We love powerful female characters in movies. They give us someone to look up to, someone to depend on and someone to distract us and carry us through the more difficult parts of life. We can’t be strong all the time, we all have our wobbles, but whenever you’re feeling down, you can always stop, reassess the situation and put on a good movie to switch focus and get inspired. So here are a couple of truly powerful female movie characters you can turn to in times of need.
1. Hermione Granger
Some might see her as a bossy know-it-all from Harry Potter, but we know that she’s a powerful, smart and resourceful girl who knows that knowledge is power. She knows when following rules is best but also isn’t afraid to break them when it’s the right thing to do. She came from a family of muggles and became one of the most powerful witches of her generation. Without her, Harry and Ron would be lost. It might be a fantasy world of wizardry we’re talking about but her story is very much real and feels relatable for so many women.
2. Ellen Ripley
Alien might be a weird movie choice when looking for inspiration but you can’t deny the fact that Ellen Ripley is a legendary character. She’s not only physically strong, she’s a woman on a mission to survive and she will do whatever it takes to do so. She’s not looking for anyone’s approval and she doesn’t care what you think, she’s in her own world, dealing with her own problems at hand in her own way and that’s great.
3. Jo March
Little Women is a classic for many reasons. We love a movie centered around women. In fact, we think every single character in this movie is powerful in their own way. It’s a great way to show that there’s no right or wrong way to be a woman, everyone has their own goals and their own path to follow and all of them are valid. But we do love Jo March and her uncrushable spirit of freedom, adventure and determination to do what’s right for her.
4. Cheryl Strayed
If you haven’t seen Wild you definitely should. Charyl Strayed is a character that’s based on a real person and her story is absolutely incredible. It shows that even when you feel like your life is falling apart and there’s no way out – you can always just shift paths and find your strengths in ways you didn’t expect you could.
5. Kat Stratford
10 Things I Hate About You is often dismissed as a rom-com but it’s so much more than that. Kat is such a great character, full of wit, determination and her own views of the world. She’s a feminist to her core and while she might appear rude at times, she’s the kindest person with the biggest heart. And it’s powerful to see a young girl be so unapologetically herself.
6. Katherine Johnson
Hidden Figures is a masterpiece and Katherine Johnson is a character based on a real person who was a scientist in the 60s and managed to succeed in an environment dominated by men, all while dealing with immense pressure and criticism not only because of her gender but also because of the color of her skin. You really have to be a powerful woman to be able to navigate the world where everything is set up against you and still come out on top.
7. Clarice Starling
It might not be obvious how Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs was a powerful character but she definitely was. She’s a girl who grew up in an orphanage, went through quite a lot in her childhood and chose to become an FBI trainee, interview a super dangerous criminal who’s a cannibal, in order to try and investigate another horrible killer.
8. Elle Woods
You might chuckle at this choice of character, but Legally Blonde is not just a story of a spoiled blonde who likes everything to be pink and pretty. It’s a story of determination, of proving that just because you don’t look the part, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taken seriously. Elle faced so much ridicule for being traditionally feminine, but she proved that she can do anything she puts her mind to.
9. Elizabeth Bennet
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a work of art that is often seen as just a period drama, but the character of Lizzie is so powerful and inspiring. These days her actions aren’t that surprising, but back in the day, she was a true trailblazer and a rebel who wouldn’t bend to society’s stupid rules.
Mulan chose a difficult path, having to conceal her identity and legitimately go to war, all to save her sick father from having to die on the battlefield. She proved that girls are just as capable even in traditionally male roles and professions. She’s a fearless leader, a skilled warrior and a loving daughter who will do anything for her family. And it’s that kind of 3-dimensional approach to female characters that we love.