13 Movies About Women Spies, From ‘Atomic Blonde’ To ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’

by Lia Beck
Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz in 'Charlie's Angels'
Columbia Pictures

With a new era of Charlie's Angels upon us, lady spies who are well-dressed and impeccably well-trained are back in the pop culture spotlight. Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, and Kirsten Stewart form the new team, with writer/director Elizabeth Banks as one of (yes, one of) their Bosleys. And while the new Angels flick doesn't hit theaters until Nov. 15, there are a lot of other fun movies about women spies streaming now.

Frankly, though, there aren't enough. Despite how much fun it is to watch women do espionage, of list of 13 films below, three of the movies are from the same franchise and a few of them are centered around a man, but prominently feature a woman spy. Come on, Hollywood. Give us some more lady spy movies with lady spies actually in the lead role!

For now, the movies below will have to do. And at least there is some variety amongst them. Some are dark. Some are comedic. Some are old and some are new. Some feature one of the most famous Hollywood couples of all time falling in love while trying to kill each other. (OK, only one of the movies features exactly that, but, you know.)


'Atomic Blonde'

We start off with one of the darkest and most violent movies on the list, Atomic Blonde. The 2017 film is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, and stars Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent working in Berlin during the Cold War.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Charlie's Angels' (2000)

On a much lighter note, there's the Charlie's Angels film adaptation from 2000 starring Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore as a group of Angels who rock a lot of costumes, and, possibly, even more hair flips.

Streaming on Netflix. For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Charlies Angels: Full Throttle'

Of course, there's also the 2003 Charlie's Angels sequel. More costumes changes! More explosions! More sexual innuendoes! A 100% increase in the amount of Bernie Mac!

Streaming on Netflix. For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Charlie's Angels' (2019)

OK, yes, there is a third Charlie's Angels movie on this list. But, hey, women spy movies are few and far between, so sequels it is. The latest installment hits theaters this month and shows how the Townsend agency has expanded internationally since the '00s.

In theaters November 15.


'Get Smart'

Like Charlie's Angels, Get Smart is based on a classic TV show — the spy comedy that aired from 1965 to 1970. The film is based around Steve Carell's character, Maxwell Smart, but Anne Hathaway also stars as his sometimes partner, Agent 99.

Streaming on Netflix. For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation'

Of course, the Mission: Impossible movie franchise is centered on Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). But, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation introduces Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), an MI6 agent who more than holds her own when it comes to him and his globe-trotting adventures.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Mission: Impossible — Fallout'

Unlike some Mission: Impossible women of previous movies who had been more disposable, Ilsa's storyline actually continued, bringing her into 2018's Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

Streaming on Hulu. For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are assassins, not spies exactly, but there's some spying elements to their jobs... at least before they find out that they've been ordered to kill each other. Anyway, if you are looking for a spy movie, this definitely has a similar vibe.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'North By Northwest'

Cary Grant running from a crop duster is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, but Eva Marie Saint's character, Eve Kendall, means that this film totally counts as one about a woman spy.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'Red Sparrow'

Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian woman who becomes a spy — or, "sparrow" — meant to retrieve information from a CIA agent using seduction.

Streaming on HBO Now and HBO Go. For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.



In Salt, Angelina Jolie plays a spy... or does she? Really, whether she's a spy or not is the question that fuels the entire plot.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.



Spy stars Melissa McCarthy as an CIA employee who goes from assisting a spy played by Jude Law to actually going into the field herself. She desn't totally have all those classic spy moves (like, sliding over a car hood) down — but she's somehow still capable of saving the world.

For rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.


'The Spy Who Dumped Me'

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are besties in The Spy Who Dumped Me, in which a breakup leads to an international misadventure involving double-crosses, car chases, and a USB drive hidden in a pretty unusual place.

Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Enjoy your spy movie viewing, and please, don't try any of their moves at home. Well, other than the Charlie's Angels dance moves. Those are acceptable.