Through the decades, Nicolas Cage has proved himself to be one of the most talented and entertaining performers of all time. His latest film, Longlegs, is being released on July 12 and is being teased as one of the actor’s scariest and most memorable performances to date.

Before they can run to the theater to check out Longlegs for themselves, viewers can hold themselves over with these seven Nicolas Cage performances that are nothing short of mindblowing. From a scorned man seeking vengeance to a vapid socialite convinced he is a vampire, this list details movies that depict Nicolas Cage’s most indelible portrayals.


A psychedelic masterpiece of the macabre, Mandy showcases peak Nicolas Cage. Directed by Panos Cosmatos, Mandy stars Cage as Red, a lumberjack who exacts murderous revenge after a terrifying cult targets his wife.

In Mandy, Cage transforms from a hardworking, loving husband living away from society, to an over-the-top killing machine, showing his phenomenal range. Also, Cage gives one of the most memorable primal screams in cinematic history here.

Mandy is available to stream on Shudder and AMC+.

The Wicker Man

Critically ravaged at the time of its release, Neil LaBute’s 2006 remake of The Wicker Man has since been reevaluated as a so-bad-it’s-good classic. Good ‘ol Nic Cage takes over for Edward Woodward as a policeman who, while looking for a missing child, travels to a remote island where strange pagan rituals are being practiced.

While the original Wicker Man from 1973 is an excellent horror film, this remake is a foray into the world of endlessly entertaining schlock. Nicolas Cage is at a 10 for the entire runtime, which causes some unintentional humor to come into play that will have some viewers bursting out in laughter. In one sequence, Cage wears a mask that is filled up with bees, and his reaction is complete comedy gold, even if the movie was originally meant to be taken seriously.

The Wicker Man is available to rent on YouTube, Apple TV, and Prime Video.

Vampire’s Kiss

Released in 1988, Vampire’s Kiss is one of the first movies to fully explore the complete and utter dedication Cage has for his craft, which comes across as delightfully over-the-top at times. Vampire’s Kiss tells the tale of a womanizing executive who gets bitten on the neck during a one-night stand and becomes convinced he’s turning into a vampire.

In Vampire’s Kiss, Nicolas Cage delivers several intense monologues and utilizes some exaggerated body movements that are unachievable by basically any other actor. Cage also acts with his eyes quite a bit in the film, effectively opening them as wide as can be.

Vampire’s Kiss is available to stream on Tubi and Pluto TV.

Mom and Dad

A gruesome and wacky horror flick from 2018, Mom and Dad tells the tale of a mysterious signal that causes parents to violently attack their children. Cage stars opposite Selma Blair as Brent Ryan, a suburban dad struggling with his place in life.

Once Cage’s character becomes possessed by the signal, his performance becomes fantastically deranged as he maniacally chases his children around the house for most of the film’s second half. In one sequence, Cage sings a demented rendition of the Hokey Pokey as he smashes the floor of his own home with a sledgehammer.

Mom and Dad is available to stream on Starz.

Color Out of Space

An adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s almost unadaptable story of the same name, Color Out of Space is a luminous nightmare that is at once hilarious and terrifying. The film follows a family whose farmhouse is targeted by a mysterious alien color that destroys anything in its path.

Color Out of Space may be memorable for its unforgettable sequences of body horror, but Nicolas Cage delivers a heart-wrenching yet delightfully campy performance as an everyday father desperately trying to protect his family from unknown forces. Color Out of Space also features another monumental man cry from the audacious Cage.

Color Out of Space is available to stream on Shudder and AMC+.


One of the most beloved action films of all time, Face/Off features one of Cage’s most masterful performances. Face/Off stars Cage as Caster Troy, a terrorist who murders the young son of FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta). Soon, in an attempt to stop a terrorist plot, Archer surgically swaps faces with Troy, and the two men switch identities.

In Face/Off, Cage portrays a dastardly villain, throwing everything at the wall, and fortunately, pretty much everything sticks. Cage’s range is on full display here, with the actor exploring many emotions in an almost outrageous way.

Face/Off is available to stream Paramount+.

Wild at Heart

Directed by David Lynch, Wild at Heart is a surreal romantic thriller exploring the explosive romance between Cage’s Sailor and Laura Dern’s Lula. The film is bizarre and frequently shockingly violent, yet strangely sweet.

One of the most peculiar aspects of this off-kilter film is Cage’s tonally dynamic character. In Wild At Heart, Cage speaks like Elvis Presley but then dances at night clubs to metal music. The film also opens with Cage suddenly beating a man to death on a staircase, setting the tone for one of the most wild roles in the actor’s prolific career.

Wild at Heart is available to rent on Prime Video.

Jon Mendelsohn

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Best Unhinged Nicolas Cage Movies to Watch Before Longlegs