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The Best Female Leading Movies Of 2021

Updated July 21, 2021 684 votes 89 voters 1.4k views112 items

List RulesVote up the best 2021 films that feature a woman or women in lead roles.

As Hollywood becomes more diverse, audiences are being treated to some truly great 2021 movies that feature female leads. These movies also span across all genres including comedies, action, horror, and dramas. Especially as more tragic stories of mistreatment in Hollywood come to light it has become increasingly important to tell stories from a woman's perspective. Look for movies on this list that elevate female voices with strong women in the lead roles.

If you are asking yourself, what are some of the best strong female lead movies this year? Some good examples include Promising Young WomanFrench ExitBarb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, and The Reckoning. Disney animation's Raya and the Last Dragon also promises to be a great movie for women of all ages.

Now it is up to you to decide which of these female lead movies are the best of 2021? Vote up your favorites below and vote down any 2021 movie with a female lead or leads that you feel miss the mark. 

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  • 1
    25
    4

    Son

    Andi Matichak, Emile Hirsch

    Directed byIvan Kavanagh

    Directed byIvan Kavanagh

    Son is a 2021 Irish horror thriller film directed by Ivan Kavanagh. When a young boy falls ill to a mysterious illness, his mother must decide how far she will go to protect him from terrifying...  more
  • 2
    40
    20

    Promising Young Woman

    Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham

    Directed byEmerald Fennell

    Directed byEmerald Fennell

    Promising Young Woman is a 2020 American black comedy thriller film directed by Emerald Fennell. After a mysterious traumatic event, a cunning, young woman named Cassie (Carey Mulligan) lives a...  more
  • 3
    22
    8

    Pieces of a Woman

    Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf

    Directed byKornél Mundruczó

    Directed byKornél Mundruczó

    Pieces of a Woman is a 2020 drama film directed by Kornél Mundruczó. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean Carson (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change...  more
  • 4
    25
    14

    Shadow in the Cloud

    Chloë Grace Moretz, Beulah Koale

    Directed byRoseanne Liang

    Directed byRoseanne Liang

    Shadow in the Cloud is a 2020 New Zealand action horror film directed by Roseanne Liang. A female WWII pilot traveling with top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence...  more
  • 5
    17
    4

    Paper Spiders

    Peyton List, Stefania LaVie Owen

    Directed byInon Shampanier

    Directed byInon Shampanier

    Paper Spiders is a 2021 American drama film directed by Inon Shampanier. A teen makes a series of tough choices as her mother's paranoid delusions threaten to destroy their loving relationship....  more
  • 6
    30
    20

    Music

    Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr.

    Directed bySia

    Directed bySia

    Music is a 2021 American musical drama film directed by singer-songwriter Sia. Upon becoming the sole guardian of her teenaged, autistic half-sister (Maddie Ziegler). a newly sober free spirit (Kate...  more
  • 7
    21
    10

    French Exit

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges

    Directed byAzazel Jacobs

    Directed byAzazel Jacobs

    French Exit is a 2020 surreal comedy film directed by Azazel Jacobs, based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt. A close-to-penniless widow moves to Paris with her son and cat, who also...  more
  • 8
    17
    11

    Herself

    Clare Dunne, Harriet Walter

    Directed byPhyllida Lloyd

    Directed byPhyllida Lloyd

    Herself is a 2020 British drama film directed by Phyllida Lloyd. After the housing system refuses to give her a new home, a single mother decides to build her own while the help of a friendly...  more
  • 9
    21
    17

    Penguin Bloom

    Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln

    Directed byGlendyn Ivin

    Directed byGlendyn Ivin

    Penguin Bloom is a 2020 Australian drama film directed by Glendyn Ivin, based on the book by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive. A photographer and his family find hope and solace in an injured...  more
  • 10
    11
    4

    To All the Boys: Always and Forever

    Noah Centineo, Lana Condor

    Directed byMichael Fimognari

    Directed byMichael Fimognari

    To All the Boys: Always and Forever is a 2021 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Michael Fimognari. The romantic life of a teenage girl continues, facing her good and hard times with her...  more
  • 11
    11
    4

