7 Great Action Thrillers Led By Women

January 8th, 20197 Great Action Thrillers Led By Women

This February, Blake Lively adds her name to the growing list of actresses that have proven that action movies aren’t just for men. In THE RHYTHM SECTION, based on the first in a series of hit spy novels by Mark Burnell, Lively plays Stephanie Patrick, who assumes the identity of an assassin to investigate the plane crash that killed her family.

If that sounds like your jam, you might want to watch a few of these other awesome action movies starring women before THE RHYTHM SECTION hits theatres.


[Credit: Warner Bros.]

DC’s first female-fronted superhero movie is an inspirational, action-packed blast starring Gal Gadot as the iconic comic book character. WONDER WOMAN is both a prequel to BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and an amazing origin story, in which viewers are introduced to the mythical island that Wonder Woman came from, which is populated entirely by powerful warrior women.


[Credit: Relativity Media]

In this action-thriller from acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (CONTAGION), MMA superstar Gina Carano plays a black-ops super soldier seeking revenge on the people who set her up on a previous mission. Carano’s real-world fighting skills come in handy as she punches and kicks her way through co-stars like Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum.


[Credit: Warner Bros.]

It may be called MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, but the real star of George Miller’s sequel is Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. She’s a hardened hero on a mission to rescue enslaved women and escort them across the wasteland to freedom. Theron proves she can do it all in this post-apocalyptic flick, whether she’s driving a big rig in an epic vehicle chase through sandstorms or beating the crap out of Tom Hardy.


[Credit: New Line Cinema]

Back in the ’90s, Shane Black (KISS KISS BANG BANG) delivered one of the coolest female action movies ever: THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT. Geena Davis plays a housewife with amnesia who suddenly recalls her previous life as a ruthless assassin. She teams up with Samuel L. Jackson to take down the bad guys who took away her memories. And, just like that, everyone had a much bigger crush on Geena Davis. (And next year, when the holidays come around, you can argue that this is also a great Christmas movie.)


[Credit: Miramax]

Uma Thurman became an instant action icon thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s two-part epic. She plays a former assassin who wakes up from a four-year coma determined to get revenge on the colleagues who tried to kill her. Thurman’s journey takes her to hell and back — and to Japan for an epic sword fight — before she comes face to face with the man responsible for it all: Bill.


[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Tom Cruise’s status as bonafide action hero is part of what makes EDGE OF TOMORROW so clever. In this sci-fi action flick, Cruise is a cowardly media relations expert for the military. He must rely on a heroic sergeant, played by Emily Blunt, if he wants to survive an alien invasion. Blunt is such a dominant force as an alien-fighting warrior that it’ll make you wonder why she hasn’t been starring in action movies all along.


[Credit: Focus Features]

Yep, Charlize Theron makes the cut again, this time for her role in ATOMIC BLONDE. Directed by one-half of the team behind JOHN WICK, the ’80s-set spy thriller stars Theron as Lorraine Broughton. She’s a tough-as-nails undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of a colleague and recover a stolen list containing the names of secret double agents. There’s a major fight sequence set around a stairway that is easily one of the best action scenes ever.

THE RHYTHM SECTION opens on February 22.

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