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7 Best Action Movies To Watch With Strong Female Characters

7 Best Action Movies To Watch With Strong Female Characters

The action genre is widespread and ever-evolving. What started as spy flicks like Dr. No and Goldfinger from James Bond franchise with his sexy "Bond girls" and treasure-hunting Indiana Jones-style adventure movies have evolved into movies like The Matrix, Fast and the Furious, and Star Wars — and luckily with the change in storylines came with a change in protagonists. Although the majority of action movies still feature male leads, there are a rising number of films with strong female characters and female leads that excel the genre into new heights.

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And now almost every genre of film has a spice of action thrown into it, making action a hallmark pillar on the summer blockbuster scene.

With all of these action-packed movies come a whole lot of baddie boss women that have inspired the genre throughout the years. Here’s a list of some of the best action movies that feature strong female characters:

1. Terminator

Strong female character: Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor.

Sarah Connor was, and still is, one of the most iconic leading ladies in an action film. Terminator redefined the action scene with its heavy use of dystopian themes of a ruined future for humanity.

Sarah Connor carries the helm of the movie as ‘the chosen one’ since it is her son that determines the fate of humanity. She holds her own throughout the movie alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. With the new Terminator: Dark Fate out now, we get to see how much of a strong female lead Sarah Connor continues to be, even if she’s a little older than most.

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2. Million Dollar Baby

Strong female character: Hilary Swank as Maggie Fitzgerald.

Maggie Fitzgerald's journey in this movie is so moving. Played by Hilary Swank, Maggie has to defy all the odds in order to get into the boxing ring to fight. Not only that, but she is also constantly belittled and second-guessed within the misogynistic mind frame of the male-dominated boxing world.

After she’s injured, the strong female lead gains so much psychological strength. From that, she’s finally able to face her toxic and abusive family and has the strength to face death on her own terms.

3. Alien

Strong female character: Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley.

One of the icons in the sci-fi action world, Ellen Ripley, played by actress Sigourney Weaver, is the baddest, toughest-of-the-tough humans around. There was no other character in that movie that could have rolled up their sleeves and fight for their lives as successfully and powerfully as she did.

In the Alien series, Ellen Ripley shows no fear as she faced the infected ship and went head to head with the queen of the alien colony. She truly is the strong female character icon we all need.

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4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Strong female character: Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien and Zhang Ziyi as Jen.

In the world of martial arts movies, men dominate the action scene. There aren’t a lot of movies that predominantly feature female fighters that are arguably better and more dynamic than their male counterparts.

The two female leads in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, played by Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, are quick, dynamic, strong, and create a powerful fight sequence in this movie. This proves that you can have strong female martial artists duke it out and have it be a strong and compelling scene in a movie.

5. Kill Bill vol. 1-3

Strong female character: Uma Thurman as The Bride.

You can’t have a list of strong female leads action without the Bride in Kill Bill. Uma Thurman does an amazing job of bringing this character to life.

Waking up in a hospital room with no memory and an orderly openly assaulting you is enough to make any woman go balls to the wall and seek vengeance. The Bride isn’t afraid to get stained in blood if it means that those who need to die, die.

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6. Kill Bill vol. 1

Strong female character: Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii.

Another Kill Bill entry, Lucy Lui can really do no wrong. One of her most iconic and memorable roles in this cult classic, O-Ren Ishii delivers death to her targets in an almost hypnotic and graceful way. And — at least visually from the perspective of a removed viewer — dying, as Ishii does, bloody and in the snow, is as spectacular a way to go as any other. She makes you almost want to be killed by her. Almost.

7. Star Wars saga

Strong female character: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia/General Organa

How can you have a list of iconic action movie women without the queen herself? I will forever and always stan Carrie Fisher (may she rest in peace). She nearly defined the sci-fi male fantasy in that iconic bikini scene in Return of the Jedi, but it’s General Organa that touches my heart. She isn’t afraid to call out people, she can only take so much of Han’s sass, and her genuine love and guidance of Rey and the rest of the resistance is so freaking touching I could cry.

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Kayla Baptista is a writer who covers music, astrology, and relationships.