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6 Movies With Female Leads you need to watch

by Carlton Whtifield. Published Wed 27 Feb 2019 14:41, last updated: 27/02/19

While there are many films with memorable female characters, there aren’t many films with memorable female leads that appeal to both genders. Action movies star buff dudes, romantic films star pretty women. But what about when the script gets flipped?

In this article, we’re going to look at 6 movies with truly awesome female leads. You won’t find any demure damsels in distress here - just total female badassery.

Molly’s Game

Molly’s Game is based on the true-life memoirs of Molly Bloom, who was investigated by the FBI for running an illegal underground poker game in New York. The film stars Jessica Chastain, who has made her career portraying strong women in films.

As Molly’s poker game grows in popularity, it begins to attract the attention of wealthy gangsters, and the FBI. While the Italian mafia is trying to muscle their way into her game, the FBI is getting ready to bring her down for running an illegal gambling operation.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Molly stays fairly cool, and even declines a plea bargain that would have given away the identity of all her fellow poker players. If you love poker, intrigue, and the idea of a great film that’s based on a true story, Molly’s Game is certainly one you can’t miss. And if after watching it you’re inspired to play some legal casino games, head over to https://www.casumo.com/fi/.

Kill Bill

Director Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill film saga stars Uma Thurman as a former assassin, who is brutally attacked and left for dead by her own assassination squad, on the day of her wedding. As with many Tarantino films, the cinematography, character building, and dialogue are superb.

Kill Bill is a pretty violent movie, as Uma Thurman’s character exacts revenge on her would-be killers with her trusty katana sword and insane martial arts skills. In fact, the martial arts choreography was directed by Yuen Woo-ping, renowned for his involvement in a huge number of Hong Kong action cinema films.

The film saga has an absolutely amazing soundtrack. One of the best moments of the film is the final sword fight between Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu, in a Japanese garden, with flamenco guitar music building the suspense.


Juno stars Ellen Page as a witty, dry-humored teenage girl who discovers she is pregnant. The father is none other than Michael Cera, whose hilarious social awkwardness knows no bounds.

At one point, Juno’s father reacts with shock to the news of her pregnancy – not necessarily because she’s pregnant, but because he didn’t think Michael Cera’s character “had it in him”.

In any case, Juno is a humorous, yet realistic look at teenage pregnancy in modern times. While Juno isn’t a rebellious teenager, per se, she is rather independent and sarcastic most of the time. Thus, Juno goes through several stages of growth in maturity throughout the film, as she ponders her feelings for the baby’s father, and her plans for the baby.

Silence of the Lambs

One of the best examples of a strong female lead comes from this 90s mystery-thriller. FBI detective Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, is assigned to interview the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Hannibal Lecter is a former renowned psychologist of extraordinary intelligence, who also happens to be an asylum inmate – for killing and eating some of his patients.

The FBI hopes Hannibal Lecter will give them a psychological profile of a killer at large, nicknamed Buffalo Bill, who skins his victims to create a bodysuit. The FBI sends Clarice Starling as a “honeypot” to lower Dr. Lecter’s defences, as he’s spurned and mocked every past FBI agent.

It is Clarice Starlings own intelligence and fortitude, yet troubled past, that intrigues Dr. Lecter. They begin a game of psychological cat-and-mouse, as the clock is ticking for Buffalo Bill’s latest victim.

Silence of the Lambs drew many awards, including a best actress Golden Globe and Academy Award for Jodie Foster. Several sequels (and prequels) to the film have been released, though mostly focusing on the life of Hannibal Lecter.

10 Things I Hate About You

A 90s romantic teen comedy that is actually quite hilarious, without the raunchy humor found in other teen comedies of the time. The lead actress is Julia Stiles, in one of her earliest movie performances, accompanied by an equally young Heath Ledger as co-star. Both actors went on to very successful careers after this film.

Julia Stiles plays a rebellious, feminist punk-club attending high school student, who has a reputation for pretty much hating everyone. Her younger sister Bianca (played by Larisa Oleynik, who you might recognise from the television series Mad Men) is the popular school sweetheart. Both girls are forbidden from dating by their quirky, obsessive paranoid dad.

As the cheeky, handsome Heath Ledger pursues Julia Stiles, she begins to let her guard down – while we also see that Heath Ledger’s character isn’t as devious as everyone believes. Overall, it’s one of the best 90s teen comedies, with stellar performances from both lead actors.


The sci-fi horror movie Alien, released in 1979, took a risk casting a female lead. This was during a time when most other action movies featured male leads, such as Rocky, Apocalypse Now, and Superman. Yet even today, Aliens has one of the best examples of a strong female character. In fact, Aliens was heralded for changing gender roles in Hollywood.

Sigourney Weaver portrays Ellen Ripley, a warrant officer aboard a spaceship. When the crew lands on a seemingly derelict planet, they uncover hostile alien creatures that kill pretty much every crew member. Except Ripley, because she’s awesome and isn’t going down without a fight.

The Aliens franchise has seen a lot of films, including spin-offs with the Predators franchise, but the first Alien will always be remembered for boldly featuring a strong heroine in a time when it was pretty much unheard of.


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