Sometimes you feel a bit powerless, and not just in a couldn't-get-a-coffee-before-my-shift kind of way. The world is collapsing on you, and it would be great to capture some inspiration and/or catharsis without leaving your couch. Though there can always be more (hint, hint, Hollywood), there are plenty of iconic movie heroines out there for you during these especially draining moments, and, likewise, plenty of movies about badass women to stir you into action.
Now, when I say "action," I don't necessarily mean they're all exist in action movies — although that's certain a part of the package I'm about to present you. They could be cutting down ninjas, slaying vampires, or just blasting stormtroopers left and right, and, yes, that's all very inspiring. But sometimes action comes in different forms, like via athletics or crime. Hell, as escapism through movies will show, sometimes action is even in the coping mechanisms we use to claw out of the prison of our own mind. Or literal imprisonment. I guess either/or.
Not really sure where to start? Not really sure what I mean? It's OK. Next time you're feeling weak, flip on one of these films about seriously hardcore babes kicking ass, taking names, and spurring us all to be tougher.
Just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's not a good place to start. The Bride is a one-woman katana-wielding revenge parade, and she battles plenty of equally formidable females before she reaches her final destination.
2'Star Wars IV: A New Hope'
Although Leia across the franchise makes for a fierce damsel (who stands her ground and tries to claw her way out of distress), the first Star Wars film to be released is truly Carrie Fisher at her most feisty.
3'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Now that the actual series is off Netflix (but on Hulu if you're desperate), it could be a fun time to revisit Dry Run Buffy, the goofier yet still very Chosen savior of us all.
A lot of the action is all a stylish retreat from the very grim reality Babydoll is stuck in, but it is very fun to watch.
Roller Derby is kind of like riot grrrl equivalent of sports, so, yeah, this is worth a watch if you're have a bit of an edge. Or a lot of an edge.
6'Bring It On'
On the other end of things, cheerleading is actually incredibly physically demanding, as Torrance and her girls show us — as well as the Clovers, who are busy inventing those moves. It's a weirdly multilayered feminist flick, and it's highly enjoyable along the way.
I mean the C.I.A. stuff is fun, but really I'm just in this for Sandra Bullock in her weird German Ocktoberfest costume.
8'Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'
Just to change things up, if you're getting curious and want one vintage exploitation film to change your life, find this and take a ride with Tura Satana's Varla and her girls.
9'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider'
I'm still looking forward to seeing a slightly more fleshed out Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider origin story, and yet Angelina Jolie's turn as the iconic character is still captivating.
A hilarious, ass-kicking trifecta. What more do you need?
This would just be a whole bunch of Black Widows spinning webs in jail if it wasn't for all that jazz (i.e. the dancing and lots of high kicks).
12'Terminator 2: Judgement Day'
Just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's not a good place to end. A seriously hardened Sarah Connor pops up as the mother of all badasses, and that's pretty impressive considering all killer robots surrounding her (good, bad, and otherwise).
So, next time you need some fierce inspo for your every day life, turn on one of these films and escape into the lives of one of these women. They are nothing if not amazing.