12 Female-Centric Movies Streaming On Netflix That Absolutely Have To See If You Haven't Already
It's a problem as old as time (or, at least, the Internet): So many female-centric movies on Netflix, so little time. If you're anything like me, you're constantly trying to expand your knowledge of movies — old and new — starring, written, or directed by kickass ladies. Fortunately, there's Netflix, which usually boasts a bevy of options that match that criteria. As we all know, however, the films available in the Netflix streaming library are ever-changing, and sometimes, you have to pounce on a movie before it disappears forever. Currently, for instance, there are quite a few absolutely iconic, amazing, must-see movies on Netflix featuring or created by women, and I highly recommend watching them before they disappear.
I define "female-centric" film as one that features some of the most hilarious, insightful, badass, and brilliant female characters of all time. In some cases, the film's brilliance comes from the performances, some of which are forever iconic. In others, it's the direction, the themes, and the artistic statements — as well as the fact that they featured numerous women in lead roles — that make them vitally important to see. Some make important social statements, and some are just worth watching with a bottle of Pinot Grigio for the nostalgia factor.
With that said, here are 12 female-centric movies currently streaming on Netflix that you have to watch immediately if you haven't already seen them. They will make you a better person!
I mean, who are you if you've never seen this movie? Sorry, I don't mean to judge... if you haven't seen it, you still have time to fix that. Just, you know, FIX IT NOW.
Easily one of the campiest '80s comedies ever created, Soapdish is about the behind-the-scenes antics of a fictional soap opera. Sally Field, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cathy Moriarty offer some of the funniest performances of their career, and the script's outlandish melodrama makes for a hilariously goofy satire.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
I've had numerous friends become extremely upset with me when I've made them watch this movie. It's partially because they don't understand my obsession with '80s star Debra Winger, but mainly because they weren't prepared to feel so many deep emotions about fictional characters. Centered on the relationship between an overbearing mother and her strong-willed daughter, some of the most tearjerking scenes feel a little cliché today — but the acting is so good that it completely makes up for it. In fact, it won the Academy Awards for Best Lead Actor and Actress, as well as Best Picture and Best Director.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985)
It's an '80s dance movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, and Shannon Doherty. In it, Parker and Hunt play two catholic school girls who compete to be a dancer on a local TV show, and it's named after a Cyndi Lauper song. What could one possibly not love about that?
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Aging silent film actress Gloria Swanson played aging silent film actress Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at a time when "aging film actress" meant that you were yesterday's garbage. In a wonderfully meta twist, Swanson won the Oscar for her eerie, hilarious, campy performanc — and the film itself is still remembered as one of the greatest American movies ever made.
Olympia Dukakis and Cher are in this movie, and they both won Academy Awards for it. What else do I need to say?
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
Like Kathy Bates' character Evelyn, you too will be forever changed by the story of Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison. If this tale of friendship and female bonding doesn't reach into the depths of your soul, then I truly feel sorry for you.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Kate Winslet's first movie, Heavenly Creatures, was written and directed by Lord of the Rings guru Peter Jackson, and it's a doozy. Based on the true story of two New Zealand teenagers who murder one of the girls' mothers, both Winslet and co-star Melanie Lynskey are chillingly brilliant, and it's one of Jackson's best movies.
The Babadook (2014)
I may cry at the drop of a hat when watching a drama or Pixar movie, but rarely am I genuinely scared by a film. The Babadook, however, successfully scared the bejeezus out of me, to the point that I was mildly upset for about a week after (it also made me cry, but I just expect that from every movie at this point). This instant cult classic was the first film for Australian director Jennifer Kent, and it's probably my favorite horror movie from the past five years. As far as I'm concerned, Essie Davis deserved all the Oscars for her performance.
All About Eve (1950)
At this point, it is ragingly clear that I am a gay, gay man (if the Debra Winger obsession didn't already tip you off). Regardless, I stand by the opinion that this is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It's a compelling story, detailed and well-crafted script, and the performances are some of the most well-remembered in cinema — particularly Bette Davis.
Teen Witch (1989)
If you're between the ages of 24 and 37, then this is bound to appeal to your nostalgic sensibilities. Not only does it feature one of the most ridiculous rap battles committed to film in the history of cinema (see above), but it's also the greatest movie about a teen witch made in 1989. It pairs well with wine.