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Top 5: Nicolas Cage Films 1990-99

To celebrate Nicolas Cage’s birthday, it’s Nicolas Cage Week! We’re picking our favourite films that Mr Cage made in the crazy decade that was the Nineties.


The 1990s saw Nicolas Cage move from more of a comedy or at times supporting actor to seeing himself as a bankable action hero. The 90s would not only bring the action classics listed below, but some real hidden gems like Red Rock West and Wild at Heart.  He would go to some pretty dark places in 8MM and Bringing Out The Dead and while the 90s did bring him is only Academy Award to date with Leaving Las Vegas, he still kept to his toe in the comedic waters with light-hearted fare such as Guarding Tess and Trapped in Paradise and, well the less said about City of Angels the better.

But just what was the best? Only the Snooty Ushers can decide and our countdown starts.. now!

5. The Rock (Michael Bay, 1996)

Rich: The 90’s produced some quintessential action movies that every film fan should watch. 3 of which are on this list. A disgruntled war veteran holds 81 tourists hostage on San Francisco’s Alcatraz Island. With an arsenal of deadly chemical weapons. To dismantle the deadly missiles, they send along dorky FBI weapons expert, Stanley Goodspeed (Nic Cage) and ex-SAS veteran John Mason (Sean Connery). The Rock is one of the biggest, loudest, and most talked about action movies and  it’s still to this day so much fun to watch. I’m sure Myself or Dave or even both of us will view this again sometime soon.

4. Leaving Las Vegas (Mike Figgis, 1995)

James: The film that won Cage his only Oscar (so far…). He stars as an alcoholic and suicidal screenwriter who decides to drink himself to death in Las Vegas. There he meets a prostitute (a career best Elisabeth Shue) and the two have a really, really messed-up relationship. The film that pushed Cage onto the A-list.

3. Snake Eyes (Brian De Dalma, 1999)

Dave: Brilliant conspiracy thriller with Cage as Rick Santoro , a corrupt cop who attends a boxing match. When the Secretary of Defense is murdered, Rick must solve the case before his best friend goes down for it.  Great use of split screen and some wonderful tracking shots backed up by some real stand out moments of Cage Rage.  Watched this again recently and it still stands up.

2. Face/Off (John Woo, 1997)

James: After Broken Arrow, John Woo was a hot property in Hollywood, and this is probably him at the peak of his powers. Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are Castor Troy (a terrorist) and Sean Archer (the FBI agent trying to catch him) but after swapping faces cop Archer (now Cage) has to inflitrate the terrorists. The action is brilliant, and probably one of the coolest films on any of these lists.

1. Con Air (Simon West, 1997)

Dave: We all had the same number 1 film, as the heroic Cameron Poe tries to survive when a plane is hijacked by the criminals it is transporting. Not only one of my favourite Cage films, but one of my favourite action films.  When my daughter was born, my good friend and fellow Usher and Cage fan Rich came round with a toy bunny presented in, you have guessed it, a box.  If this was not enough, there were instructions on the box to ensure the bunny is always put back.  The bunny was swiftly named Nic(ola) and is to this day has pride of place on her bed.  The perfect action film, for no other reason that this, when asked by another character what he was going to do?  “I’m gonna save the fxxkin day”  and he really did.  Con Air turns 20 this year, something I am sure we will re-visit on July 14th.


And that is our Top 5 Nicolas Cage films from the 90s! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!

Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.

PS As a special treat for reading all the way to the end, here’s our individual Top 5s


5. 8mm (Joel Schumacher, 1999)
4.Snake Eyes (Brian De Palma, 1999)
3. Leaving Las Vegas (Mike Figgis, 1995)
2. Face/Off  (John Woo, 1997)
1. Con Air (Simon West, 1997)


5. Leaving Las Vegas
4. 8mm
3. The Rock
2. Face/Off
1. Con Air


5. Leaving Las Vegas
4. Snake Eyes
3. Wild At Heart
2.Red Rock West
1. Con Air


5. Amos and Andrew
4. The Rock
3. Snake Eyes
2. Face/Off
1. Con Air

special mention to Trapped in Paradise, it would have came 6th. Apologies for no Leaving Las Vegas, its just not my type of Cage!

About James is Outta Bubblegum

Favourite Film: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


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