Nicolas Cage has been in over 100 movies. Here are his 13 best and 13 worst ones.

Nicolas Cage has been in over 100 movies. Here are his 13 best and 13 worst ones.
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  • Nicolas Cage has starred in over 100 films throughout his decades-long career in Hollywood.

  • Some of them, like "Dream Scenario" and "Pig," have earned rave reviews from critics.

  • But Cage's work in movies like "Grand Isle" was critically panned.

Nicolas Cage is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, appearing in over 100 films throughout his career.

Some of Cage's films have received critical acclaim, including the 2022 film "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" and the 1995 drama "Leaving Las Vegas." He's also been praised for his roles in "Pig" (2021), "Mandy" (2018), and most recently, "Dream Scenario" (2023).

But not all of the actor's films have been critical darlings. Several of them hold 0% scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and other films were so forgettable that critics said even Cage couldn't salvage them.

Here are Cage's 13 best and 13 worst movies, ranked by critics.

"Pig" (2021) is one of Cage's highest-rated films.

Nicolas Cage sits on the porch sharing a meal with his beloved pet pig in a still from the upcoming thriller "Pig."
Nicolas Cage in "Pig."Neon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: A truffle hunter (Cage) living in the wild returns to Portland to find the person who stole his treasured pig.

Critics felt the movie was odd but clever and charming.

"A bittersweet and often surprisingly tender exploration of food, creative expression, and human connection," wrote Angie Han for FilmWeek.

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018) was also popular with critics.

spider man noir into the spider verse nic cage
Spider-Man Noir.Sony Pictures Animation

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: In the animated film "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," young Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) gains superhuman abilities at the same time that New York City loses their iconic hero Spider-Man.

When multiple versions of Spider-Man (voiced by Jake Johnson, Cage, Hailee Steinfeld, and more) are pulled from other universes, they try to show Miles what it means to be a hero.

Critics loved "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" for its moving story and unique animation design.

"The delights of 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' bring a newfound sense of joy and playfulness to the beloved character," wrote Katie Walsh for the Tribune News Service.

Cage participated in the documentary "Love, Antosha" (2019).

Love Antosha Anton Yelchin
Anton Yelchin in a documentary about his life called "Love, Antosha."Lurker, Ltd.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: The documentary "Love, Antosha" explores the unexpected death of Anton Yelchin and his legacy as a young actor and artist.

Cage's voice was featured in the documentary to narrate Yelchin's personal diaries.

The nature of the documentary hit home for a lot of reviewers, who found the film to be a warm and fitting tribute to a man of boundless talent.

"Mostly, the Antosha of 'Love, Antosha' seems like a good kid: someone whose life — and tragic death — should inspire us to spend our brief time here as wisely and as well as he did," Pat Padua wrote for The Washington Post.

The actor played Michael Williams in "Red Rock West" (1993).

Red Rock West
Nicolas Cage in "Red Rock West."Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: In the dramatic thriller "Red Rock West," wandering Texan Michael Williams (Cage) is mistaken for a professional hit man by a tavern owner. Happy to just take the money and get out of town, Michael soon comes face-to-face with the real hitman.

Critics called "Red Rock West" a tightly wound thriller with a well-earned ending and a phenomenal cast.

"It's well worth tracking down, wherever you can find it. For it has the kind of tension and energy — maybe even a touch of delirium — that is only a memory in most of today's big studio movies," wrote Richard Schickel for Time magazine.

In the iconic rom-com "Moonstruck" (1987), Cage played Ronny Cammareri.

Cher and Nicolas Cage in "Moonstruck."MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: In "Moonstruck," a widowed bookkeeper named Loretta Castorini (Cher) falls for rough-and-tumble Ronny Cammareri (Cage) right after she agrees to marry his older brother Johnny Cammareri.

Despite her mother's advice to marry someone she doesn't love, Loretta can't stop thinking about Ronny.

"Moonstruck" was called an unforgettable movie-going experience by most critics, who felt that it had just the right amount of humor.

"'Moonstruck' isn't heartfelt; it's an honest contrivance — the mockery is a giddy homage to our desire for grand passion. With its own special lushness, it's a rose-tinted black comedy," Pauline Kael wrote for the New Yorker.

He was Castor Troy in the thriller "Face/Off" (1997).

Critics enjoyed this fast-paced flick.Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: In the action thriller "Face/Off," FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) is on the hunt for notorious criminal Castor Troy (Cage).

