Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Nicolas Cage Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

There’s a lot to be said for consistency, and for film fans, the ability to count on reliably great performances from an actor can be the difference between pre-ordering tickets weeks in advance or waiting until a movie comes out on home video. On the other hand, there’s also an undeniable excitement that comes with unpredictability, and Nicolas Cage‘s filmography is a perfect case in point. From toking up with Sean Penn’s Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High to waging chainsaw vengeance against the cultists that murdered his wife in Mandy — and beyond — Cage has racked up more than 100 film credits over the last several decades, delivering performances that range from Oscar-winning (Leaving Las Vegas) to wildly over the top (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) and starring in blockbuster fare (The Rock, National Treasure) as well as acclaimed indies (Raising Arizona, Joe), and we wouldn’t want him any other way.

Most recently, he’s gotten career-best accolades for the drama Pig. Nobody captures the camera’s attention quite like Nicolas Cage, and to honor all those years of singularly entertaining achievement, we’ve rounded up all of his major film roles, sorted by Tomatometer. Read on to see where your favorites rank, and remember: Not the bees!

#88

Deadfall (1993)
0%

#88
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A New Yorker (Michael Biehn) heads to California to find the look-alike brother (James Coburn) of his con-man father.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Coppola

#87

Grand Isle (2019)
0%

#87
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Walter and his neglected wife lure a young stranger into their Victorian home to escape from a hurricane. When the... [More]
Directed By: Stephen S. Campanelli

#86

Left Behind (2014)
1%

#86
Adjusted Score: 3288%
Critics Consensus: Yea verily, like unto a plague of locusts, Left Behind hath begat a further scourge of devastation upon Nicolas Cage's once-proud filmography.
Synopsis: The entire planet is thrown into mayhem when millions of people disappear without a trace -- all that remains are... [More]
Directed By: Vic Armstrong

#85

Arsenal (2017)
3%

#85
Adjusted Score: 4355%
Critics Consensus: Aside from an opportunity to watch a mustachioed Nicolas Cage acting from under a wig and behind a prosthetic nose, Arsenal has depressingly little to offer.
Synopsis: The Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, only had each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP finds success... [More]
Directed By: Steven C. Miller

#84

Outcast (2014)
4%

#84
Adjusted Score: 4031%
Critics Consensus: Unforgivably dull, Outcast fails to deliver virtually all of the goofy fun that should come from a movie starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen in ancient China.
Synopsis: A fugitive Chinese prince and his sister enlist the aid of two war-weary Crusaders (Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen) to help... [More]
Directed By: Nick Powell

#83

211 (2018)
4%

#83
Adjusted Score: 4606%
Critics Consensus: 211's disjointed assortment of action clichés and uninspired set pieces adds up to roughly zero.
Synopsis: Officer Mike Chandler and a young civilian passenger find themselves unprepared and outgunned when fate puts them squarely in-the-crosshairs of... [More]
Directed By: York Shackleton

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 5506%
Critics Consensus: Loaded with talent but borderline unwatchable, Trapped in Paradise will leave viewers feeling the first part of the title and pining for the last.
Synopsis: Fresh out of prison, Alvin (Dana Carvey) and Dave Firpo (Jon Lovitz) pull their brother Bill (Nicolas Cage) back into... [More]
Directed By: George Gallo

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 10640%
Critics Consensus: With murky cinematography, a meandering pace, a dull storyline, and rather wooden performances, The Pang Brothers' Hollywood remake of Bangkok Dangerous is unsuccessful.
Synopsis: Remorseless assassin Joe (Nicolas Cage) is in Thailand to complete a series of contract killings for a crime boss called... [More]
Directed By: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang

#80

Fire Birds (1990)
10%

#80
Adjusted Score: 9826%
Critics Consensus: Despite the talent on board, Fire Birds is little more than a subpar military adventure sporting video game-like action, outdated philosophy, and uneven acting.
Synopsis: Army lovers (Nicolas Cage, Sean Young) and their task-force leader (Tommy Lee Jones) join the drug war in Apache assault... [More]
Directed By: David Green

#79

Pay the Ghost (2015)
10%

#79
Adjusted Score: 9390%
Critics Consensus: Pay the Ghost takes a weak stab at supernatural horror, but ultimately, it's only viewers who will pay for watching this sloppily assembled picture.
Synopsis: Haunted by eerie images and unexplainable messages, a man (Nicolas Cage) tries to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of... [More]
Directed By: Uli Edel

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 10658%
Critics Consensus: Dying of the Light envelops the spark of several intriguing talents, leaving audiences lost in a yawning void of uninspired filmmaking.
Synopsis: Forced into retirement and terminally ill, a CIA agent (Nicolas Cage) gets word that his longtime nemesis (Alexander Karim) has... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#77

Trespass (2011)
11%

#77
Adjusted Score: 12270%
Critics Consensus: Another claustrophobic thriller that Joel Schumacher can churn out in his sleep, Trespass is nasty and aggressive, more unpleasant than entertaining.
Synopsis: Fast-talking diamond dealer Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) and his wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), live the good life in a beautiful... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 15385%
Critics Consensus: Slow, cheap-looking, and dull, Season of the Witch fails even as unintentional comedy.
Synopsis: His faith broken by many years fighting in the Crusades, a knight named Behman (Nicolas Cage) returns to Europe and... [More]
Directed By: Dominic Sena

#75

Tokarev (2014)
12%

#75
Adjusted Score: 11973%
Critics Consensus: Depressingly dull and all-around poorly made, Rage is the rare Nicolas Cage action thriller lacking enough energy to reach "so bad it's good" territory.
Synopsis: Following the kidnapping and murder of his daughter (Aubrey Peeples), a reformed criminal (Nicolas Cage) returns to his old ways... [More]
Directed By: Paco Cabezas

#74
Adjusted Score: 3771%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic tale, Ebeneezer Scrooge (Simon Callow) remains the same old curmudgeonly hermit. As... [More]
Directed By: Jimmy T. Murakami

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 15312%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Diagnosed with a fatal condition, a mob enforcer leaves prison after 19 years and plots a bloody course of revenge... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Ku

#72

The Wicker Man (2006)
15%

#72
Adjusted Score: 18146%
Critics Consensus: Puzzlingly misguided, Neil LaBute's update The Wicker Man struggles against unintentional comedy and fails.
Synopsis: A reclusive lawman (Nicolas Cage) travels to a secluded island to search for a girl who has gone missing. Once... [More]
Directed By: Neil LaBute

