The Best Female Lead Action Movies

by jefaud | created - 29 Oct 2011 | updated - 2 days ago | Public

I love action movies. Manly action movies. There are also some action movies with female heroes. I threw this together quickly, any suggestions?

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1. Anna (II) (2019)

R | 119 min | Action, Thriller

40 Metascore

Beneath Anna Poliatova's (Sasha Luss') striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world's most feared government assassins.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy

Votes: 40,502 | Gross: $7.74M

2. No Time to Die (2020)

PG-13 | Action, Adventure, Thriller | Completed

James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga | Stars: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek

3. Miss Bala (2019)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Thomas Dekker, Vivian Chan, Barbarella Pardo

Votes: 6,458 | Gross: $15.01M

4. Bumblebee (I) (2018)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. On the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, Charlie Watson discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

Director: Travis Knight | Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena, Jason Drucker

Votes: 119,138 | Gross: $127.20M

5. Red Sparrow (2018)

R | 140 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

53 Metascore

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 151,255 | Gross: $46.87M

6. Peppermint (2018)

R | 101 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

29 Metascore

Five years after her husband and daughter are killed in a senseless act of violence, a woman comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free.

Director: Pierre Morel | Stars: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Juan Pablo Raba

Votes: 44,649 | Gross: $35.42M

7. Atomic Blonde (2017)

R | 115 min | Action, Thriller

63 Metascore

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

Director: David Leitch | Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan

Votes: 162,875 | Gross: $51.69M

8. Wanted (2008)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

64 Metascore

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp

Votes: 348,814 | Gross: $134.51M

It seems like lately we could put all of Angelina Jolie's movies on here. The Tourist is not on the list, but could have been.

9. Proud Mary (2018)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

35 Metascore

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

Director: Babak Najafi | Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Neal McDonough

Votes: 7,782 | Gross: $20.87M

10. Wonder Woman (2017)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

76 Metascore

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis

Votes: 517,895 | Gross: $412.56M

11. Lucy (I) (2014)

R | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

61 Metascore

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked

Votes: 419,297 | Gross: $126.66M

12. Widows (2018)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki

Votes: 76,903 | Gross: $42.40M

13. Ocean's Eight (2018)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

61 Metascore

Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City's yearly Met Gala.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling

Votes: 161,383 | Gross: $140.22M

14. Ghost in the Shell (2017)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the near future, Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals.

Director: Rupert Sanders | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche

Votes: 186,247 | Gross: $40.56M

15. Divergent (2014)

PG-13 | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

48 Metascore

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney

Votes: 409,842 | Gross: $150.95M

16. Allegiant (2016)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

33 Metascore

After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts

Votes: 101,111 | Gross: $66.18M

17. Insurgent (2015)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Kate Winslet

Votes: 206,989 | Gross: $130.18M

18. The Hunger Games (2012)

PG-13 | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 813,028 | Gross: $408.01M

My teenage daughter is obsessed!

19. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 392,911 | Gross: $337.14M

20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the final battle that will decide the fate of Panem.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 266,113 | Gross: $281.72M

21. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

PG-13 | 146 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 590,129 | Gross: $424.67M

Now both of my daughter's are obsessed!

22. Kidnap (2017)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

44 Metascore

A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

Director: Luis Prieto | Stars: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lew Temple

Votes: 31,005 | Gross: $30.72M

23. The Call (II) (2013)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

51 Metascore

When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Halle Berry, Evie Thompson, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut

Votes: 106,899 | Gross: $51.87M

On my watch list. Haven't seen it yet.

24. Hanna (2011)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

65 Metascore

A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Vicky Krieps

Votes: 183,457 | Gross: $40.26M

With a lifetime of training, maybe...

25. Haywire (2011)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

67 Metascore

A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Angarano

Votes: 80,234 | Gross: $18.94M

They left her no choice.

26. Salt (2010)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski

Votes: 284,208 | Gross: $118.31M

They asked Angelina if she wanted to be a Bond girl and she replied, "I want to be Bond"...The result...SALT!

27. Colombiana (2011)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

45 Metascore

A young woman, after witnessing her parents' murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin.

