These Summer Movies Are Empowering AF

The best part about summer is not, as some might argue, the sunny days, the beach trips, or the long hikes through blossoming green forests. It's ignoring all of that exhausting stuff and going to the movies, where there is air conditioning and sometimes spaceships. And many other moviegoers would agree, which is why summer blockbuster movies are such a thing. People love big budget action movies during this season, but summer offerings can be so much more than that. As a smart young woman, I often look for something a little different. And fortunately, there are plenty of empowering movies coming out in summer 2017.

These films are sometimes cool indie alternatives to the big budget action or comedy, following offbeat characters with big dreams or examining unique relationships among people who aren't always represented in movies. Other times they really are the big, exciting action movies and comedies, but with awesome woman directors, writers, or stars that bring out fresh perspectives in these genres and tell stories in exciting new ways. Regardless, all the movies below have grabbed my attention by standing out from the crowd and celebrating the many different types of experiences that people can have in this world.

'Paris Can Wait' (May 12)

Alright, yes, May 12 is still firmly considered the spring. But I'm making a giant, well-deserved exception in honor of Eleanor Coppola's feature film directorial debut, at the age of 80. If that's not inspiring to women (and generally to creative people everywhere who always feel like they're behind in life), I don't know what is. And on top of Coppola's awesome accomplishment, the plot of Paris Can Wait itself is empowering to boot: Diane Lane's character takes charge of her life and goes on a European adventure, leaving her inattentive husband behind.

'Wonder Woman' (Jun. 2)

June 2 is also, technically, spring. But I mean, tell that to global warming, you know? I think we all know Wonder Woman is going to be a blockbuster all throughout summer, and it's past time to be empowered by incredible Amazonian super hero, Diana Prince; the actor playing her, Gal Gadot; and the director bringing it all to life, Patty Jenkins.

'Rough Night' (Jun. 16)

Ilana Glazer, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, and Kate McKinnon being hilarious and amazing a bachelorette party gone wrong. What's not to love?

'Patti Cake$' (Jul. 7)
Fox Searchlight Pictures

In this winning indie film, standout young actor Danielle MacDonald plays an aspiring rapper in her small, working class town in New Jersey. It's a film celebrating the underdog and embracing the dreams of young girls.

'The Big Sick' (Jul. 14)
Amazon Studios

One of the most exciting movies on my radar for 2017 is The Big Sick, which was written by husband and wife team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon about the challenges they faced as a new couple. It explores cultural divides, illness, and gender dynamics.

'Landline' (Jul. 21)
Amazon Studios

There are few things more empowering than the duo of actor/comedian Jenny Slate and writer/director Gillian Robespierre. They teamed up for the hilarious, empathetic, and super feminist Obvious Child, And now they're back again with Landline, a film set in 1995 about a teenager living with her family in New York who finds out her father is having an affair.

'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' (Jul. 21)

I personally find Cara Delevingne and Rihanna in space to be deeply empowering. Also in the trailer Cara's character punches Dane DeHaan's character in the face. So, yeah.

'Girls Trip' (Jul. 21)

Four lifelong friends take off for a girl's weekend full of hijinks and bonding. This film celebrating the friendship of a group of black women, and highlighting the talented comedic skills of these actors, promises to be an ultra empowering July release.

'Atomic Blonde' (Jul. 28)

Charlize Theron plays a brilliant, powerful, stylish, and (if the red band trailer is any indication) bisexual secret agent in this gritty new action movie. Sign me up ASAP.

'Tulip Fever' (Aug. 25)

I have no idea if this movie ends in tragedy and punishment and sadness, but the premise: a young woman follows her heart and runs away from her horrible marriage with the man she loves, is empowering in my book. Plus Tulip Fever looks super smoldery and sexy.

All these films prove that summer movies can offer some awesome fare far beyond generic stuff like men shooting guns and driving cars.