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Top 10: Nicolas Cage Performances

I've been a massive Nic Cage fan for a long time, but after reading a recent review of "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" on Outlaw Vern's Site, he talked about Nic Cage's sometimes over the top, but still really good acting performances. Referring to them as "Mega Acting." Here's the description Vern gives.

"Mega-acting is the term I decided to use instead of “overacting” when I mean it as a compliment. “Overacting” means you’ve gone too far, you have too large an amount of acting, like overfilling a glass and it spills all over the place and you have to clean it up. Mega-acting doesn’t spill because it’s a deliberate stylistic choice. It may be absurd, cartoonish, exaggerated, operatic, but not an accident. You didn’t overfill the glass. You purposely used a huge stein. Classic examples of mega-acting include Nic Cage as Castor Troy in FACE/OFF, Nick Nolte in HULK, Nic Cage in THE WICKER MAN."

Perfect. So that's what lead me to pay tribute to Nic Cage's amazing Mega Acting skills here.

10. The Wicker Man - Nic starts out playing it pretty straight. Once his characters anger and frustration increases so does his acting prowess.
Nic Cage The Wicker Man

9. Leaving Las Vegas - I know this is probably his most praised performance, and he is great in it. He just doesn't bring the crazy like in the rest of the films on this list.
Nic Cage Leaving Las Vegas

8. Face/Off - Switches between the 2 personalities seamlessly, and does a great Travolta impression when called upon. Much more fun in the bad-ass Castor Troy role though.
Nic Cage Face/Off

7. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans - His most recent work of crazyness. Who better to play a drug and authority abusing cop than Cage.
Nic Cage The Bad Lieutenant

6. Bringing Out the Dead - Teams with Scorcese playing an overworked, underslept, ambulance paramedic.
Nic Cage Bringing Out the Dead

5. Matchstick Men - Not a great film, but Cage's performance is fantastic. Plays the nervous ticks and phobias perfectly.
Nic Cage Matchstick Men

4. Vampire's Kiss - I saw this for the first time just recently and was blown away by his work. He plays a man basically descending into madness, and no one plays madness as well as Nic.
Nic Cage Vampire's Kiss

3. Adaptation - Playing identicle twin brothers, with significantly different personalities. It's a testament to Cage's performance that even though brothers are identicle looking you can immediately tell which one is on screen based on his mannerisms.
Nic Cage Adaptation

2. Raising Arizona - Solid work by Nic playing an ex-con who falls in love with a policewoman. Helps make this probably the Coen's funniest movie ever.
Nic Cage Raising Arizona

1. Wild at Heart - Great film. I think it helps that he's paired with a director who can match his wildness. David Lynch and him combine for greatness here. I really believe that if they had continued working together they could have developled a Scorcese and Deniro like cannon of films.
Nic Cage Wild at Heart


I certainly haven't seen every Nic Cage film put out though (he's working hard), so if there's anything you think is missing from this list please contact me and I'll review it for contention. Thanks.
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