Top 5 Action Movies With Female Leads


action movies with female leads

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 5 Action Movies With Female Leads. I managed to pick 5 here and assigned rankings cause this is a top 5 list, but if I’m being totally honest, these rankings are pretty arbitrary. All 5 of these movies (and a few more that didn’t make the cut) are essentially equal to me. 

I like different aspects of each of them, but they really could go in any order, so don’t get too hung up on which ones come out on top of which other ones. Alright, let’s get this top list started. 

5. V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman. 

So, this was a movie that I was a little hesitant about including, not cause I don’t love it, but cause I wasn’t sure if it really qualified as a female-led action movie. Evey and V are sorta costars here and V’s technically the one doing the majority of the action, but after discussing it with another one of the Movie Nerds, we made the executive determination that it does in fact qualify. 

But, I’m sticking it in the number 5 slot cause I still think it’s a little bit of an iffy one. Regardless, I am a really big fan of this movie and have been ever since I saw it in theaters. I’ve watched it every single November 5th since its release and somehow it manages to be even more relevant every year. Not bad considering it’s based on a graphic novel that was written nearly 40 years ago. 

This was a movie that came on the earlier side of the superhero/comic book movie boom and it was (and still is) among the darkest of these films. It’s pretty stylized in moments and the character of V’s got a bit of a theatrical flair that can seem a little bit silly at first, but it’s a movie with a surprising amount of thematic heft behind it. Part action film, part antihero story, part dystopian political thriller. 

It blends its not-so-subtle social commentary with a really interesting story and a set of compelling characters to produce a film that I enjoy coming back to year after year. V’s probably the most memorable character here with his vichyssoise of verbiage and vigilante vendetta, but Evey is not a character to be overlooked. 

Arguably, she’s more the lead than he is cause it’s through her that we experience the story and while she might not be throwing knives around like V, she’s just as integral to the plot and action. 

4. Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron. 

Of all the movies on this list, I would say that this is probably the most traditionally action-intensive of them all. It’s also the most reminiscent of male-led action movies and could sorta be described as the female equivalent of John Wick, at least in terms of the action style. 

That might sound kinda reductive, but it’s actually a pretty sound comparison considering the fact that both Atomic Blonde and the first John Wick film were directed by stunt coordinator David Leitch. His unique gun-fu stunt choreography’s prominently featured in both films, meaning Atomic Blonde has got some of the most intense and memorable action sequences of the last decade. 

It’s got a brutal authenticity to its action, much of which is captured in-camera during fairly long and immersive takes. As a counterpoint to its realistic action, Atomic Blonde’s an incredibly stylized film. The action’s gritty and unglamorized, but the setting and visual style are sensationalized, diving headfirst into its late 80s setting. 

The neon aesthetic and pounding pop soundtrack might seem a bit at odds with the grittiness and Cold War-era spy thriller story, but somehow it really works. And that’s coming from someone who was sick of last decade’s 80s-obsession before it even got going. 

Visual style aside, I can’t forget to talk about Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton. She’s such a cool, badass character and Theron brings her to life in a remarkably believable way. 

3. Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson. 

So, some people might argue that my number 5 movie doesn’t qualify for this list, but I have a feeling this one is gonna be my only truly controversial pick. I know it’s certainly not a popular opinion, but I absolutely adore this movie. And it’s one of those films that I have a sorta tough time explaining why I like it as much as I do. I really enjoy individual aspects of it: the premise, the visual style and editing, the questions that it raises. 

But, there’s something about the whole of the film that manages to be greater than just the sum of its parts for me. I might never be able to fully explain it, but this movie really just struck the right chord with me. High concept sci-fi has always been a genre I’ve been drawn to and when that’s mixed with cool pseudo-science elements, it’s pretty impossible for me to resist. 

Usually movies in this genre revolve around some sorta trained professional like a spy or an agent of some kind, but one of the most interesting things about this movie is that Lucy was just a regular person who had this incredible situation reluctantly thrust upon her. We watch as she rapidly goes through various stages of development with this ability and becomes an entirely different person as a result. 

It all happens really fast, but I think Scarlett Johansson did a good job of portraying both the reluctant, everyday Lucy and the enhanced, nearly superhuman Lucy. 

2. Twister, starring Helen Hunt. 

While the rest of this list is made up of superhero, spy, and sci-fi actioners, Twister is a much more humble action movie. There are no big fight sequences or political plots that need foiling here. Instead, it’s got a tornado that needs chasing. 

I’m sure Twister wasn’t the first movie that jumped to your mind for this category and I know it’s another one that isn’t the most well-received, but I’ve been a huge fan of this movie since I was a kid. 

This came out when I was 4 years old, so most of my cinematic focus was on Disney and other animated films at the time, but I would say that Twister was my first favorite “grown up” movie and, as such, has stuck with me through the years as an influential personal favorite. Much like V for Vendetta, this is a movie with costars, featuring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton essentially sharing the spotlight as Jo and Bill, respectively. 

But once again, this is a movie where I would argue that the female character is the primary lead. In this case, Jo’s the driving force behind both the plot and the emotional core of the story. She’s the one with the tragic past, she’s the one who’s been obsessed with her work, and desperate to successfully deploy her life-saving invention. 

I always love it when films focus on scientist characters and Jo was one of the very first I ever saw as a kid. She had this determined perseverance to her that I always found pretty inspiring. And even though she wasn’t throwing punches like almost all of the other female leads on this list, she was intentionally driving straight into the path of tornados which makes for some pretty impressive action in my book. 

1. Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot. 

We’ve seen a lot of superhero movies over the last decade, many of which featured female heroes, but my favorite movie of the bunch was easily Wonder Woman. To be perfectly honest, that was a bit of a surprise for me. Up until that point, the DCEU had been a little lackluster, plus I didn’t ever really think about Wonder Woman all that much before. 

I didn’t dislike the character, but I also didn’t really have any interest in her either. But her very brief appearance in Batman vs Superman and her amazing little intro riff certainly successfully piqued my interest. Even with that heightened interest, I was surprised by just how much I liked Wonder Woman – both the movie and the character. 

I really love the period piece aspect of this film and also appreciate how visually distinctive it is from the other DC movies. Everything is so vibrant and colorful which is a nice reprieve from the dull, drab color-palette of the films that came before it. But, despite its vibrancy it still maintains a realistic and believable visual aesthetic, never diving too far into its comic book stylistic origins. 

In addition to its style, it’s also got a really good story and a great blend of tones that expertly mixes its dramatic stakes with a healthy dose of playfulness and humor. Plus, we can’t forget the exhilarating action sequences. That third act gets a little too CGI–heavy for me, but the early sequences are so satisfying, especially when that guitar riff gets going. I really love Gal Gadot as this character.

That is it from today’s post on Top 5 Action Movies With Female Leads. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Chandan is the writer of “Top 5 Action Movies With Female Leads”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.


Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

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