7. Bringing Out the Dead (1999) – Directed by Martin Scorsese
Cage’s only film with renowned director Martin Scorsese is this 1999 drama/dark-comedy and it leaves viewers wanting for future collaborations. In “Bringing Out the Dead,” Cage plays Frank Pierce, a haunted paramedic working the graveyard shift in early-1990s New York City. His performance is enthralling, bolstered by a strong supporting cast including Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, and Ving Rhames. His haggard appearance is complemented with a healthy dose of cynicism—something that seems appropriate for one dealing with death and disaster on a regular basis. Scorsese’s film balances between bleak drama and dark comedy and Cage’s ability to anchor his performance with dark wit without losing a thousand-yard-stare keeps the film from going too far in either direction.