With the release of “Captain Marvel,” we looked back at 27 other badass female characters in film.
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron)
Film: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Although the film shares a name with Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is really Imperator Furiosa’s story. Throughout her journey to free five wives of Immortan Joe, she proves she has no equal when it comes to driving or shooting — two excellent qualities in their apocalyptic world.
Village Roadshow Pictures
Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh)
Film: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
Perhaps the character with the greatest fight scenes on this list, the Yu Shu Lien martial arts scenes throughout Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” were highly lauded.
Sony Pictures Classics
The Bride (Uma Thurman)
Film: “Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2”
After her groom and wedding party are killed by her ex-lover, Uma Thurman’s Bride goes on a revenge-fueled murder spree. How does someone described as “the deadliest woman in the world” not make the list?
Shuri (Letitia Wright)
Film: “Black Panther”
The princess of Wakanda is basically the brains of this insanely high-tech wonderland. Shuri helped create most of the technology that powers the vibranium-rich world ruled by her older brother T’Challa (aka the Black Panther). And she’s no slouch in a fight either, known for her panther-headed gauntlets Shuri kicked butt in “Black Panther.”
Courtesy of Marvel
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)
Film: “Alien” Franchise
Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley remains one of the most iconic women in film to date. Ripley was the only survivor of the xenomorph attack on the Nostromo and became even more of a bada** in the sequel “Aliens.”
20th Century Fox
Eowyn (Miranda Otto)
Film: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Eowyn, a noblewoman of Rohan with dreams of being a warrior, gets her wish in the final “Lord of the Rings” film when she participates in the Battle of Pelennor Fields. More than fight, Eowyn slays the Witch-king — who no living man can kill — uttering the famous line “I am no man.”
New Line Cinema
Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)
Film: “Harry Potter” Franchise
Perhaps the smartest student enrolled at Hogwarts, without Hermione’s help Harry would never have been where he needed to be to stop Voldemort.
Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz)
“Kick-Ass'” Hit-Girl, aka Mindy McCreedy was a strong, smart, and well trained hero. Kick-Ass himself may have bumbled himself to a few victories, but Hit-Girl did most of the heavy-lifting.
Domino (Zazie Beetz)
Film: “Deadpool 2”
This member of the X-Force is more than just “lucky,” she can ride, shoot, skydive and flip and kick higher, stronger and faster than most of her co-stars.
J Lederer/20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)
Film: “The Hunger Games” franchise
Originally offering herself up in place of her sister for the annual Hunger Games, Katniss — the archer from District 12 — survived multiple games and became the spark of rebellion through the Districts against President Snow.
Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)
Film: “Star Wars” franchise
Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa exemplifies moxy, and from the second she’s broken out of her prison aboard the Death Star she’s calling the shots. She eventually goes on to lead the Rebellion against the Empire and later becomes a General in the Resistance against the First Order.
X-23 (Dafne Keen)
Newcomer Dafne Keen plays Lara/X-23, a clone of Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine. Like her “father,” she possesses adamantium claws (and toes) and a killer fighting instinct.
Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie)
Film: “Tomb Raider” franchise
Angelina Jolie brought the globetrotting treasure hunter to life in the big screen adaptations of the videogame “Tomb Raider.”
Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez)
Film: “Fast and Furious” franchise
In the testosteron-fueled world of the “Fast and Furious,” Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz stands at the top of the franchise’s most bada** characters. Since the beginning of the series — as a mechanic and thief on Dom’s squad — she has battled everything from international criminals to dibilitating amnesia to prove she’s one of the squad’s best.
Leeloo (Milla Jovovich)
Film: “The Fifth Element”
Milla Jovovich’s breakout role was playing a young woman who is secretly the most powerful weapon in the universe.
Mulan (Ming-Na Wen)
Refusing to sit on the sidelines in the war against the Huns, Mulan joins the army (disguised as a man) and quickly proves herself to be the creme of the crop.
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson)
Scarlett Johansson portrays Lucy, a young woman who unlocks the full potential of the human brain, granting her incredible intellectual and physical abilities.
Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton)
Film: “The Terminator” film franchise
After learning of Judgment Day — where machines unleash a nuclear holocaust on the human populace — Sarah Conner becomes a warrior woman on a mission: to protect her son John Conner and prevent Judgment Day from ever happening.
Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara)
Film: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Played by two separate actors (Noomi Rapace in the Danish version of the film and Rooney Mara in the American version), Lisbeth Salander is a hacker-turned-crime fighter who quickly proves she’s the wrong person to mess with.
Merida (Kelly Macdonald)
Headstrong and free-spirited, Merida would rather hone her archery and sword skills than live the life of a princess.
Alice (Milla Jovovich)
Film: “Resident Evil” franchise
Throughout the six-film “Resident Evil” series, Milla Jovovich’s Alice has become a recognizable action hero as she’s blasted her way through waves of the undead in her mission to take down the Umbrella Corp.
Courtesy of Screen Gems
Selene (Kate Beckinsale)
Film: “Underworld” franchise
Appearing in every “Underworld” film but one, Kate Beckinsale’s Selene has become a recognizable action hero as one of the greatest warriors in the fight between vampires and werewolves.
Storm (Halle Berry)
Film: “X-Men” franchise
One of the staples of the X-Men, the weather-controlling mutant has served as the team’s leader and mentor to the younger members.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
Film: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Black Widow has appeared in many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films through the years, beginning with “Iron Man 2” and most recently in “Captain America: Civil War” — and it takes a certain kind of bada** to stand against gods and monsters with nothing but guns and gadgets.
Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss)
Film: “The Matrix” franchise
Trinity served as first-mate to Morpheus on the Nebuchadnezzar and worked to help him free people from the Matrix. On top of that she’s a skilled computer hacker and programmer who also quite successfully dabbles in martial arts.
Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron)
Film: “Aeon Flux”
Charlize Theron dyed her blonde hair to play the title character, a warrior in a post-apocalyptic 25th Century. The film was based upon the MTV cartoon series of the same name.