Through an experimental surgery, Archer adopts Troy's likeness to go undercover and find the position of a bomb he has placed in the city. Little does he know, Troy is about to take on Archer's appearance as well.

Critics enjoyed "Face/Off" for its high stakes plotting and praised the way Cage and Travolta embodied their roles.

"[Director] Woo, a master of poetical carnage, mixes kitsch, sadism, sentiment and comedy with choreographic precision," wrote David Ansen for Newsweek.

The actor voiced Superman in "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" (2018).

teen titans go to the movies
The film is inspired by a show.Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: A spin-off of the animated television series, "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" follows Beast Boy, Robin, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire as they try to make it big in Hollywood.

In the film, Cage lent his voice as Superman, a hero that inspires the team of teens.

Critics felt that "Teen Titans Go! To The Movies" had the right mixture of earnestness, humor, and silliness.

"While the kids at the screening I attended laughed hysterically at the fart jokes, the parents chuckled at the slightly more sophisticated humor and the adult geeks howled at the deeper pop cultural references," wrote Marsha Lederman in her review for Globe and Mail.

Cage was Red in the revenge movie "Mandy" (2018).

Mandy 2018
Nicolas Cage in "Mandy."RLJE Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: In the revenge thriller "Mandy," Red Miller (Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) lead a peaceful life on the outskirts of the Pacific Northwest until a violent cult enters their lives and sets Red on a path towards vengeance.

The suspense thriller "Mandy" took a lot of reviewers by surprise, leaving them stunned by the electric nature of the film and Cage's riveting central performance.

"Fans of [Cage's] work will relish his extravagantly oddball performance as a dark avenger in this luridly overwrought horror movie," wrote Geoffrey Macnab in his review for The Independent.

In the movie "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) Cage played Ben Sanderson.

leaving las vegas
Nicolas Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas."United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: In "Leaving Las Vegas," struggling screenwriter Ben (Cage) falls for a sex worker named Sera (Elisabeth Shue). Consumed by his addiction to alcohol, Ben makes Sera swear that she will never ask him to quit drinking, a promise that becomes harder for her to keep as she develops feelings for him.

Critics enjoyed the romantic drama, praising Cage's unparalleled performance and his chemistry with Shue.

"Dark and giddy at the same time, 'Leaving Las Vegas' takes us into dreamy, intoxicated places no movie about an alcoholic has gone before," wrote Owen Gleiberman for Entertainment Weekly.

Cage plays a college professor who suddenly starts appearing in everyone's dreams in "Dream Scenario" (2023).

Nicolas Cage in "Dream Scenario."
Nicolas Cage in "Dream Scenario."A24

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91% 

Summary: At the start of the film, Cage's character Paul Matthews is a run-of-the-mill biology professor who hasn't achieved the success of his peers. Discouraged by his lack of recognition, things take a turn when he suddenly begins appearing in the dreams of everyone around him, usually as a background character who's not involved in the main action.

Matthews soon becomes enchanted with his newfound fame, and makes some interesting choices that have serious repercussions for those around him.

Writing for the Guardian, critic Peter Bradshaw praised the film, writing of Cage's performance in particular: "Nicolas Cage has perhaps never been Nicolas Cagier in what could be his Nicolas Cagiest performance ever."

The actor played Charlie and Donald Kaufman in "Adaptation" (2002).

Adaptation movie
Nicolas Cage plays twins.Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: In the comedic drama "Adaptation," screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Cage) attempts to make headway on his next film script, while he's plagued by his annoying twin brother Donald (also Cage) and a nasty case of writer's block.

Their relationship grows more complicated when Donald moves in with Charlie and tells him he's going to become a screenwriter too.

"Adaptation" was a critical success, with reviewers pinpointing the creativity of the script and Spike Jonze's unique vision as the film's highlights.

"In the wrong hands, the lunacy could have gotten out of control, but Jonze has near-perfect pitch. He never forces the farce, rooting even Kaufman's wildest digressions in real emotions," David Ansen wrote in Newsweek.

He was H.I. McDunnough in the crime comedy "Raising Arizona" (1987).

Raising Arizona
Nicolas Cage in "Raising Arizona."20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: "Raising Arizona" is an action-adventure comedy in which reformed criminal H.I. McDunnough (Cage) and his wife Ed (Holly Hunter) realize they're unable to bear children.

When a local family gives birth to quintuplets, Ed pressures H.I. to kidnap one of the children so that they can raise a child of their own.

