Movies with Strong Female Characters

Let's hear a round of applause for these empowering leading ladies! From memorable fictional characters like Elsa, Hermione, and Katniss to real-life heroes like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Misty Copeland, and Bethany Hamilton, brave, spirited girls and women are getting the spotlight they deserve. Make sure to talk to both girls and boys about how women are portrayed in the media and what kinds of stereotypes they see. These discussions can counteract harmful messages kids get about body image, sexuality, and role models. For even more media picks with strong female characters, check out these books, games, and TV shows.

Browse Movies with Strong Female Characters

Angelina Ballerina: Dreams Do Come True Movie Poster Image
Sweet tale celebrates friends, family, positive messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story Movie Poster Image
Inspirational animated tale of famous black ballerina soars.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Frozen Movie Poster Image
Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Poster Image
A mystical, positive take on girl's coming of age.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1990)
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Lilo and Stitch Movie Poster Image
Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Mulan Movie Poster Image
Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Poster Image
Beautifully animated fantasy about friendship fit for all.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Tangled Movie Poster Image
Fantastic princess adventure is fun, with great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Finding Dory Movie Poster Image
Delightful sequel promotes teamwork; some sadness, scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Inside Out Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Mary Poppins Returns Movie Poster Image
Blunt is a delight in sweet, nostalgic, toe-tapping sequel.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Moana Movie Poster Image
Great characters, memorable music, some monsters/scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Pollyanna Movie Poster Image
Wonderful family film with excellent messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1960)
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The Powerpuff Girls Movie Movie Poster Image
Funny, exciting, and involving.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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The Princess and the Frog Movie Poster Image
First African-American Disney princess is a good role model.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Adventures of Ociee Nash Movie Poster Image
Tale of 19th-century girl power will inspire modern kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky Movie Poster Image
Sweet American Girl story about finding your voice.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Anne of Green Gables Movie Poster Image
Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Book of Life Movie Poster Image
Beautifully animated film has some scary imagery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Movie Poster Image
First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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The Incredibles Movie Poster Image
Top-notch, action-packed fun for the entire family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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A Little Princess Movie Poster Image
Wonderful adaptation of classic book; some scary moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1995)
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Nim's Island Movie Poster Image
Book-based tropical adventure is good family fun.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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Pippi Longstocking: Pippi in the South Seas Movie Poster Image
Kitschy '70s Pippi is kid adventure-fantasy at its best.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Radio Rebel Movie Poster Image
Sweet story celebrates self-expression and conquering fears.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs Movie Poster Image
Fun-packed fairy tale parody challenges stereotypes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Upside-Down Magic Movie Poster Image
Confident female lead stands out in book series adaptation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Akeelah and the Bee Movie Poster Image
Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Aladdin Movie Poster Image
Live-action remake has charming stars, intense moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Ballet Shoes Movie Poster Image
Sisters learn value of love, work, and sacrifice.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Beauty and the Beast Movie Poster Image
Fantastic but scarier remake of the "tale as old as time."
