Top 6 Best Action Movies with Female Leads
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Action films need not be restricted to male roles. Women are just as capable of leading a picture with plenty of car chases, gunfights, swordplay and bloody showdowns. And there are plenty of movies to prove it. For anybody who thinks that action movies are strictly for the guys, take a gander at our list of the best action movies starring female leads.
Samurai pictures are usually dominated by men, but this is not the case for Lady Snowblood. Taking place in the Meiji era of Japan, Meiko Kaji plays Snowblood as a woman born in prison to take revenge on the men who wronged her mother. Seen as a typical kimono-wearing woman of the street hidden behind an umbrella, she brutally strikes down her targets with ruthless assaults that result in bloody and gory ends. She sets her sights on four targets and goes about her revenge with a 1970s vibe of epic and badass tones. Sound familiar? Read the next entry.
Quentin Tarantino used the template of Lady Snowblood to stage Uma Thurman as a bride out for revenge in this two-part action bonanza. Having been wronged by her husband, she travels abroad to slaughter the assassins that failed to pick her off. Most of her targets are women as well, including Lucy Liu as the sword-wielding O-Ren Ishii and Daryl Hannah as the one-eyed Elle Driver. It’s bloody great filmmaking from Tarantino, who takes the all-too-familiar revenge tale and gives it a stylish spin with fantastic female actors.
Ripley isn’t playing any games in the sequel to Alien. Sigourney Weaver plays the character with more grit and leadership when she accompanies some space marines into a facility infested with the familiar xenomorph aliens. And since there is more than one this time around, she has to pick up an assault rifle and a mech to do battle with the acid-spitting beasts. The scenes where she takes on the alien queen with a mechanical suit designed for heavy lifting is one of the most intense and action-packed moments in all of science fiction.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) may have been the victim fleeing from a murderous robot of the future in The Terminator, but she’s no wimp in the sequel. Now fully aware of what hideous future the robots will bring, Sarah takes charge in siding with her old nemesis of the T-800 to combat the more lethal liquid-metal future robot T-1000. Though she starts off in the movie as a mess of a woman locked up in a mental institution for babbling about Armageddon, she’ll end the picture next to her son as she furiously takes down the machine that will threaten humanity’s future.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy might do a fine job as the titular hero of the fourth Mad Max movie, but it’s Charlize Theron that stole the show. She played Furiosa, a bald-headed trucker with a fierce determination to free the slave wives of the evil Immortan Joe. Not only does Theron hold her own against Max and a horde of Joe’s forces, but she is aided by a small army of determined old ladies that are willing to fight and die for the lives of others.
Another Tarantino flick with female leads, Death Proof features leading ladies taking on Kurt Russell in a daring car chase. Among the collective is Rosario Dawson as the slick-talking Abernathy and stunt actor Zoe Bell playing herself. Zoe previously did the stunt work for Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill, but now she plays the lead in a film where she gets to do her own stunts as well. And what a stunt it is as she straps herself to the hood of a speeding car while the evil driver of Stuntman Mike (Russell) tries to knock her off. The car chase itself is pretty intense on its own, but all the more impressive for how terrifying it was to watch Zoe be in very real danger. There’s no CGI or wires with this stunt that is both impressive and shocking in a moment when she has no restraints and is hanging on for dear life.