Regardless of your opinion on Nicolas Cage’s acting ability, one thing’s for sure: there’s no one else like him.
Cage has had quite a career since his small debut role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He’s gone from critically-acclaimed performances in movies like Raising Arizona and Leaving Las Vegas (the latter earning him an Oscar), to blockbusters like The Rock and Face/Off, and now to the upper echelon of the meme world.
To celebrate Cage’s odd, divisive, wonderful career, we’ve rounded up his best movies of all time. Read on to see our picks, and to find links to stream the films online.
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In The Rock, Cage stars opposite Sean Connery as an FBI agent named Stanley Goodspeed. The duo are sent to Alcatraz, where General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris) is attempting to use chemical weapons against the citizens of San Francisco.
But after Goodspeed’s SEAL team is wiped out by General Hummel, it’s up to him and british spy John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery) to save the day.
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One of Nicolas Cage’s earliest movies was Birdy, a 1984 drama about a Vietnam vet (Matthew Modine) whose horrific experiences in war have lead him into a state of insanity where he believes he is a bird. Cage plays Birdy’s best friend Al, who visits him in an attempt to bring him back to reality.
Cher stars alongside Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck, and won an Academy Award for best actress for the role. Cher plays soon-to-be remarried widow Loretta, but after getting engaged, she realizes she’s falling for her fiance’s younger brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage).
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Cage’s performance in Leaving Las Vegas got him just about every acting award in the book, including an Oscar. Cage plays Ben Sanderson, a tortured screenwriter who goes to Vegas to drown in alcohol. While on his bender, he meets a compassionate prostitute named Sera (Elisabeth Shue), and the two start an unhealthy but incredibly sweet relationship together.
Before their widely known cult-classics like The Big Lebowski and Fargo, The Coen Brothers made Raising Arizona: an equally lovable, hilarious, off-beat movie with Nick Cage and Holly Hunter. The duo play an ex-con and an ex-cop looking to start a family, but when they find out they’re infertile, Cage’s character attempts to kidnap a child from of a set of quintuplets.
In Adaptation Cage stars as Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter trying to adapt “The Orchid Thief,” by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep). This is easier said than done however, as he must also deal with his freeloading twin brother Donald (also Cage), and his own feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy. In his frustrated mineset, Kaufman begins to write himself into the screenplay.