For a long time, action was considered a strictly male genre. Fortunately for us, the ladies are changing the game, starring in action packed films that I personally love more than any male action movie. The following ten women kick ass and do it in heels and spandex (try that fellas). These are my top 10 favorite female action stars and kicking off the list is…
10. Jennifer Lawrence
Action Films – The Hunger Games & X-Men Franchises
Our fledgeling action heroine. Jennifer Lawrence first starred in the X-Men prequel ‘X-Men: First Class’ back in 2011 but didn’t really get to show us what she was made of until he breakout role as Katniss in ‘The Hunger Games’. Balancing her career between action and drama films, Lawrence gets better and better with each film. Most recently, she reprized her role as Mystique in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ showing us the moves that we all loved from the original films. The final Hunger Games film ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ comes to theaters later this year and she will also be in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ in 2016.
9. Keira Knightley
Action Films – Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise, Domino, King Arthur
Bet you weren’t expecting to see Keira Knightley on this list. If you think about it though, it does make sense. She was able to out fight all the men in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and was amazing as a bounty hunter in ‘Domino’. I really wish that she would do more action because she is so good at it!
8. Milla Jovovich
Action Films – Resident Evil Franchise, Ultraviolet, The Fifth Element
When you think of female action stars, Milla Jovovich is one of the first you think of. We were first introduced to her when she stared aongside fellow action veteran Bruce Willis in a cult classic ‘The Fifth Element’. What really propelled her to action stardom is her role in the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise. Her portrayal as Alice in these movie has turned the films into a box office success and set the bar high for other action heroines. She also starred in one of my favorite action movies, ‘Ultraviolet’ where she played a vampire who must bring down a corrupt society.
7. Lucy Liu
Action Films – Kill Bill Vol. I, Charlie’s Angels, The Man with the Iron Fists
Lucy Liu’s role as O-Ren Ishii is one of the best action villains ever in my opinion. She almost makes you hope that she kills Uma Thurman’s character because she is that awesome! Also you can’t forget her role as our favorite angel when she stared in two Charlie’s Angels movies.
6. Kate Beckinsale
Action Films – Underworld Franchise, Van Helsing & Whiteout
Kate Beckinsale is one of my all-time favorite action heroes ever! ‘Underworld’ was the first R-Rated action movie that I remember watching and I have been obsessed with the series ever since. Her role as the gun wielding vampire Selene is to me one of the best vampire action movies ever and she is just flawless in this role. Since her debut to the action genre, Beckinsale has gone on to star in two more Underworld movies, Van Helsing and Whiteout. It is speculated that she will reprise her role as Selene in another Underworld film and I’m all about it!
5. Michelle Rodriguez
Action Films – Resident Evil, Avatar, Fast & Furious Franchise, S.W.A.T., Battle: Los Angeles
If there is an action movie, Michelle Rodriguez will find her way into it. She is the quintessential bad ass female action star who will take your money and your man at the same time. She has been in some of the biggest action franchises ever and always leaves you in awe that someone could handle a gun or vehicle like that.
4. Sigourney Weaver
Action Films – Alien Franchise
Sigourney Weaver paved the way for many of the women on this list. Her claim to action movie fame is her role as Ripley in the massively successful Alien franchise. Her role in these films set the bar for all action movies not just ones with women in the lead roles. She got down and dirty in these movies and showed what a true action hero is!
3. Zoe Saldana
Action Films – Columbiana, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy
It all started with a little movie called ‘Avatar’; you know the one, the one that made $2.8 Billion internationally. She stared as the butt kicking Na’vi princess Neytiri. Then she went on to kick more butt as an assassin in ‘Columbiana’ and in one of 2014’s biggest hits, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. I fear for anyone who has to face up against this woman on screen because you know that they probably won’t end up in one piece.
2. Scarlett Johansson
Action Films – Lucy, The Marvel Universe
Marvel has a way of picking some killer women to play their action heroines. Runner-Up on this list is Scarlett Johansson who has proven in recent years that she can play quiet the formidable opponent on screen. Her role as the Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in Marvel movies such as ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ has turned her into an action icon and moviegoers can’t get enough of her. She proved that she is more than a one trick pony in last year’s ‘Lucy’ which proved that action films starring women can make just as much and more money than those with men in them. The film went on to make more than $458 million worldwide with a budget of only $40 million. Look for Scarlett Johansson in the newest Marvel film ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ hits theaters this May and in ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ which she just signed on for.
1. Angelina Jolie
Action Films – Tomb Raider Franchise, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt, Wanted
The Queen. If there is anyone on this list that more likely to be able to kill you on and off screen, it is Angeline Jolie. The thing with Angelina though is that I would gladly let her murder me and consider it an honor. She won an Oscar and immediately signed on as one of the greatest action stars ever – Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Her gun wielding character made every man want her and every woman want to be like her. Since then she has gone on to star in equally amazing action films such as ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’, ‘Salt’ and ‘Wanted’. She is also rumored to star in the upcoming sequel to ‘Salt’.
The reason why Angelina Jolie is the best female action star is because she doesn’t just do a good job at killing people, she is a fantastic actress. She takes her character and gives them a soul. She is even directing her own action/war movies when she released ‘Unbroken‘ late last year. Angelina Jolie truly is an icon and will forever be my action Queen!