#71
Adjusted Score: 15088%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After their ship is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the crew members of the USS Indianapolis face a harrowing nightmare... [More]
Directed By: Mario Van Peebles

#70

Amos & Andrew (1993)
17%

#70
Adjusted Score: 17326%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When erudite black playwright Andrew Sterling (Samuel L. Jackson) moves to a predominantly white suburb, the buffoonish local police surround... [More]
Directed By: E. Max Frye

#69
Adjusted Score: 21368%
Critics Consensus: With a weak script, uneven CG work, and a Nic Cage performance so predictably loony it's no longer amusing, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance aims to be trashy fun but ends up as plain trash.
Synopsis: Now hiding out in Eastern Europe, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is still struggling with the curse of the Ghost Rider... [More]

#68

Stolen (2012)
20%

#68
Adjusted Score: 18808%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A former thief (Nicolas Cage) has just 12 hours to come up with $10 million after his former partner (Josh... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#67

Looking Glass (2018)
21%

#67
Adjusted Score: 20542%
Critics Consensus: Looking Glass gives Nicolas Cage a chance to turn in an atypically understated performance, but this is still a suspense thriller with a fatal dearth of suspense or thrills.
Synopsis: Ray must race to save his wife and himself from a gruesome secret connected to a desert hotel and the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hunter

#66

Sonny (2002)
22%

#66
Adjusted Score: 22024%
Critics Consensus: Sonny is sunk by debuting director Nicolas Cage's evident inability to locate the heart of his movie's story - or properly modulate his cast's performances.
Synopsis: After a stint in the army, former male prostitute Sonny Phillips (James Franco) returns to his home in a run-down... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Cage

#65

G-Force (2009)
22%

#65
Adjusted Score: 26778%
Critics Consensus: G-Force features manic action, but fails to come up with interesting characters or an inspired plot.
Synopsis: Armed with the latest high-tech spy gear, a guinea pig named Darwin (Sam Rockwell) and his team of specially trained... [More]
Directed By: Hoyt H. Yeatman Jr.

#64

8MM (1999)
23%

#64
Adjusted Score: 25322%
Critics Consensus: Its sadistic violence is unappealing and is lacking in suspense and mystery.
Synopsis: Private detective Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) lives a normal life with his wife (Catherine Keener) and young daughter, until he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 24640%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A tenacious federal agent traces the supply line of a group of cagey and experienced cocaine dealers.... [More]
Directed By: Jason Cabell

#62

The Runner (2015)
24%

#62
Adjusted Score: 23703%
Critics Consensus: In spite of a promising premise and a roundly talented cast, The Runner is a disappointing outing to be viewed by only the staunchest of Nicolas Cage completists.
Synopsis: An embarrassing video threatens the career of an idealistic Louisiana congressman (Nicolas Cage) who dreams of running for the Senate.... [More]
Directed By: Austin Stark

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 12850%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the near future, global warming turns parts of the American Midwest into a desert. In its attempt to take... [More]
Directed By: Rob King

#60

Army of One (2016)
25%

#60
Adjusted Score: 19951%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gary Faulkner (Nicolas Cage), an ex-con, unemployed handyman, and modern day Don Quixote receives a vision from God telling him... [More]
Directed By: Larry Charles

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 30115%
Critics Consensus: Even though Oscar-bearers Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, and Robert Duval came aboard for this project, the quality of Gone in 60 Seconds is disappointingly low. The plot line is nonsensical, and even the promised car-chase scenes are boring.
Synopsis: Randall "Memphis" Raines long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after an ominous visit from an old friend, he... [More]
Directed By: Dominic Sena

#58

Ghost Rider (2007)
26%

#58
Adjusted Score: 31767%
Critics Consensus: Ghost Rider is a sour mix of morose, glum histrionics amidst jokey puns and hammy dialogue.
Synopsis: Years ago, motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) sold his soul to save the life of a loved one. Now,... [More]
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson

#57

Justice (2011)
28%

#57
Adjusted Score: 29717%
Critics Consensus: Seeking Justice is nothing more than a typical potboiler with another phoned-in performance by Nicolas Cage.
Synopsis: A stranger (Guy Pearce) approaches a high-school teacher (Nicolas Cage) and offers to punish his wife's (January Jones) attacker.... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#56
Adjusted Score: 31338%
Critics Consensus: The cinematography is gorgeous, but the movie plays it fast and loose with history and the novel it was adapted from. Mostly, the movie fails because the romance between the leads strains credulity and the story is largely uninvolving.
Synopsis: An epic tale about the enduring hope of love and the devastating brutality of war, set amid the Italian occupation... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#55

Next (2007)
28%

#55
Adjusted Score: 33271%
Critics Consensus: Numerous plot holes and poorly motivated characters prevent Next from being the thought-provoking sci-fi flick it could've been.
Synopsis: Blessed, or cursed, with the ability to see events minutes before they occur, Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) earns a living... [More]
Directed By: Lee Tamahori

#54

Inconceivable (2017)
31%

#54
Adjusted Score: 30022%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Angela develops a friendship with a mysterious woman named Katie and offers her a job as a live-in nanny. The... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Baker

#53

Zandalee (1991)
33%

#53
Adjusted Score: 17734%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An artist (Nicolas Cage) drifts to New Orleans and explores the theme of lust with his poet buddy's (Judge Reinhold)... [More]
Directed By: Sam Pillsbury

#52

Windtalkers (2002)
33%

#52
Adjusted Score: 37332%
Critics Consensus: The action sequences are expertly staged. Windtalkers, however, sinks under too many clichés and only superficially touches upon the story of the code talkers.
Synopsis: Marine Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage) is assigned to protect Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) -- a Navajo code talker, the Marines'... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#51

Knowing (2009)
34%

#51
Adjusted Score: 40374%
Critics Consensus: Knowing has some interesting ideas and a couple good scenes, but it's weighted down by its absurd plot and over-seriousness.
Synopsis: Fifty years after it was buried in a time capsule, a schoolgirl's cryptic document falls into the hands of Caleb... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#50
Adjusted Score: 41221%
Critics Consensus: A talented cast goes to waste in the improbable National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which is eerily similar to the first film.
Synopsis: When a long-missing page from the diary of assassin John Wilkes Booth suddenly resurfaces, it implicates the great-great grandfather of... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#49

Primal (2019)
37%

#49
Adjusted Score: 38019%
Critics Consensus: Chiefly of interest to Nicolas Cage completists and hardcore B-movie fans, this action thriller suffers from an unfortunate lack of Primal energy.
Synopsis: Hunter and collector Frank Walsh expects a big payday after bagging a priceless white jaguar for a zoo. But the... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Powell

