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The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated March 12, 2020 10.6k votes 1.6k voters 40.2k views 70 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite action movies that have female characters in the lead.

This list contains information on the best female action movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best female action films come in many forms. Some feature tough women trained in combat while other good female action films find everyday women fighting for their lives. A few of the best feminist action films even generated sequels.

What films will you find on this top female action movies list? Alien has to be at the top. Sigourney Weaver stars as Officer Ripley who comes face to face with a deadly extraterrestrial while traveling in space in this 1979 movie directed by Ridley Scott. Terminator 2: Judgment Day – featuring Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner – is another good female driven action film.

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez released two of the all-time best female action films for their Grindhouse features Death Proof and Planet Terror. Other great feminist action movies include Hanna, Aeon Flux, and Wonder Woman.

 

Which female action film do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a vote up and please add any good movies we may have missed.

 

You might also like this list of the best female assassin movies.

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list ordered by
1
Kill Bill Saga is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

The Kill Bill Saga consists of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 in which Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) seeks revenge against Bill (David Carradine), her former lover and the leader of a group known as the ...more
2
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more
3
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

Released: 2017

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film directed by Patty Jenkins, based on the DC Comics character. When a pilot (Chris Pine) crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana ...more
4
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more
5
Alien is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
6
Salt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Released: 2010

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Salt is a 2010 American action thriller spy film directed by Phillip Noyce, written by Kurt Wimmer, and starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl and Chiwetel ...more
7
Atomic Blonde is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman

Directed by: David Leitch

Atomic Blonde is a 2017 American action spy thriller film directed by David Leitch and written by Kurt Johnstad. It is based on Antony Johnston's 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, which ...more
8
Underworld is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
John Johns added Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Wentworth Miller

Released: 2003

Directed by: Len Wiseman

Underworld is a 2003 action horror film directed by Len Wiseman about the secret history of Vampires and Lycans. It is the first installment in the Underworld series. The main plot revolves ...more
9
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Wright

Hanna is a 2011 action thriller film that contains prominent fairy tale elements, directed by Joe Wright. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as the title character, a girl raised in the wilderness of ...more
10
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
fatcish added Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Resident Evil is a 2002 German-British-French science fiction horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. It is the first ...more
11
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alita Thornton added Ben Affleck, Hilary Swank, Donald Sutherland

Released: 1992

Directed by: Fran Rubel Kuzui

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American action/comedy horror film about a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires. The film starred Kristy ...more
12
The Long Kiss Goodnight ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
TimXeriland added Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, Brian Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Renny Harlin

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.
13
Mad Max: Fury Road is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alita Thornton added Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne

Released: 2015

Directed by: George Miller

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film directed by George Miller. In a post apocalyptic desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, Max Rockatansky (Max Hardy) joins ...more
14
The Hunger Games Franchi... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
The Hunger Games Franchise
The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels, by the American author Suzanne Collins. Distributed by ...more
15
Tomb Raider is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins

Directed by: Roar Uthaug

Tomb Raider is a 2018 American action adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug. Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond ...more
16
Spy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
carlybobarly added Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne

Released: 2015

Directed by: Paul Feig

Spy is a 2015 American action comedy spy film directed by Paul Feig. A desk-bound CIA analyst (Melissa McCarthy) is assigned her mission as a field agent to foil the sale of a suitcase nuke.
17
Crouching Tiger, Hidden ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Craig Austin added Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ang Lee

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more
18
Rogue One: A Star Wars S... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alita Thornton added Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed

Released: 2016

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

This film is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards. The daughter (Felicity Jones) of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to take the plans.
19
Star Wars: The Force Awa... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 2015

Directed by: J.J. Abrams

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a 2015 American epic space opera film directed by J. J. Abrams. Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. ...more
20
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Jon Voight

Released: 2001

Directed by: Simon West

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is a 2001 action film based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series featuring the character Lara Croft portrayed by Angelina Jolie. The film was directed by Simon ...more
21
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu

Released: 2000

Directed by: Joseph McGinty Nichol

Charlie's Angels is a 2000 American action comedy film directed by McG, starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as three women working for a private investigation agency. The film is ...more
22
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alita Thornton added Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

Released: 1997

Directed by: Luc Besson

The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more
23
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion

Released: 2005

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the ...more
24
Colombiana is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Alvin O Vinz added Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Graham McTavish

Released: 2011

Directed by: Olivier Megaton

Colombiana is a 2011 American action film, co-written and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton. The film stars Zoe Saldana in the lead role with supporting roles performed by ...more
25
Lucy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Action Movies, Ranked
Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton

Released: 2014

Directed by: Luc Besson

Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Silla for his company Europacorp. The film was shot in ...more