What is Cage's greatest role?

Nic Cage is a paragon of the acting world and we wanted to celebrate his extensive filmography by asking, what is Cage's best role?

Muslim Taseer
23rd May 2022
Image credit: IMDB
Nicolas Cage - the man, the myth, the absolute legend. His filmography has spanned over 4 decades' worth of roles and with the newly released Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, we asked our writers just what is Nic Cage's greatest ever role?

Raising Arizona

Nicholas Cage, a scion of the Coppola acting dynasty, has had a long, storied acting career.

He's appeared in countless films over his almost 40 years of acting. Can you imagine doing something for 40 straight years? It's not exactly like he's selective about his work either, but he's still managed to develop a stand-out brand.

Image credit: IMDB

His best role, however, in my humble opinion, remains Joel and Ethan Coen's 1987 Comedy Raising Arizona. Arguably his break-out role, Raising Arizona follows two schmucks, a former police officer and a neer-do-well (Cage) who really want a child yet cannot conceive naturally. They decide to do the logical thing and attempt to steal a newborn baby from a local furniture magnate who has just had quintuplets. Who needs that many babies anyway, right? Hijinks ensue after a tough, scary biker is brought in to bring the baby back. All in all, Raising Arizona is a heartwarming, fun, at times poignant narrative on parenthood and the pursuit of happiness. It's quirky, enjoyable, and doesn't take itself too seriously.

It's worth a watch, especially if you like Cage roles where he's... well, less 'Cage'!

Muslim Taseer

National Treasure

Image credit: IMDB

We all know Nicolas Cage is a national treasure. Which film made him one? It's got to be National Treasure folks. Who else can steal the Declaration of Independence with such charisma and grace? I think we'd all let him steal it.

Cage stars as a historian on the trail of a legendary treasure, with only a family legend as guidance. After years of dead-ends and a ruined reputation, Cage is finally on the right track. But so is someone else...

Historically speaking, it is a load of nonsense. A treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers, Knights Templar and Freemasons. They're just buzzwords to get audiences into cinemas and to get permission to film in iconic places in America. In spite of the fanciful premise and predictable storyline, I can't help but adore the film. It has a warmth to it, and it is so outrageous at times it's hysterical. I enjoy National Treasure just as much as I do its older sibling The Da Vinci Code, which for me is down to the role played by Cage.

Emily Kelso

Sorcerers Apprentice

Nicholas Cage brings his unique energy to every role he plays, but in The Sorcerer's Apprentice he really comes out on top.

Image credit: IMDB

Not only does he have the benefit of being in a fantastic film, but he also looks fantastic, and no one can tell me otherwise! Balthazar Blake's luxurious hair steals the spotlight in this film full of magic, comedy and quite frankly, a great storyline. Balthazar must train Merlin's (his old teacher) successor but in the modern-day. It is the perfect manifesting ground for Nicholas Cage's irritated and dramatic energy.  

I honestly do not think this film will ever properly age in the same way that people's love for Nic Cage will never age. It is such a wholesome film with some very humorous villains and ends with everybody happy.  

The release of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent has prompted me to rewatch some of Cage's best works as well as finding some new ones (thank you to TikTok for showing me those ones)! That being said, none will ever quite hit the spot in the same way as The Sorcerer's Apprentice because that hair is just far too fabulous! 

Hannah Ross

Ghost Rider

The best Nic Cage performance? Impossible to definitively say. From iconic quotes like “Not the bees!” to fantastic snubs like his performance in Pig, Cage has given us his all-time after time again. Whilst perhaps not his most celebrated performance, I will always personally have a soft spot for 2007’s Ghost Rider.

Image credit: IMDB

I’m not claiming it to be his best or most wacky film, with the recent Colour out of space, Mandy and Mom and Dad providing more of the trademark Cage craziness. No, the beauty of Ghost Rider comes from the silly premise of the flaming skull possessing, bike riding, justice-seeking titular character itself, which Cage merely brings to life with a hint of his signature style.

Ghost rider has some brilliant ingredients in its crazy cocktail. The silly visual of the rider driving up a building really encapsulates the tone of the film. The Ghost Rider and Nic Cage do not give a f**k. The Rider faces multiple villains who all present themselves as the toughest and most capable enemies imaginable, only for an un-phased flaming skull man to dispatch them nonchalantly in imaginative ways. It seems like his power is above the rest of the characters as he drives through them, sometimes literally. It plays comedically and is a really fun watch. Admittedly some of the non-flame skulled maniac storylines (cough cough the painful romance story) don’t really land… but COME ON there’s a scene where a flaming bike and a supernatural flaming horse carry a cowboy and Nic Cage across a desert at night, leaving a flaming trail behind them. How could you not love that?!

OK, so some of my love for this film may be due to the fact I had it on DVD as a child and have seen it easily more than a dozen times.

Mitchell Hall

Nic Cage is... Nic Cage! Video credit: IMDB
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