In The Kitchen, which opens Aug. 9, Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish star as a trio of wives whose husbands are members of the Irish mafia in late '70s New York City. When the three men are put away in jail, the women they left struggle to survive with the meager allowance the mob provides them, eventually starting their own ring. And I don't know about you, but any movie where women take action — either teaming up or going it alone— is my kind of movie. Fortunately, there are a number of films streaming now where women kick butt, take names, and/or set out to save some lives.
Some of these films are heavy on the blood and violence, presiding squarely in the action category, while others are teen classics, sci-fi twisters, and even dark comedies. Whatever the genre, all of these movies feature women who won't lie down and take no for an answer, decide to stick up for themselves, or get even with someone who wronged them. While you're waiting for The Kitchen to hit theaters, give one of these movies a spin. They may just inspire you to stand up for something in your own life.
1. 'Kill Bill: Vol. 1'
Quentin Tarantino's tale of revenge stars Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo. Shot and left for dead by her fellow assassins, Beatrix sets out on a mission to get even with her former colleagues, with the ultimate quest being to murder her former boss and lover, Bill (David Caradine).
Streaming on Showtime Anytime and available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.
2. 'Kill Bill: Vol. 2'
Sorry Quentin, but it's actually two movies. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 the follow-up to Kill Bill: Vol 1, is slower in pace than its predecessor because there's more backstory and some dramatic scene work from the actors. But don't worry, there's still plenty of sword action and martial arts.
Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.
3. 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Charlize Theron stars as Imperator Furiosa in George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road. In a post-apocalyptic dessert landscape, a tyrant named Immortan Joe controls the water and the women. Furiosa sets out to free his brides, played by Zoe Kravtiz, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Courtney Eaton, and Abbey Lee, and in turn rediscovers a commune of independent women and frees an entire society from Joe's grasp. Yeah, she's a badass. Max (Tom Hardy) helps, too, but Furiosa is the real hero here.
Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, and YouTube.
4. 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
Rooney Mara stars as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of the first book in the popular Swedish crime novel series by Stieg Larsson. The reclusive, goth hacker teams up with a reporter (Daniel Craig) to solve a 40-year-old murder, and gets her own bits of revenge in the process.
Streaming on TNT and available to rent on Vudu, Amazon, and iTunes.
5. 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
Frances McDormand won a Oscar for her portrayal of Mildred Hayes, a mother still grieving the rape and murder of her teenage daughter. When the local sheriff's department basically gives up on finding her killer, Mildred rents three billboards to bring attention back to her daughter's case. The comedy is dark here, but Mildred's perseverance and guts are worth cheering.
Streaming on Hulu, available to rent on Vudu, iTunes, and YouTube.
6. 'Thelma And Louise'
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon star in this 1991 ode to the enduring power of female friendship. Thelma and Louise are on what is supposed to be a fun weekend fishing trip when a man they meet at a bar tries to rape Thelma. Louise shoots him to death and the two flee to Mexico. Their time in hiding is dangerous but fun, and the chemistry between the two undeniable.
Streaming on Hulu and Tubi. Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.
Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, and Elizabeth Debicki star as a group of women who must pull together for a heist after some of their men are killed. They're doubted, disrespected, and taken for granted, but through the crime, they step into their own power.
Streaming on HBO Now. Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, and YouTube.
Scarlett Johansson stars in this sci-fi action romp as the victim of a drug trafficking ring whose body absorbs a mystery drug. The drug makes her a genius and physical powerhouse, with psychic abilities that she uses to get even with the trafficking ring that harmed her and advance into a higher plane of existence.
Available to rent on on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.
9. 'The Craft'
This 1996 cult classic was a favorite for goth-leaning '90s girls. A quad of high school witches call the powers of the elements and use their magic against classmate bullies. But in fighting back against their enemies, they play with a level of magic they don't understand. All except for one witch, that is.
Streaming on Crackle and Amazon Prime. Available to rent on Vudu and iTunes.
Jennifer Garner embraces her Alias roots in this tale of motherly revenge. After her character, Riley North, wakes up from a coma to learn her husband and daughter were killed in a brutal attack, she spends years in hiding, training to become an assassin so that she can take her revenge on the gang who murdered her family.
Available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.
11. 'Ex Machina'
Alicia Vikander plays a robot in this heady sci-fi flick from Alex Garland. When a wealthy inventor (Oscar Isaac) brings one of his employees (Domhnall Gleeson) out to an isolated compound to test a new computer, he finds Ava instead. But Ava has a plot of her own, and the men holding her hostage are in for a serious wake-up call about "artificial" intelligence.
Streaming on Netflix. Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.
You probably shouldn't do as most of these heroines do, but they're all still empowering in their own way.