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2020: The Year of Cage

Breaking out of the cage in 3, 2, 1...

There are so many Nicolas Cages. There is young Nic Cage, he of the often aloof or outwardly dumb caricature (Valley Girl, Peggy Sue Got Married and so on). There is legit actor, almost arthouse Nic Cage, he of Birdy, Leaving Las Vegas and Mandy, to name a few. There is big-time action star Nic Cage, he of Face/Off and The Rock and many other box office hits. And there is late-period workaholic Nic Cage, he of so many nondescript, straight to VOD productions over the last half-decade, it would make your head spin.

I am voluntarily opting in for the head spin, folks.

Because I would argue there's really only one Nicolas Cage: Nic Cage The Actor. When Nic Cage enters the frame, you know it. As I compiled the below list of 102 films, I was struck by how few small or even cameo-esque performances there are. For someone as eccentric as Cage, it's usually the movie poster or bust. If he's not carrying the load, he's likely not interested.

And so enter 2020: The Year of Cage. I embark on a journey that will take longer than the calendar year, and ain't that fitting for someone so larger-than-life. 2020: The Year of Cage (Tagline: "One year just isn't enough™"). Let's go over some ground rules:

I will be watching every single feature-length, narrative film Nic Cage has acted in. Documentaries^ and any TV work will be excluded. I will be watching them in alphabetical order. By doing it this way, I will hopefully get a smattering of both new and old work consistently to keep the project fresh. I mulled doing it chronologically, to see him age into this current form, but I'm honestly not sure I can handle digesting all the later 2010s work in a row.

I will attempt to watch at least one Nicolas Cage movie each week.

A note on documentaries (^): the only exclusion I will be making is the 1998 film Welcome to Hollywood by Adam Rifkin, which seems interesting / enough a mockumentary to warrant inclusion.

A note on animated films (marked below with †): I debated whether to include these because why would I do this to myself, adult human man Jeff. But since Cage is basically a main character if not THE main character in every animated film he's done a voice for, I will allow it.

A note on films I've watched AND reviewed recently (@): I won't be rewatching these. There are only three: Wild at Heart, Mandy and Into the Spiderverse. Of course, I've seen plenty of these films before, but in the case of most, it's been many many years.

There are a few 'wildcards' on this list (%): Four to be exact, including the previously mentioned faux-doc. Let's address the other three:

1. Grindhouse: Werewolf Women of the SS. This is a fake movie trailer directed by Rob Zombie that was included with the Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature in 2007. This won't count as an official review but I will be rewatching it, talking about it on that week's ep.

2. Never on Tuesday. To be honest, this appears to be Nic Cage's one true-to-form cameo performance, if we go by what most would consider the definition of that word. But it looks like a wacky late 80s flick and I can't wait to see what Cage does with the role "Man in Red Sports Car."

3. Sonny. 2002's Sonny remains (apparently) the only film Cage has directed himself. That fact alone would probably warrant inclusion into a project called 2020: The Year of Cage. The fact that he plays a fictionalized version of himself in a quasi-cameo... cements it.

I've also included soon to be released and/or filming/in-production movies here too (***). I plan on watching these as they are available and/or making sure I am up to snuff with every feature film at my disposable when I reach the end of this project (~ late 2021).

One film that did not make the cut, but nonetheless intrigues me is the 2012 Hungarian experimental romantic film, Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen, which is a "mashup realized with 451 clips from the most famous films in history [to tell a] love story between a man and a woman." Hmmm.

And so there you have it. 2020: The Year of Cage begins. Watch this space + my podcast (MySpace the Podcast) for reports/reviews. Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.


001 1999 8mm
002 2020 10 Double Zero ***
003 2018 211
004 2019 A Score to Settle
005 2002 Adaptation
006 1993 Amos & Andrew
007 2016 Army of One
008 2017 Arsenal
009 2009 Astro Boy †
010 2009 Bad Lieutenant:: Port of Call New Orleans
011 2008 Bangkok Dangerous
012 2018 Between Worlds
013 1984 Birdy
014 1999 Bringing Out the Dead
015 2001 Captain Corelli's Mandolin
016 2001 Christmas Carol: The Movie Jacob Marley †
017 1998 City of Angels
018 2019 Color Out of Space
019 1997 Con Air
020 1993 Deadfall
021 2016 Dog Eat Dog
022 2011 Drive Angry
023 2014 Dying of the Light
024 1997 Face/Off
025 1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High
026 1990 Fire Birds
027 2009 G-Force †
028 2007 Ghost Rider
029 2012 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
030 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds
031 2019 Grand Isle
032 2007 Grindhouse (Werewolf Women of the SS) %
033 1994 Guarding Tess
034 1992 Honeymoon in Vegas
035 2017 Inconceivable
036 1994 It Could Happen to You
037 2020 Jiu Jitsu ***
038 2013 Joe
039 2010 Kick-Ass
040 2019 Kill Chain ***
041 1995 Kiss of Death
042 2009 Knowing
043 1995 Leaving Las Vegas
044 2014 Left Behind
045 2018 Looking Glass
046 2005 Lord of War
047 2018 Mandy @
048 2003 Matchstick Men
049 2017 Mom and Dad
050 1987 Moonstruck
051 2004 National Treasure
052 2007 National Treasure: Book of Secrets
053 1989 Never on Tuesday (Man in Red Sports Car) %
054 2007 Next
055 2015 Outcast
056 2015 Pay the Ghost
057 1986 Peggy Sue Got Married
058 2020 Pig ***
059 2019 Primal
060 2020 Prisoners Of The Ghostland ***
061 1984 Racing with the Moon
062 2014 Rage
063 1987 Raising Arizona
064 1993 Red Rock West
065 1983 Rumble Fish
066 2019 Running with the Devil
067 2011 Season of the Witch
068 2011 Seeking Justice
069 1998 Snake Eyes
070 2016 Snowden
071 2002 Sonny (Director, as "himself") %
072 2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse † / @
073 2012 Stolen
074 2018 Teen Titans Go! To the Movies †
075 2006 The Ant Bully †
076 1986 The Boy in Blue
077 1984 The Cotton Club
078 2013 The Croods †
079 2020 The Croods 2 *** / †
080 2000 The Family Man
081 2013 The Frozen Ground
082 2018 The Humanity Bureau
083 1996 The Rock
084 2015 The Runner
085 2010 The Sorcerer's Apprentice
086 2016 The Trust
087 2021 The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent ***
088 2005 The Weather Man
089 2006 The Wicker Man
090 1989 Time to Kill
091 1994 Trapped in Paradise
092 2011 Trespass
093 2016 USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage
094 1983 Valley Girl
095 1989 Vampire's Kiss
096 2017 Vengeance: A Love Story
097 2020 Wally's Wonderland ***
098 1998 Welcome to Hollywood %
099 1990 Wild at Heart
100 2002 Windtalkers
101 2006 World Trade Center
102 1991 Zandalee

103 2021 The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


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