2018 The Best Female Leading Movies of 2018  

Ranker Film
506 votes 78 voters 2.9k views 65 items

As the demand for equality in Hollywood rises, there are plenty of strong female lead movies of 2018. Ongoing issues in the movie industry - such as harassment and the pay gap - have made moviegoers aware of the importance of telling women's stories. This list of 2018 female lead movies catalogs the best movies of the year that elevated female voices. 

What were some of the best strong female lead movies this year? A number of women-centric franchises and books saw adaptations. The video game character Lara Croft came to life onscreen in Tomb Raider. A Wrinkle In Time - known for its compelling women characters - was adapted into a film starring much beloved female celebrities like Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey. Some original films also made up the best strong female lead movies of 2018. The darkly humorous Thoroughbreds tells the story of two high school students plotting murder. Zoey Deutch stars in the suspenseful independent film Flower. Other 2018 movies with almost all-female casts include Widows, Oceans's 8, and Annihilation.

Which of these female lead movies are the best of 2018? Vote for your favorites below and add anything you feel is missing. 

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Annihilation Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez Annihilation is a 2018 science fantasy action horror film directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer. A biologist (Natalie Portman) signs up for a dangerous, secret ...more

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Disobedience Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola Disobedience is a 2017 British-Irish-American drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio, based on the novel by Noami Alderman. A woman (Rachel Weisz) returns to her Orthodox Jewish home ...more

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Tomb Raider Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins Tomb Raider is a 2018 American action adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug. Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond ...more

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Ocean's 8 Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter Ocean's Eight is a 2018 American heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross. Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock) attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s ...more

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Thoroughbreds Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin Thoroughbreds is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by Cory Finley. After years of growing apart, upper-class teenagers Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) rekindle their ...more

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Daniel Carin added Unsane Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah Unsane is a 2018 American psychological horror-thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh. A young woman (Claire Foy) is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is then ...more

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Revenge Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe Revenge is a 2017 French rape and revenge horror film directed by Coralie Fargeat. After being assaulted by three married men and left for dead, a young woman (Matilda Lutz) returns with revenge ...more

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Red Sparrow Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts Red Sparrow is a 2018 American spy thriller film directed by Francis Lawrence, based on the book by Jason Matthews. A Russian spy (Jennifer Lawrence) falls for a CIA officer (Joel Edgerton) and ...more

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Winchester Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook Winchester is a 2018 American-Australian supernatural horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), whose husband William and their child died suddenly, is ...more

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Tully Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass Tully is a 2018 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman. Marlo (Charlize Theron), a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny (Mackenzie Davis) by her brother ...more

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Amy Boal added Eighth Grade Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson Eighth Grade is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Bo Burnham. An eighth grader (Elsie Fisher) struggles to finish her last week of classes before embarking for high school.

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Traffik Paula Patton, Omar Epps, Missi Pyle Traffik is a 2018 thriller film directed by Deon Taylor. During a romantic getaway at a cabin in the woods with her boyfriend (Omar Epps), investigative journalist Brea Stephens (Paula Patton) ...more

The Best Movies Directed By Women In 2018

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The Strangers: Prey at Night Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison The Strangers: Prey at Night is a 2018 American horror film directed by Johannes Roberts, and the sequel to the 2008 film. A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are ...more

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Proud Mary Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover Proud Mary is a 2018 American action-thriller directed by Babak Najafi. Successful hitwoman Mary (Taraji P. Henson) meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes wrong, ...more

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Like Father Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Rogen Like Father is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Lauren Miller Rogen. A workaholic woman (Kristen Bell) who is left at the altar takes her honeymoon trip anyway with her overachieving ...more

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Puzzle Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman Puzzle is a 2018 American drama film directed by Marc Turtletaub, based on the 2010 Argentine film. Agnes (Kelly Macdonald), taken for granted as a suburban wife and mother, discovers a passion ...more

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The Spy Who Dumped Me Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Sam Heughan The Spy Who Dumped Me is a 2018 American action comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel. Best friends Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) get involved in an undercover mission after ...more

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RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Nina Totenberg RBG is a 2018 documentary film directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming ...more

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Truth or Dare Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane Truth or Dare is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Jeff Wadlow. College students are haunted by spirits after playing the supernatural version of Truth or Dare.

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Dark River Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Sean Bean Dark River is a 2017 British drama film directed by Clio Barnard, loosely based on the novel Trespass by Rose Tremain. Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to her home ...more

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a 2018 American-British drama film directed by Desiree Akhavan, based on the 2012 novel by Emily M. Danforth. In 1993, a teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is ...more

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Insidious: The Last Key Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell Insidious: The Last Key is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Adam Robitel, and the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) goes on to ...more

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Acrimony Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Tika Sumpter Acrimony is a 2018 American psychological thriller film directed by Tyler Perry. Tired of standing by her devious husband (Lyriq Bent), a faithful wife (Taraji P. Henson) becomes enraged when it ...more

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Flower Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker Flower is a 2017 American drama film directed by Max Winkler. A sexually curious teen (Zoey Deutch) forms an unorthodox kinship with her mentally unstable stepbrother (Joey Morgan).