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 46386%
Critics Consensus: It has a likable cast and loads of CGI spectacle, but for all but the least demanding viewers, The Sorcerer's Apprentice will be less than spellbinding.
Synopsis: Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) is just an average guy, but the wizard Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) sees in him a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#47

Snake Eyes (1998)
41%

#47
Adjusted Score: 43266%
Critics Consensus: Snake Eyes has a number of ingredients that promise a trashy fun time; unfortunately, they're lost in an energetic and stylish thriller with a frustratingly hollow core.
Synopsis: Detective Rick Santoro (Nicolas Cage) has never played by the rules. When he attends a high-profile boxing match with his... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 51400%
Critics Consensus: National Treasure is no treasure, but it's a fun ride for those who can forgive its highly improbable plot.
Synopsis: Historian and code-breaker Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) has been searching his whole life for a rumored treasure dating back to... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#45

Drive Angry (2011)
48%

#45
Adjusted Score: 51342%
Critics Consensus: It may deliver the over-the-top action pieces, but Drive Angry prefers to work safely within grindhouse formula than do something truly unique.
Synopsis: Thrown into hell for his crimes, brutal felon John Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes from the fiery pit after cultists murder... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Lussier

#44

Dog Eat Dog (2016)
49%

#44
Adjusted Score: 52722%
Critics Consensus: Dog Eat Dog's refreshing bundle of quirks and surfeit of visual style aren't quite enough to compensate for an aimlessly forgettable story.
Synopsis: Ex-cons, Troy (Nicolas Cage), Mad Dog (Willem Dafoe) and Diesel (Christopher Matthew Cook), are hired by an eccentric mob boss... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#43

Astro Boy (2009)
50%

#43
Adjusted Score: 55326%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't terribly original, and it seems to have a political agenda that may rankle some viewers, Astro Boy boasts enough visual thrills to please its target demographic.
Synopsis: In futuristic Metro City, a brilliant scientist named Tenma builds Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore), a robotic child with superstrength, X-ray... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers

#42

The Family Man (2000)
53%

#42
Adjusted Score: 57760%
Critics Consensus: Despite good performances by Cage and especially by Leoni, The Family Man is too predictable and derivative to add anything new to the Christmas genre. Also, it sinks under its sentimentality.
Synopsis: Jack's lavish, fast-paced lifestyle changes one Christmas night when he stumbles into a grocery store holdup and disarms the gunman.... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#41

Con Air (1997)
56%

#41
Adjusted Score: 59935%
Critics Consensus: Con Air won't win any awards for believability - and all involved seem cheerfully aware of it, making some of this blockbuster action outing's biggest flaws fairly easy to forgive.
Synopsis: Just-paroled army ranger Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is headed back to his wife (Monica Potter), but must fly home aboard... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#40

Guarding Tess (1994)
57%

#40
Adjusted Score: 58771%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Doug Chesnic (Nicolas Cage), an agent with the Secret Service Uniformed Division, is assigned to protect former first lady Tess... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Wilson

#39

City of Angels (1998)
59%

#39
Adjusted Score: 61945%
Critics Consensus: City of Angels may not tug the heartstrings as effortlessly as it aims to, but the end results will still leave more than a few viewers in tears.
Synopsis: This is the story of Seth (Nicolas Cage), an angel who wanders the Los Angeles area invisible to humans. As... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling

#38

The Weather Man (2005)
59%

#38
Adjusted Score: 63078%
Critics Consensus: With fine performances and a dark, dry sense of humor, The Weather Man is mostly cloudy with occasional rays of sunshine.
Synopsis: David Spritz (Nicolas Cage) is a Chicago weatherman who, despite success at his job, is deeply unhappy. Eclipsed by his... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 57084%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In their last weeks before deployment to World War II as Marines, teenage friends Henry Nash (Sean Penn) and Nicky... [More]
Directed By: Richard Benjamin

#36

Vampire's Kiss (1989)
61%

#36
Adjusted Score: 61231%
Critics Consensus: He's a vampire! He's a vampire! He's a vampire!
Synopsis: The life of white-collar New Yorker Peter (Nicolas Cage) seems to revolve solely around making as much money and sleeping... [More]
Directed By: Robert Bierman

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 62552%
Critics Consensus: Though this by-the-numbers true procedural seems basic, The Frozen Ground presents a welcome return for Nicolas Cage in a solid performance.
Synopsis: A teenage escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) provides a critical break in the case, as an Alaskan detective (Nicolas Cage) hunts a... [More]
Directed By: Scott Walker

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 65016%
Critics Consensus: Willy's Wonderland isn't quite as much fun as its premise would suggest -- but it's still got Nicolas Cage beating the hell out of bloodthirsty animatronics, which is nice.
Synopsis: A quiet loner (Nicolas Cage) finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Lewis

#33

Lord of War (2005)
61%

#33
Adjusted Score: 66567%
Critics Consensus: While Lord of War is an intelligent examination of the gun trade, it is too scattershot in its plotting to connect.
Synopsis: The 20-year arms dealing career of Queens, N.Y., outcast Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) serves as a window onto the end... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#32

Snowden (2016)
61%

#32
Adjusted Score: 76358%
Critics Consensus: Snowden boasts a thrilling fact-based tale and a solid lead performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even if director Oliver Stone saps the story of some of its impact by playing it safe.
Synopsis: Disillusioned with the intelligence community, top contractor Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leaves his job at the National Security Agency. He... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#31

The Ant Bully (2006)
62%

#31
Adjusted Score: 65621%
Critics Consensus: Sometimes inventive and witty, this animated adventure into an ant-sized world is a pleasant diversion.
Synopsis: Tired of weathering constant attacks on their colony, ants shrink a destructive boy, named Lucas (Zach Tyler Eisen), to their... [More]
Directed By: John A. Davis

#30

The Trust (2016)
63%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65058%
Critics Consensus: The Trust may not be an all-time heist classic, but its solidly workmanlike plot -- and the chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood -- should satisfy genre enthusiasts.
Synopsis: Corrupt cops working in the police department evidence room make plans to rob a vault full of drug money in... [More]

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 65197%
Critics Consensus: Honeymoon in Vegas is a light screwball comedy that has just about what you expect (and nothing you don't).
Synopsis: After losing $65,000 to professional gambler and con man Tommy Korman (James Caan), penniless private investigator Jack Singer (Nicolas Cage)... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Bergman

