Nicholas Cage, born as Nicholas Kim Coppola, is well-known for playing a wide range of roles in action, comedy, drama and science-fiction films since he made his debut in 1981. He acted with passion in many classic roles that made him an established actor by 1990. Cage was born to August Floyd Coppola and Joy. He is the nephew of the renowned director Francis Ford Coppola.
Movies in the 80s and 90s
In the early phase of his career, Nicholas Cage acted in note-worthy films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Birdy (1984) and The Cotton Club (1984). In 1986, he played an important role in Peggy Sue Got Married as a husband that tries to reconcile with his time-travelling wife after they got separated. The following year, he delivered good performances in two high-profile films Raising Arizona and Moonstruck. In 1990, David Lynch used Nicholas Cage for a major role in Wild at Heart (1990) and the untamed character suited Cage perfectly. Wild at Hearts have moments of greatness, but is also cliché-ridden.
Cage’s inspiring role in It Could Happen to You (1994) as a generous man that doesn’t mind giving half of his lottery winnings to a waitress (to keep a promise he made) was received well by the audience. In 1995, Cage reached the peak of his career in Leaving Las Vegas. His role as an alcoholic that ruins his personal and professional lives only to drink till death won him his only Oscar as Best Actor. Cage delivered back to back hits with his next three action movies - The Rock (1996), Con Air (1997) and Face/Off (1997) - which proved his ability to generate commercial success.
Nicholas Cage was also an interesting choice as the main character in Bringing Out the Dead (1999). The movie was directed by Scorsese and show reminiscence of his earlier movie, as the style in Mean Streets and the themes in Taxi Driver.
Movies in the 2000s
He did another action movie in 2000 when he was paired opposite Angelina Jolie in the high-voltage action flick Gone in Sixty Seconds. He played a master car thief who is forced by a mob boss to steal fifty cars in seventy two hours. Also, in the same year, his role as Jack Campbell in The Family Man (2000) won him applause. Jack is a rich, lonely investment banker who suddenly falls into an alternate universe in which he is a family man. He eventually realizes that family life comes before money.
After Cage’s 2002 war film Windtalkers bombed at the box office and got poor reviews, he played the twins Charlie and Donald Kaufman in Adaption and his performance earned him an Academy Award nomination.
Cage added one more role to his long list of characters when he acted in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men (2003). He played a master con man that gets conned by his accomplices in a funny turn of events. The script is creative and Nicholas Cage is grabbing the chance to show another side of himself as an actor.
In 2004, his film National Treasure restarted the trend of adventure films in Hollywood. Three years later, he also landed a superhero role as Ghost Rider in the film of the same name in 2007. Once again he proved that he is one of the masters in the action genre.
Later in the same year, he resumed his role as Benjamin Gates in National Treasure: Book of secrets. Cage’s next venture was the action film Bangkok Dangerous (2008) set completely in Bangkok. He played a hit man that has a change of heart and kills the mob boss who ordered the hit.
He enjoyed commercial success in 2010 through the films Kick-Ass and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. In 2011, Drive Angry was a commercial failure, but Cage’s role as John Milton looked splendid. Later that year, Trespass met a similar fate, but Cage’s performance was recognized. In 2012, Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze in the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Nicholas Cage has in the last years experienced a decline in his career with parts in many movies that have not got especially much attention.