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Because of Winn-Dixie Movie Poster Image
A girl and a dog educate a small southern town.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable Movie Poster Image
Inspirational docu has themes of perseverance, gratitude.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Brave Movie Poster Image
Mother-daughter princess tale has some very scary scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Descendants Movie Poster Image
Energetic Disney movie's villains make likable role models.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Dr. Dolittle 3 Movie Poster Image
Positive messages throughout tween-friendly animal comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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The Eagle Huntress Movie Poster Image
Inspiring documentary about barrier-breaking teen girl.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Fly Away Home Movie Poster Image
Thrilling, touching adventure for animal lovers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Howl's Moving Castle Movie Poster Image
Charming Miyazaki fairy tale with surreal villains.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Jane Movie Poster Image
Engaging Goodall docu has a little violence, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Long Way North Movie Poster Image
Thrilling tale about a girl's search for her grandfather.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Secret Garden Movie Poster Image
'90s adaptation of classic book has some heavy themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Spellbound Movie Poster Image
Families should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s film.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken Movie Poster Image
Girl-and-her-horse story with some peril might inspire kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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The Wiz Movie Poster Image
Jazzy, family-friendly musical remake of classic film.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1978)
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Zootopia Movie Poster Image
Charming buddy-animal story promotes tolerance, teamwork.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Anne Frank Remembered Movie Poster Image
Powerful look at the Holocaust through teen eyes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1995)
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April and the Extraordinary World Movie Poster Image
French steampunk tale for kids mixes science, adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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A Ballerina's Tale Movie Poster Image
Engrossing dance docu introduces powerful role model.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Becoming Movie Poster Image
Enlightening journey with Michelle Obama on her book tour.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Bridge to Terabithia Movie Poster Image
Beautiful lesson in friendship for young and old.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Coraline Movie Poster Image
Cool but creepy animated fantasy too scary for young kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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From up on Poppy Hill Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, romantic coming-of-age tale about '60s teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Journey of Natty Gann Movie Poster Image
Compelling adventure too violent for some kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Lindsey Vonn: In the Moment Movie Poster Image
Inspiring sports docu with great role model; one F word.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Spirited Away Movie Poster Image
Magnificent movie with scary creatures and a strong heroine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Wadjda Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, nuanced tale of an independent Saudi girl.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Captain Marvel Movie Poster Image
Powerful female superhero story has some violence, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Hidden Figures Movie Poster Image
Inspiring true story of African-American women at NASA.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Ladies First Movie Poster Image
Inspiring but cautionary docu about woman archer from India.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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A League of Their Own Movie Poster Image
Terrific story of women's baseball has great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1992)
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Little Women (2019) Movie Poster Image
Poignant, beautifully made take on beloved sisterhood tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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The Miracle Worker Movie Poster Image
Outstanding movie based on life of Helen Keller.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1962)
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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Movie Poster Image
Sparkling book adaptation has great characters, some scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Movie Poster Image
Beautiful anime with eco message and an amazing heroine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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RBG Movie Poster Image
RBG
Inspiring, entertaining docu about an American icon.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Ride Like a Girl Movie Poster Image
Woman gallops through boundaries in inspiring sports drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens Movie Poster Image
Epic Star Wars sequel delivers great performances, action.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Summerland Movie Poster Image
Moving, relatable WWII drama about grief and lost love.
In Theaters Now
(Release Year: 2020)
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Troop Zero Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming, funny underdog story has cursing, potty humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Arrival Movie Poster Image
Great, deeply thoughtful, compassionate sci-fi tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Betty & Coretta Movie Poster Image
Moving tribute to two civil rights widows' legacies.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Little Women Movie Poster Image
Lovely Alcott adaptation tugs at the heartstrings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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Liyana Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, unique film tells two stories of perseverance.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Maiden Movie Poster Image
Poignant, thrilling tale of groundbreaking female sailors.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Poster Image
Epic but violent adventure offers diversity, role models.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Saint Judy Movie Poster Image
Emotionally powerful biopic about crusading attorney.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Speed Sisters Movie Poster Image
Spirited docu follows Middle Eastern female racing team.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Whale Rider Movie Poster Image
Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Black Panther Movie Poster Image
Masterful Marvel film has depth, diversity -- and violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Girl Rising Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu explains why all girls need an education.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Harriet Movie Poster Image
Tubman biopic includes realistic violence, racial slurs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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He Named Me Malala Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, deeply affecting docu explores teen icon's life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Legally Blonde Movie Poster Image
Fun romp has some sexual references and salty language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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Loving Movie Poster Image
Moving drama about interracial couple's historic fight.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Proxima Movie Poster Image
Understated space drama has inspiring female lead, nudity.
