8 of the best Nicolas Cage movies you can stream right now

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 13: Nicolas Cage attends the Neon Premiere of "PIG" on July 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NEON)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 13: Nicolas Cage attends the Neon Premiere of "PIG" on July 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NEON) /

Few actors use their instruments as intensely as Nicolas Cage. From his earliest onscreen appearances in films like 1983’s Valley Girl and 1987’s Moonstruck, Cage has been an uninhibited presence in film. Sometimes his choices are irreverent, as in 1997’s Face/Off and his manic Castor Troy. Others, like 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas, earn him critical acclaim. (And for Vegas, an Oscar for Best Actor.)

If you’re in the mood to see Cage commit wholeheartedly to a role, check out these eight films currently streaming.

Next (2007)

Cage goes the sci-fi route in this thriller about a stage magician named Cris Johnson who has precognitive abilities—he can see things exactly two minutes before they happen. It’s a skill that proves handy for his career but also puts him in the crosshairs of both the federal government and terrorists.

Next is ostensibly based on a 1954 Philip K. Dick short story, “The Golden Man,” but the two plots bear little resemblance to one another. In Dick’s story, a mutant persecuted by society can see far enough into the future to elude his would-be captors. (Dick’s work has also inspired 1982’s Blade Runner and 2002’s Minority Report, among others.)

Watch it: Amazon Prime

Raising Arizona (1987)

Cage’s talents found a suitable home with the Coen Brothers, who wrote and directed this farcical fable about a downtrodden couple (Cage and Holly Hunter) who decide to kidnap a rich man’s quintuplet. (Yes, just the one.) Cage beat out Kevin Costner for the role.

Watch it: Amazon Prime

Vampire’s Kiss (1989)

Cage’s go-for-broke mentality is on full display in this comedy about a yuppie who fears he’s been bitten by a vampire and begins to indulge in his bloodsucking appetites. The film was actually financed thanks to Dennis Quaid, who was set to star but left the production to do 1987’s Innerspace instead.

The role then went to Cage, who insisted on one script change: Rather than have his character eat a raw egg, he opted to ingest a live cockroach (actually a water bug) instead.

Watch it: Amazon Prime

The Frozen Ground (2013)

Cage plays it (relatively) straight as an Alaska state trooper tasked with hunting down serial killer Robert Hansen (John Cusack) in the frozen tundra in this fact-based thriller. The real Hansen (who died in prison in 2014) displayed some alarming behavior early on: At age 21, he burned down a school bus garage after reportedly being turned down for dates in high school.

Watch it: Netflix

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

Cage gets into a faux Five Nights at Freddy’s situation in this low-budget effort. As an unnamed and nonverbal drifter, Cage agrees to spend the night cleaning up a dilapidated Chuck E. Cheese’s type restaurant—right around the same time the animatronics turn homicidal.

To survive, Cage needs to defend himself against the likes of Willy the Weasel and Ozzy the Ostrich. (Writer G.O. Parsons originally scripted one line for Cage’s character during the climactic battle: “Come at me, bro.” Cage declined to say it.)

Watch it: Hulu

Joe (2013)

Cage dons a beard (and with it, a layer of subtlety) as a logger who takes a risk by protecting a young man (Tye Sheridan) from his abusive father. Director David Gordon Green went on to helm the current Halloween (2018-2022) trilogy and will take on rebooting another horror classic, The Exorcist, next.

Watch it: HBO Max

Snake Eyes (1998)

Not to be confused with the G.I. Joe character, Snake Eyes is a slice of 1990s Brian De Palma. Cage is Rick Santoro, a cop who picks up on a conspiracy at a major boxing event. Cage had to work shooting of the film around his planned turn as Clark Kent in director Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, which was set for a 1997 release before being scrapped.

Watch it: HBO Max

National Treasure (2004)

Cage takes a family-friendly turn as Benjamin Franklin Gates, who discovers a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, which leads to a vast fortune accumulated by Freemasons. Strangely, director Jon Turteltaub went back pretty far with Cage. The two were high school classmates at Beverly Hills High.

The 2007 sequel, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, is also streaming on Disney+.

Watch it: Disney+

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This story originally appeared on Mental Floss and is written by Jake Rossen.