Best Movies 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! 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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Longest Hollywood Marriages

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

The Best Actresses in Film History

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

The Best Actresses Who Won Oscars and Globes for the Same Role

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Best Netflix Original Specials

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

TV Personalities You'd Want to Play Drinking Games With

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Movies of 2017, Ranked

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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