#28

Wild at Heart (1990)
68%

#28
Adjusted Score: 70595%
Critics Consensus: One of director David Lynch's more uneven efforts, Wild at Heart is held together by his distinctive sensibilities and compelling work from Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern.
Synopsis: After serving prison time for a self-defense killing, Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) reunites with girlfriend Lula Fortune (Laura Dern). Lula's... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 76147%
Critics Consensus: As a visually stunning tribute to lives lost in tragedy, World Trade Center succeeds unequivocally, and it is more politically muted than many of Stone's other works.
Synopsis: Two Port Authority officers, Sgt. John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Peña), become trapped in the rubble... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#26

Kiss of Death (1995)
67%

#26
Adjusted Score: 68029%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding ensemble cast propels Kiss of Death, a noir-ish crime thriller that's slick and big on atmosphere, even if its script may only provide sporadic bursts of tension.
Synopsis: After his time in prison, Jimmy Kilmartin (David Caruso) keeps his head down and provides for his wife and kids,... [More]
Directed By: Barbet Schroeder

#25

The Rock (1996)
68%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71940%
Critics Consensus: For visceral thrills, it can't be beat. Just don't expect The Rock to engage your brain.
Synopsis: FBI chemical warfare expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) is sent on an urgent mission with a former British spy, John... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 71695%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage) is a simple, kindhearted New York City cop. When he realizes he has no money to... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Bergman

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 75656%
Critics Consensus: Stunning and compelling, Scorsese and Cage succeed at satisfying the audience.
Synopsis: After a disheartening and haunting career wears him down, New York City paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage) begins to collapse... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#22

The Croods (2013)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 76448%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]

#21

Rumble Fish (1983)
74%

#21
Adjusted Score: 76704%
Critics Consensus: Rumble Fish frustrates even as it intrigues, but director Francis Ford Coppola's strong visual style helps compensate for a certain narrative stasis.
Synopsis: Disaffected and restless, Rusty James (Matt Dillon) is spoiling for a fight. Abandoned by his mother and living with his... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#20

Mom and Dad (2017)
75%

#20
Adjusted Score: 82866%
Critics Consensus: Mom and Dad's gonzo premise serves as an effective springboard for a wickedly dark, bloody comedy - and an appropriately over-the-top performance from Nicolas Cage.
Synopsis: A teenage girl and her little brother try to survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of... [More]
Directed By: Brian Taylor

#19

Kick-Ass (2010)
76%

#19
Adjusted Score: 86376%
Critics Consensus: Not for the faint of heart, Kick-Ass takes the comic adaptation genre to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity.
Synopsis: Using his love for comics as inspiration, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to reinvent himself as a superhero --... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#18

The Cotton Club (1984)
77%

#18
Adjusted Score: 77851%
Critics Consensus: Energetic and brimming with memorable performers, The Cotton Club entertains with its visual and musical pizazz even as its plot only garners polite applause.
Synopsis: The lives of various characters intersect at Harlem's renowned Cotton Club. Handsome horn player Dix Dwyer (Richard Gere) falls for... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#17
Adjusted Score: 82581%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend,... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#16

Matchstick Men (2003)
82%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87343%
Critics Consensus: Breezy and well-acted, Matchstick Men focuses more on the characters than on the con.
Synopsis: Roy (Nicolas Cage), a depressed con artist with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Frank (Sam Rockwell), his partner, find their line of... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#15

Birdy (1984)
83%

#15
Adjusted Score: 83758%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Birdy (Matthew Modine) returns from the Vietnam War scarred from the horrific experiences of battle. He is so damaged by... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#14

Valley Girl (1983)
83%

#14
Adjusted Score: 85175%
Critics Consensus: With engaging performances from its two leads, Valley Girl is a goofy yet amiable film that both subverts and celebrates the cheerful superficiality of teen comedies.
Synopsis: Lovely teen Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is steeped in the excessive, pink-clad culture of the San Fernando Valley, complete with... [More]
Directed By: Martha Coolidge

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 88145%
Critics Consensus: Peggy Sue Got Married may seem just another in a line of '80s boomer nostalgia films, but none of the others have Kathleen Turner keen lead performance.
Synopsis: Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner) attends her 25-year high school reunion after separating from her cheating husband, Charlie (Nicolas Cage).... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#12

Joe (2013)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90344%
Critics Consensus: Rich in atmosphere and anchored by a powerful performance from Nicolas Cage, Joe is a satisfying return to form for its star -- as well as director David Gordon Green.
Synopsis: The rough-hewn boss (Nicolas Cage) of a lumber crew courts trouble when he steps in to protect the youngest member... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#11
Adjusted Score: 90537%
Critics Consensus: Befitting its unorthodox origins, this Bad Lieutenant benefits from Werner Herzog's typically fearless direction and a delightfully unhinged Nicolas Cage in the title role.
Synopsis: Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) isn't doing so well. He has a nasty painkiller addiction, courtesy of an injury he sustained... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 100433%
Critics Consensus: A welcome return for director Richard Stanley, Color Out of Space mixes tart B-movie pulp with visually alluring Lovecraftian horror and a dash of gonzo Nicolas Cage.
Synopsis: After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner and his family find themselves battling a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Stanley

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 93116%
Critics Consensus: Oscar-awarded Nicolas Cage finds humanity in his character as it bleeds away in this no frills, exhilaratingly dark portrait of destruction.
Synopsis: Adapted from the novel by John O'Brien, this acclaimed drama follows alcoholic screenwriter Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage) as he drinks... [More]
Directed By: Mike Figgis

#8

Raising Arizona (1987)
91%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95570%
Critics Consensus: A terrifically original, eccentric screwball comedy, Raising Arizona may not be the Coens' most disciplined movie, but it's one of their most purely entertaining.
Synopsis: An ex-con and an ex-cop meet, marry and long for a child of their own. When it is discovered that... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#7
Adjusted Score: 97545%
Critics Consensus: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies distills the enduring appeal of its colorful characters into a charmingly light-hearted adventure whose wacky humor fuels its infectious fun -- and belies a surprising level of intelligence.
Synopsis: It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies -- all but the Teen... [More]

#6

Adaptation (2002)
91%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96994%
Critics Consensus: Dizzyingly original, the loopy, multi-layered Adaptation is both funny and thought-provoking.
Synopsis: Nicolas Cage is Charlie Kaufman, a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and by the... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#5

Face/Off (1997)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 96504%
Critics Consensus: John Travolta and Nicolas Cage play cat-and-mouse (and literally play each other) against a beautifully stylized backdrop of typically elegant, over-the-top John Woo violence.
Synopsis: Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#4

