10 Nicolas Cage Performances That Could Prove He’s Either The Best Or The Worst Actor Ever

There doesn’t seem to be another actor who can do the things Nicolas Cage can do. Maybe it’s better said that there isn’t another actor who is crazy enough to, first of all, come up with the ideas Nic Cage employs on a regular basis, and second of all, think of them and say “yeah, that’s something I should probably try.” His choices are uniquely his own, for better or for worse.

One thing you can’t say about Mr. Cage is that he gives anything less than 100% in any given role. On one hand, there’s something admirable about this. His level of commitment to a part is, dare I say, quite possibly on par with someone like Daniel Day-Lewis; it’s just that his taste in roles is slightly less, shall we say, discerning. It seems like he’ll do anything. And he’ll do it as if it’s the role he’s wanted to play all his life. Then again, when someone is performing in a bad movie, part of us wants some indication that they know what they’re doing is completely stupid, some sign that they’re laughing along with us at the pitiful quality of the film before us. Nicolas Cage does not do this. I wonder if he believes there is such a thing as a bad movie. Or a bad performance. He’s like a gambler who goes all in on every bet, and every now and then it’ll pay off in a big way for him, but most of the time, especially recently, he loses his shirt, his shoes, his dignity, all of it.

I don’t think it matters at this point whether he’s pulling a fast one on all of us and the latter half of his career has been a big, weird performance art piece, or whether he’s just crazy enough to be in a movie like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and play it as straight as an arrow. All that matters, to me and other Cage-obsessed weirdos, is that he is consistently incredible to watch. Here are 10 performances in particular that show he is someone with a set of skills that no one else can, nor wants to touch, making him perhaps the best actor of all time, or the worst, or the most bizarre combination of both.

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Comments (33)

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  1. Marksays:

    “If there’s anyone who can blur the lines between mad genius or just plain madness, it’s Nicolas Cage.”

    As Nic would say, “That’s high praise!”

    I think he’s awesome in Kick-Ass. That death scene is amazing. I’m sure the director wanted him to ham it up as much as possible. He was on fire afterall, right?

    Great article.

  2. pick up bartsays:

    It’s nice to be reminded just how good Nicolas Cage really is, I think I’ll rewatch some of these.(the good ones)

    But I’m pretty sure National Treasure will come a knockin to complete the trilogy; “I’m going to impregnate the Statue of Liberty.”

  3. Lev186211says:

    Isn’t he broke and thats why he takes on every single role offered to him?

  4. Mohit Kumarsays:

    I don’t think he is a bad actor, it’s just that he is broke. I quite enjoyed his performances in Adaptation but the movie was so tense that it took me a month to get it out of my head.
    I also enjoyed the National Treasure, it is a good timepass.. but Ghostrider is just horrible.

  5. has anyone seen ‘Bringing Out The Dead’ with Cage directed by Scorsese. I saw it ages ago in the theatre and remember it being great. Been trying to find a copy on dvd or blu ray in vain all these years though …

    1. bobsays:

      Bringing out the dead was great!

  6. uncle edsays:

    cage is the bomb! enough said.

  7. Joshsays:

    Nicolas cage is a great actor, wouldnt say he’s the best but he’s damn good, and kick-ass was a bad ass movie but this guy forgot about conair which is one of best movies hes done.

    1. Saying he’s a ‘great’ actor is a bit of a stretch for me. He’s an okay actor that if you put him in the right role, he performs well, but he’s the same guy in every movie. He’s a lot like Kevin Costner. Neither of them can really, honestly act.

  8. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

    He is the best ever….brilliant and crazy (the two often go hand in hand ) serious and bizarre. phenomenal and odd.i love it all.

  9. WoWedsays:

    Nicolas Cage should be in every movie ever made, but no more (or less) than 5 minutes per film.

    1. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

      Is that a compliment?

    2. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

      Is that a compliment?