Director: Olivier Megaton | Stars: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 90,211 | Gross: $36.67M

It's about time a Columbian Drug lord movie was made.

28. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

44 Metascore

A woman suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.

Director: Renny Harlin | Stars: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima, Craig Bierko

Votes: 69,910 | Gross: $33.33M

Gina Davis pulled this off fantastically.

29. The Brave One (2007)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

Struggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a bloody trail across New York City.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Nicky Katt

Votes: 56,802 | Gross: $36.79M

Jody Foster as a vigilante. If you like Jody, you may also like Panic Room or Flight Plan.

30. A Vigilante (2018)

R | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

After escaping her violent husband, Sadie makes it her life's mission to help free others in danger. After months of rigorous training in survival skills, boxing, and lethal martial arts, she is back with a vengeance.

Director: Sarah Daggar-Nickson | Stars: Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, Estefania Tejeda

Votes: 5,005

31. The River Wild (1994)

PG-13 | 111 min | Adventure, Crime, Thriller

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, Joseph Mazzello

Votes: 39,496 | Gross: $46.82M

A very exciting adventure with a flawless female lead.

32. Point of No Return (1993)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A government fakes the death of a criminal to turn this young woman into a killer on its service.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, Miguel Ferrer

Votes: 23,991 | Gross: $30.04M

The American version of Le Femme Nikita. Which should be on this list but why put the same movie twice. Bridgitte Fonda did a great job.

33. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 949,110 | Gross: $204.84M

Linda Hamilton BROUGHT IT!!!

34. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

R | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

54 Metascore

An augmented human and Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator, from hunting down a young girl, whose fate is critical to the human race.

Director: Tim Miller | Stars: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes

Votes: 98,298

35. Tomb Raider (2018)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

48 Metascore

Lara Croft "Alicia Vikander", the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she discovers the island where her father, Lord Richard Croft "Dominic West" disappeared.

Director: Roar Uthaug | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu

Votes: 177,692 | Gross: $58.25M

36. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

33 Metascore

Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.

Director: Simon West | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor

Votes: 191,086 | Gross: $131.14M

Fun Movie and it's sequel.

37. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

PG-13 | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

43 Metascore

Adventurer Lara Croft goes on a quest to save the mythical Pandora's Box, before an evil scientist finds it, and recruits a former Marine turned mercenary to assist her.

Director: Jan de Bont | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Chris Barrie, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 125,598 | Gross: $65.66M

Sequel gone wrong. Talks of another remake starring Olivia Wilde.

38. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

69 Metascore

After awakening from a four-year coma, a former assassin wreaks vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen

Votes: 947,118 | Gross: $70.10M

Uma meet Oprah. Bloody violent movie with a rumor of a 3rd.

39. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

R | 88 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

23 Metascore

Hansel & Gretel are bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.

Director: Tommy Wirkola | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen

Votes: 188,684 | Gross: $55.70M

Cheezy

40. One for the Money (2012)

PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

22 Metascore

Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin's bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.

Director: Julie Anne Robinson | Stars: Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo

Votes: 39,323 | Gross: $26.41M

Katherine Heigl did a good job in this mediocre flick.

41. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

R | 137 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

83 Metascore

The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd, and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah

Votes: 647,201 | Gross: $66.21M

Quentin doing what he does.

42. Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

57 Metascore

In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

Director: Rupert Sanders | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin

Votes: 264,595 | Gross: $155.33M

Not really a genre that I enjoy, but I watched it...twice.

43. Miss Congeniality (2000)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

43 Metascore

An F.B.I. Agent must go undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant to prevent a group from bombing the event.

Director: Donald Petrie | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen

Votes: 177,140 | Gross: $106.81M

Plus the sequel. Comedy with Action.

44. Charlie's Angels (2019)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

52 Metascore

When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie's Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.

Director: Elizabeth Banks | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks

Votes: 25,191

45. Charlie's Angels (2000)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

52 Metascore

Three women, detectives with a mysterious boss, retrieve stolen voice-ID software, using martial arts, tech skills, and sex appeal.

Director: McG | Stars: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray

Votes: 169,423 | Gross: $125.31M

Cheesy but fun.