Looking for a movie to rent — or a gift for a woman who has everything? Check out these top 10 Hollywood movies about strong women…one will do the trick! These movies about strong female protagonists are more than “chick flicks” – and they’re perfect for watching with your girlfriends, or even by yourself with a big bowl of popcorn and a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.
Before the movie tips, a quip:
“Dreams are necessary to life,” wrote Anais Nin in the Diary of Anais Nin.
These top 10 Hollywood movies about strong women who followed their dreams will inspire you to achieve your goals and give you a break from real life.
Top 10 Hollywood Movies About Strong Women
To learn more about any of these movies, click the blue links…and if you’re interested in what strong woman have to say, read Quips and Tips for Strong Women in History.
Miss Potter - This movie starring Rene Zellweger is based on the life of Beatrix Potter, the author and illustrator of the Petter Cottontail books for kids. Miss Potter’s life may surprise you: a single woman in her 30′s in the 1930′s , she created her books, met with publishers, and pursued a relationship with a man - to the chagrin of her high society mother. She also purchased land became a respected farmer; her books are read (and loved) all over the world today.
Charlie’s Angels – This is one of my all-time favorite movies about strong female protagonists! Yes, it’s very Hollywood and campy, but I love how strong and yet vulnerable (and sometimes stupid) Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu are in this movie. They kick some serious butt with their strength and brains.
Thelma and Louise - No list of the best movies about strong women who followed their dreams would be complete without Thelma and Louise, starring Gina Davis and Susan Sarandon! Even my husband thought this was a damn fine movie – these two women face their demons and head off on an adventure that gets out of control, but proves how strong they really are.
Million Dollar Baby - Hilary Swank stars as Maggie Fitzgerald, an aspiring boxer who fights prejudice and other women to win, win, win. She is determined to succeed, and pursues a top boxing trainer (Clint Eastwood), who initially says “I don’t train girls.” He eventually agrees to train her. Million Dollar Baby is one of the top Hollywood movies about strong women - and it’s great motivation to achieve your goals. Caveat: it’s a bit of a tear-jerker.
The Silence of the Lambs - FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) has to face an insane killer (Anthony Hopkins) to find another murderer. Starling is a strong female protagonist who shows a balance of strength and vulnerability, which makes her more connectable.
Gone With the Wind - This epic was first made in 1939 – and it’s not just a saga of romance, civil war, and slavery. Vivien Leigh plays Scarlett O’Hara, who desperately fought to save her plantation, her friends and family, and her life. She also wrestled with romance – who could resist Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable? This movie is about several women who followed their dreams: Scarlett, Melanie, and even writer Margaret Mitchell. Gone With the Wind is the oldest of the top 10 Hollywood movies about strong women.
Maverick – I love Maverick, starring Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson, because it’s witty, hilarious, and portrays Annabelle (Foster) as a mostly smart, scheming (in a good way), strong adventurous woman. It’s a western, set in a time that women weren’t playing poker or gallavanting all over the countryside – but that doesn’t stop Annabelle!
The Matrix - Trinity, played by Carrie-Ann Moss, can beat ‘em up just as good as Neo (Keanu Reeves). Remember that scene where they’re both in slick black leather and long black coats, tearing the building apart and flipping all over the place? Fabulous!
Mr & Mrs Smith – I loved this movie starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt! They’re both strong, slightly insane assassins (married to each other) who are equally able to do whatever the hell they want – including killing each other. Jolie is tough, smart, and almost unbeatable in this top Hollywood movie about a strong woman. Sexy, too!
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider – Though the Tomb Raider movies – again starring Angelina Jolie - are a little weak and unbelievable, I do love that first fight scene. Croft shoots, kicks, and tears apart a huge robot, and eventually wins – though it gets a little dicey. It turns out that she was just practicing….and Croft is truly a strong female protagonist.
If you’re getting married, you might enjoy The Top 10 Wedding Movies of All Time.
Do you have any thoughts about these top 10 movies about strong women? Please comment below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.