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You Don’t Want To Miss These Women-Directed Movies In Summer 2023

Summertime is fast approaching, meaning that a new wave of movies and TV shows will be headed to streaming services and movie theaters. As your local film student, I always find myself talking to my groups of friends about films I think we should all go see in theaters, especially when summer rolls around. I have compiled a list of some of the most anticipated summer 2023 movies coming out in theaters, which all are written and directed by women.

It’s super important to highlight these directors, who have done fantastic work in the film industry but often go under the radar. Variety reports that throughout the Oscars’ 95 years of the Best Director category, only seven women have ever been nominated for this prestigious honor, and only three have won. Thankfully, the number of female directors is growing more throughout the last few years, and this summer is proving to be a year where more female directors are prioritized in mainstream media. 


Barbie has been everywhere these last few weeks as a result of the iconic poster edits all over social media, deep fashion analyses, and of course, Ryan Gosling as Ken. Greta Gerwig’s third studio film follows Barbie and her friends doing…  fun Barbie activities in Barbie Land. No one quite knows for sure what the plot is, but we’re all dying to be able to get to dress up and watch Margot Robbie in impeccable pink costumes in theaters on July 21. 

Past Lives

If you had the opportunity to rekindle your first love from childhood, would you? Writer-director Celine Song’s Past Lives follows the story of Nora (played by Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (played by Teo Yoo) as they spend a week together in New York after reuniting after a long period of time. The two weave in and out of each other’s lives, forcing them to reconcile with the past and question their relationships. Being hailed as one of the best films from Sundance, Past Lives premieres in theaters on June 2. 

Joy Ride

The best way to describe Joy Ride is to imagine going on vacation with your best friends to help uncover a long lost secret about a member of their family. Directed by Adele Lim and written by Cherry Cheva and Teresa Hsiao, Joy Ride centers around four friends (Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, Sherry Cola, Sabrina Wu) who embark on a mission across Asia to reunite their close friend with her birth mother. Through a series of misfortunes and miscommunication, the group finds themselves lost in Asia and have to rely on one another on the trip. Joy Ride is distributed by Lionsgate and will be released in theaters on July 7. 


If Heathers, Wet Hot American Summer and Fight Club had a baby, you would get Bottoms. Directed by Emma Seligman, the film follows two best friends who decide to start a fight club (or a self-defense club to everyone else) in order to get with their cheerleader crushes (played by Kaia Gerber and Havana Rose Liu). Rachel Sennott (who co-wrote the script with Seligman) and Ayo Edebiri lead the film as PJ and Josie with an all-star supporting cast. Bottoms is a spectacle, showing the feeling of wanting your crush to notice you and the absurdity of how far you would go to get noticed. There is no official release date for Bottoms, but MGM reports that it will be coming out later this summer.

Leia Mendoza

TX State '24

Leia Mendoza is a national entertainment & culture correspondent and writer at Her Campus, where she writes and talks about the latest entertainment news and pop culture updates. As well as updating timely news, she covers a broad aspect of film, television and music for Her Campus Media. She is also a contributor to Offscreen Central, where she covers award shows and future Oscar contenders. In 2024, she created Director Brat, a website centered around film and television reviews and exclusive industry interviews for the next generation of creatives. In addition, she is a Film Production and Fashion Merchandising student at Texas State University. In the past, she has covered events conducted by Texas State University, Austin Film Festival's On Story, & SXSW. She has conducted interviews for Paramount, MGM, and A24. You can find her in her spare time talking about bridging the worlds of film and fashion together, cinema preservation, indie darlings, and fabulous shopping sequences.