"Raising Arizona" garnered critical acclaim for Joel and Ethan Coen's singular directing style and the performances of the high-profile cast.

"Starting from a point of delirious excess, the film leaps into dark and virtually uncharted territory to soar like a comet," wrote Time Out critic Geoff Andrew.

Cage received critical acclaim for playing a fictionalized version of himself in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" (2022).

Nicolas Cage as himself in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."
Nicolas Cage in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Summary: In what is perhaps his most outlandish performance yet, Cage plays a dramatized version of himself — one who ends up working for the US government after swearing off acting, and later befriending a Spanish millionaire, played by Pedro Pascal.

The fictional Cage and Pascal's character Javi quickly bond, but things grow complicated between them after Cage is told by the CIA to investigate Javi, who they believe is behind a potential kidnapping.

Critics mostly praised the film, especially Cage's chemistry with Pascal, and his approach to the very meta project. "It's a cash-in on Cage's meme-y notoriety, yes, but it's also an assertion of the genuine, if shaggy, movie star charisma that gave him a career at all," Richard Lawson wrote in a review for Vanity Fair.

Cage was in the fantasy film "Season of the Witch" (2011).

Nicolas Cage in Season of the Witch
Nicolas Cage in "Season of the Witch."Atlas Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%

Summary: A knight (Cage) returns to Europe after fighting in the Crusades to find the continent overrun with the plague. He must battle a witch and destroy her powers to try to save humanity and end the pestilence.

Critics were unimpressed by the supernatural-fantasy drama.

"Another forgettable trifle from Cage," wrote Leah Rozen for The Wrap.

Critics didn't love "Dying of the Light" (2014).

dying of the light
Nicolas Cage in "Dying of the Light."The Film Arcade

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Summary: "Dying of the Light" is a dramatic thriller in which a terminally ill CIA agent named Evan Lake (Cage) is forced into retirement early. He soon rejoins the force after his enemy (Alexander Karim) resurfaces after lying dormant for years.

"Dying of the Light" was poorly received by critics who felt that it was an overwritten, messy drama.

"'Dying of the Light' is a shrill and bombastic slog, with an all-over-the-map collection of tones that never cohere into a credible or compelling vision," wrote Roger Ebert critic Matt Zoller Seitz.

He played a man investigating his son's disappearance in "Pay the Ghost" (2015).

pay the ghost
Nicolas Cage in "Pay the Ghost."RLJ Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 10%

Summary: A haunted man (Cage) begins to dig into his son's mysterious disappearance.

Critics were unimpressed by the "average" film.

"A new low for Nicolas Cage. Just when you thought he couldn't get any more apathetic about a role, he pops up in this lazy, boring retread of 'Insidious' that even his most diehard fans should ignore," wrote Brian Tallerico for Roger Ebert.

Critics weren't impressed by Cage's film "Trapped in Paradise" (1994).

Trapped in Paradise 1994 10%
It's a holiday film.20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 10%

Summary: After being released from prison, Bill Firpo (Cage) is pressured by his criminal brothers Dave (Jon Lovitz) and Alvin (Dana Carvey) to return to a life of crime. Following a bank heist, the trio of brothers soon find themselves stuck in a small Pennsylvania suburb when they're snowed in.

Critics had little to praise after watching "Trapped in Paradise," calling it a humorless holiday flick with a dragging pace. 

"Considering that there isn't a single laugh in the whole picture, the term 'comedy' must be used loosely," wrote Hal Hinson for The Washington Post.

"Grand Isle" (2019) was also a flop for Cage.

Nic Cage Grand Isle
Some felt "Grand Isle" had an incoherent plot.Screen Media Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: In the action-packed thriller "Grand Isle," a young father named Walter (Cage) is arrested and charged for a murder he swears he didn't commit.

Currently listed as Cage's lowest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes, "Grand Isle" was panned for its incoherent plot and tedious pace.

"It is disappointing that this flimsy B-movie isn't better, because once it sets up its formulaic plot, it could have been both naughty and wild," wrote Gary M. Kramer for Salon.


"Fire Birds" (1990) was a critical flop.

nic cage in fire birds
Nicolas Cage in "Fire Birds."Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: A skilled helicopter pilot (Cage) joins an Apache task force to finally take down one of the largest drug cartels in South America.

Critics called the movie "outdated" and felt it resembled a video game.

"If you think of movies as big-screen video games, see 'Fire Birds.' If not, you may want to skip this 'Top Gun' with copters and cartels," John Hartl wrote for the Seattle Times.

