Good or Bad? Rating Every Nicolas Cage Performance

Analyzing every Cage performance ever, one critic attempts to answer the age-old question

    “There’s a two-day course called ‘Nicolas Cage: Good or Bad?’ I’m signing up — I’ve always wanted to know.” – Abed Nadir, Community, “Introduction to Teaching”

    In the fifth season of Dan Harmon’s now-expelled cult series Community, the show’s pop cultural savant, Abed, decides to get some closure on a seemingly simple, but ultimately mind-melting question. Abed subsequently loses all sense of reality, and the question becomes an existential provocation. But then, there is an answer, and we intend to succeed where Abed didn’t necessarily fail, but was certainly thrown by the eccentric essence of Cage.

    Nicolas Cage is a raw artist, a thunderball thespian who’s mystified, mortified, and amused audiences for over three decades onscreen. Over the last decade, the memes, personal struggles, and a string of dicey creative decisions have put a sort of washed-out spin on the actor, but that feels wrong. Remember how badass he was as a Bruckheimer star in the ‘90s? Or how charming he could be in the ‘80s? Or how deliciously unhinged he can be, in just about any of his roles? For the 20th anniversary of Michael Bay’s one truly great film, The Rock, it feels like the right time to consider Cage’s career and put an end to the long-standing question: Nicolas Cage, good or bad?


    Today, through simple math and analysis of every last Cage role (from Ridgemont to Rage), we’re putting an end to the Nadir conundrum. (At least, until the next VOD gig.) Sometimes his casting choices will repeat themselves. Other times Cage will be like a trapezoidal peg in a round hole. What we know is that he’s never dull and always at it. Now, to determine Cage’s “goodness.”

    Comb your hair, crazy up, and contain your Cage-Rage, because we’re about to scientifically, mathematically, and definitively answer a question that’s besieged mankind for millions upon millions of years.

    Blake Goble
    Senior Staff Writer