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  • Writer's pictureDouglas James Troxell

Enter the Cage Movie Challenge!

My wife, Cindy, and I have completed an epic journey through cinematic brilliance. Last month we officially completed the Enter the Cage Movie Challenge! The challenge (which I invented) goes like this: Participants have one year to watch every single Nicolas Cage movie ever made. Movies do not need to be watched in order and animated features with Nic Cage voice-acting don’t count. Neither do television appearances. The reward for completing the challenge is you get to swap your face with the face of your greatest enemy.

So why Nic Cage? Because he is the single greatest thespian in the history of American cinema. His movies may not always be the greatest but the man is rarely boring. Cage goes balls out even when the movie around him is mediocre…or worse. Oftentimes it felt like he was trying to single-handedly compensate for mediocre scripts by dialing the intensity up to 15 (I’m looking at you, Deadpool). His early work through the 80s was a masterclass in method acting to the extreme, followed by his finest, most intense work through the 90s, his cheesy, over-the-top work in the early aughts became what he’s best known for, and then his work falls off a cliff once he goes bankrupt and starts accepting roles only to pay for his collection of dinosaur skulls.

When it was all said and done, we watched 76 movies starring Nicolas Cage. We’ve bared witness to the entire canon of his work. There are a few hallmarks and staples of a quality Nic Cage performance: weird hair, random yelling, a bizarre not-quite-right accent that comes and goes, intense facial expressions, whisper talking, unintentional creepiness, and then there are those rare occasions when he just goes bat shit crazy…which is my favorite Cage.

What follows is a rundown of every single Nic Cage movies. The legend below helps identify which kind of Cage you’re getting in each film.

WH = Weird Hair DS$ = Dino Skull Money Must = Mustache Cage

SA= Strange Accent CAP = Capable SAC = Smooth Ass Cage

RY = Random Yelling UC = Unnecessary Creepiness Action = Action Cage!

Whisper = Whisper Talking Elvis = Elvis Impersonation BSC = Bat Shit Crazy Cage!

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Support Cage National Treasure – CAP, Action Cage

Valley Girl – WH Lord of War - SAC

Rumble Fish – WH, Support Cage Weather Man - Boring

Racing with the Moon – Seizure Dance Cage Wicker Man – RY, BSC

Cotton Club – SA, RY, CAP World Trade Center – RY, Mustache Cage

Birdy – RY Ghost Rider – RY, SA

Boy in Blue – RY, Goofball Cage Next - WH

Peggy Sue Got Married – SA NT2: Book of Shadows – DS$

Raising Arizona – SA, WH, CAP, Must Bangkok Dangerous - WH

Moonstruck – SA, RY Knowing - WH

Vampire’s Kiss – SA, RY, BSC Bad Lieutenant - BSC

Time to Kill – RY Kick-Ass – RY, Action Cage

Fire Bird – RY, UC Sorcerer’s Apprentice – WH, DS$

Wild at Heart – SA, RY, Elvis Impersonator Season of the Witch – SA, Action Cage

Zandalee – SA, RY, Must Drive Angry – DS$

Honeymoon in Vegas – RY Trespass - RY

Amos and Andrew – CAP Seeking Justice - RY

Deadfall – WH, SA, RY, BSC, Must Ghost Rider 2 - BSC

Red Rock West – CAP Stolen – Boring Cage

Guarding Tess – RY On Frozen Ground - CAP

It Could Happen to You – CAP Joe - CAP

Trapped in Paradise – CAP Rage – WH, RY

Kiss of Death – Buff Cage Outcast – WH, Support Cage

Leaving Las Vegas – Oscar-Worthy Cage Left Behind – DS$, Boring Cage

The Rock – RY, Action Cage Dying of the Light – DS$

Con Air – WH, SA, Action Cage The Runner – SA, Boring Cage

Face/Off – BSC, Action Cage Pay the Ghost - CAP

City of Angels – UC, Whisper-Talk Cage The Trust – BSC, Mustache Cage

Snake Eyes – RY Snowden – Support Cage

8 mm – RY, Boring Cage USS Indianapolis - CAP

Bringing out the Dead – BSC, CAP Dog Eat Dog – Boring Cage

Gone in 60 Seconds – SAC, Action Cage Army of One – SA, BSC

The Family Man – SAC Arsenal – WH, SA, RY

Captain Morelli’s Mandalin – SA Vengeance – Boring Cage

Windtalkers – Whisper-Talk Cage Inconceivable – Boring Cage

Adaptation – Oscar-Worthy Cage Mom and Dad - BSC

Sonny – BSC The Humanity Bureau – Boring Cage

Matchstick Men – SAC, CAP 211 – RY, Mustache Cage

That’s 76 movies in one year. That’s a lot of Cagey goodness. Only one thing left to say…


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