features Nicolas Cage as Yuri Orlov, a Ukrainian arms dealer. Watching the subterfuge and trickery as Yuri Orlov has to outsmart Interpol agent Jack Valentine (players excellently by Ethan Hawke). He’s joined in the gun-running business by his younger brother Vitaly, in one of Jared Leto’s best movie roles. When it comes to the expert mix of politics and business acumen, Lord of War is unbeatable.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Image Source: Burr! Productions, Embassy Films, and Lionsgate

In a list celebrating all things Nicolas Cage, this recent addition to his filmography is incredibly important. Not only does Nicolas Cage play an exaggerated version of himself, but it’s full of plenty of subtle (and not so subtle) nods to his best work. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent proves that the Nicolas Cage from Ghost Rider or Face/Off isn’t gone, he just needs just the right script. This movie is absolutely Nicolas Cage at his Nicolas Cage-iest.

8MM

8MM
Image Source: Columbia Pictures, Hofflund/Polone, and Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG

8MM is probably the darkest movie on the whole list. A private investigator is hired by a widow to figure out if the snuff film recently found in her late husband’s belongings is real. Nicolas Cage’s Tom Welles has to navigate the seediest underbellies as he sinks deeper into who could have produced the video and where. Nicolas Cage brings the perfect amount of himself and emotion to the role and carries the movie handily.

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas
Image Source: Lumiere Pictures and Initial Productions

Leaving Las Vegas is famous not only for the amazing Nicolas Cage performance of a man with nothing to lose and the aim to drink himself to death, but also for it being his only Oscar win to date. This definitely isn’t a feel-good film at all, but it’s one of the most visceral Nicolas Cage performances and almost perfectly portrays an alcoholic on the edge of the abyss.

City of Angels

City of Angels
Image Source: Atlas Entertainment, Monarchy Enterprises B.V., and New Regency Productions

This one might be a slightly deeper cut, seeing as there aren’t too many actual romance movies on this list. City of Angels is the remake of a German film that shows angels throughout the world in long trench coats. Things change for angel Seth as he starts to develop feelings for heart surgeon Dr. Maggie Rice (played by Meg Ryan). City of Angels has a terrific love story and also some of Nicolas Cage’s best quieter acting (that’s right, no yelling) this movie is phenomenal.

That’s our full list of the top 30 best Nicolas Cage movies. We’re hoping you’ll take notes and try to find whatever there is on this list that you haven’t seen before.


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Author
Cameron Waldrop
Cameron is a freelance writer for Twinfinite and regularly covers battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends. He started writing for Twinfinite in late 2019 and has been lucky enough to review many really great games. While he loves a good shooter, his heart will always belong to JRPGs.