Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Underrated Nicolas Cage Movie You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now

There was a time — and it wasn't all that long ago — when Nicolas Cage was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, not to mention one of the few actors around who could front a tentpole property (The Rock) with as much ease as a no-budget indie (Leaving Las Vegas). These days, of course, he's largely known for his wildly over the top "Rage Cage" antics in stylishly offbeat genre offerings (see Mandy, and Color Out of Space). And while Cage has made great sport of going big or not going at all in one puzzling project or another over the past couple of decades, every few years or so, he seems to find a film that reminds us just what a uniquely gifted actor he really is.

Unfortunately, you won't find the likes of Adaptation, or Matchstick Men, or Joe on Netflix these days. Instead, the streaming giant seems far more interested in exploiting some of Nic Cage's more adventurous offerings these days. As tempting as it is to sit back and watch the actor go all batty in overblown dramas like The Frozen Ground, and supernatural thrillers like Between Worlds, it's just as hard to recommend anybody actually watch those movies, because, well, those movies just aren't very good.

There is one genuinely underrated gem from Nicolas Cage's relatively recent past that anyone in search of a warmhearted, family-friendly animated adventure should add to their Netflix queue immediately, though. It's called The Croods, and it finds Cage playing a well-meaning caveman, who is seriously stuck in his ways, and is eventually forced to evolve when fate pushes him well out of his comfort zone.

The Croods is a family-frineldy romp featuring spirited work from Cage and an all-star cast

Yes, it's admittedly a bit suspect to call an animated feature which earned nearly $600 million in worldwide ticket sales "underrated." Particularly one that eventually inspired a sequel (The Croods: A New Age is slated to hit theaters this year, pandemic permitting), and features the supremely A-list voice talent of Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Peter Dinklage, and Cloris Leachman. But it really feels like the film has been all but forgotten in Cage's cinematic canon, if not simply overshadowed by the actor's recent run of larger-than-life screen appearances.

As it is, when The Croods hit theaters back in 2013, it quickly became one of the year's biggest, and most unexpected animated hits. The film's impressive cast had a lot to do with that success, of course. But Nic Cage's work as the caring (but overbearing) patriarch of the titular Cro-magnon clan was the main attraction, with the actor delivering a surprisingly soulful performance. The film also found him Caging out on a couple of occasions, as ornery cavemen are prone to do when their families are forced from their homes, and led through a fantastical landscape in search of a new dwelling. No, The Croods isn't exactly the definition of groundbreaking animation. And it never quite reaches the emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating sort of storytelling that Pixar has made the industry standard, in recent decades. But there's much to love in this spirited family adventure, particularly when it comes to Cage's performance.

If you want to experience that energy for yourself, add The Croods to your queue today. And if you want to go animated Cage crazy, you might consider double-featuring it with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Trust us.