In Theaters Now
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Movie Poster Image
Sensitive portrayal of four girls' friendships.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Steel Magnolias Movie Poster Image
Three-hanky special, but with lots of laughs, too.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Wonder Woman Movie Poster Image
Engaging, entertaining, empowering superhero adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Always Be My Maybe Movie Poster Image
Upbeat romcom has some swearing, sex, drugs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power Movie Poster Image
Riveting docu may inspire discussion of sexual harassment.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Bend It Like Beckham Movie Poster Image
Superb tale of a girl's struggle for her dreams.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Crazy Rich Asians Movie Poster Image
Messages, role models stand out in culture-clash romcom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Dreamgirls Movie Poster Image
Broadway + Beyoncé = big, boomy musical fun.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Dumplin' Movie Poster Image
Funny, romantic, insightful teen tale has a little swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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The Half of It Movie Poster Image
Touching, smart teen story deals with sexuality; drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Hate U Give Movie Poster Image
Powerful, thought-provoking drama about race, activism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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The High Note Movie Poster Image
Female-centric music dramedy strikes an entertaining chord.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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(In)Visible Portraits Movie Poster Image
Black women explore, challenge life-shaping ideas.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Maidentrip Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu about teen sailor; some brief profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Mamma Mia! Movie Poster Image
Upbeat, silly ABBA musical has sexual innuendos.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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Norma Rae Movie Poster Image
Inspiring pro-union story is good watch-together fare.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1979)
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Poms Movie Poster Image
Cheers for saucy comedy with multigenerational appeal.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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A Secret Love Movie Poster Image
Docu about women forced to hide relationship for 70 years.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Sierra Burgess Is a Loser Movie Poster Image
Engaging teen romcom has underage drinking, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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This Changes Everything (2018) Movie Poster Image
Compelling, entertaining docu about women in film and TV.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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To All the Boys I've Loved Before Movie Poster Image
Book-based teen romcom has some language, racy talk.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Movie Poster Image
Docu about legendary author has some violent imagery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Beasts of the Southern Wild Movie Poster Image
Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Color Purple Movie Poster Image
Powerful tale of survival with wrenching scenes of abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Gravity Movie Poster Image
Intense, astonishing sci-fi thriller has real soul.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Hunger Games Movie Poster Image
Intense adaptation is violent, thought-provoking for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Late Night Movie Poster Image
Light tone, deep messages in female-centric comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Miss Juneteenth Movie Poster Image
Courage, humility, empathy in mother-daughter drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Ophelia Movie Poster Image
Hamlet gets a feminist update, but violence stays the same.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Real Women Have Curves Movie Poster Image
Smart coming-of-age drama addresses body image.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Temple Grandin Movie Poster Image
Riveting true story of a young autistic woman's journey.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Underwater Movie Poster Image
Kristen Stewart sci-fi survival thriller has scares, swears.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Alien Movie Poster Image
Dated but still extremely scary. Not for younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1979)
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Black and Blue Movie Poster Image
Strong, ethical heroine elevates violent bad-cop actioner.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Easy A Movie Poster Image
Teen Scarlet Letter update is smart but risque.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Erin Brockovich Movie Poster Image
Legal drama based on a true story has lots of cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Judy & Punch Movie Poster Image
Violent tale with themes of addiction and domestic abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Poster Image
Beautiful French drama about female lovers has nudity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Terminator Movie Poster Image
Terrific sci-fi action, but too violent for some.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Booksmart Movie Poster Image
Superb, smart teen comedy has drinking, strong sex talk.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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A Fantastic Woman Movie Poster Image
Powerful story of trans woman's grief; language, sex, nudity
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Poster Image
Postapocalyptic action is excellent but extremely violent.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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The Old Guard Movie Poster Image
Smart female-led action saga has heart; violence, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Our Song Movie Poster Image
Honest, positive look at urban teens; mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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Selah and the Spades Movie Poster Image
Edgy, drug-filled look at dark side of upscale prep school.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Thelma and Louise Movie Poster Image
Now-classic feminist road movie best for very mature teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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