Worst To Best: Nicolas Cage

The master of manic…

The Wicker Man (2006)

The Movie: Sheriff Edward Malus (Cage) investigates the disappearance of a young girl on a small island and uncovers a neo-pagan community with sinister intentions.

So Cage It’s Good? Cage delivers a performance so tortured, so earnest and so hilarious, that it’s surely some sort of masterpiece in subversion.

Cage assures us it’s his favourite film he's made, which only makes his performance the more compelling. As we’ll see over the next 50 pages, this guy has massive steel balls…

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (2011)

The Movie: Hellblazer Johnny Blaze (Cage) is back. This time, he’s hiding out in Europe when he’s called to stop the biggest of all bads – the Devil himself.

So Cage It’s Good? Cage goes no-holds-barred in this second round as Johnny Blaze, even playing the flame-on Rider himself (he didn’t in the first film). The result is a towering, terrifyingly unhinged performance in a movie that is, sadly, not worthy of him.

Ghost Rider (2007)

The Movie: Stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Cage) surrenders his soul in order to transform into a fiery crime-fighter, leaving behind his town, friends and girlfriend Roxanne (Eva Mendes).

So Cage It’s Good?
Bad CGI ruins the movie as a whole (as does the clunky plotting, and lines like “I feel like my skull's on fire, but I'm good!”), but there’s no denying Cage is seriously ripped in this Rider .

Season Of The Witch (2011)

The Movie: Teutonic Knight Behmen von Bleibruck (Cage) comes across a town beset by the Black Plague. The fearful towns people blame a young woman for the affliction.

So Cage It's Good? In one of Cage’s busiest years release-wise, Witch has the actor going all medieval and clearly relishing every second of it. Better still is his double-act routine with Ron Perlman. Let’s get these guys together again.

Trespass (2011)

The Movie: Kyle Miller (Cage) and his wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman) are held hostage in their home by four thugs who want the contents of their safe.

So Cage It's Good?
Apparently Cage never wants to see this movie, which is a shame, because he brings a farcical theatricality to a routine thriller. He can do the blustering, vociferous businessman thing in his sleep.

Amos & Andrew (1993)

The Movie: Police mistake Andrew Sterling (Samuel L. Jackson) for a burglar when he buys a vacation home in New England. He ends up teaming up with thief Amos (Cage) against the corrupt local authorities.

So Cage It’s Good? It’s mostly worth it just to see Cage sharing the screen with the great Samuel L. Jackson, but Cage also manages to bring a weird likeability to the bungling, hapless Amos. The fact that he got blacked-up in a certain scene also speaks volumes of his commitment to craziness.

Vampires Kiss (1988)

The Movie: Publishing exec Peter Loew (Cage) becomes convinced that he’s turning into a vampire after an encounter with a neck-loving chomper.

So Cage It’s Good? After roles as a punk and a fast food worker, Cage revealed his inner crazy with this quirky horror flick – and what sublime crazy it is. Yes, this is the film that he scoffed a cockroach for. You can see a love affair with the insane being born before your very eyes.

Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

The Movie: Hitman Joe (Cage) heads to Bangkok where he’s been hired to carry out some underhand jobs. But he falls in love with a local woman there, which could spell his undoing.

So Cage It's Good? Cage was never going to be a conventional action hero, and here he plays it with a mixture of tongue-in-cheek goofiness and full-throttle fearlessness. This guy just loves an action scene – and Bangkok gives him plenty to do.

Drive Angry (2011)

The Movie: Fantastically OTT action horror, in which revenge-driven father Milton (Cage) scrapes his way out of hell in order to exact vengeance on the men who killed his daughter.

So Cage It’s Good? There are only two men in the world who can pull off a gun fight that takes place during a sex scene. Those men are Clive Owen and Nicolas Cage. In a competition, we’d say Cage wins – because his movie also involves a midget.

Trapped In Paradise (1994)

The Movie: Three brothers plan to rob a Pennsylvania bank on Christmas Eve, but their devilish designs are foiled by the town’s residents.

So Cage It’s Good? Cage dials the intensity up to 15. The result is a twitchy, over-the-top performance that somehow works just because Cage is the one behind the wheel. A camp classic.

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