The actor played Kyle Miller in "Trespass" (2011).

Critics felt the film was predictable.Millennium Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: In the drama "Trespass," diamond merchant Kyler Miller (Cage) and his wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman) live peacefully in the woods until their house is invaded by a pair of thieves masquerading as local police officers.

"Trespass" was slammed by critics who thought that the plot points were too predictable and the acting performances were unredeemable.

"Cage performs with the conviction that comes from a long experience in bad movies. But Kidman seems totally uninterested," wrote Derek Malcolm in his review for the London Evening Standard.

Cage was Joe in the thriller "Bangkok Dangerous" (2008).

Bangkok Dangerous
Nicolas Cage as an assassin in "Bangkok Dangerous."Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: In the crime thriller "Bangkok Dangerous," a legendary assassin named Joe (Cage) is enlisted by a crime boss (Nirattisai Kaljaruek) to complete a series of kills and finish the job by taking out a young teenager that helps him along the way.

Reception for "Bangkok Dangerous" was riddled with negative reviews, with critics calling the film dull and lifeless.

"While the film includes several exciting, creatively shot action scenes, the drama is otherwise so shopworn that the violent climax is a relief," wrote Chicago Reader critic Joshua Katzman.

In the adventure film "Outcast" (2014), Cage played a warrior.

Outcast 2014 nicolas
Nicolas Cage in "Outcast."Eone Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

Summary: In the fantasy adventure drama "Outcast," a warrior named Gallain (Cage) pairs up with the children of a dethroned Chinese ruler in an attempt to help them overthrow their tyrant brother.

Critics found the drama to be a tough slog to sit through, criticizing "Outcast" for its shallow story and lack of fleshed-out characters.

"The status of actor Nicolas Cage's career has now definitively shifted from its entertainingly eccentric phase into its genuinely befuddling and perhaps sad phase," wrote Roger Ebert critic Glenn Kenny.

The actor played Mike Chandler in "211" (2018).

211 movie
Nicolas Cage plays a police officer in the movie.Momentum Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

Summary: The suspense-filled drama "211" centers around police officer Mike Chandler (Cage) and a young civilian who find themselves in over their heads in the midst of a bank heist. Low on resources and without back-up, Chandler tries to take the criminals head-on.

Critical reception for "211" was overwhelmingly negative due to the film's formulaic plot and a cast that largely seemed checked out.

"A muddled, overcrowded, trigger-happy heist movie brimming with clichés while constantly trying our patience," wrote Richard Roeper for the Chicago Sun-Times.

He was Eddie in the action thriller "Arsenal" (2017).

Arsenal 2017
Some felt Nicolas Cage's mustache was the best part of the entire film.Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 3%

Summary: In the action-filled thriller "Arsenal," brothers Mikey (Johnathon Schaech) and JP Lindel (Adrian Grenier) have always relied on each other. When Mikey is kidnapped and held hostage by mob boss Eddie King (Cage), his brother JP turns to a detective for help.

"Arsenal" was derided by film critics who took fault with the movie's haphazard assembly and Cage's over-the-top performance.

"Nicolas Cage delivers one of his all too frequent cringe-making, extra-screamy, dial-a-psycho performances in this ultra-violent Southern noir," wrote Sunday Times critic Kevin Maher.

The actor played Rayford Steele in "Left Behind" (2014).

Left Behind
One critic liked it, though.Freestyle Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: In the fantastical drama "Left Behind," millions of people disappear from the face of the Earth without notice.

Amidst the chaos, airline pilot Ray Steele (Cage) tries to save the lives of the passengers remaining on his flight.

"Left Behind" was dragged by critics who said the movie was nonsensical and bordered on unwatchable at times.

"'Left Behind' should have been left behind," Gary Goldstein wrote in his review for the LA Times.

In the drama "Deadfall" (1993), Cage was Eddie.

Deadfall 1993
Audiences didn't care for this movie, either.Trimark

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: "Deadfall" is a crime drama about a New Yorker (Michael Biehn) who loses his con-man father and travels across the country to find his dad's identical twin in an effort to complete a sting operation.

Cage appeared in the film as Eddie King, a character he would later reprise in "Arsenal" (2017).

Critical reception for "Deadfall" was abysmal, with critics saying the movie was shallow and poorly produced.

In his review for Variety, Ken Eisner simply wrote that "Deadfall" was "watchable only for camp value."

Note: Films without critical ratings were not included. All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.

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