7 survival movies with kick-arse female leads

You’ve got to love a movie led by a ballsy, bad-ass woman who’s not about to go down without a fight. Here are some of our favourites.

Here are eight female movie survivors that have achieved legendary status.

Tami in Adrift (2018)
Tami’s a free spirit who falls for sailor Richard – and when he suggests a trip from Tahiti to San Diego, neither of them could imagine they’d sail into one of history’s most catastrophic hurricanes. Shailene Woodley drives this awe-inspiring true story of survival, which is a must-see.


Nancy Adams in… The Shallows (2016)
Got a shark phobia? You probably wouldn’t be going surfing on your lonesome at a secluded beach in Mexico, but Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) is still reeling from her mother’s death and has a few pix of her mum at this very beach. Of course, getting stuck on a rock while a giant, hungry shark circles endlessly was not part of the plan. This survival story is silly popcorn fare, but still utterly nail-biting.  


Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Essentially a car chase in an apocalyptic world, but there’s a reason this reboot won so many awards. Warrior Imperator Furiosa (played by the awesome Charlize Theron) is the break-out character everyone remembers for her smarts and determination to save the lives of the sex slave ‘wives’ she’s hiding and restore freedom to her people. Epic viewing on a grand scale.


Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Of course, the early Star Wars films had Leia – but they were overly dominated by blokes, which made the refreshing arrival of Rey (Daisy Ridley) a defining moment for fans. A toughened scavenger who’s survived on the desert planet of Jakku for most of her life, Rey is super smart and has a complex back story we only get tidbits of here, and in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Stay tuned…


Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (2012)
A televised event where you watch a handful of young citizens die one by one? Yep, The Hunger Games is seriously messed up. But it’s also one of the most addictive survival franchises to come out of Hollywood – mainly thanks to the resourceful Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence. If you haven’t dipped your toe into this trilogy, get stuck in with a weekend Hunger Games marathon.


Beatrice in Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
The butt-kicking, sword-toting, bent-on-revenge Beatrice – played by a bloodied, blonde-haired Uma Thurman – is up there as one of the most celebrated women leads in cinematic history. At the very least, she gives us hope we could bust our way out of being buried alive.


Samantha Caine in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
An oldie but a goodie, mainly for Geena Davis as a school-teacher and single mother who learns she a) has amnesia and b) used to be a bad-ass government assassin. Oh yeah, and she’s now on the run from her former handlers. This retro offering has serious cult status these days, thanks largely to the whip-smart chemistry between Davis and her sidekick Mitch Hennessey (Samuel L Jackson). 


Ellen Ripley in … Aliens (1986)
One of cinema’s most memorable female survivors has to be Ellen Ripley. Ripley is of course played by Sigourney Weaver, who’s no stranger to tricky roles (and has a heap of new movies coming up). However, Ripley is arguably the actress’s most iconic role – a tough-as-nails, gun-toting alien-hunter determined to save her surrogate daughter from a bunch of monsters. Boo-yeah!

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