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Gemini Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, Greta Lee Gemini is a 2017 American mystery thriller film directed by Aaron Katz. A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood ...more

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The Seagull Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Corey Stoll The Seagull is a 2018 American drama film directed by Michael Mayer, based on the novel by Anton Chekhov. During one summer visit to her brother and her son (Billy Howle), an aging actress ...more

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Kings Halle Berry, Daniel Craig, Lamar Johnson Kings is a 2017 romance film directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. A South Central recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman's working-class mother (Halle Berry) during the 1992 civil unrest in Los

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Claire's Camera Isabelle Huppert, Kim Min-hee, Chang Mi-hee Claire's Camera is a 2017 drama film directed by Hong Sang-soo. A French photographer (Isabelle Huppert) befriends a Korean sales agent (Min-hee Kim).

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Roxanne Roxanne Chanté Adams, Mahershala Ali, Nia Long Roxanne Roxanne is a 2017 American drama film directed by Michael Larnell. In the early 1980s, a fierce teenage girl (Chanté Adams) is rapidly on her way to becoming a hip hop legend as ...more

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Down a Dark Hall AnnaSophia Robb, Uma Thurman, Isabelle Fuhrman Down a Dark Hall is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Rodrigo Cortés, based on the novel by Lois Duncan. When her heated temper becomes too much for her mother to ...more

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a 2018 American teen romance film directed by Susan Johnson, based on the 2014 novel by Jenny Han. Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor) writes private love ...more

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Never Goin' Back Maia Mitchell, Camila Morrone, Kyle Mooney Never Goin' Back is a 2018 American drama film directed by Augustine Frizzell. High school dropouts Angela (Maia Mitchell) and Jessie (Camila Morrone) dream of escaping their waitressing jobs at ...more

The Best Movies No One Saw In 2018

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Night Comes On Dominique Fishback, Tatum Marilyn Hall, Journee Brown Night Comes On is a 2018 drama film directed by Jordana Spiro. Released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday, Angel LaMere (Dominique Fishback) embarks on a journey with her ...more

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Skate Kitchen Rachelle Vinberg, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran Skate Kitchen is a 2018 American drama film directed by Crystal Moselle. A teenaged skateboarder (Rachelle Vinberg) makes friends with a bunch of other skateboarding girls in New York City.

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The Wife Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater The Wife is a 2018 drama film directed by Björn Runge, based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer. A wife (Glenn Close) questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband ...more

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Juliet, Naked Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O'Dowd Juliet, Naked is a 2018 British-American comedy-drama film directed by Jesse Peretz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Things get messy when Annie (Rose Byrne) starts an unlikely romance with ...more

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Scorched Earth Gina Carano, John Hannah, Stephanie Bennett Scorched Earth is a 2018 Canadian-American post-apocalyptic science fiction/action film directed by Peter Howitt. A bounty hunter named Atticus Gage (Gina Carano) tracks down criminals in a ...more

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Like Me Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden Like Me is a 2017 American film directed by Robert Mockler. A loner (Addison Timlin) sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media.

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Elizabeth Harvest Abbey Lee, Ciarán Hinds, Dylan Baker Elizabeth Harvest is a 2018 horror thriller film directed by Sebastian Gutierrez. When her brilliant scientist husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) goes away for business, newlywed Elizabeth ...more

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The Darkest Minds Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore The Darkest Minds is a 2018 American science fiction thriller film directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, based on the novel by Alexandra Bracken. After a disease kills 98% of America's children, the ...more

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Please Stand By Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette, Alice Eve Please Stand By is a 2017 American comedy drama film directed by Ben Lewin. A young Asperger syndrome autistic woman (Dakota Fanning) runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her ...more

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Boundaries Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall Boundaries is a 2018 Canadian-American road trip comedy-drama film directed by Shana Feste. Laura (Vera Farmiga), along with her teenaged son Henry (Lewis MacDougall), is forced to drive her ...more

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The Boy Downstairs Zosia Mamet, Matthew Shear, Deirdre O'Connell The Boy Downstairs is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Sophie Brooks. A young woman (Zosia Mamet) is forced to reflect on her first relationship when she inadvertently moves into ...more

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Woman Walks Ahead Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer Woman Walks Ahead is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Susanna White. Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain), a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, travels to Dakota to paint a ...more

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A Fantastic Woman Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco A Fantastic Woman is a 2017 Chilean drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio. Marina (Daniela Vega), a waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the death of her ...more

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Tau Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman Tau is a 2018 American sci-fi thriller film directed by Federico D'Alessandro. A woman (Maika Monroe) is held captive in a futuristic smart house and hopes to escape by breaking into the ...more

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Daniel Carin added I Kill Giants Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots I Kill Giants is a 2018 American thriller film directed by Anders Walter, based on the comic book series by Joe Kelly. Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe) struggles through life by escaping into a ...more

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Furlough Melissa Leo, Tessa Thompson, La La Anthony Furlough is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Laurie Collyer. When an inmate (Melissa Leo) is granted one weekend out of prison to see her dying mother, a rookie correction officer (Tessa ...more

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Half Magic Heather Graham, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Lewis Half Magic is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Heather Graham. Three women use their newly formed sisterhood to fight against sexism, bad relationships, and low self-esteem.

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Nancy Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd Nancy is a 2018 American drama film directed by Christina Choe. Convinced she was kidnapped as a child, Nancy (Andrea Riseborough) meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, ...more