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- Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage has brought a unique intensity to every role over his 40-year career.
- He’s won awards for his work in “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Lord of War,” “Pig,” and more.
- You can stream some of its best movies on services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and HBO Max.
Nicolas Cage is a national treasure. Love him or hate him, you have to admit, he’s an incredibly talented actor with an immense range that makes him equally believable in comedies, dramas, action movies, and thrillers.
To prepare for the April 22 release of Cage’s new film “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” I watched his 81 films to select the best of the best.
Below, I’ve explained what makes each of my picks special, along with details on where you can watch each movie right now. If you’re another fan or just someone looking to catch up on the actor’s vast filmography, this list ranks the essential Nicolas Cage movies you won’t want to miss.
To determine which Nicolas Cage films made the cut, I weighed each of the following metrics equally when ranking the actor’s films:
- Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating based on reviews from critics
- My personal rating of a film on a scale of 1 to 10 based on its entertaining and artistic value
- My subjective rating on a scale of 1 to 10 of each film’s “Cage Factor”
To be included among the best Nicolas Cage films, a film must have at least 60% on the Tomatometer at the time of publication, and at least six in each of my two personal ratings.
When selecting eligible titles, I have not included films where:
- Cage was just a voice actor
- He wasn’t a top five actor
- There was no tomatometer review from Rotten Tomatoes
What is the Cage Factor?
Cage is well known for his passionate acting and his unique and entertaining performance choices. The “Cage Factor” rates the clarity of this passion in the intensity of his character.
It could be through wild voice modulation, but it can also happen with just a look, as countless memes illustrate. He is ready to reach a level that is not necessarily excessive, but beyond what most actors are capable of. The Cage Factor can turn a boring, poorly written movie into a must-have classic.