Looking for some excellent cinema today that features strong and diverse women? We're here to help, with our Noovie 9 list of great movies for International Women's Day.
Octavia Spencer (nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae are all fantastic in this real-life story about strong Black women who worked as mathematicians at NASA in the 1960s and were critical to America's mission during the Space Race. It's an inspirational, literally uplifting tale, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Little Women (2019)
Filmmaker Greta Gerwig adapts the timeless Louisa May Alcott novel for a bright, irresistible film version that's all about women celebrating their unique destinies. Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen are the irrepressible March sisters, each with their own special story to tell, and an unbreakable bond of sisterhood that can overcome any obstacle in their way.
Julia Roberts won the Oscar for Best Actress for this story about real-life activist Erin Brockovich, who, after convincing her lawyer to let her work as a law clerk, discovered that her community was being poisoned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Her fight for justice is the subject of Steven Soderbergh's compelling, excellent drama.
Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, and Nicole Kidman play former Fox News employees Megyn Kelly, Kayla Pospisill and Gretchen Carlson in this indictment of the sexual harassment that occurred during the reign of ex-CEO Roger Ailes. It's a shocking, highly relevant film that underscores the women's courage revealing the truth behind the scenes.
The always-incredible Meryl Streep (nominated again here for Best Actress) stars as Katherine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, the Washington Post. Despite the various and often-times sexist forces against her, Graham stood strong in her role to make sure that decades-long cover-ups were reported by the paper, including the US position in Vietnam as exposed in "The Pentagon Papers," detailing our nation's secret involvement with the country dating back to the 1940s.
Drama / 2017 / PG-13
Sigourney Weaver's role as sci-fi/thriller heroine Ripley has spanned multiple movies in the "Alien" franchise, but in "Aliens," she truly takes charge as a no b.s., tough-as-nails warrior who's smart, intelligent, resourceful and determined to do whatever it takes to protect her adopted daughter, Newt, and make it off the planet of Aliens alive. She's surrounded by a strong regiment of combat marines, but no one's better at taking out the Queen bee alien and her minions than Ripley in this action-packed classic.
As a preview of some of the politics that would one day follow, 2000's "The Contender" is an underrated, layered drama about the double standards for men and women in American society. Joan Allen, one of our finest actresses, is mesmerizing as the first female chosen to be Vice President in this fictional film. Harassed in ways that would never come up in the same way for the opposite sex, Allen's character, Laine Billings Hanson, remains a symbol of integrity and fortitude.
Thriller / 2000 / R
Mad Max: Fury Road
It may be called "Mad Max," but "Fury Road" is all about Charlize Theron's Furiosa, and the mostly female team riding the road to liberation from a motley group of patriarchal dirtbags. Director George Miller's road trip of non-stop action is a technical masterpiece, and fits in nicely with the rest of the "Mad Max" series, but it's truly awesome here to see Theron become the greatest female movie warrior this side of Ripley and Wonder Woman.
20th Century Women
This movie set in the late '70s is a great, lived-in experience that finds a young man (Lucas Jade Zumann) learning how to be a man from his single mom, a female punk artist taking up residence in their home, and the teenage girl next door. Helping the film are the talented actresses playing these 20thCentury women: Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning.
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.