10 Best Female-Powered Movies of All Time

There is nothing I love more after a tough day than snuggling up with hot tea and an inspiring, female-centered movie. I decided to compile a list of my favorite girl-power movies, in no particular order, that have inspired and uplifted me. Whether you need some academic motivation, a self-esteem boost after a breakup or just some new inspiration, these movies will do the trick.

1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Courtesy: Knack Blog

 

Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a struggling graduate, who lands an assistant position to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the infamously harsh editor-in-chief of a high-fashion magazine, Runway. Andy, viewed as homely by her couture-wearing coworkers, steps up her fashion and professional game to prove to Priestly she has what it takes to stay at Runway. But what does she lose in trying to meet this unforgiving fashionista’s high expectations?

2. Brooklyn (2015)

Courtesy: Variety

 

Set in the 1950s, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) leaving her home in Ireland to seek a better life in America. She arrives in Brooklyn, New York alone with only the girls in her boarding house to learn from. Away from home, she begins, through bravery and determination, assimilating to her new American life. When the time comes for her to return to Ireland, she finds herself caught between the memories of her past and the promises of her future. Eilis Lacey is a lovable, hard-working character that teaches young women that they can find their place anywhere they go.

3. Legally Blonde (2001)

Courtesy: TV Tropes

 

You knew this one was going to make the list… and how could it not? Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is blonde, beautiful and bubbly. Everything is coming up roses for her until her boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) throws her a curve ball. Instead of an engagement, he breaks up with her for “not being serious enough.” Determined to prove him wrong, she studies relentlessly for the LSAT and joins him at Harvard. From breaking the notorious “dumb blonde stereotype” to winning the hearts of the snottiest Harvard students, Elle Woods is a champion.

4. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Courtesy: The Toast

 

Jess (Parminder Nagra) is a talented soccer player, hindered by the traditional customs of womanhood set by her orthodox Sikh family. With the encouragement of her new friend Jules (Kiera Knightly), she becomes the rising star of the Hounslow women’s soccer team. But can she balance her desire to play soccer professionally with her family’s expectation for her to continue their Sikh traditions? This movie not only will make you love soccer (if you don’t already), but it beautifully explores the adversity Jess and her family face as Sikhs living in West London.

5. Private Benjamin (1980)

Courtesy: IMDb

 

Private Benjamin is the Legally Blonde of the 20th century. Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn) enjoys her lavish, materialistic life until her newly-wedded husband passes unexpectedly. Unsure of what to do with herself, she joins the United States Army under the impression that it would be “like a resort.” While the Army is certainly not a vacation, Benjamin discovers independence and capability she never knew she had.

6. She’s The Man (2006)

Courtesy: IMDb

 

Viola (Amanda Bynes) loves soccer more than anything, but when her team at Cornwall is cut she has to get creative. Meanwhile, her twin brother, Sebastian (James Kirk), is supposed to be attending his first day at Illyria, after getting kicked out of Cornwall. Since the Cornwall boys’ soccer team doesn’t allow girls, she brilliantly decides to impersonate her twin brother and join the boys' team at Illyria, Cornwall’s rival.

7. I Feel Pretty (2018)

Courtesy: Insider

 

Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) loves the world of fashion and glamour but doesn’t have the confidence to be the icon she wants to be. After she hits her head during a traumatic spin class accident, she believes herself to be as beautiful as she could ever desire. She begins to view herself as a model, but does everyone else see the same? From career advancement to romance, Renee becomes the woman she always had the ability to be.

8. Lady Bird (2017)

Courtesy: Collider

 

Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a rebellious, individualistic 17-year-old, yearning to leave her hometown of Sacramento, California behind. Her mother’s tough love approach causes a clash with Lady Bird’s free spirit, especially when Lady Bird hatches a plan to go as far as New York City for college. This movie creatively explores all the themes and tropes of a “coming-of-age” film from losing her virginity to getting that highly coveted “wait-listed” letter.

9. Obvious Child (2014)

Courtesy: Variety

 

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is a young comedienne reeling from a breakup until she finds some fun in a one-night stand. Unfortunately, the one-night stand turns into an unplanned pregnancy. Although Donna knows she must make the decision whether to abort the pregnancy or not on her own, the support of her family and friends encourages the destigmatization of abortion and a woman’s right to choose.

10. The Help (2011)

Courtesy: Hollywood Reporter

 

Set during the 1960s at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), a writer in the South, works alongside Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) to anonymously expose the hardships and injustices African American maids face on a regular basis from their white employers. This poignant film explores heavy themes of race relations, class distinctions and how far one will go to release the truth.