Top 8 Movie Ass-Kicking Females

This list is by no means comprehensive; after all, I stuck with fictional characters and there are only eight because I got too lazy to sit here and think up a list of ten. But, here is my list of female movie bad asses who I most love:

8. Evelyn Salt of Salt

Angelina-jolie-saltWhile I almost sort-of rebuff Angelina Jolie in the same mode that I did Lady Gaga, the girl can act and I usually am enamored with her kick-ass characters, so I would be remiss if I didn’t have at least one of her characters in here somewhere. Salt is perhaps one of the most complex, so I’ll have to go with her. If you’ve yet to see this movie, it’s a good one. No spoilers from me.



7. Princess Leia – Star Wars
Top10_princess_leiaI’ll be honest: the only Star Wars movies I’ve ever seen in entirety are the one in which Jar-Jar Binks made his first appearance and The Empire Strikes Back. Empire is the first movie I can somewhat recall going to see in the theater with my mom. Given the fact that I was just a few months past age two, it’s a wonder that I can remember anything about it. I remember being awestruck by the hugeness of the screen. I mostly remember just noise and lights, but what is clear in my mind’s eye is the fact that I was entranced with R2-D2 and C-3PO. I vaguely remember my mom buying me little R2-D2 and C-3PO toys at the theater after the movie was over. Then we went out to eat and I kind-of remember walking the little robots up the side of the booth in the restaurant.

Anyway, the only other thing I remember even slightly from that day is Princess Leia. Even when I was a little one, I wasn’t into princesses and sparkle and girly things. I kind-of remember the word “princess” piquing my interest during the movie, and then having a heightened sense of awareness whenever Leia was on screen. I had a sense of confusion because she wasn’t like the fairy tale princesses in my books, who were girly and ribbony and pink. She was something different. And in my memory, I remember pretending to be Princess Leia as I sat there in that booth, playing with my R2-D2 and C-3PO.

6. Tootsie


Yes, I went there. Say something.







5. Trinity – The Matrix Trilogy




If we were last-human-colony-on-Earth-saving, virtual ninja, computer program-agent-assassain-killing bad asses, I would be the Trinity to Frank’s Neo. She might be the most stylish girl hero ever.









4. Miss Sofia – The Color Purple

Sophia The Color Purple is one of my favorite books and movies. Miss Sofia is tough, ballsy, and independent. Fierce. “A girl-child ain’t safe in a family of mens,” is the quote that sums up how she grew to be the no-nonsense, ain’t scared of men or Whitey woman. Sadly, that attitude was no match for Georgia Jim Crow circa 1930, and she found herself improsioned first by walls and then by servitute. She’s a woman who lost her faith, then found it again when she showed a kindness by Celie. She ended triumphantly, once ag ain putting people – especially men – in the places where they belonged: “Miss Sofia BACK! Some thangs ’bout to CHANGE around here!”


3. Miranda Priestly – The Devil Wears Prada

DevilWearsPradaMerylStreep2 If I were ever going to become a stylish mega-bitch with a walled-up ice heart (that was really warm and vulnerable but only like, 0.0025 people ever saw it), I would be her.

Miranda could teach a doctorate level course in Sarcasm:

  • “Details of your incompetence do not interest me.”
  • “By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.
  • Bore someone else with your questions.









2. Ellen Ripley of Aliens

Note that this is the Ellen Ripley of AlienS (Part II). Alien 3 was stupid and while Alien 4 was okay, in that movie Ripley was an alien. Ripley was great in the first movie of the series (Alien), but she was an almost accidental heroine, becoming the lone survivor more on luck than by sheer asskickery. It is Ripley of the second movie who reigns supreme. Driven by protective mom-rage, Ripley goes on the offensive to rescue her adopted quasi-daughter, the orphan Newt. The question of who’s laying all the eggs is finally answered when Ripley, having just found Newt, finds herself face to face with the alien queen, AKA the Baddest Mother of them All. Ripley has stumbled into her next; unhatched eggs are all around. The Queen is flanked by two of her killer drones, and the three are breathing threateningly.Two species – one human and one not – find themselves with something in common: motherhood. This scene is brilliant in its execution. There is no spoken dialogue, but the conversation between Ripley and the Queen is clear:

Ripley: See this thing here I’m holding? It shoots hot ass fire. I’ll torch your eggs if you don’t call back your dogs.
Queen: You’d better not touch my eggs, you ho’!
Ripley: Then call them back, dammit, or I’ll do it.
Queen: Get back, children, get back – this bitch is crazy.
Ripley: I’m glad we have an understanding. Now I’m just going to take my daughter and tiptoe right the hell back out of here.
Queen: $*%&@!&#*youbitchyoubitchyoubitchyoubitch@#*@&*^&*@
 (egg hatches)
Ripley: Well, now you’ve really pissed me off. Fuck you AND all your damned parasitic, facehugging hatchlings! blowtorchmachinegungrenadelaunch
Ripley: And then what? You have to catch me first, you overgrown xenomorph roach.

(If you’re watching along, jump up to about the 5:30 mark in the video) 

That right there is cinema gold, I tell you. Ripley is the shizz.


1. Lt. Jordan O’Neill of G.I. Jane

One day Frank may or may not have found me jumping up and down on the bed while replaying this scene over and over and shouting, “SUCK MY DICK!” Given the context in which it was said, I think this is my favorite kick-ass female movie quote ever. 

She overcame politics, scandal, and gender steroptyping. And she kicked Master Chief Argayle’s ass and then risked her own ass to save his life in battle. What is not to love about O’Neill?


So, who did I miss? Who is on your list of movie lady bad asses?


