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9 Nicolas Cage Films, Brilliant to Bonkers

Aaron Phillips



Nicholas Cage Raising Arizona image
20th Century Studios

As there is so much to go through, let’s look at nine Nicolas Cage films rated brilliant to bonkers.

Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that Nicolas Kim Coppola, aka, Nicolas Cage, has made some interesting films. And within those films some very interesting performances. He’s won an Academy Award; Golden Globe and been nominated for many other awards. He’s made 110 movies in his career so far that have amounted to over four billion dollars in box office sales worldwide.

He’s been a big hitter in the industry. But not all the films he’s made have been great. Some of them have been absolute turkeys. He’s also pulled off some quite bizarre performances throughout his career. Some of his more recent flops have somewhat overshadowed the genuine great films he has been in. With that in mind, it’s only fair to get stuck into his eclectic filmography.

1. Raising Arizona

This crime comedy pitted Cage with legendry actress Holly Hunter. Written and directed by the Coen brothers it focusses on Cage’s character who’s an ex-convict. He marries a girl and after finding out he’s infertile, they plot to steal a baby. That premise sounds rather dark, but it’s played out light-heartedly.

There are some brilliant over-the-top touches, as you would expect from the Coen brothers. Along with the direction and fantastic script, there is some electric chemistry between Hunter and Cage that adds to the charm of this movie. Yes, it’s a bid mad and some of the performances are over-the-top, but this is one movie where they are one hundred percent needed. Nicolas Cage is full-blown Cage before it was even a thing. A comedy classic.

2. Leaving Las Vegas

This 1995 drama was the film that landed Cage an Oscar and Golden Globe for best actor. The story revolves around the slow demise of Cage’s character into alcoholism after losing his job as a screenwriter. It also explores the relationship he builds with a prostitute, played by Elizabeth Shue. It’s a departure from the more upbeat and eccentric roles that Cage had done before, and a lot of it is quite dark. He plays the role very well, taking the viewer on an exhilarating and dark ride into personal destruction. There’s no wonder Cage won awards for this performance as he delivers a brilliant insight into the downward spiral of a man without hope.

3. Face/Off

This John Woo directed action thriller from 1997 is a cult classic. Not only for all the explosive actions scenes but for the actual story. Even over twenty years since it was released, the concept is still bizarre. Cage and John Travolta play a criminal sociopath and an FBI agent respectively. Cage’s character gets knocked into a coma after revealing there is a hidden bomb. Travolta’s character then undergoes experimental face transplant surgery to infiltrate his gang. Cage then wakes up and forces the surgeon to put Travolta’s face on his.

Now, in real life, this is just silly, but in movie land, it works brilliantly. The film is an action masterpiece with superb choreography, musical score and direction. But the crème de la crème is the acting from Cage and Travolta. They manage to switch between each other’s characters effortlessly to the point you’re not even sure who’s who. This is Cage at his absolute best.

4. Con Air

Another action movie from the 90s, but this time directed by Simon West. This is one of my personal Cage favourites. He plays Cameron Poe; an honoured war hero who is hitching a plane ride home after serving eight years for accidental manslaughter. The problem is the plane ride he’s on is transferring some of America’s most dangerous criminals to a new super-prison. Not surprisingly, the plane gets hijacked, and Cage finds himself caught up in a criminal plot.

There’s plenty of fine action sequences, but also a stellar supporting cast. John Malkovich and Steve Buscemi deliver some excellent performances. Cage ends up being the hero and saving the day (obviously), and he’s the perfect action hero. It’s a more understated performance, but he still delivers the punches and has some cracking one-liners. The bit where he tells one of the convicts to put the bunny back in the box is legendary. Grab a box of popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

5. The Rock

This action flick, along with the previous two films, makes up the final piece of the ‘holy trinity of Nicolas Cage action movies. All three of these films were hugely successful and The Rock is no exception. Set on Alcatraz, the plot follows an ex-soldier who threatens to destroy San Francisco with chemical weapons if his demands are not met. Cue a retired SAS officer (Sean Connery) and an FBI chemist (Cage) to lead a team to save the day. It’s a great movie in its own right with a superb cast.

The script is fantastic, and the direction and action is done with aplomb. Cage plays the role of a slightly crazy chemist, as you would expect. There are moments of cool and calm but also glimpses of pure Cage madness. The famous rocket man scene towards the end of the movie highlights that best. An already great movie made better with Cage in it.

6. The Wicker Man

As we descend our countdown into the realms of bonkers films, we arrive at The Wicker Man. This remake form 2006 is a bit of a turkey. It’s usually an unwise decision to remake a classic movie, and this one proves no different. The story is based around a cop who goes to an island to look for his missing daughter.

Unfortunately, the island is inhabited by neo-pagans, so lots of weird stuff starts happening. The problem is that Cage is not suited to the role. His one-liners don’t work with the films narrative and the whole things come off as unintentionally funny. A prime is an example of this is when Cage’s character is tied to the floor by a group of pagan women. He then shouts, ‘killing me won’t bring back your goddam honey’. You can’t help but laugh. He also dresses as a bear and punches a woman.

And who can forget the bee scene that’s now a world-famous internet meme? This one is worth watching if you need a laugh.

7. Deadfall

This crime drama from 1993 was actually directed by Nicolas Cage’s brother, Chris Copplola. This is another movie that you can’t help but laugh along to. It’s certainly not a comedy. It’s an attempt at crime noir, but it could almost pass as slapstick. This is mostly due to Cage’s conman character. Donning what looks like a wig and moustache, he spends the entire movie having cocaine-infused meltdowns. When’s he’s not screaming at random people, he’s spouting monologues of nonsense and even gyrates with a mattress. Classic Cage.

8. Mandy

This more recent offering features Cage’s character on a mission of revenge. The film is directed by Panos Cosmatos; son of Rambo director George P Cosmatos. It’s a psychedelic horror movie based around a hippie cult who kidnap Cage’s girlfriend. His character goes to seek revenge, but there is so much more to it. Visually, this film is stunning. And Nicolas Cage does a sterling job of slowly going mad as he wreaks his revenge through the cult. There’s plenty of violence and plenty of drugs. It’s almost as its Cage’s whole career was leading up to this performance.

Seeing his blood-soaked character wielding an axe that looks like it’s from Lord of the Rings is sublime. And this is a film that is set in the 1980s. It defies genres and will blow your mind. You can tell that Nicolas Cage knows he is something special here.

9. Mom and Dad

We’ve arrived at the end of our countdown. We’ve seen Nicolas Cage win academy awards and critical acclaim but now we are at the top end of crazy performances. Mom and Dad is a black comedy horror that was released in 2017. What’s interesting about this movie is that Cage delivers one of the most over-the-top performances of his career. But the movie also received critical acclaim. Which can’t be said for all of them.

The story revolves around a virus that makes parents want to murder their children. An interesting premise considering the recent global pandemic, but this is packaged as a black comedy. Nic Cage delivers a maniacal performance that is worthy of an award in itself as he tries various ways to bump off his kids. Selma Blair plays his wife and the two of them have great chemistry. There are many bonkers moments in this film. Highlights include the scene where Cage’s character smashes up a pool table. Another classic is where he and Selma try to blow up their kids in a gas cellar.

This is another of his films that seems like it was written especially for Nicolas Cage. Mad; crazy; unhinged and over-the-top. Just how we like it.

Thank you for reading our article on nine brilliant to bonkers Nicholas Cage films. Do you agree with our list? What would your order be? Did we miss any out? Let us know in the comments below.

Read our Leonardo DiCaprio performance ranking HERE.

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley



Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.

The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.

The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.

The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.

So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.

Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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