Entertainment

The Best Movies Directed by Women  

Ranker Film
Originally by
30k votes 2.2k voters 153.4k views 223 items

List Rules Films directed by a lady. Vote up your favorite female-directed film.

It’s no longer just a man’s world out there, women have been taking over Hollywood for years in some pretty big ways! From becoming some of the world’s top actresses to screenwriting and directing, women have certainly started to make their mark in the world of movies. In fact, some of the top box office hits and award winners of recent years have been produced or directed by women! But what are the best movies directed by a woman?
 
The movies featured on this list have been ranked as the all time best films directed by women. Perhaps one of the most surprising success stories of women in film came when Kathryn Bigelow but a woman's stamp on the usually male-dominated war movie genre. Her film, The Hurt Locker was both a commercial and critical success. No matter what genre you’re craving there is sure to be a movie, directed by a woman, on this list that will do.
 
This list is made up of the best movies that were directed by a woman, including: Away From Her, Frida, Clueless, The Piano, The Kids Are All Right, Lost In Translation, and American Psycho. Vote up your favorite female-directed films below or add your favorite movies, directed by a woman, if they aren't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Mary Harron
American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more
2
Big is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Penny Marshall
Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more
3
Monster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Patty Jenkins
Monster is a 2003 drama film about Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for taking six men's lives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and ...more
4
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Kathryn Bigelow
Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where ...more
5
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the conflict in Iraq. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay ...more
6
A League of Their Own is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Penny Marshall
A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Directed by Penny Marshall, the ...more
7
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Amy Heckerling
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more
8
Wayne's World is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
marylylewarrenmccue added Penelope Spheeris
Wayne's World is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris and starring Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, hosts of the Aurora, Illinois-based ...more
9
Clueless is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Amy Heckerling
Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy. The film is set in Beverly Hills ...more
10
Lost in Translation is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Sofia Coppola
Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, and Fumihiro Hayashi. The ...more
11
Brave is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
marylylewarrenmccue added Brenda Chapman
Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and ...more
12
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
freeling10 added Mary Lambert
Pet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role. Author ...more
13
Boys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Kimberly Peirce
Boys Don't Cry is a 1999 American independent romantic drama film directed by Kimberly Peirce and co-written by Andy Bienen. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena, ...more
14
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Kathryn Bigelow
Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
15
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Kimberly Peirce
Carrie is a 2013 American supernatural horror film. It is the third film adaptation of Stephen King's 1974 novel of the same name, though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Screen Gems, who produced the ...more
16
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
robinsontravis78 added Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the ...more
17
The Piano is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Jane Campion
The Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand, ...more
18
Frida is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Julie Taymor
Frida is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award-nominated ...more
19
Winter’s Bone is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Debra Granik
"Deep in the Ozark Mountains, clans live by a code of conduct that no one dares defy—until an intrepid teenage girl has no other choice. When Ree Dolly's father skips bail and goes missing, ...more
20
The Virgin Suicides is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Sofia Coppola
The film is a 1999 American drama written and directed by Sofia Coppola, produced by her father Francis Ford Coppola, starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, and A. ...more
21
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Lan1 added Nancy Meyers
The Parent Trap is a 1998 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is the second adaptation of Erich Kästner's German ...more
22
Something's Gotta Give is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Lan1 added Nancy Meyers
Excellent script. amazing acting. So funny and deep and leaves a important impression. Beautifully directed and visually stunning as well.
Something's Gotta Give is a 2003 American romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers for Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. It stars Jack Nicholson and Diane ...more
23
We Need to Talk About Kevin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Lynne Ramsay
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2011 British-American psychological thriller film, directed by Lynne Ramsay and adapted from Lionel Shriver's novel of the same name. A long process of ...more
24
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
citronlmb added 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
25
What Women Want is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Lan1 added Nancy Meyers
What Women Want is a 2000 American romantic comedy film, written by Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa and Diane Drake, directed by Nancy Meyers, and starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The film was a ...more