There is basically nothing better than finding a movie that inspires and empowers you. Watching a character -- especially a female one -- find their voice and stand up for what they believe in is super satisfying. It’s also great to watch women band together and support each other since society often wants to pit us against each other. Female friendships are so important in movies as a reminder that most of us are more alike than we are different, despite what the world wants us to think. When put to the test, girl power can be an unstoppable force, but sometimes we need some good examples. These 15 movies are the perfect wake-up call that girl power is the best thing ever. Whether it’s owning your femininity or getting back at those who have crossed you in the past by succeeding in your endeavors, these movies inspire us in different ways and are a great pick-me-up.
15 Legally Blonde
This movie is definitely the most quotable of the bunch... because it’s so hysterical! But what many people forget is that this movie has a super powerful message that's directed at girly girls. Elle Woods, a sorority sister, loves anything pink along with shopping and sunbathing. But her boyfriend Warner doesn’t exactly think that she's marriage material. He wants to date a more serious girl now that he’s been accepted into Harvard Law School. So what does Elle do? Work her butt off and get into Harvard too, of course! She encounters many nay-sayers who don’t take her seriously due to her perky nature and love of all things ridiculously girly. We mean, she carries around a tiny Chihuahua basically everywhere she goes! But Elle’s smarts and interest in typically “feminine” things end up saving the day when no one else’s abilities can. This movie encourages you to be true to yourself. You may just end up proving all the haters wrong!
14 Charlie’s Angels
It helps that this movie stars three of the most bada$$ actresses in the biz: Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook, Lucy Liu as Alex Munday, and Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders. Based on a TV series from the 70s, this movie features three female private investigators who work under the mysterious Charlie, who only talks to them via a speaker. None of the ladies know who he actually is! Charlie sends the girls on a mission to find Eric Knox, head of Knox Enterprises. They believe Knox has been kidnapped by Robert Corwin, his business rival. The only other lead they have is a guy they dub Creepy Thin Man who was spotted on security footage during Knox’s kidnapping. Not everything is as it seems, however, as the girls fight for their lives and are relentlessly pursued. The girls use their brawn and brains to save the day. They’re like female superheroes!
13 Bend it Like Beckham
Jesminder, aka Jess, comes from a strict family of Punjabi Sikhs. Because of cultural issues and the fact that she's a girl, her parents refuse to let her play soccer, referred to as “football” as this takes place in London. The problem? Jess loves football, and after being befriended by a girl named Jules who persuades her to join her football team, Jess is torn between her family’s traditions and her passion for the sport. The friendship between Jess and Jules is air-tight, although unfortunately, a boy does come between them briefly. Jess is not allowed to date, either, a huge problem when she falls for Joe, her coach. Eventually, Jess finds a way to have her best friend, her family, her football, and the guy! This movie will resonate with not only sports-lovers but anyone who's ever had to go against the grain to pursue what they truly love.
12 The First Wives Club
Based on a novel, at its core this dark comedy has a girl power message. Annie, Brenda, and Elise reunite at their college friend Cynthia's funeral. Something these ladies have in common? Their husbands all left them for younger women. The three girls form “The First Wives Club” and plan revenge on the men who hurt them. Aided by Annie’s daughter Chris, who is angry on her mother’s behalf, things don’t always go according to their original plans. Their friendship is almost torn apart once again by their anger, so they then decide to use their emotions for something constructive and positive instead of losing their important bonds with each other. This movie shows the importance of sisterhood, doing the right thing, and rising above. It also stars queens Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler. This movie was so successful, it was turned into a musical!
11 Ever After
This charming romance stars Drew Barrymore turns the story of Cinderella on its head. We learn about Danielle, the real “Cinderella”, whose dad marries Rodmilla de Ghent. She has two daughters of her own, Marguerite and Jacqueline. Danielle’s father dies then, leaving her with a bitter stepmother. Sound familiar? Well, we bet you don’t remember Cinderella punching her stepsister in the face as Danielle does in this movie! She also fights off a creep at the end. Danielle is a strong character whose romance is almost secondary to her goal of freeing kind servant Maurice. She also shows pity on those who mistreated her and has a happily ever after, just like the Cinderella story we all know and love.
Who says you’re too old for an animated movie? Mulan is a Disney movie based on a real Chinese legend of a girl who fought for her family. This story takes place during the Han Dynasty. A man from each family will be drafted for a fight. Mulan’s elderly father is the only male in the family, and she fears for his life after he's forced to join the battle. Mulan, who struggles to fit into her culture's feminine expectations, chops her hair off and poses as a boy to fight in place of her father. Things get a little complicated as she attempts to hide her major secret while also starting to develop feelings for fellow soldier Li Shang. Of course, this is an animated Disney movie, so there are some epic songs thrown in. There’s also lots of laughs thrown in from Mulan’s dragon companion, Mushu.
9 Fried Green Tomatoes
This story moves between the 1980s and the time between World War I and World War II as Ninny, a woman in a nursing home, tells a story to depressed housewife Evelyn. Ninny talks about a woman named Idgie Threadgood who becomes a recluse after her older brother Bobby is tragically killed. Bobby’s ex-girlfriend, Ruth, gets Idgie to come out of her shell a little before marrying a man named Frank. When Idgie discovers Frank is abusive, he helps a pregnant Ruth escape his violence. They then open a café together, and all is well… until Frank wants Ruth and his child back. This story emphasizes female friendships both in the 80s and in Ninny’s story. As Ninny and Evelyn become closer and closer, they almost resemble the tight friendship between Idgie and Ruth. Powerful female friendships are great to see in movies, and both friendships come together in unexpected ways.