    I Care a Lot

    Rosamund Pike, Eiza González

    Directed byJ Blakeson

    Directed byJ Blakeson

    I Care a Lot is a 2020 American black comedy thriller film directed by J Blakeson. A crooked legal guardian who drains the savings of her elderly wards meets her match when a woman she tries to...  more
  • 12
    14
    8

    Finding 'Ohana

    Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan

    Directed byJude Weng

    Directed byJude Weng

    Finding 'Ohana is a 2021 American family film directed by Jude Weng. Two Brooklyn siblings whose summer in rural Oahu takes an exciting turn when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on...  more
  • 13
    8
    2

    Cruella

    Emma Stone, Mark Strong

    Directed byCraig Gillespie

    Directed byCraig Gillespie

    Cruella is a 2021 American crime comedy film directed by Craig Gillespie,,based on the character Cruella de Vil introduced in Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians and Walt Disney’s...  more
  • 14
    8
    2

    Moxie

    Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai

    Directed byAmy Poehler

    Directed byAmy Poehler

    Moxie is a 2021 American comedy-drama film directed by Amy Poehler, based on the novel by Jennifer Mathieu. A teenager who lives in Texas organizes a feminist revolution at her high school....  more
  • 15
    10
    5

    Dear Comrades!

    Yuliya Vysotskaya, Vladislav Komarov

    Directed byAndrei Konchalovsky

    Directed byAndrei Konchalovsky

    Dear Comrades! (aka Dorogie tovarishchi!) is a 2020 Russian historical drama film directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. In 1962, workers from a small industrial town go on strike when the communist...  more
  • 16
    10
    5

    Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo

    Directed byJosh Greenbaum

    Directed byJosh Greenbaum

    Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Josh Greenbaum. Lifelong friends Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) embark on the adventure of a lifetime when...  more
  • 17
    11
    8

    Double Dad

    Maisa Silva, Eduardo Moscovis

    Directed byCris D'Amato

    Directed byCris D'Amato

    Double Dad (aka Pai em Dobro) is a 2021 Brazilian family comedy film directed by Cris D'Amato. While her mom is away, a teen sneaks out of the hippie commune where she lives and embarks on a...  more
  • 18
    7
    2

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes

    Directed byLee Daniels

    Directed byLee Daniels

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday is a 2020 American biographical drama film directed by Lee Daniels, based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann...  more
  • 19
    5
    1

    Two of Us

    Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier

    Directed byFilippo Meneghetti

    Directed byFilippo Meneghetti

    Two of Us (aka Deux) is a 2020 French drama film directed by Filippo Meneghetti. Two pensioners with a deep hidden passionate love for each other are put to the test when they are suddenly unable to...  more
  • 20
    5
    2

    Land

    Robin Wright, Demián Bichir

    Directed byRobin Wright

    Directed byRobin Wright

    Land is a 2021 American drama film directed by Robin Wright. A bereaved woman seeks out a new life, completely off the grid in Wyoming....  more
  • 21
    11
    11

    Breaking News in Yuba County

    Mila Kunis, Allison Janney

    Directed byTate Taylor

    Directed byTate Taylor

    Breaking News in Yuba County is a 2021 American comedy mystery film directed by Tate Taylor. An unappreciated woman takes advantage of her growing celebrity status when the police and the public...  more
  • 22
    1
    0

    Together

    James McAvoy, Sharon Horgan

    Directed byStephen Daldry

    Directed byStephen Daldry

    Together is a 2021 British comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Daldry. A husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of the Covid-19...  more
  • 23
    1
    0

    Queen Bees

    Ellen Burstyn, James Caan

    Directed byMichael Lembeck

    Directed byMichael Lembeck

    Queen Bees is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. While her house undergoes repairs, fiercely independent senior Helen temporarily moves into a nearby retirement community, where...  more
  • 24
    2
    1

    Censor

    Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley

    Directed byPrano Bailey-Bond

    Directed byPrano Bailey-Bond

    Censor is a 2021 British horror film directed by Prano Bailey-Bond. A British film censor links a disturbing horror movie to her sister's mysterious disappearance....  more
  • 25
    2
    0

    Asia

    Alena Yiv, Shira Haas

    Directed byRuthy Pribar

    Directed byRuthy Pribar

    Asia is a 2020 Israeli drama film directed by Ruthy Pribar. Despite living together, Asia barely interacts with her daughter Vika. Their routine is shaken when Vika's health deteriorates rapidly....  more