Moonstruck (1987)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98239%
Critics Consensus: Led by energetic performances from Nicolas Cage and Cher, Moonstruck is an exuberantly funny tribute to love and one of the decade's most appealing comedies.
Synopsis: No sooner does Italian-American widow Loretta (Cher) accept a marriage proposal from her doltish boyfriend, Johnny (Danny Aiello), than she... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#3

Red Rock West (1993)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96586%
Critics Consensus: Red Rock West is a hidden neo-noir gem with some delightful cracks in its surface -- and an opportunity to see Lara Flynn Boyle, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, and J.T. Walsh go toe-to-toe in all their early '90s glory.
Synopsis: When unemployed ex-marine Michael Williams (Nicolas Cage) stumbles into a bar in Red Rock, Wyo., the owner, Wayne (J.T. Walsh),... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#2

Pig (2021)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 109577%
Critics Consensus: Like the animal itself, Pig defies the hogwash of expectations with a beautiful odyssey of loss and love anchored by Nicolas Cage's affectingly raw performance.
Synopsis: Living alone in the Oregon wilderness, a truffle hunter returns to Portland to find the person who stole his beloved... [More]
Directed By: Michael Sarnoski

#1
Adjusted Score: 121248%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

The 2010s have not been an easy time for Nicolas Cage, preeminent cultural icon and reigning king of esoteric movie choices. The Academy Award-winning former box office champ has spent much of the decade churning out an endless series of action movies both regrettable and forgettable, most of which go direct to video or receive token theatrical releases. Things seem to be looking up for him as of late, however. He can currently be heard as the voice of Superman in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies , (Certified Fresh at 90%), and this week he appears in the horror thriller Mandy (Certified Fresh at 98%), which has earned near universal praise on the film festival circuit.

In other words, it’s the perfect time to single out a whole slew of Cage cult oddities that may not be as well known as The Wicker Man, Adaptation, Wild at Heart, or Face/Off, but are definitely worth checking out, particularly if you don’t mind films of varying quality.


1. Rumble Fish (1983) 74%

Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Nicolas Cage was perhaps the only hungry, talented young actor of the day who did not appear in 1983’s The Outsiders, despite being the nephew of the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola. He scored a nifty consolation prize, however, in the role of Smokey, a distractingly shaggy member of Matt Dillon’s crew, in the film’s companion piece, Rumble Fish, which was shot back-to-back with The Outsiders with the same crew and source material from the same author, young-adult lit goddess S.E. Hinton.

It seems fitting that Cage would end up in the artier and more agreeably demented of the two projects, a film noir-leaning black-and-white movie for teenagers that finds Cage holding his own against a cast that includes heavyweights like Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, Mickey Rourke at the height of his androgynous beauty and magnetism, and Tom Waits. Rumble Fish proved that even at the very beginning of his career, there was a whole lot more to Cage than just being related to a legendary filmmaker.


2. Vampire's Kiss (1989) 61%

Hemdale Film Corp. courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Hemdale Film Corp. courtesy Everett Collection)

When it comes to fusing the belligerent aggression of the archetypal 1980s businessman with pure, monstrous old-school evil of the Dracula/Wolfman variety, Patrick Bateman of American Psycho could learn a thing or two from the lunatic Cage played in 1989’s Vampire’s Kiss.

In this pitch-black horror comedy, a belligerent, narcissistic literary agent played by Cage gets bitten by a mysterious stranger during a one-night stand and becomes convinced he’s a vampire. Vampire’s Kiss soars as a demented ’80s riff on George Romero’s Martin, with the squirmy vulnerability and aching sadness of Martin‘s fake vampire replaced by the deranged narcissism of a dude who was a monster and a threat to everyone around him even before he got bit. It also brought us a couple of the finest Nic Cage freakouts ever and inspired a well-known meme.


3. Zandalee (1991) 33%

Astro Distribution courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Astro Distribution courtesy Everett Collection)

As Wild at Heart indelibly illustrated, the young Nicolas Cage could be a scorchingly sexy actor. But he’s the hilarious antithesis of that as a sexual adventurer whose goatee, soul patch, and mustache combo makes him look like he’s perpetually wearing a Guy Fawkes mask in the wonderfully warped, direct-to-video 1991 “erotic” thriller Zandalee.

Cage’s sex maniac shamelessly pursues the titular unsatisfied wife of his impotent best friend Judge Reinhold with rowdy come-ons like, “I wanna shake you naked and eat you alive, Zandalee.” Who could resist a line like that? Yes, Zandalee is perversely unsexy, but it is, scandalously and unintentionally, a laugh riot.


4. Red Rock West (1993) 95%

Roxie Releasing courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Roxie Releasing courtesy Everett Collection)

Cage ably plays a film noir archetype — the drifter lured into a world of sin and seduction, murder and greed — opposite J.T Walsh, Dennis Hopper, and femme fatale Lara Flynn Boyle in John Dahl’s terrific, darkly funny 1993 neo-noir Red Rock West. This overachieving little thriller was slated for a direct-to-video/cable burial before a California theater owner helped finagle a richly merited, albeit modest, theatrical release. But Red Rock West wasn’t just worthy of a theatrical release: it was one of the best films of the year it was released, and today it occupies a place of pride in the pantheon of great latter-day film noirs alongside other Dahl triumphs like Kill Me Again and The Last Seduction.


5. Bringing Out the Dead (1999) 72%

N/A

After Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ, director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader continued their exploration of driven, intense protagonists facing down bleak personal personal reckonings with Bringing Out the Dead, their electric adaptation of Joe Connelly’s novel about a depressed paramedic and the death-haunted, surrealistic world he inhabits. Cage’s big, soulful eyes powerfully express his character’s bottomless sadness and aching longing for tenderness and connection in a world gone mad.


6. The Weather Man (2005) 59%

Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Director Gore Verbinski took a break from directing mega-budgeted spectacles like the Pirates of the Caribbean with 2005’s The Weather Man, a deftly handled character study about a vain, narcissistic Chicago weatherman (Cage) with complicated relationships with his father (Michael Caine) and his family. It’s an unexpectedly small-scale, life-sized movie from a director and a star used to splashier, more flamboyant fare. Cage doesn’t play relatively normal men for understandable reasons (he’s insane and over the top, in the best possible sense), but he’s quite good at it, and The Weather Man is a low-key charmer.


7. Grindhouse (2007) 84%

The Weinstein Co.

(Photo by The Weinstein Co.)

