Nicolas Cage, uncaged: Ranking the actor's top 5 craziest movie roles ever 

The Good, The Bad and The 'Cage'y - Welcome to Nicolas Cage's world (Stills from Vampire's Kiss (1988), Face Off (1997) and The Wicker Man (2006 )
The Good, The Bad and The 'Cage'y - Welcome to Nicolas Cage's world (Stills from Vampire's Kiss (1988), Face Off (1997) and The Wicker Man (2006 )

A certain Nicolas Kim Coppola aka Nicolas Cage once famously opined,

"To be a good actor you have to be something like a criminal, to be willing to break the rules to strive for something new."

Today, the aforementioned adage has become representative of the very essence of the Hollywood star's unconventional acting style.

While practitioners of the famed technique of method acting may swear by the teachings of Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg, over the past couple of years a stellar competitor has emerged in the form of 'Nouveau Shamanic' - the self-coined art of acting perpetrated by none other than Nicolas Cage himself.

Alluring and absurd in equal measure, Cage once described it as an attempt to create a lingering 'aura of horror', drawn from the 'medicine men' and 'shamans' of ancient age.


Over time, it has blossomed into an integral feature of his unique acting style, replete with idiosyncrasies and pronounced mannerisms like no other.

Right from his breakthrough role as H.I. McDunnough in 1987's Raising Arizona to 2018's Mandy, his charismatic and flamboyant acting style has seldom failed to arrest audiences across the globe, resulting in a burgeoning group of loyalists who swear by the 'Cult of Cage'.

Be it the macabre or the mundane to the straight-up bizarre, here's taking a look at five of Nicolas Cage's craziest performances as Prisoners of the Ghostland, his latest adventurous tryst into a void of surrealism, hits theaters across the globe.

Top 5 craziest Nicolas Cage performances

5) Mom and Dad (2017)


Imagine Nicolas Cage on steroids.

In a film about parents and the relationship they share with their children.

The subsequent result is Mom and Dad, an audacious film in which one gets to witness the actor gloriously hamming it up like never before.

In a script tailor-made to accentuate Cage's innate eccentricities, the film succeeds in tapping into every kid's worst nightmare by showcasing the star in a gonzo avatar like never before.

Nicolas Cage effortlessly steps into the shoes of a deranged parent who falls prey to a mysterious signal which mysteriously motivates him and countless others to hunt their own offsprings.

Packed with a killer background score, fast paced action and a scene-stealing Cage, this one is right up there in the upper echelons of the 'Cult of Cage.'

4) Face Off (1997)


Another iconic performance supplemented by a remarkable piece of casting is that of Castor Troy, where Nicolas Cage knocks it out of the park in the role of a homicidal sociopath who famously collides with John Travolta's Sean Archer in John Woo's cult classic Face Off.

A wildly entertaining action flick with ample twists and turns, who can ever forget the shenanigans of an unbridled Nicholas Cage in a drug-fuelled state, gleefully giving vent to his repertoire of facial expressions with spasmodic seamlessness? Moreover, the duality with which he portrays his characters' angst and helplessness is tinged with a certain air of enigmatic grandiosity.

In what makes for a bravura demonstration of his acting credentials, the film thrives upon his stellar performances as a dreaded criminal and a vengeful man of the law.

3) Mandy (2018)

A still from Mandy (2018), Image via RLJE Films
A still from Mandy (2018), Image via RLJE Films

In Mandy - a bloody, unabashed voyage into the depths of hell orchestrated by Greek-Italian auteur Panos Cosmatos - a wild Nicolas Cage takes center stage in a breathtaking, virtuoso performance which led to the revival of the actor as an unconventional specialist.

Violent, ambitious and artistic, Mandy's psychedelic magnificence owes a lot to the presence of Cage, who glides into the shoes of a scorned lover on a rampaging quest to avenge his beloved.

Mindboggling from start to finish, the film stands as a true testament to the unfathomable genius that is Nicolas Cage.

2) The Wicker Man (2006)


The decision to remake 'The Citizen Kane of Horror Movies' was always going to be a divisive one, which eventually resulted in a film torn apart by critics, yet loved by a majority of fans.

More comical than creepy, The Wicker Man not only displayed Nicolas Cage's over-the-top acting style to its core, but also laid the foundation for numerous memes and pop-culture references to follow suit down the years.

Despite being laced with cringeworthy and unintentionally hilarious dialogs ("Not the Bees!") the film has achieved somewhat of a cult status today with scores of fans revisiting the nightmarish island of Summerisle just to get one more dose of Nicolas Cage in distress.

1) Vampire's Kiss (1988)


The movie that kickstarted it all and introduced the world to the legendary "You Don't Say" meme itself, Vampire's Kiss is peppered with ample Nicolas Cage moments throughout the course of its 103 minute runtime.

Cage stars as a heckled white-collar worker who, after a chance tryst between the sheets, begins his rapid descent into the depths of depravity.

Often considered an underrated work of art, the film laid out a blueprint to be followed by films such as American Psycho and simultaneously led to a rooted interest in 'yuppie' culture of the 1980's at large.

Right from the helpless cry of despair in the middle of a crowded street to the manic deviance displayed in the "alphabetical order" scene, the origins of Nouveau-Shamanic have never been more conspicuous than in this Nicolas Cage indie gem.

Special Upcoming Mention - The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent ( 2022)


A talented thespian who constantly teeters on the edge of division and derision, Nicolas Cage is an actor who today seems to have successfully mastered the art of devising a winning formula that thrives on a heady mixture of box office gold and avant-garde alacrity.

One such upcoming film of his, which makes for a must-watch, is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent in which Nicolas Cage portrays a fictionalized version of - Nicolas Cage himself.

If that wasn't enough to pique your interest, throw in Pedro Pascal as a crazed Mexican billionaire and super fan of Nicolas Cage, and you've got yourself an absolute cracker of a film waiting in the wings.

With an enviable filmography, Oscar gold and an ever expansive, loyal fanbase, one's got to admit that the man's quite the "National Treasure".

Edited by Ashish Yadav
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