It's no secret why Nicolas Cage is saying yes to absolutely every script he's offered these days. The man is broke. His financial woes were well publicized as he desperately sold off his array of castles, exotic pets, Caribbean islands and dinosaur skulls to avoid bankruptcy in 2009.

What is mysterious, however, is who keeps flocking to his endless string of ridiculous movies. People must be going to them -- otherwise Hollywood would presumably stop cranking out gems like "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Drive Angry." There's a new Nic Cage vehicle coming out this very week -- "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." Yes, if the original "Ghost Rider" just wasn't enough for you, there's more. Lucky everybody.

Now, don't get me wrong. I can see the appeal of "Ghost Rider." I'm down with warding off curses, fighting evil and all the pyrotechnics you can handle. YouTube commenter "Sprinkles" pretty much summed it up when she/ he wrote "I don't give a shit how bad quality the acting or story line is, a flamin' skeleton riding a motorcycle to heavy metal music makes it worth my money" upon seeing the trailer.

Yet I still yearn for the days when "our darkest hero" was actually utilizing his talent in great movies like "Raising Arizona" and "Moonstruck." I know, I know -- indie gems like "Adaptation" probably don't pay anywhere near as well as something like "Season of the Witch" does. I get it. But that doesn't mean I have to stop secretly wishing Cage would do something good again instead of just phoning in dud after dud.

Speaking of duds, I've gone ahead and compiled a list of his top five worst offenders from the past several years. It was actually hard narrowing it down to just five, but somehow I managed. Think I'm way offside? If you prefer today's goofy action hero version of Mr. Cage, please, please, please let me know why in the comments section.

1. "Drive Angry 3D." I think they had him at "busting out of hell." Or maybe it was driving around in a vintage Charger with Amber Heard that really sealed the deal on this one. Either way, this thriller about a dead felon who busts out of hell to prevent an evil cult from sacrificing his baby granddaughter was just as goofy and ridiculous as its premise suggests.

2. "Season of the Witch". Wow. Another flick about battling evil. I guess that's what action heroes do, and Cage is trying to rebrand himself as the new Steven Seagal (or so his recent selection of roles would suggest). I'm just not buying Cage as a heroic Crusader. Even with his pious long dirty hair.

3. "Seeking Justice." He must be really drawn to the whole "vigilante justice" concept these days. Like his character in "Drive Angry," Cage is "seeking justice" outside of the law in this critically skewered thriller.

4. "Trespass." I get why Cage said yes to this poorly conceived suspense drama (dolla dolla billz, y'all), but Nicole Kidman? Why, Nicole, why? Do you need money, too? I guess Keith Urban's manly highlights and low-cut shirts probably don't pay for themselves...

5. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." What can I say about this flick that Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers didn't brilliantly capture in this pithy summation: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice should be rated U for Untouched by Human Hands." Zing!

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
PG-132012
Based on 20 critics

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