While there are plenty of excellent actresses and movies that grace the silver screen, only a small percentage capture authentic portrayals of women.
We are often presented with surface-level, hyper-sexualized characters who don’t get much development and exist to be the side squeeze of the main male in the movie. Fortunately, not every story is like that and not every starlet is confined to that type of role. There are thousands of films around the world in every genre that portray women as strong, wise, kind-hearted, fierce and feminine.
Watch any of these eight films to celebrate every woman.
“Girls Trip” (Hulu)
Tiffany Haddish’s performance isn’t the only memorable thing about this vacation comedy: road trip and travel movies like “The Hangover” and “Due Date” are often about the filthy, raunchy adventures of guys. It’s refreshing to see a group of women take on that trope and still engage in the dirty debauchery that makes road trip movies fun.
“Alien” and “Aliens” (Hulu)
Ellen Ripley of the iconic sci-fi horror series “Alien” was originally intended to be a male hero, but director Ridley Scott decided to bring in Sigourney Weaver and rework the character to be a woman instead. In doing so, Ripley has become one of the most heroic and beloved characters in not just the “Alien” films, but in the history of heroes onscreen.
“Frances Ha” (Prime Video)
Oscar-nominated Greta Gerwig co-wrote and starred in this realistic drama that looks like a dance film on the surface, but is really an in-depth look at struggling through your 20s, watching your friends live more exciting lives and trying to keep up appearances in your darkest moments.
Based on the 1983 British series of the same name and co-written by “Gone Girl” mastermind Gillian Flynn, “Widows” is an action-packed take on crime, heists and powerful figures taking form during crises. The stacked cast features Oscar-winner Viola Davis, Grammy-winner Cynthia Erivo, “Fast and the Furious” alum Michelle Rodriguez and The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki.
Superstar Diana Ross headlines this film as Tracy, a fashion student who dreams of being a designer, but accidentally becomes a model and begins to reinvent herself in the process. While the glamour and fashion are completely gorgeous, it’s Tracy’s struggles and success that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.
“Volver” (Prime Video)
Penelope Cruz became the first Spanish actress to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in the dramatic, darkly comedic and surprisingly superstitious “Volver.” The film isn’t just about the pain of the past, but it also serves as a tribute to women’s strength and resilience in difficult times.
“Death Becomes Her” (Hulu)
Many movies provide role models of people we would like to be. In the case of “Death Becomes Her,” it’s a cautionary tale that warns you of who you don’t want to be. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn play vapid, shallow women who are completely obsessed with staying young and beautiful. It gets a mention on the list because of the comedic teaming/timing from the two lead actresses, as well as the their hilarious take on the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
“Turning Red” (Disney+)
The latest addition to the Pixar animated films lineup, “Turning Red” is the first movie from the studio to be produced by an all-women team, as well as the first to be directed by an Asian American woman (Oscar winner Domee Shi). Follow the awkward (but relatable) prepubescent adventures of Meilin Lee and her tween friends as they realize growing up can be a bit of a horror story.