The Greatest Nic Cage Movies


Nic Cage gets a lot of flack for some of the films he has starred in. While it’s true a lot of them are pretty terrible, Nic Cage has been in some great flicks. Many people do not know this but Nic Cage is the nephew to one of the most legendary director in America today, Francis Ford Coppola. Cage’s real name is Nicolas Kim Coppola and he took up another stage name to make it on his own merits in the film industry. And there is no doubt that he has done so. Here is a list of the best Nic Cage movies in no particular order. 


The Rock 

Made in 1996, with an IMDB rating of 7.4, The Rock stars Nic Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris. It is about a group of rogue Marines who take over the prison Alcatraz (nicknamed “The Rock”), located on an island off the coast of San Francisco. Their mission is to get 100 million dollars from the US government to pay families of fallen soldiers who participated in covert illegal missions who’s deaths did not get compensated. If the government fails to give into their command then the marines will launch nerve gas missiles they stole at San Francisco. Cage plays an FBI chemical weapons expert who recruits Sean Connery, who is the only living person who has ever escaped Alcatraz. Their goal is to break into Alcatraz to stop the marines and rescue the hostages they have taken. Directed by Michael Bay, The Rock is a great action movie anyone can enjoy. While it certainly isn’t an Oscar winner it is really entertaining. The chemistry between Cage and Connery is great. They are an unlikely heroic duo. 

Lord of War 

Released in 2005, Lord of War is a crime-drama where Nic Cage rises up to become one of the world’s most powerful arms dealer. If you don’t know what that is, he sells weapons all over the world to rulers to use in war. He doesn’t care who gets them or what they do with them, Nic Cage’s character is in the business for one reason, money. He becomes very good at it, despite having no prior experience and coming from a poor background, he also recruits his little brother played by Jared Leto. Most of what he does is highly illegal so he is being chased by an INTERPOL agent played by Ethan Hawke. What’s crazy about this film is that it is loosely based on true events. The dictators and conflicts Cage becomes involved in are all real. The ending will have you scratching your head too. 

Gone in 60 Seconds

Gone in 60 Seconds is my favorite action movie Nic Cage stars in. It’s about a group of professional car thieves who steal 50 luxury cars all in one night. Nic Cage is a retired car thief who has left his hometown of Long Beach so that his family can have a better life. However, his little brother, played by Giovanni Ribisi, followed in his footsteps and took a car robbery job but screwed it up. Now he’s in deep trouble with some ruthless mobsters who want to kill him. Cage comes back to town and takes the job to save his little brother’s life. He then recruits a crew to steal the fifty cars for the mobsters. The film is full of action, car chases and Angelina Jolie as a sexy blonde. The movie also stars Scott Caan, Tim Olyphant, Delroy Lindo, Vinnie Jones and Robert Duvall. It was released in 2000 and did well in the box office, grossing over 230 million on a 90 million dollar budget. 


Face/Off is a science fiction-action film with a very original plot. It kind of sounds a bit wacky on paper but trust me it’s a great film. Nic Cage stars as a terrorist who attempts to assassinate an FBI agent, played by John Travolta. Cage fails to kill Travolta but instead accidentally kills Travolta’s son. Driven by revenge, Travolta captures Cage, who tells him there is a bomb in Los Angeles ready to explode in the next few days. Cage’s character then goes into a coma before he can tell them where the bomb is. Travolta’s character then has a face transplant surgery where he now has Cage’s face and voice to try to figure out where the bomb is from Cage’s little brother who is in prison. Cage wakes up from the coma and forces the doctor to give him Travolta’s face and voice. Now the two enemies are impersonating each other to try to kill each other. Sounds odd huh? Maybe a little bit stupid? Actually Face/Off was received very well when it came out in 1997 and has become a modern cult favorite. 

National Treasure

National Treasure is a great Nic Cage movie. He uses all his signature tics, mannerisms and humor for his character of an amateur historian and treasure hunter who believes there is a secret map on the back of The Declaration of Independence to the greatest treasure in the world. He must steal the nation’s most valuable and most guarded document so that he can find the treasure before a team of mercenaries do. Nic Cage wants to find the treasure to preserve it, because it’s full of the world’s most ancient artifacts from cultures all over the world, taken from the loot of war over thousands of centuries. The mercenaries just want it for the money. When Cage successfully steals the Declaration of Independence, he is chased by the evil mercenaries who want him dead and also the FBI, who want to lock him up. The film was a box office hit making over 347 million dollars and a sequel was made in 2007 called National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Raising Arizona 

In Raising Arizona, Nic Cage plays an ex-con who wants to live inside the boundaries of the law after being released from prison. He meets and marries a cop named Edwina. After the couple find out that they can’t have children because Edwina is infertile, Cage kidnaps a baby from a family who had quintuplets. Trying to keep the baby’s true identity a secret, Cage’s life is further complicated when his two cellmates escape from prison and come over to his house. Cage starts to revert back to his old felonious ways again. Also, a bounty hunter wants to take the baby for himself to sell on the blackmarket.  Raising Arizona is a comedy written by the renowned filmmakers Joel and Ethan Cohen. It was their second film and it received mixed reviews at the time. Today it is considered as one of their greatest films. They have a lot. It is ranked as 31 on the American film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs List. 

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas is in my opinion Nic Cage’s best acting performance he’s ever done. He plays an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who loses his job and family because he can’t stop drinking. On a whim he decides to move to Las Vegas to “drink himself to death.” On the strip he meets a prostitute named Sera, he invites her back to his place but doesn’t have sex with her, instead they just talk. The two begin to have a romantic relationship and Cage’s character moves in with Sera. He tells her that she cannot tell him to stop drinking. Sera agrees and spends the rest of his short life with him before he dies. Sound depressing as hell huh?, well because it is, but the film is actually pretty light hearted for such extreme subject matter. The film has a lot of heart in it. When it came out, it got rave reviews. Cage won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and an Academy Award for Best Actor also. Elisabeth Shue who plays Sera was also nominated for an Oscar for her performance. 

Peter O'Melia