Trying to grab a movie that everyone’s going to like – even the teens – and that has some decent female characters? There have been some great films that dared to include female leads, particularly recently – it’s just a matter of finding them! Here are 10 super-strong female characters and the films they rock.
1. Juno MacGuff – Juno (2007)
Credit: Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd
Funny, touching and pretty damn cool, Juno is dealing with teenage friendships, teenage love, teenage sex and, damn it, teenage pregnancy! Surrounded by a great cast of characters, Juno stays smart, brave and independent throughout her story. This comedy-drama talks about so many things parents want to bring up with kids, but don’t…
2. Olive Penderghast – Easy A (2010)
In this great comedy-farce, Olive finds herself the subject of high school gossip and slander. The deals with issues around sex and sexuality, bullying, cyber-crime – while managing to remain very funny! Using her wit and intelligence Olive fights back against the rumours in her own way, and becomes an even impressive role model.
3. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games (2012)
Katniss is a strong and powerful woman in this action-adventure, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the 74th annual ‘Hunger Games’ – a competition where a boy and girl from each of the 12 districts of the nation Panem must fight to the death. Calling on her courage and strength of will Katniss enters the Hunger Games for the sake of her family and district.
4. Black Widow – The Avengers (2012)
When it comes to superheros, men tend to get the top jobs, which is why Black Widow is such an exciting character. She is the product of a Russian special agent training program, and although is initially an enemy of the west, she has joined S.H.I.E.L.D to help defend the earth against dark and powerful enemies.
5. Katherine Coleman, Dorothy Vaughan & Mary Jackson – Hidden Figures (2017)
Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
6. Sidney Shaw – Brown Sugar (2002)
Brown Sugar follows the ongoing relationship between magazine editor Sidney and her childhood friend Dre, a hip-hop record executive. While they navigate their romance, Sidney remains strong and independent, despite struggling with difficult decisions regarding where her affections lie.
7. Dido Elizabeth Belle – Belle (2013)
Belle is a British period drama, set in the 18th century, that centres around the life of Dido Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral raised by her aristocratic great-uncle. Smart and strong-willed, the narrative focuses on her relationship with a young lawyer whom she meets working on a significant court case of the time that highlighted the horrors of the slave-trade.
8. Claireece ‘Precious’ Jones – Precious (2009)
This film demonstrates what it means to be oppressed economically and racially simultaneously. Precious is a 16-year-old African-American girl who is pregnant with her second child. With a history of being emotionally and physically abused, Precious is pure strength, paving her way and never giving up.
9. The Female Cast – Bridesmaids (2011)
This ridiculously funny film needs to be watched by anybody who’s ever said ‘women just aren’t as funny’ (…and people who aren’t idiots should see it, too). You thought The Hangover was good (or not)? Check out what these laydeez get up to. This film shatters all the dull clichés about brides and their besties.
10. The Bride – Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)
(Speaking of Brides…) Uma Thurman plays The Bride in this gory ultra-violent martial arts film. It’s not often we see women depicted in action films as the lead and aggressor, but wow, we do in this Tarantino classic. Swearing revenge on the team of assassins and their leader who tried to kill her and her unborn child, this is non-stop violence and gore. Not for under-18s – or the feint of heart!
Got any other greats you can recommend? Let us know in the comments...