Nicolas Cage is back on the big screen this week in new drama Joe: a film that sees him team up with David Gordon Green for the first time.

Joe sees Cage return to his indie role roots and gives him a character to really get his teeth into and explore.

To celebrate the return of Cage, we take a look at some of his greatest film performances.

- Raising Arizona (1987)

Cage teamed up with Joel and Ethan Coen at the end of the eighties for comedy Raising Arizona: the movie was written, directed, and produced by the brothers.

Starring Cage and Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona followed ex-con and ex-cop couple as they decide to steal one of five babies born to a local family to raise as their own.

Raising Arizona is not only one of the funniest films from the Coen Brothers, but it is the best comedy performance of Cage's career.

This film really is packed with energy and zing, and is original as it is funny.

Raising Arizona came six years after Cage made his big screen debut with Best of Times, and really kicked off a very successful period for the actor.

Raising Arizona was not a huge hit when it was released in 1987, but it has gone on to gain cult status over the years.

- Red Rock West (1993)

Into the nineties and Cage continued to make a name for himself - Red Rock West saw the actor deliver another terrific performance.

Red Rock West saw John Dahl in the director's chair, while Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, and J. T. Walsh all joined Cage on the cast list.

Cage takes on the role of Michael, who is accidentally mistaken for a hitman. Things get out of hand for Michael as he tries to take the money and run.

Red Rock West is one of the neo-noir thrillers to hit the big screen during that nineties - and that is largely thanks to a terrific cast that are on top form.

This is a movie that is playful, witty, and entertaining and is one of Cage's pre-stardom roles that is not to be missed.

- Leaving Las Vegas (1996)

Cage teamed up with writer and director Mike Figgis as they brought John O'Brien's novel Leaving Las Vegas to the big screen in 1996.

Cage takes on the role of Ben Sanderson - an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter - who has come to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. Here he meets prostitute Sera, and forms an unexpected friendship.

Leaving Las Vegas is one of those films that really does pull no punches: from start to finish this really is a dark and rather grim tale.

This movie may not be a laugh a minute, but it is totally compelling as Cage and Elisabeth Shue both give riveting and powerful performances.

Cage went on to win the Best Actor Golden Globe and Oscars. Shue was nominated for Best Actress and Figgis was nominated for Best Director.

Nearly twenty years on, Leaving Las Vegas remains one of the best performances of Cage's career.

- Adaptation (2003)

The last truly great performance from Cage came back in 2003, when he teamed up with Spike Jonze for Adaptation.

Adaptation was based on the book by Susan Orlean, adapted by Charlie Kaufman, and was the second feature film for Jonze.

The movie follows a lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Cage plays two roles in the film - screenwriting brothers Charlie and Donald Kaufman - and is joined on the cast list by Tilda Swinton, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper.

Adaptation was one of the most original movies to hit the big screen of 2003, and Cage was just a natural in the central roles.

This is a movie that blurs fact and fiction, and is brilliant and bizarre all at the same time.

Cage went on to pick up a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance, but lost out to Adrien Brody for The Pianist.

Other great Cage roles include Face/Off, Moonstruck, and Matchstick Men.

Joe is released 25th July.

by for
find me on and follow me on

Tagged in