Reviewing Pig: Should You Watch the Nicolas Cage Movie?

Nicolas Cage Pig movie poster
  • Nicolas Cage is like you’ve never seen him before in the deeply emotional Pig.
  • The Michael Sarnoski drama explores grief and redemption under a microscopic lens.
  • Earning a stout 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Pig is a hidden gem for Cage fans.

There are a lot of good Nicolas Cage movies worth watching. Some are fun to laugh at, some are just plain old fun, and a handful are actually legitimately great films.

I can probably count on one hand how many Nic Cage films fit that criteria, but it’s at least fair to say Pig makes the cut.

In Pig, we get a truly mesmerizing performance out of Cage, who takes a John Wick-esque set up and brings us somewhere we never thought we needed to go.

Cage is amazing in this movie, but movie reviews by nature are subjective. To hopefully make things a bit more objective, I’ll break things down in my Pig review so you can decide if it’s worth a watch.

What is Pig About?

I hate it when movie reviews give too much away, so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

Put simply, this is a revenge/love story. It follows Robin Field (Cage), a once renowned chef who now lives in the woods by himself, with only his pet pig to keep him company.

The pig helps him hunt for truffles and following previous trauma, he lives a reclusive life. Of course, that is disrupted when someone steals his pig, and he abandons his quiet life to track his pal down.

From there, we get a deep dive into human connection, realized grief, revenge, and a sprinkling of elite culinary delights.

If you’d like a bit more context, view the Pig trailer above to start connecting some more dots.

Who Directed Pig?

Pig is directed by Michael Sarnoski, and it’s actually his feature film debut. With just a collection of shorts to his name, Sarnoski kind of comes out of nowhere as an apparently brilliant director.

Sometimes this is the best way to introduce yourself to a new director – by taking in their first film.

Not only can the audience not compare it to their other work, but they have zero expectations.

In terms of pace, emotional depth, flow, and tone, Sarnoski hits a home run with Pig. It is an absolute success for a feature film debut, and it even got him a huge gig as director of the next A Quiet Place film.

Going from an raw and emotionally rich drama to a Hollywood blockbuster franchise is a significant jump, but there’s nothing in Pig to suggest Sarnoski won’t excel as he climbs the movie-making ladder.

Is Pig Critically Acclaimed?

Big time. I actually personally watched Pig before it blew up as this massive cult hit that was widely revered. To be honest, I was a bit surprised it got such positive feedback.

Not because it wasn’t good – I loved it. But because Cage carries with him a negative aura in Hollywood, simply because he’s done so many bad movies.

But most of the critics (and to their credit, even the audience) took it at face value and seem to appreciate it for what it is.

Here’s how it graded out:

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (84% audience score)
  • Metacritic (82)
  • IMDB (6.9)

In my opinion, Rotten Tomatoes got it right.

Other review sites were probably anticipating Pig being something that it ultimately wasn’t.

I do understand the shock of that at least initially, but once the whole “this movie isn’t what I thought it’d be” reaction wears off, you should be able to settle in and accept the masterpiece you’re taking in.

Everyone is different, of course. Still, even the harshest films critics loved Pig, and that’s rarely a bad thing for serious movie-goers.

How Good is Nic Cage in Pig?

I think any Pig review would be a waste of time without highlighting how unbelievably good Nicolas Cage is in this film.

Cage is known for being a bit eccentric and over the top in some of his movies, but he really stays within himself and manages to unlock raw emotion like we’ve never seen him do before.

The way he embodies Robin’s sheer grief, loneliness, acceptance, and anger is beyond impressive.

There is so much being told simply with his eyes, how he carries himself, his mannerisms, and his body language throughout this movie.

It’s as if someone watched Cage’s craziest performance and told him to do the exact opposite and something just clicked. We have seen Cage tap into his underrated emotional depth before (See: Adaptation), but this is next level acting from an otherwise unlikely source.

If this movie was just a shoot’em up flick, I’m sure Cage would have made it a must-watch action flick. But the fact that it was arguably even better than a John Wick-ish iteration would have been is a credit to how well he set the tone here.

In Pig, you see Nicolas Cage like you’ve never seen him before. And if you’re unsure at all, let me tell you that’s a very good thing.

What Type of Movie is Pig?

If I haven’t spoiled it too much already, Pig is not a crazy action movie where Nicolas Cage seeks vengeance for his stolen pig.

There are some dark scenes and Cage is absolutely on the hunt for his friend, but the movie sets you up for what you’re expecting, and then flips everything on it’s side.

Ultimately, this is an explorative drama that centers on connection and grief. It’s a hard-hitting drama with some dark elements and a little violence.

Not into dramas, good story-telling, or slow burns? Then Pig isn’t the movie for you. Into case studies, a gut punch to the feels, and incredible acting/film-making? Then watch this movie.

Where Can I Watch Pig?

  • Hulu
  • Amazon
  • Apple TV
  • Vudu

You can rent or buy Pig at a few places, but ideally you have a Hulu subscription already. If so, you can just watch it there for free.

Hulu has a bunch of amazing shows like The Bear and features a few other movies worth taking in, but Amazon is obviously a great streaming service and the cost to rent isn’t egregious.

Other Movies Like Pig

  • Joe (2014)
  • Her (2013)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • The Nightingale (2018)

I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually seen a movie exactly like Pig.

This Pig review isn’t meant to hype the film up necessarily, but more just to remind people that 1. Cage is a good actor and 2. even though this movie isn’t what you probably wanted it to be, it’s still worth watching.

But really, when you look at Cage’s performance, the tone, and the journey this film sets off on, I don’t recall anything that quite compares to it.

The list of movies like Pig above come close. I wanted to compile a viable list that were actually good movies and also offered a similar narrative or feel, too.

Overall, I hope my review of Pig does two things. First, clearly illustrates just how good this movie is. And second – and more importantly – convinces you to watch it.

For a total course reversal, we’ve also put together a review of Bullet Train. It most certainly is the exact opposite of Pig, but it’s a really good time.

Did you see Pig? Still unsure about watching it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Greg Anderson


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