Entertainment

The Best Movies Directed by Women  

Ranker Film
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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 and there are some amazing female directors out there! 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 neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more
2
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Big is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Monster is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
Lost in Translation is listed (or ranked) 7 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
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
Brave is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
A League of Their Own is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Boys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 13 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.
14
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Winter’s Bone is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
The Virgin Suicides is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
The Piano is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Miss Bala is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Catherine Hardwicke
Miss Bala is a 2019 American-Mexican action drama thriller film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and a remake of the 2011 Mexican film. A beauty contest winner (Gina Rodriguez) is forced to work ...more
23
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
marylylewarrenmccue added Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian-American animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent ...more
24
Lady Bird is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
Greta Gerwig
Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Greta Gerwig. The adventures of a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) living in Northern California for a year.
25
You've Got Mail is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
KaleMovieVine added Nora Ephron
You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the 1937 play Parfumerie ...more