      1. WoWedsays:

        of course. i love Nicolas Cage, just in small doses

      2. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

        Ikr….I must admit, sometimesI have to scratch my head.

      3. Jonathan Rogerssays:

        Perhaps that’s why his role in Kick-Ass worked so well. It was just the right amount of Nick Cage crazy!

  10. This article is summarize my though of the actor. complicated as hell.. ahaha..

    But actually as an actor he doesn’t have acting problem, he’s give the character certain taste. It just the movie script he choose is too awful. too bad.

    But, all in all I put him in interesting actor to watch.. Go Nic!

  11. The Wicker Man and the two Ghost Rider movies were just awful. Everyone involved should feel bad about them being made and how they were made. They were a blight on the world.

    Kick Ass, however, was awesome and I am looking forward to the second one, even though he won’t be in it.

  12. Jakesays:

    I’ve always said Cage is not an actor but he is one hell of an entertainer.

    1. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

      Cage brings the “crazy”, no matter what the script calls for. And I love it!!!! Fan for life!

      1. Jakesays:

        My favorite film of his is gotta be Bad Lieutenant because its just the right amount of crazy for crack smoking dirty cop…the movie is one hell of a dark comedy and I mean DARK lol

      2. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

        Agreed

      3. Jakesays:

        That’s the great thing for me is that a not every film has to be the best in the world and obviously that’s not what they go for every time but people judge films so harshly when it comes to movies like this which were obviously just made for the entertainment value and a fun ride, you know? I don’t judge every movie the same for sure.

      4. Lynnetta JOHNSONsays:

        You may disown me for this, but I loved Drive Angry. The thought of him busting out of Hell while being chased/helped by the Accountant  all  while chasing a sadistic psycho is priceless. Sorry for those of you that haven’t seen it.

  13. Roberto24says:

    I’m surprise that FaceOff and ConAir were not part of this review.

  14. quarkhenaressays:

    where’s Sailor Ripley?! there are few scenes more Cagely iconic than him singing Love Me Tender with a swollen nose to Laura Dern in the middle of traffic after getting a visit from the good witch!

  15. I like Nicolas Cage he has enough roles under his belt that he can practically do anything. As far as Kick-Ass he really brought a much better dimension to the character of Big Daddy than is what revealed in the comics. He definitely brings a much better hero tone to the character and retains a lot of dignity. By the way He’s yelling commands over gunfire to Hit Girl to help her dispatch the last 5 or 6 henchmen that are currently shooting at her still, after she’s already offed like 20 and will continue to massacre another 15 or 20 so in the most awesome display of child gun-kata violence karate running. Plus he’s on fire, pretty strong nerves to not lose your focus on all the pain of burning.

  16. vaishnosays:

    And what about Red Rock West ?????

  17. Jesse Pepinsays:

    This list is actually pretty spot-on. I’d have to include 2 more titles, though. First, the other ‘bad’ film would be Con Air. I really enjoy the movie, but his accent and hair are just horrible in it.
    Second, Gone in 60 Seconds. It’s designed to just be an awesome car-chase movie, but his relationship with his brother comes off as genuine, and he seemed to just be playing a normal guy with a past he loves and hates. Not bad for a remake.

  18. bramleysays:

    Best = Red Rock West
    Worst = Peggy Sue Got Married

  19. BrianRommelsays:

    I frankly think nic cage just enjoys hamming it up in bad movies these days. I seriously think her finds them more fun than good movies.

  20. a mansays:

    This is hilarious. Autistic people, any of them, can act better than Nicholas Cage.

  21. Johnny Doesays:

    Is this actually a serious write-up, or some kind of joke? Nicholas Cage is absolutely one of the worst actors of all time. He only has one character and the problem is, that character doesn’t fit most of the roles he plays. He always has that “DUH” look on his face and when he tries to act cool….well, it’s still “DUH”. He should stick with characters like H.I. from Raising Arizona, that’s the real Nicholas Cage role.

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