8 Spice World
Okay, so this movie is definitely a little surreal. But it’s the Spice Girls! They're basically the actual definition of girl power! It’s even one of their catchphrases. Spice World stars the real-life singing group as they tour London, run from paparazzi, and support their pregnant friend, Nicola. Oh, and they almost get abducted by aliens at one point. Good thing the aliens were fans! Okay, so it’s a little campy, but not only does everyone say “girl power” about a million times in the film but it's the theme since the girls pull out all the stops for Nicola and each other. Even though they have a concert, they refuse to leave Nicola’s side when she is in labor, pissing their manager Clifford off. As much as they love to perform, their loyalty to their friend is more important. If you are ever up for watching something funny and fun, definitely take a trip down memory lane and check this one out again.
7 A League Of Their Own
Based on a true story, this movie is about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Set in the 1940s, World War II is affecting the future of baseball. To remedy this, Walter Harvey, owner of the Cubs, decides to invest in an all-girl baseball team which ends up being called the Rockford Peaches. Of course, things aren't exactly that simple. Their manager, Jimmy Dugan, doesn’t take the girls seriously at first. But when Dottie is photographed catching a ball while doing a split, things change. Dottie and her sister, Kit, have a minor rivalry after being put on opposing teams, but they are ultimately supportive and happy for each other by the end. This movie shows girls working together to do something that only men had done up until that point.
6 Miss Congeniality
This one is probably one of your all-time faves. The film stars Sandra Bullock as super tough FBI Special Agent Gracie Hart who is sent undercover to a beauty pageant. Although she's morally against the competition and dreads it at first, Gracie actually makes friends along the way like her coach, Victor and her competitor/Miss Rhode Island, Cheryl. While it’s hilarious to watch tomboy Gracie be taught how to act in a beauty pageant, it’s her rough-and-tumble ways that eventually come in handy. Her self-defense techniques that she teaches to the audience impress the judges, and sure help when she needs to protect her fellow ladies from a potential bomb. This movie not only shows that women can be tough, but that the best thing is when we support each other. Gracie isn’t taken seriously by her co-workers at the beginning of the movie, but boy does that change by the end!
You may be sick of hearing “Let It Go,” but we bet you'll never get sick of this movie! Elsa has ice powers she can’t control and civilians think of her as a monster. Anna knows her sister doesn’t have an icy heart, however, and tries to find her and make things right. Elsa tries to avoid Anna in order to protect her when it turns out her love for Anna may be the solution all along. Another animated Disney feature with notorious songs, this movie is about a queen and princess where their love story isn't the whole point. Actually, the movie's main love story is definitely the bond between sisters Anna and Elsa. Sisters will definitely relate to this, and if you don’t have a sister, maybe you have a best friend you would literally do anything for.
4 A Little Princess
Talk about a massive tearjerker! The movie's main message? That all girls are princesses. The main character, Sara Crewe, is super close with her dad since her mom passed away when she was a kid. He decides to fight in the arm and send her to boarding school. Of course, it's the worst boarding school ever, and headmistress Miss Minchin is super happy to get the money. She hears that he died and sends Sara to live in the attic with the school's servant, Becky. Sara realizes that Becky is the nicest girl there and that's what makes her a princess, not lavish luxuries that Sara is used to.. Becky and Sara become close friends and despite being mistreated, Sara helps Becky to play pretend and convince her of her true royalty.
3 Whip It
Roller derby is pretty violent and injury-inducing... and main character Bliss wants to join a team. This movie has an awesome girl power message because not only do the girls work together and have fun, but Bliss's personal life is affected for the better, too. When her mom wants her to be in a pageant that's at the same time as her roller derby game, Bliss stands up to her parents. She also takes control of her love life and won't allow any guy to treat her badly, which is always a great message to see. The movie stars Ellen Page, who is a super talented and feminist actress as well.
2 10 Things I Hate About You
Sisters Bianca and Kat are super different: Bianca is social and outgoing and Kat seems to hate pretty much everyone and everything. Their overprotective father doesn’t want them dating and thinks he’s found a way to stop that by telling Bianca she can’t date unless Kat dates. Bianca ends up orchestrating a plan where Kat gives into a guy, Patrick, who is secretly being paid to date her. This movie's main characters says she's a feminist, so it obviously makes the list! Kat doesn’t care what anyone thinks, which is admirable, but she also allows herself to be vulnerable and finds love in the process. There’s also a pretty awesome scene where Bianca beats an infamous shallow guy up. So satisfying!
Maybe it's an obvious choice, but even so, but this movie screams girl power! It's based on the true story of women having to fight for their right to vote in Britain. The main character, Maud, joins the movement thanks to her friend and coworker Violet. Being a suffragette is dangerous --- Maud is continuously jailed and beaten, and her husband even kicks her out and stops her from seeing her son. But Maud keeps fighting for what is right. It’s scary but empowering to think that women weren't automatically given the right to vote, and the movie features the real abuse that actually happened to the poor Suffragettes. But they didn’t give up, and neither does Maud in this movie.