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Worst To Best: Nicolas Cage

Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)

The Movie: Jack Singer (Cage) heads to Vegas to get married, but a gangster fixes a game so that he loses $65k in a poker game. Said gangster will forget the money if Jack lets him spend the weekend with his fiancée…

So Cage It’s Good? Cage wears a series of ridiculous shirts (all tucked into disturbingly high trouser-waists) and manages to pull it off completely. He always manages to put up with a flapping Sarah Jessica Parker…

Captain Corellis Mandolin (2001)

The Movie: Pelagia (Penelope Cruz) falls in love with an Italian commander when her husband goes off to fight with the Greek army during World War II.

So Cage It's Good? Cage may have battled claims that he was miscast in this high profile book adap, but he brings a steely glimmer to his role as the eponymous captain.

Kiss Of Death (1995)

The Movie: Violent criminal Little Junior Brown (Cage) is wanted by the police. When his buddy Jimmy (David Caruso) is trailed by the cops, they won’t let Jimmy lie until they have Little Junior...

So Cage It's Good? Cage savours the opportunity to play a villain, refusing point blank to pull any punches. Quite literally during a stand-out strip club bust-up. Breathless stuff.

Windtalkers (2002)

The Movie: In the Second World War, two US Marines are sent in to protect Navajo Marines, whose native tongue is being used over the radio as an undecipherable code.

So Cage It’s Good?
Cage imbues a lesser Woo vehicle with a little heart, which manages to pump the already explosive action sky high. His final scene in the movie is a heart-breaker, even if it’s as subtle as a frying pan in the face.

Snake Eyes (1998)

The Movie: Corrupt cop Rick Santoro (Cage) has dreams of becoming mayor of Atlantic City. That is, until, he’s caught up in a murder conspiracy…

So Cage It’s Good?
Another outrageous shirt proves Cage isn’t afraid of being seen, and his performance in Snake Eyes is equally as loud (and fearless) as that eye-popping pattern.

Guarding Tess (1994)

The Movie: Doug Chesnic (Cage) is hired as former First Lady Tess Carlisle’s (Shirley MacLaine) bodyguard. There’s only one problem: he can’t stand her!

So Cage It's Good? Cage buttons up the crazy for this under-appreciated turn. Barely cracking an expression beyond the stoic stare, he masterfully portrays the emotions bubbling under Chesnic’s composed surface. Surprisingly magnetic viewing.

Valley Girl (1983)

The Movie: Valley girl Julie (Deborah Foreman) has her life turned upside-down when she meets Randy (Cage), a punk from the city. They’re like chalk and cheese, which is why it just about works out.

So Cage It’s Good? This early role for the Cagester (it’s only his second ever feature film, and the first under the name ‘Nicolas Cage’) had him variously described as a hunk and a cool dude, and promised great things to come.

Justice (2011)

The Movie: English teacher Will Gerard (Cage) enlists the help of a group of vigilantes when his wife (January Jones) is assaulted, but the group want a favour in return for their services.

So Cage It's Good? Cage shows he’s lost none of his love for action spills in this run-of-the-mill shoot-em-up. With him on hand, Will’s warped motives are brought into sharp relief, and Cage keeps you rooting for him despite a less-than-consistent script.

World Trade Center (2006)

The Movie: Police officers Will Jimeno (Michael Peña) and John McLoughlin (Cage) are trapped in the rubble when the World Trade Centre is attacked on 11 September 2001.

So Cage It's Good? One of Cage’s finest dramatic performances, the actor here unravels a tortured, flawed portrait of a man caught up in unimaginable horror. Shame his narrator sign-off is a stinker.

Next (2007)

The Movie: Las Vegas magician Cris Johnson (Cage) is pursued by the FBI, who believe that he has the power to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

So Cage It's Good? Noughties Cage is a Cage obsessed with high-concept sci-fi. Next is one of those, and Cage is clearly having a ball cracking jokes and doing his patented goofy routine.