With 160 movies credits to his name, seven nominations, two Oscars and a host of other awards, Michael Caine is one of the true acting giants of our time. His first real cinema break came in Zulu and he cut his teeth in some great British movies including Get Carter, Battle of Britain and the original The Italian Job. “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” has become one of the most quoted lines in cinema history. Despite his unashamed London accent, his American movie roles have covered the full range from Comedy to Tragedy. These are the Michael Caine movies currently showing on Netflix.
9. Bewitched (2005)
Another minor role for Michael Caine, Bewitched is a movie about a remake of the much loved TV series of the 1960s. Nice twist there. This is a goofy movie with a one dimensional plot. It relies on the performances, which are fine, but that is true of all TV sitcoms. It’s certainly not as bad as you might expect and is a nice way to spend an hour and three quarters.
8. Shiner (2000)
Another British movie, Shiner is the story of a banned boxing promoter who’s shot at a big payoff goes disastrously wrong. This is another mediocre movie under pinned by a huge performance from Michael Caine. We’re never sure if he’s a boxing promoter or a gangster as the script throws a variety of unpleasant characters at him. It’s probably easiest to watch it as a gangster movie with the boxing as a distraction. It’s certainly a long way from being a boxing movie. This movie should be watched for the power of Michael Caines performance, and for that it’s worth watching. But little else.
7. Quills (2000)
With a cast of A Listers, Quills gets the job done. That’s about it. It’s the story of the time the Marquis de Sade spent in the Charenton Insane Asylum. The Marquis de Sade was famous, infamous indeed, for his novels of sex and torture. The plot is that even though the books have been banned, they are still being published. Napoleon decides to send Dr Royer-Collard to the asylum to sort things out. What good this would do is quickly lost in the plot. Caine has some of the stronger scenes in the movie. But overall it’s not what it could have been. Decide for yourself.
6. Stonehearst Asylum (2014)
More melodrama than gothic horror, Stonehearst Asylum is a mental institution where everything, spoiler alert, is not what it seems. Michael Caine is not the lead in this movie; the cast is headed by an arguably miscast Kate Beckinsale. The cast is, however, strong, the acting good and the direction very good. Well worth investing a couple of hours to watch.
5. Last Love (2013)
Michael Caine plays a widowed, retired professor living in Paris. He meets a much younger dance instructor and their relationship develops. Unfortunately, his adult children, from who he is rather distanced, arrive and take a dislike to Pauline. This is an exploration of an odd but extremely believable relationship. On that level the movie works. Sadly, and despite the excellent acting, Last Love never quite delivers the idea that it might happen in real life. It remains, however, a very watchable Michael Caine movie.
4. The Weather Man (2005)
It would be easy to write off The Weather Man as a simple comedy and you’d be wrong. As were the people who did the promotion for the movie. This is a movie with plenty of depth. It’s an exploration of a man with a failed marriage and a failing career (shades of Falling Down perhaps). Michael Caine plays his father who is full of wise words on life but with who Dave, the Weather Man, has an awkward relationship. Actually Dave has awkward relationships with pretty much everyone and that’s the depth of this movie. Ignore the puff and watch it.
3. Little Voice (1998)
A British made movie which was a triumph for Jane Horrocks, Little Voice earned a Golden Globe for Michael Caine. He plays a hapless talent scout who hears LV sing and is determined to put her on stage. LV is hopelessly shy and suffers under her over bearing mother. It’s a recipe for disaster of course. Ultimately this is a feel good movie and a fine example but without the “Hollywood” morality tale. The plot takes twists and turns and never really resolves. A good watch.
2. The Quiet American (2002)
The Quiet American is an adaptation of the Graham Green novel set in Saigon. Michael Caine is a jaded and rather idle journalist who has no desire to return to London and his estranged wife. Played by Brendan Fraser, the “quiet American” is a doctor with whom Caine becomes embroiled. They are exposed to some horrors in the events of the time and, of course, a love triangle. The movie builds nicely to a not unexpected climax and is carried throughout by Caines performance. There is a genre of journalists living in war torn countries and this is one of the better of its kind. It deals with the controversies during the French time in Vietnam well.
1. The Cider House Rules (1999)
Michael Caine plays Dr Larch the director of a remote orphanage in Maine. His protégé, Homer, becomes a skilled but unqualified physician and eventually leaves the orphanage to work on an apple farm. With the husband away at war, Homers relationship with the wife develops. Toby Maguire and Charlize Theron in these roles draw you in and don’t let go. These are magnificent performances and Caine won an Oscar for best supporting actor. A worthy number one in our list.