The HoloFiles

Nicolas Cage’s Five Best Movies

By Josh Bate

Nicolas Cage is firmly in the spotlight as his latest film, the extremely meta The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, debuted in theaters last week.

The film, which also stars Pedro Pascal, sees Cage playing a fictionalized version of himself, one that has a stalling career and puts his acting over his own family. What starts out as a comedy starring Cage as himself eventually becomes the type of film that the iconic actor himself would star in (in the best way possible), as he needs to rescue his daughter from the hands of arms dealers in an intense final sequence.

Cage’s star power is what made a film like this possible, as although Massive Talent would (and has) been enjoyed by audiences less familiar with the actor, it also serves a highly emotional love letter to his career. Cage has been in some beloved films over the years, many of which are directly referenced in his latest title.

Here are The HoloFiles’ rankings of Nicolas Cage’s five best movies.

5. Wild at Heart

Premise: Knowing that the hands of Sailor, the good-for-nothing, snakeskin-clad lover of her young daughter, Lula, are being all over her firm body, Lula’s disturbed, hysterical, and domineering mother, Marietta, sends a pitiless hit-man to wipe him out. Instead, after serving precisely 22 months and 18 days in jail, the raven-haired, number-one fan of the eternal Elvis Presley reunites with rebellious 20-year-old Lula, breaks his probation, and off they go on the adventure of a lifetime in a black, 1965 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Now, the endless, gasoline-scented stretches of road become a living canvas of passionate youthful love, fateful encounters, crafty double-crosses, and unbridled violence, as sleazy and murderous characters are all bent on putting an end to the ardent, lovers-on-the-run romance. But, the long road to redemption is rife with trouble, and the fugitives of love are running out of money faster than expected. Can there be salvation when you are wild at heart?

4. Face/Off

Premise: Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent, is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son’s killer is his sworn enemy and a very powerful criminal, Castor Troy. One day, Archer has finally cornered Castor, however, their fight has knocked out Troy cold. As Archer finally breathes easy over the capture of his enemy, he finds out that Troy has planted a bomb that will destroy the entire city of Los Angeles and all of its inhabitants. Unfortunately the only other person who knows its location is Castor’s brother Pollux, and he refuses to talk. The solution, a special operation doctor that can cut off people’s faces, and can place a person’s face onto another person. Archer undergoes one of those surgeries to talk to Pollux. However, Castor Troy somehow regains consciousness and now wants revenge on Archer for taking his face. Not only is Troy ruining Archer’s mission, but his personal life as well. Archer must stop Troy again. This time, it’s personal.

3. 8MM

Premise: A small, seemingly innocuous plastic reel of film leads surveillance specialist Tom Welles down an increasingly dark and frightening path. With the help of the streetwise Max, Welles relentlessly follows a bizarre trail of evidence to determine the fate of a complete stranger. As his work turns into obsession, he drifts farther and farther away from his wife, family and simple life as a small-town private eye.

2. The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Premise: The fictionalized version of Nick Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous super fan Javi Gutierrez. Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Nick Cage is recruited by a CIA operative Vivian and forced to live up to his own legend, channeling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters in order to save himself and his loved ones.

1. Leaving Las Vegas

Premise: Once a successful Hollywood screenwriter, Ben Sanderson is in a quick downward spiral, which is outwardly exhibited by his excessive drinking to the exclusion of all else. After he completes his life in Los Angeles to his satisfaction, which includes him burning all his painful personal memories, Ben decides to move to Las Vegas where he will literally drink himself to death. There, he hires a high end hooker named Sera. Despite it being a less than successful sexual encounter, Sera and Ben feel a connection which eventually turns into love. A lonely woman, Sera has a destructive relationship with her sadistic pimp/lover, Yuri, who has his own dangerous criminal problems. Sera and Ben decide to live together for whatever time they have together, that relationship based on the mutual trust each has for the other in not changing the other’s life or path, which outwardly may be more difficult for Sera as it means watching Ben die.

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