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In honor of March, the bracket-iest month of the year, The Wire decided to go all out and create a tournament for everything. Every weekday for the rest of the month, we're presenting a different tournament to determine the very best (or worst) thing in a given field. And we're doing it the way that God intended: Bracket showdowns.

Bracket Madness. A new bracket, every weekday of March.

[ Vote now ] [ Our picks ]

We picked the field, but you vote for the winner. Fill out our interactive bracket, round-by-round, to determine the people's champion, then read through our choices to find out who we think is be the best of the best. Each day is a new champion!

Nicolas Cage is our generation's (and every generation's, probably) greatest thespian. No one has the résumé that he does. He has been a stealer of babies, a writer's-blocked Charlie Kaufman, and America's favorite history sleuth. He will act in virtually anything just to pay off his debt to the IRS. No one has the courage to play the roles he plays, and no one gives more to a part. 

So it seems only fitting, in the middle of The Wire's month-long bracket-a-day marathon, to pay tribute to Mr. Cage the only way that could do justice to his greatness: a competition of his best on-screen freak outs.

You know what we mean: Nic Cage losing it in the middle of a movie.

No one does it better. We should all aspire to Cage-level freak outs in the midst of our own emotional outbursts. But which Nic Cage freak out is the best freak out? As if they were our own batshit crazy children, we say we love them all equally, but we secretly hold favorites. Now is the time to decide.

The Contenders

Deadfall: Vintage Cage: wearing a blood-soaked undershirt, fearing for his life, and complaining about clothes hangers.

Face/Off: Identity crisis. Prison fight. 

Moonstruck: Wooden-hand Nic Cage: He ain't no freaking monument to justice.

Vampire's Kiss (Street moaning): If our brackets had seeds, Vampire's Kiss would get all four #1s. Cage wailing loudly in the street is just the first. 

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: A classic Nic Cage freak out plus special effects. 

Bad Lieutenant: Modern Cage: Screaming and pointing a gun at old ladies' faces.

The Weather Man: Occasionally, Cage will garner empathy from the audience during a melt down. Like this time, when he gets pie thrown at him from a moving car. 

Vampire's Kiss (Crying in jail): So much pain. So much anguish.

Matchstick Men: "Have you ever been dragged to the sidewalk and beaten till you PISSED BLOOD?!"

Leaving Las Vegas: This isn't so much a rage-style freak out as it is a master class in the kinds of phenomenal noises Cage can produce: that laugh. 

The Wicker Man: Nic Cage at his most Cagiest. 

Vampire's Kiss (I'm a vampire!): Did you hear him? He's a vampire. 

Zandalee: Nic Cage covered in black paint might be our favorite Nic Cage.

Honeymoon in Vegas: Ben Stein makes Nic Cage freak out in an airport. We've all been there.

Trespass: Another one where we feel a little bit sorry for Cage. His wife is held at gunpoint: who wouldn't fly off the handle? 

Vampire's Kiss (Alphabet): Nic Cage screaming the alphabet. There's no better freak out than an educational freak out. 

Your vote: Moonstruck

The Wire's vote:

Sweet 16: 

Vampire's Kiss (Street moaning) vs. The Weatherman: We feel for Nic Cage, we really do. But pathetic Cage will always lose to wandering-the-street-and-moaning-incoherently Cage. Winner: Kiss

Bad Lieutenant vs. Moonstruck: "I lost my hand! I lost my bride!" WinnerMoonstruck

Honeymoon in Vegas vs. Zandalee: We love Ben Stein and airport jail, but he's up against Nic Cage covering himself in black paint and screaming. Winner: Zandalee 

Vampire's Kiss (I'm a vampire) vs. Leaving Las VegasRunning down the street yelling "I'm a vampire!" seems like some sort of existential crisis. We can relate. Winner: Kiss

Matchstick Men vs. Ghost Rider: Both feature Cage threatening people. But while doing in a dark alley seems almost pedestrian, we at The Wire can't help but respect losing it on someone waiting in line at the pharmacy. Winner: Matchstick Men

Deadfall vs. The Wicker Man: Killing him won't bring back your god damn honey. Winner: The Wicker Man 

Face/Off  vs. Vampire's Kiss (Alphabet): A! B! C! D! E! F! G! Winner: Kiss

Vampire's Kiss (Crying in jail) vs. Trespass: Nic Cage wearing old man glasses up against a clip from Vampire's KissWinner: Kiss

Elite 8: 

Vampire's Kiss (Street moaning) vs. Moonstruck: This is where Vampire's Kiss begins its downfall. Street wailing is good, but Moonstruck Cage has a wooden hand. Winner: Moonstruck

Zandalee vs. Vampire's Kiss (I'm a vampire): Honestly, coating your body in paint sounds kind of relaxing, if it weren't for Cage's screams. Winner: Zandalee

Matchstick Men vs. The Wicker Man: "Not the bees!" is a classic, but there's something about the way he screams "PISSED BLOOD!" It's the closest we've ever come to pure-Cage. Winner: Matchstick Men 

Vampire's Kiss (Alphabet) vs. Vampire's Kiss (Crying in jail): H! I! J! K! L! M! N! O! P! Winner: Kiss (Alphabet)

Final Four: 

Moonstruck vs. Zandalee: We gotta give it to the one with Cher. Winner: Moonstruck 

Matchstick Men vs. Vampire's Kiss (Alphabet): Q! R! S! T! U! V! Winner: Kiss

The Championship:

Moonstruck vs. Vampire's Kiss (Alphabet): W! X! Y! Z! Winner: Kiss (Alphabet)

Did you miss the voting? Click here to see all our previous tournaments!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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