The best female-led science fiction movies are a major reason why the world is paying attention to films with female leads more than ever. It's always a great time of year to show respect and admiration to the impressively talented women who have been cast in starring roles across all genres – but for this list, we are going to focus on science fiction. The Alien franchise boasts mutiple leading ladies as well as the Resident Evil franchise which is helmed by the talented Milla Jovovich. There are plenty of other science fiction films with women in lead roles that are worth mentioning and you'll find them on the list below.
There are countless sci-fi movies with female leads to binge-watch on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+. There are also tons of epic sci-fi movies getting released in theaters every year! These are some of the most noteworthy sci-fi flicks with empowering female actresses taking the lead.
Sigourney Weaver was a known actress in 1979 but it was her role as Ellen Ripley in Alien that would catapult her to stardom. Her performance outshines those of other veteran actors such as Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, and Harry Dean Stanton, who are legends in their own right. Not only did she become the face of the franchise, she became a template for other heroines in future sci-fi films - lookin' at you Underwater.
Adapted from Japanese manga artist Yukito Kishiro's Gunnm, the 2019 cyperpunk action movie stars Rosa Salazar in her first leading role as a cyborg warrior. Because of Salazar's performance, the stunning visual effects, and the futuristic setting, the film was a box office success and garnered a dedicated fanbase. Thanks to the fans, who voiced their support online via #AlitaArmy, Alita was re-released in theaters in October 2020, and may possibly get a sequel.
Milla Jovovich locked herself in as the queen of action sci-fi movies with her role as Leeloo de Sabat in The Fifth Element and while she stole the show, it was told from the perspective of Bruce Willis's character. The Resident Evil franchise on the other hand places Milla Joviovich at the forefront as Alice, humanity's last hope.
Emily Blunt is the powerful female lead in A Quiet Place: Part II. The first movie of this franchise focused heavily on the role of her husband, John Krasinski. This movie sheds tons of light on the personal struggles of Blunt's character keeping her family alive. Staying as quiet as possible to avoid getting killed by a deadly creature is the premise of this movie. Since the creature is sensitive to sound, pure silence is their only mode of survival.
Considered one of the best films of 2016, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi drama received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. For her performance as a linguist learning to communicate with aliens, Amy Adams was nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. The film was also well-received among academic circles, who praised the accurate portrayal of linguistics.
It's hard to deny how impressive Felicity Jones's talent shines through while watching her lead the way in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. She plays the role of Jyn, a girl who grows up watching her father's peaceful existence turn to darkness right before her eyes. Instead of idly standing by, Jyn creates a task force of individuals who are ready to fight back against the Empire.