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 project Grindhouse represented an audacious attempt to recreate the mood, vibe, and stoned, surreal experience of catching a double feature in an impressively disgusting drive-in theater with a gallon of moonshine and a few jazz cigarettes sometime in the 1970s.

To make the evening a full-on experience/freak out, Tarantino’s Death Proof and Rodriguez’s Planet Terror were augmented by fake trailers from simpatico, sleaze-loving souls like like Eli Roth, Edgar Wright, and Rob Zombie, the latter of whom contributed Werewolf Woman of the SS, a hairy, cheeky, supernatural spin on the sex- and violence-saturated Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. The faux trailer concludes by promising a boffo cast of B-movie favorites like Shari Moon Zombie (no points for guessing who her husband is), Udo Kier, Sybil Danning, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer‘s Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, and, of course, Nicolas Cage as a deranged Dr. Fu Manchu.

Granted, Werewolf Woman of the SS isn’t an actual movie, but Cage is so beloved among trash culture aficionados that his mere appearance in Grindhouse prompted cheers and howls of laughter. It’s tempting to imagine how a feature-length version of the film promised in Zombie’s trailer might look and feel, but it’s doubtful it could have lived up to audience expectations.


8. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) 86%

First Look Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by First Look Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Some projects become huge cult movies before a single frame is even shot. That’s true of 2009’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, whose status as a cult classic was clinched the moment beloved filmmaker Werner Herzog signed on to direct Nicolas Cage in a New Orleans-set reboot/reimagining/riff on Abel Ferrara’s iconic 1992 independent cult classic Bad Lieutenant.

Cage and Herzog amplify each other’s madness in this mind-bending dark comedy about a cackling, coke-snorting, lucky crack pipe-toting madman who is a crime-fighter in dirty, lawless New Orleans, an astonishingly prolific criminal, and an all-around degenerate. Only a lunatic would be audacious enough to follow in the footsteps of Harvey Keitel at his most punishingly intense and fearless. Thankfully, Cage is just such a lunatic, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans not only matches the stoned brilliance of Ferrara’s rightly revered original, at times it surpasses it.


9. Knowing (2009) 34%

Summit Entertainment courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Summit Entertainment courtesy Everett Collection)

Cage scored a surprise hit with Alex Proyas’ demented 2009 science-fiction mind-blower Knowing. The movie begins as a relatively straightforward conspiracy theory about a widowed professor (Cage) who discovers that a time capsule from 1959 contains numbers relating to a series of future calamities, including September 11th. Knowing gets bolder and more audacious as it goes along, leading to an unforgettable ending that takes the movie’s brazenly loopy premise to its surrealistic extreme in a manner at once biblical and apocalyptic.


10. Kick-Ass (2010) 76%

Daniel Smith/Lionsgate

(Photo by Daniel Smith/Lionsgate)

Chloë Grace Moretz got most of the acclaim and the attention, creepy and otherwise, for her star-making turn as gleefully profane 11-year-old killing machine Hit Girl in Matthew Vaughn’s action comedy, a nasty, misanthropic adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s comic book Kick Ass, about everyday weirdos who decide to become real-world superheroes.

But Cage played just as big a role in the film’s creative success as the appropriately named Big Daddy, a good cop who turns his daughter into a fearsome weapon of vengeance against a mob boss who has framed him. In Kick Ass, Cage’s justice-seeking patriarch is, paradoxically, the moral center and the trembling, beating heart and soul of a fundamentally amoral movie that fatally lacks any heart or soul otherwise.


11. Drive Angry (2011) 48%

Richard Foreman Jr./Summit Entertainment

(Photo by Richard Foreman Jr./Summit Entertainment)

All that needs to be said about Drive Angry (other than, you know, it’s a 3D Nicolas Cage movie called Drive Angry), is that at one point, Cage’s character has sex, swigs whiskey straight from the bottle, and engages in a gunfight – all at the same time! That, friends, is multitasking.

Cage plays a tough guy too badass even for Hell, so he steals the Devil’s own gun and sets out to prevent his granddaughter from from being sacrificed by a Satanic cult. With a premise and a star that nuts you don’t need 3D, but then again, Cage’s aesthetic has always been about crazy excess, so why not bring the lurid B-movie thrills in all three dimensions?


12. Joe (2013) 86%

Linda Kallerua/Roadside Attractions

(Photo by Linda Kallerua/Roadside Attractions)

Thanks in no small part to the films on this list, Nicolas Cage reigns as the king of movies that are so bad they’re good. But every once in a while the stars align perfectly, and the eccentric trash movie icon will find himself in a movie that’s just plain good.

That’s 2014’s Joe, a riveting coming-of-age drama from David Gordon Green that casts Cage in the challenging and juicy title role of a grizzled, troubled, and extremely hairy alcoholic who becomes the unlikely father figure to a young boy played by Tye Sheridan. The film serves as a much needed reminder that, in the right role and the right film, Cage can be a great actor, not just an irresistibly big personality.


13. Left Behind (2014) 1%

Freestyle Releasing

(Photo by Freestyle Releasing)

Cage’s career hit yet another nadir when he was cast as a pilot who learns a little something about the perils of eschewing a Godly path in 2014’s Left Behind, the feature film adaptation of the Rapture-themed series of best-selling conspiracy novels that were previously adapted into a trilogy of motion picture vehicles for Kirk Cameron.

Despite an Oscar winner in a lead role, 2014’s Left Behind is surprisingly much more modest than the Kirk Cameron movie. Instead of a globe-trotting adventure, it’s essentially the film equivalent of what is known in television as a “bottle episode,” which takes place primarily in a self-contained single location. The main action in Left Behind is limited to a wonderfully stagy airplane set where the crew and passengers of a flight slowly but surely piece together the nature of their loved ones’ not-so-mysterious disappearances (spoiler: it’s God), with unintentionally hilarious results.

Left Behind had two core audiences: Christians psyched to see an actor of Cage’s caliber in Godly entertainment, and secular smart-asses excited about an opportunity to laugh at Cage’s expense. Left Behind‘s wonderfully hokey storytelling and over-the-top proselytizing should have satisfed both groups, but, like so many of Cage’s films these days, it flopped, and a planned trilogy was nixed. That means, at least in this instance, Kirk Cameron actually succeeded where Nicolas Cage failed.


14. Mom and Dad (2017) 75%

Momentum Pictures

(Photo by Momentum Pictures)

The pairing of Cage and beloved cult weirdos Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor (CrankCrank: High Volume) on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, a sequel about a flaming motorcyclist from Hell, promised a crazy abundance of kitschy thrills and delivered almost nothing.

