In the mood for some flicks that’ll fill you with the #girlpower vibes? Here’s the 10 best feminist movies featuring fierce females spouting a message we can all get behind.
The best feminist movies
Alice in Wonderland
I’ve waxed on before about the unexpectedly emotional response I had the first time I watched this live-action reimagining of a Disney classic, but it bears repeating that Alice is a heroine that speaks to weird little girls who had a hard time finding a way to fit in. Because Alice in Wonderland asks: why give up that spark that makes us special in the first place? We mustn’t lose our Muchness! And when the world tries to fit us into boxes of black and white, we have the power to burst through in brilliant technicolor, change the world and go back home again, setting sail for an adventure of our own choosing.
Akeelah and the Bee
“Our fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Akeelah and the Bee is a movie about learning to let go of the fear of failing our community and finding the strength to pave a fresh path. You don’t have to hide your greatness! Because, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Sure, Mulan’s a total badass, but perhaps more importantly, this film is feminist because it allows its heroine to also be kind of a total dork. It’s not talent that wins Mulan her battles, it’s her tenacious, scrappy spirit.
Rooster Cogburn might be the meanest Marshall in town, but when Mattie Ross comes seeking justice for her murdered father, we quickly realize this fiery 14-year-old’s the one with the real grit, and she’s hell-bent on revenge.
An intergenerational story about legacy, a Maori girl who comes from a long line of male chiefs struggles to prove to her grandfather that she is worthy of inheriting his tribe, and has earned the title of her namesake, the original Whale Rider.
Have you seen that meme floating around? “Live every day like Elle Woods after Warner told her she wasn’t smart enough for law school.” That’s right, girls! Prove those haters wrong!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rey is so delightfully and unironically relevant as the film’s plucky protagonist, but can we just take a second and appreciate that Leia, the original Hutt-slayer and rebel princess, is now a galactic general?
John Tucker Must Die
What happens when three brilliant, beautiful girls from opposite sides of the cafeteria all find out they all got cheated on by same guy? They form a revenge squad to teach him a lesson on the importance of honesty, of course.
A stunning, inspiring documentary (which is now on Netflix!!) that shares the stories of nine girls across nine different countries, all fighting to educate and empower themselves amidst a broken world.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
In 2010 Alice in Wonderland changed my life, and six years later, Alice Through the Looking Glass validated it. Alice is the heroine every little girl should know she has the potential to be, and female relationships between family members in this movie are as unexpectedly brilliant as they are achingly true.
Alice is fearless as she reaches for the impossible, but this feminist film also allows her the space to make mistakes, grow, and find the humility to forgive. She’s a woman who not only believes in her power, but demands the world see her as the captain of her own life.