Yes, today is Memorial Day. Here in this military town, it is Memorial Day every day. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks to a soldier or remember those who’ve perished in America’s name. Today is special because people who forget that soliders are relevant every day finally take the time to remember them. I say this not to debase the meaning of the day, but rather, to remind all to remember every day. Memorial Day is not just the first official barbeque day of summer. Remember always.

*soapbox down* 

3 thoughts on “Top 8 Movie Ass-Kicking Females”

  1. My Top 8
    Sarah Connor Terminator, Judgment Day (Linda Hamilton)
    8. When we’re introduced to her, Sarah Connor is a jaded waitress in a go nowhere town in Los Angeles. An ordinary girl with a hum-drum life and nothing exceptional in it.
    But in one moment of time-traveling-cyborg fury everything changes. At first she’s protected by a hot future-man, Kyle Reese who has loved her forever because she is a legendary soldier and historic figure in his own time. Or at least she will be. When he is killed. And she has their son John Connor. Who is the one who sent Reese to her in the first place. Or something. (Seems like a paradox to me but anyway…)
    Then like an uber-lioness protecting her cub Sarah Connor becomes a fugitive hard-ass like no other in order to protect John, who goes on to free mankind from the grips of artificial robotic Armageddon.
    Of course, being the superwoman that she is, once the notion of someone hurting her kin is on the cards she changes from a timid little girl to a vicious warrior woman who trains herself in weaponry and the art of war.
    AND… She trains her son to know her well enough to know she would no way in hell beg anyone to do anything! This was critical in Terminator 2 because that morphing-dude (the T-1000) turned into her. Morphed Sarah and the real Sarah was trying to get John to come to her and he *knew* the real one from the fake one because the fake one was begging him to come to her because she was hurt. The other one was pretty much saying, “Get your ass over here now!”
    7. Leeloo The Fifth Element (Milla Jovovich)
    What I love about Leeloo is not just the fact that she, being The Fifth Element, will save humanity, but that she does so in the most adorable and modest way. Unlike so many ‘strong’ female characters, Leeloo doesn’t eschew classical feminine qualities like intuition, sensitivity or grace. She is vulnerable and tender while remaining incredibly fierce and smart. She’s gentle and beautiful while also being lethal and kick-ass beyond belief. I just love the fact that the most intelligent, important being ever to have lived is a woman.
    AND: Milla Jovovich Alice, Resident Evil: Apocalypse Nuff said on that one.
    6. Lorna Cole Lethal Weapon (Rene Russo)
    She works for the Internal Affairs Dept. of the LAPD and takes no crap from anyone. Kicking the ass of five bad guys impressed Martin Riggs so much he married her. Lorna was confident and fearsome, just a haphazard as Riggs and sanely, insane. It was hot as heck when she and Riggs were comparing their injuries.
    5. Megan Turner, Blue Steel (Jamie Lee Curtis)
    Short synopsis: Megan, who kills a thief at a supermarket robbery during her first day on the job. Ron Silver has the best performance as the convincing, although almost over-the-top, power hungry stock broker, Eugene, who picks up a gun during the market robbery that Megan prevented. As any good psychopath would he becomes infatuated with Megan and goes around killing people with her name on the bullet casings. Too make matters worse he courts Megan and she falls for him. The rest of the film finds Megan working with her fellow men in blue to figure out who the mysterious killer could be during the day while getting her swerve on with Eugene during the evenings.
    This guy shoots and kills her best friend and pretty much puts her through hell. I can remember at the end of the movie, shouting for her to “Shoot him!!!!!!!!!!!” and when she did, I was shocked she did.
    She’s one of my favorites because she was put through so much and still had the courage and strength to do what needed to be done. It’s one of, if not my favorite Jamie Lee Curtis movie.
    4. The Bride, Kill Bill (All of them) (Uma Thurman)
    One statement said it all, “I’m going to kill Bill.” Set the stage for the ultimate revenge-fest. She was driven to the nth degree and didn’t let anyone or anything stop her.
    3. Neytiri, Avatar (Zoë Saldana)
    Neytiri teaches Jake what it’s like to be a Na’vi warrior and then joins him in the fight to take back Pandora from the humans. When a woman takes on tanks and aircraft with a bow and arrow, you know she’s got the stuff to make this list. She was gentle, tough, confident, and loved with all of her heart.
    2. Elektra, Elektra (Jennifer Garner)
    In the ultimate battle between good and evil stands a warrior who makes the choice that tips the balance. A strong, mysterious and a deadly sexy action heroine – a lethal synthesis of grace and power. Not long after recovering from seemingly mortal wounds, Elektra has severed all ties with the world, living only for her next assignment. But in an unexpected turn of events, she is forced to make a decision that can take her life in a new direction – or destroy her.
    Top of my list:
    Army Captain Karen Walden Courage Under Fire (Meg Ryan)
    She was not a super hero, did not have kick ass martial arts skills, but she was the ultimate kick ass because I identified with her on a personal level. She held it down when it was damn near a mutiny by her men because of one soldier. My days in the military, when I made rank were full of days of being questioned, verbal stand-offs, and until my squad realized I was not a push over, and I proved myself as a leader, there were many uphill battles. We weren’t in any active conflicts at that time therefore the possibility of being in a war-like situation were slim.
    I found myself wondering if I would have found myself in a similar situation if I had to go into a warlike situation. She was one of the first women Medevac Huey commanders, sent into a warzone to rescue a down copter. Women are now in more and more positions that were held by men in the Armed Forces and it’s been hard to say the least, even today to be seen as equals and without having to prove themselves.
    I found myself angry, sad, and ultimately proud. I wonder if I would have had such courage under fire. I’d like to think I would have.
    So there you have it! I had to really think about this one because there are so many honorable mentions also right up there. The ones I chose for one reason (or several) are personal in some way. Those that know me and read this will no doubt understand why.

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