Cage fared much better when he re-teamed with Taylor alone on the demented 2017 horror comedy Mom and Dad. The film cast Cage and Selma Blair as quintessentially corny parents whose long-buried resentment over sacrificing their own needs and happiness for the sake of their children comes to a raging, psychotic, murderous boil when a meteor inspires otherwise sane mothers and fathers to murder their own children for a 24-hour span. It’s a role perfectly suited for Cage’s late-period combination of cornball dad dorkiness and unrelenting, violent intensity.

Cage was singularly compelling as an angry, crazy young man. He’s similarly magnetic in the bonkers dad roles he’s been playing as of late, and he’s sure to make for a fascinatingly warped granddad, as long as he can find roles deserving of his singular genius and mad-dog charisma. Considering Cage’s inscrutable taste in material, though, there’s no telling what we’ll actually get, and that also feels perfectly appropriate.


Nathan Rabin is a freelance writer, columnist, the first head writer of The A.V. Club and the author of four books, most recently Weird Al: The Book (with “Weird Al” Yankovic) and You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me.

Follow Nathan on Twitter: @NathanRabin

This week on streaming video, we’ve got one of the frontrunners for the Best Picture Oscar, a nominee for Best Animated Film, and a highly acclaimed documentary about a film critic near and dear to this site. Plus, there are a couple of notable indie films and a slew of good stuff newly available on Netflix, so read on for details:


Birdman
91%

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s multiple Oscar-nominated film is a Certified Fresh comedy-drama about an aging actor (Michael Keaton) who is haunted by the spectre of the superhero he once played and decides to reignite his career by staging a Broadway play.

Available now on: iTunes, Google Play


Big Hero 6
90%

The latest collaboration between Disney and Marvel tells the story of a young whiz kid named Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) who teams up with his protector robot Baymax and some scientifically enhanced friends to take down his city’s first supervillain.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play


Life Itself
98%

Steve James’s Certified Fresh portrait of legendary film critic Roger Ebert examines his life through archival footage, live television appearances, interviews with friends and family, and candid chats with the man himself during his final days.

Available now on: iTunes


Tracks
82%

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver star in this based-on-true-events drama about a young Australian woman who decides to trek across the desert to the Indian Ocean with her dog and four camels in tow.

Available now on: iTunes


Amira & Sam
77%

Martin Starr and newcomer Dina Shihabi play the titular duo — one’s a war vet adjusting to life back home, while the other’s a headstrong Iraqi woman who runs into immigration trouble and seeks shelter with him.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Dumb and Dumber To
30%

Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) are back in this sequel — 20 years in the making — to the absurd comedy hit by the Farrelly brothers. This time, Harry learns he has a daughter, so they set out to find her; unfortunately, Lloyd might also be in love with her.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play


Gloria
99%

This Certified Fresh Chilean film revolves around a late-50s divorcee, still young at heart, who goes looking for love and eventually finds it, but isn’t quite sure what to do with it once it’s in her grasp.

Available now on: Netflix


Re-Animator
94%

Stuart Gordon’s horror classic stars Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, a dedicated scientist who discovers a serum that brings dead tissue back to life. But the more people he lets in on his secret, the more dangerous it becomes.

Available now on: Netflix


Chef
87%

Jon Favreau directs and stars in this inspirational drama about a struggling chef whose ex-wife convinces him to open a food truck, where he rediscovers his passion for food.

Available now on: Netflix


Proof
62%

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this drama about the daughter of a brilliant mathematician who fears that the genius she inherited from her father may have come with a side helping of mental instability.

Available now on: Netflix


Spartacus: Complete Series

Starz’s bloody, sexy series experienced some hardship when the star of its first season, Andy Whitfield, succumbed to lymphoma in 2011, but the Roman gladiator action-drama continued on with a 6-part prequel miniseries and two more full seasons with a different actor.

Available now on: Netflix


Joe
86%

Nicolas Cage proves he’s still capable of meaty roles in David Gordon Green’s Certified Fresh dramatic thriller about an ex-con who forms an unlikely friendship with a teen (Tye Sheridan).

Available now on: Netflix


Frida
75%

Julie Taymor’s biopic stars Salma Hayek as the iconic titular painter, who suffered through polio and a bus accident before meeting mentor and eventual lover Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), thereby launching her career as an artist.

Available now on: Netflix


Borderland
100%

Three college kids from Texas get more than they bargained for when they head for Mexico on a graduation getaway, only to be stalked by an ancient cult in this horror thriller from 2007.

Available now on: Netflix


The Brothers Bloom
68%

Rian Johnson’s sophomore feature stars Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as a pair of con artists brothers who engage in one final scam before one of them decides to call it quits.

Available now on: Netflix


Horns
43%

In this mystery-satire, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ig Perrish, the prime suspect in a murder investigation, who awakens one day to discover he’s suddenly grown horns on his head. What’s more, he finds that anyone who now comes near him is rather adversely affected by the mysterious power of the horns.

Available now on: Netflix

This week on home video, we’ve got a surprise animated hit from the typically dreary movie month of February, Wes Anderson’s latest winner, and the second season of Netflix’s Emmy-winning political drama. Plus, we’ve got some notable smaller releases, including an Oscar-nominated animation, a well-received David Gordon Green drama starring Nic Cage, and a handful of other indie films. Read on for details:



The LEGO Movie

96%

The LEGO Movie could have easily turned into a 100-minute toy commercial, but in the capable hands of co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street), it became a loving tribute to the power of imagination. Chris Pratt voices Emmet, an everyman LEGO figure who stumbles into the role of LEGO savior when a mystical object fuses itself to his back. With the help of an eclectic team of “builders,” Emmett attempts to foil the nefarious plans of the evil President Business (Will Ferrell). Critics were positively charmed by The LEGO Movie, rewarding it with a Certified Fresh 96% on the Tomatometer thanks to imaginative animation, a hilarious script, and a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion. The Blu-ray includes a funny and informative commentary track featuring the directors, Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, and Alison Brie; a couple of making-of featurettes; and lots of short video tidbits, including an “Everything Is Awesome” sing-along. If you opt for the “Everything Is Awesome” Edition, you’ll also get the 3D version of the film, a 3D cast of Emmet’s face, a LEGO figurine of Vitruvius, and an exclusive “Meet the LEGO Builders” featurette.



