best movies The Best Movies Directed by Women  

Ranker Film
Originally by
23.5k votes 1.7k voters 136.9k views 188 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
538 203
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
American Psycho 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
466 164
Ranker Video
Big 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
296 170
Ranker Video
Monster Patty Jenkins Monster is a 2003 crime drama film about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was ...more

4
399 172
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American war film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay was ...more

5
297 148
Ranker Video
Point Break Kathryn Bigelow Point Break is a 1991 American action crime film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, ...more

6
319 144
Ranker Video
Fast Times at Ridgemont High 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

7
403 145
Ranker Video
A League of Their Own 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

8
349 137
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added Wayne's World 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
405 138
Ranker Video
Clueless 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
309 176
Ranker Video
Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It was her second feature film after The Virgin Suicides. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett ...more

11
235 128
Ranker Video
freeling10 added Pet Sematary 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, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, ...more

12
231 135
Ranker Video
Boys Don't Cry 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

The Best Movies Directed By Women In 2018

13
321 129
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added Brave 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

14
261 141
Ranker Video
Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

15
283 163
Ranker Video
Carrie 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
188 135
Ranker Video
Winter’s Bone 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 crystal-meth-making father skips ...more

17
246 114
Ranker Video
Lan1 added The Parent Trap 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

Black Panther Movie Quotes

18
218 98
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
robinsontravis78 added Frozen 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

19
167 135
Ranker Video
Frida 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

20
210 139
Ranker Video
The Piano 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

21
175 154
Ranker Video
Lan1 added What Women Want 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

22
141 122
Ranker Video
Lan1 added Something's Gotta Give 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

The Best Actresses in Film History

23
154 75
Ranker Video
looksharp added Billy Madison Tamra Davis Billy Madison is a 1995 American family comedy film directed by Tamra Davis. It stars Adam Sandler in the title role, along with Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm Macdonald, and Darren ...more

24
120 113
We Need to Talk About Kevin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Women
We Need to Talk About Kevin 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

25
180 142
Ranker Video
The Virgin Suicides Sofia Coppola The Virgin Suicides 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 ...more

26
227 142
Ranker Video
Sleepless in Seattle Nora Ephron Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie

27
96 67
Ranker Video
weik added I Am Sam Jessie Nelson I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film written and directed by Jessie Nelson, and starring Sean Penn as a father with a developmental disability, Dakota Fanning as his inquisitive seven-year-old ...more

The Most Rewatchable Movies

28
220 146
Ranker Video
KaleMovieVine added You've Got Mail 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

29
145 126
Ranker Video
Awakenings Penny Marshall Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm ...more

30
105 122
Ranker Video
Children of a Lesser God Randa Haines Children of a Lesser God is a 1986 American romantic drama film directed by Randa Haines and written by Hesper Anderson and Mark Medoff. An adaptation of Medoff's Tony Award–winning stage play ...more

31
138 24
Ranker Video
citronlmb added Wonder Woman 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

32
108 102
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added The Runaways Floria Sigismondi The Runaways is a 2010 American drama film about the 1970s all-girl rock band of the same name written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. It is based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a ...more

Actors Who Have Directed Films

33
112 109
Ranker Video
Whale Rider Niki Caro Whale Rider is a 2002 New Zealand-German drama film directed by Niki Caro, based on the novel of the same name by Witi Ihimaera. The film stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Kahu Paikea Apirana, a ...more

34
116 119
Ranker Video
The Kids Are All Right Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right is a 2010 American comedy-drama film directed by Lisa Cholodenko and written by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg. A hit at 2010 Sundance, it opened in limited release on ...more

35
94 65
Ranker Video
weik added Bridget Jones's Diary Sharon Maguire Bridget Jones's Diary is a 2001 British romantic comedy film directed by Sharon Maguire. It is based on Helen Fielding's novel of the same name which is a reinterpretation of Austen's Pride and ...more

36
94 41
Ranker Video
weik added The Secret Garden Agnieszka Holland The Secret Garden is a 1993 British drama fantasy film directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, John Lynch and Maggie Smith. It was written by ...more

37
110 87
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added Persepolis 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

Things Competitive People Are Competitive About

38
140 125
Ranker Video
National Lampoon's European Vacation Amy Heckerling European Vacation is a 1985 comedy film. The second film in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, it was directed by Amy Heckerling and stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Dana Hill and ...more

39
197 144
Ranker Video
Look Who's Talking Amy Heckerling Look Who's Talking is a 1989 romantic comedy film written and directed by Amy Heckerling and starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Bruce Willis plays the voice of Mollie's son, Mikey. The ...more

40
96 74
Ranker Video
looksharp added Julie & Julia Nora Ephron Julie & Julia is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina. The film contrasts the life of chef ...more

41
86 42
Ranker Video
weik added Little Women Gillian Armstrong Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film ...more

42
97 55
Ranker Video
weik added Bend It like Beckham Gurinder Chadha Bend It like Beckham is a 2002 British comedy-drama film starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaznay Lewis and Archie Panjabi, first released in the ...more

The Best Ever Female Sci-Fi Authors

43
106 92
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added Whip It Drew Barrymore Whip It is a 2009 comedy-drama film written by Shauna Cross, based on her novel Derby Girl. The film is directed and co-produced by Drew Barrymore in her directorial debut. It stars Ellen Page ...more

44
92 52
Ranker Video
weik added Chocolat Claire Denis Chocolat is a 1988 film directed by Claire Denis, about a French family that lives in colonial Cameroon. Marc and Aimée Dalens are the parents of France, a young girl who befriends ...more

45
72 55
Ranker Video
weik added Thirteen Catherine Hardwicke Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed based on events in Reed's life at age twelve and thirteen. ...more

46
141 100
Ranker Video
marylylewarrenmccue added The Prince of Egypt Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells, Steve Hickner The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated epic musical biblical film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is an adaptation of ...more

47
68 57
Ranker Video
weik added Joe Dirt Dennie Gordon Joe Dirt is a 2001 American adventure comedy film starring David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken, Brian Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Jaime Pressly, Erik Per Sullivan, and Kid Rock. The ...more

48
74 63
Ranker Video
weik added Marie Antoinette Sofia Coppola Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical drama film, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It is based on the life of the Queen in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy ...more

49
86 57
Ranker Video
weik added Pay It Forward Mimi Leder Pay It Forward is a 2000 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment as ...more

50
89 61
Ranker Video
looksharp added Deep Impact Mimi Leder Deep Impact is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film directed by Mimi Leder, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin, and starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, ...more