Nicolas Cage has appeared in dozens of movies of varying critical reception over the years, but his latest movie Pig has risen above the rest as his highest-rated live-action movie on Rotten Tomatoes. With a 97% Certified Fresh score, Pig has topped Red Rock West at 95%, Moonstruck at 94%, and Face/Off at 92%. The 97% score is tied with the animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which featured Cage as the voice of Spider-Man Noir.
This is certainly great news for Nicolas Cage, who has developed a bit of a reputation for accepting all roles thrown his way, for better or for worse. He has previously starred in universally panned movies with 0% rotten scores on Rotten Tomatoes, like Deadfall and Grand Isle. Titles like The Wicker Man, Bangkok Dangerous, and Arsenal didn’t fare much better. Perhaps this just goes to show that Cage is indeed a fantastic actor, he just needs the right material to work with.
Pig is written and directed by Michael Sarnoski. It stars Cage as Robin “Rob” Feld, a truffle forager whose beloved truffle-finding pig is stolen by a group of thieves. Determined to rescue his oinking friend, Rob embarks on a journey to find him no matter what it takes. On paper, the idea of Cage seeking his pet pig seems like it could be very silly, but the drama has left most critics very impressed. Many are ranking the movie high atop the best work of Cage’s career.
“It’s a haiku of cinema, quiet, an in-depth character analysis that relies heavily on the ambience and the photography and the quietude of all the performances and the writing. It is not a tale of revenge,” Cage said of Pig, via IndieWire. “I like that. I understand that it’s a different kind of movie. Adventure films rely heavily on violence as one of the main sources of stimulation. I have made my share of those movies, but it’s wrong for some folks to think that’s what they’re going to get again, because I’ve explored different kinds of genres. I am happy to say this was a departure from that.”
Of relating to his character, Cage added: “I was at a point in my own life when I understood the feeling of loss. I understood the profound connection you can have with our animal brothers and sisters. I was always close with my cat. I had a terrible nightmare [after] I read the script: I had lost my cat Merlin, something horrible happened. I felt, ‘I can play this organically, authentically, I don’t need to go and force it.’ Lo and behold when I got on set, it just came out. It was the right place and the right time for that kind of director-actor-protagonist relationship. It just flowed.”
Along with Cage, Pig also stars Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, Nina Belforte, Gretchen Corbett, and David Knell. The movie was released in theaters by Neon in July and has since become available to rent or own on Digital HD. As for what’s next, Cage will play a heightened version of himself in the upcoming meta action-comedy movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. You can check out what the critics are saying about Pig at Rotten Tomatoes.