The Grand Budapest Hotel

92%

A story within a story within a story, The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the tale of Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), the charismatic concierge of a luxurious mountain hotel who frequently offers his “services” to wealthy aging women. When one of them (Tilda Swinton) dies and leaves Gustave a precious painting in her will, her family becomes irate and attempts — by any means necessary — to retrieve the painting. Critics declared Grand Budapest — Certified Fresh at 92% — another triumph for Wes Anderson, replete with his trademark visual flourishes, wry wit, and a sprawling cast full of veterans like Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and many more. The Blu-ray includes three featurettes, three short vignettes to accompany the film, and a 4-minute short following Bill Murray as he tours the various film shoot locations.



Ernest & Célestine

98%

One of this year’s ill-fated nominees for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, Ernest & Célestine is a French-Belgian animated film that takes place in a world populated by anthropomorphized bears (who live above ground) and mice (who live below). All young mice are taught that they are a choice snack for bears, but when a young orphan named Célestine is separated from her peers and encounters a hungry bear named Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond. Though the original film is voiced in French, American audiences were treated to a cast that included Paul Giamatti, Lauren Bacall, William H. Macy, and, in the lead roles, Forest Whitaker (Ernest) and Mackenzie Foy (Célestine). Critics were positively charmed by Ernest & Célestine, calling its story sweet and its old-fashioned visual aesthetic delightful. The main bonus features are a 52-minute long making-of doc and a feature-length animatic (essentially a storyboard recreation of the film).



House of Cards – Season Two

Netflix had itself a bona fide hit with House of Cards, whose first season ended with Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood accepting the post of Vice President while journalists Zoe, Lucas, and Janine (Kate Mara, Sebastian Arcelus, and Constance Zimmer) probed deeper into his shady activities. Season two finds Frank eager to remove himself even further from any possible scandal, as he deftly continues to manipulate his way up the chain of power. Critics rated this most recent season Certified Fresh at 85% on the Tomatometer, noting that the series continued to deliver the kinds of powerful performances, strong writing, and crisp cinematography typical of contemporary premium cable drama. Extras on the season boxset include a glimpse of the show’s table reads and featurettes covering the differences between the series and the original 1990s British miniseries that inspired it, Frank’s habit of breaking the fourth wall, and more.

Also available this week:

  • David Gordon Green’s Joe (83%), starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in a Certified Fresh drama about an ex-con who befriends a teen and becomes his protector.
  • The Machine (78%), a sci-fi thriller about two programmers who create a self-aware AI, only to have it commandeered by the government.
  • Walk of Shame (13%), starring Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden in a comedy about a news reporter who gets stranded in the wrong part of town after a drunken one-night stand.
  • Authors Anonymous (7%), starring Kaley Cuoco and Chris Klein in a comedy about a support group for unpublished authors whose members are rankled when one of them becomes an overnight success.
  • And lastly, a whopping three releases from the Criterion Collection: Georges Franju’s 1963 crime thriller Judex (100%) is available for the first time in a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, and Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (94%) and Peter Davis’s documentary Hearts and Minds both get new DVD/Blu-ray re-releases. Also, an additional note for all of your Criterion aficionados out there: As per a recent announcement, The Criterion Collection will resume separate DVD and Blu-ray packages, beginning with their September releases later this year.

This week on streaming video, we’ve got a Certified Fresh Nicolas Cage drama by David Gordon Green leading the pack, followed by an acclaimed Palestinian film and some classics like Five Easy Pieces and a couple of Muppet movies on Netflix. Read on for details:


Joe
86%

Nicolas Cage stars in David Gordon Green’s Certified Fresh drama about an ex-con who becomes a father figure for a troubled teenager.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


The Muppet Movie
88%

Jim Henson’s crew of fuzzy showbiz pros go west to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune in this, the Muppets’ big screen debut.

Available now on: Netflix


The Great Muppet Caper
74%

Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang track down the criminals who stole the Baseball Diamond; Charles Grodin, Diana Rigg, John Cleese and a bunch more famous faces join in the fun.

Available now on: Netflix


Three Men and a Baby
76%

Tom Selleck! Ted Danson! Steve Guttenberg! It’s Three Men and a Baby, a goofy comedy about three bachelors why try to care for an infant that was one of 1987’s biggest box office hits.

Available now on: Netflix


Omar
90%

Omar, a thriller about a Palestinian man who’s coerced into informing on a friend, is a well-directed crime drama with uncommon depth.

Available now on: Netflix


Five Easy Pieces
88%

One of the key films of the New Hollywood era, Five Easy Pieces is a haunting portrait of alienation that features one of Jack Nicholson’s greatest performances.

Available now on: Netflix

Nicolas Cage co-stars in Joe with Tye Sheridan in the adaptation of the book by Larry Brown. Grae Drake speaks to him about Joe’s backstory, as well as his knowledge of handling serpents.

This week at the movies, we’ve got Brazilian birds (Rio 2, with voice performances by Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg), a pigskin professional (Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner), and a malevolent mirror (Oculus, starring Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane). What do the critics have to say?



Rio 2

48%

Plenty of animated films can entertain the kiddies for two hours without leaving much of an impression. Critics say Rio 2 is visually sharp and action-packed, but it’s also overly busy and short on big laughs. Married macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have settled down with their chicks in the big city, but when an ornithologist discovers a flock of endangered blue macaws, the family travels to the Amazon rainforest, where they find a group of birds who can’t relate to Blu’s city-slicker ways. The pundits say that althoughRio 2 is colorful and energetic, its lack of storytelling discipline and overabundance of musical numbers makes for a thinner experience than its predecessor. (Check out our video interview with the stars of Rio 2 here.)



Draft Day

60%

Moneyball proved that front-office action could be as riveting as anything on the playing field. Unfortunately, critics say that while Draft Day is slick and well acted, it suffers from predictable plotting and a shortage of insight. Costner stars as Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver, who’s tasked with rebuilding the team after another losing season. But Sonny’s not just worried about the Browns’ roster — he’s got a host of family issues to deal with as well. The pundits say Costner is rock-solid in the lead role, but the other characters aren’t as well fleshed out, and the film often fumbles the football details. (Watch our interview with the stars of Draft Day, and browse our gallery of memorable football movies.)



Oculus

74%

If you think you’ve seen every permutation on the haunted house horror flick template, think again. Critics say Oculus is a very effective frightfest, one that features interesting characters and an encompassing sense of dread. After the bizarre death of their parents, a pair of siblings return to their childhood home in order to confront the murderous party responsible: a haunted antique mirror that has the power to distort reality. The pundits say Oculus is sharply crafted, well acted, and often very scary.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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