Films with Interesting, Multifaceted Female Characters

This list is a response to the lack of interesting female roles in cinema.

In order to comply with the list, films must contain at least one prominent female character. Actresses must give convincing performances, writers must give depth of character and the roles must add exceptional value to the plot.

The list is ongoing and films are listed in no particular order.

Any suggestions? Leave a comment.
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1.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird. (130 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
2.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love... (98 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
3.
Brave (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. (93 mins.)
 
4.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
5.
Whale Rider (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize. (101 mins.)
Director: Niki Caro
 
6.
Hard Candy (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a sex offender with pedophilia. (104 mins.)
Director: David Slade
 
7.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A journalist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing -- or dead -- for forty years by a young female hacker. (152 mins.)
 
8.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A woman assists her friend in arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania. (113 mins.)
Director: Cristian Mungiu
 
9.
Vera Drake (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family. (125 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
10.
Far from Heaven (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world. (107 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
11.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined. (112 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
 
12.
Juno (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child. (96 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
 
13.
La Cérémonie (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to... (112 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
 
14.
The Page Turner (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The girl Mélanie Prouvost is the beloved daughter of the butchers Mrs. Prouvost and Mr. Prouvost. She... (85 mins.)
Director: Denis Dercourt
 
15.
Ghost World (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives. (111 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
16.
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship. (92 mins.)
Director: Richard Eyre
 
17.
Another Year (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends. (129 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
18.
Life Is Sweet (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A waitress, her cook husband, & their twin daughters ponder their lives over a few weeks in a working-class suburb north of London. (103 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
19.
Harold and Maude (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral. (91 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby
 
20.
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s. (127 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
 
21.
Muriel's Wedding (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Muriel finds life in Porpoise Spit, Australia dull and spends her days alone in her room listening to Abba music and dreaming of her wedding day... (106 mins.)
Director: P.J. Hogan
 
22.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
 
23.
My Life Without Me (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before. (106 mins.)
Director: Isabel Coixet
 
24.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. (147 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
25.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
 
26.
Fish Tank (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend. (123 mins.)
Director: Andrea Arnold
 
27.
Silkwood (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant. (131 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
28.
Mark of an Angel (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Elsa, a woman with a long history of depression in the midst of a divorce from her husband of 12 years... (95 mins.)
Director: Safy Nebbou
 
29.
All About My Mother (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela. (101 mins.)
 
30.
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
 
31.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know. (130 mins.)
Director: Jon Avnet
 
32.
The Good Girl (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A discount store clerk strikes up an affair with a stock boy who considers himself the incarnation of Holden Caulfield. (93 mins.)
Director: Miguel Arteta
 
33.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
 
34.
21 Grams (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con. (124 mins.)
 
35.
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her. (118 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
36.
Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Pepi is raped by the policeman who catches her growing marijuana in her apartment. She seeks revenge by getting his masochist wife to leave him. (82 mins.)
 
37.
Secrets & Lies (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed. (136 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
38.
Changeling (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
39.
Sherrybaby (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Sherry tries to integrate again into society and become a good mother. (96 mins.)
Director: Laurie Collyer
 
40.
Young Adult (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter. (94 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
 
41.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Pepas's lover, Iván, leaves her and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. In her search for Iván... (88 mins.)
 
42.
Pariah (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. (86 mins.)
Director: Dee Rees
 
43.
Bridesmaids (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (125 mins.)
Director: Paul Feig
 
44.
The Maid (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A drama centered on a maid trying to hold on to her position after having served a family for 23 years. (95 mins.)
 
45.
Jane Eyre (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret. (120 mins.)