When it comes to rating an actor, there are numerous things to consider that go beyond the number of award nominations or the frequency of appearances in movies and TV series. For industry outsiders, the metrics are hinged upon an actor’s ability to put in a great performance and the consistency to which he does so. This alone may just be the difference between having tickets sold out weeks before release or viewers simply muffling their curiosity until the film or show comes out on home video. When it comes to the former, Nicolas Cage remains one of the most appropriate cases in point as his movies are noted for being blockbusters.
From playing the role of a single father in the apocalyptic film Knowing, to unleashing a chainsaw vendetta against the cultists that gruesomely murdered his wife in Mandy, the California born actor has appeared in over 100 films over the last four decades or so. Many actors have come and gone, but no one does it quite like Mr. Cage. To recognize that uniqueness and those nearly-forty years in our faces, we have gathered some of Nicolas Cage movies and TV shows, ranking them from the best to the worst.
Nicolas Cage Movies and TV Shows Ranked From Best To Worst
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
We begin with the widely-received computer-animated superhero film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as the best among Nicolas Cage movies and TV shows. The film features Teen Miles Morales who becomes Spider-Man of his reality. Along with five other counterparts from other dimensions (including Nicolas Cage who appears as Spider-Man Noir), Morales works to stop a threat for all of the realities. The film was directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman. It stars Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, John Mulaney and of course, Nicolas Cage.
2. Face/Off (1997)
Production Budget: $80 million | Box Office: $245.7 million | Running Time: 139 minutes
Face/Off chronicles the efforts of an FBI agent (Nicolas Cage) who, in a bid to thwart a terrorist plot, undergoes a facial transplant to assume the identity of a terrorist. Things, however, do not go according to plan as the same terrorist being impersonated impersonates the FBI agent.
The film received critical acclaim for its incredible plot and storyline and was nominated for an Academy Award for Sound Effects Editing at the 70th Academy Awards. The film was directed by John Woo and stars John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, and Alessandro Nivola.
3. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Production Budget: $4 million | Box Office: $49.8 million | Running Time: 112 minutes
Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost it all to his struggle with alcoholism, earned him an Academy Award. The film was directed by Mike Figgis and stars Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, and Richard Lewis.
4. Adaptation (2002)
Production Budget: $19 million | Box Office: $32.8 million | Running Time: 114 minutes
Asides Face/Off, this is another interesting movie that has Nicolas Cages playing two roles. The comedy-drama features a lovelorn screenwriter who gets desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen. The movie, which was directed by Spike Jonze, features ther notable actors like Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, and Tilda Swinton.
5. Matchstick Men (2003)
Production Budget: $6 million | Box Office: $29.2 million | Running Time: 94 minutes
This Crime Comedy tells the story of a phobic con artist and his protégé who are on the verge of pulling off a promising swindle when the former’s teenage daughter unexpectedly appears on the scene. Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie is based on a novel of the same title by Eric Garcia. In addition to Nicolas Cage, other actors to play a role in this movie include Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, and Bruce McGill.
6. Raising Arizona (1987)
Production Budget: $62 million | Box Office: $65.6 million | Running Time: 116 minutes
Raising Arizona tells the story of a childless couple made up of an ex-con and an ex-cop, who decide to help themselves to one of another family’s quintuplets. The film premiered on September 2, 2003, at the 60th Venice International Film Festival. Although it received generally positive reviews, it was didn’t do so well in the box office. It was directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and stars actors Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, and John Goodman.
7. Kick-Ass (2010)
Production Budget: $28 – 30 million | Box Office: $96.2 million | Running Time: 117 minutes
This violence-laden film has been described as a must-see for the strong-hearted. Adapted from Mark Millar’s hyper-violent comic book of the same title, the film shows the success and ordeals of Dave Lizewski; a high school student and comic book freak who suddenly decides to become a superhero. As the story unfolds, his lack of superpowers and training prove to be deadly as he fights crime without the right training. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Garrett M. Brown, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz.
8. 211 (2018)
Production Budget: No details | Box Office: Unknown | Running Time: 86 minutes
211 features an aging cop, his partner, and their patrol vehicle who get caught in a deadlock with a group of former mercenaries as they rob a bank. The film draws its storyline from what could pass as the longest and bloodiest real-life events in American police history. Nevertheless, 211 ranks among the worst films in this list of Nicolas Cage movies and TV shows as it received very poor reviews, especially for its fragmented collection of action clichés and uninspired set pieces. It was directed by York Alec Shackleton and features Michael Rainey Jr., Dwayne Cameron, and Sophie Skelton.
See also: Matthew McConaughey Movies and TV Shows Ranked From Best To Worst
9. Arsenal (2017)
Production Budget: No details | Box Office: $41, 037 million | Running Time: 92 minutes
This powerful action thriller tells the story of a Southern mobster who attempts to rescue his brother who was kidnapped by some notorious gang members. Though interesting to some, the vast majority of independent reviews of this movie have left it scrounging for keywords such as; Lazy and pathetic excuse for a crime thriller. It was directed by Steven C. Miller and features actors like Johnathon Schaech, John Cusack, and Adrian Grenier.
10. Left Behind (I) (2014)
Production Budget: $16 million | Box Office: $20.7 million | Running Time: 110 minutes
Left Behind is graded as the worst project in the list of Nicolas Cage movies and TV shows. Set in modern America in the midst of what would be the most anticipated event in human existence, millions of peoples go missing (mostly children) including passengers on Captain Rayford Steele’s flight.
The film, which was adapted from the apocalyptic novel of the same title authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, passed its core message but got fried by reviewers for its abysmal directing, pitiful acting, and cringe-worthy dialogue. It was directed by Vic Armstrong and stars Nicolas Cage, Cassi Thomson, Chad Michael Murray, and Lea Thompson.