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Literally Just 23 Mindblowing Movies That Were Directed By Women

"I’ve never felt so connected to a film before."

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their favourite movies directed by women. Here are some of their recommendations...

1. Waitress (2007), dir. Adrienne Shelly

Fox Searchlight Pictures

"[Shelly] was tragically murdered just after submitting the film to Sundance and never got to know how successful and well-received it would become. It's a wonderful movie with themes of motherhood, sisterhood, growth, and self-reliance as a woman. Watching it now, it's difficult not to think of the wasted potential due to senseless violence, but I also like to think of it as the gift she left for everyone and how lucky we all are to be able to see it." – Liana Rudin, Facebook

2. Boys Don't Cry (1999), dir. Kimberly Peirce

Fox Searchlight Pictures

"One of the greatest, most gut-wrenching, powerful, romantic, provocative, best acted dramas I've ever seen in my life. Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny are phenomenal. Although it's hard to watch at times, it perfectly captures the sheer horror of hate crimes in America." – Matt Bussy, Facebook


4. Point Break (1991), dir. Kathryn Bigelow

20th Century Fox

"It shows that women can direct anything – including ridiculous action movies where Keanu Reeves is a cop going undercover as a surfer to entrap Patrick Swayze." – kaitiem2

6. The Prince of Tides (1991), dir. Barbra Streisand

Columbia Pictures

"It's not really a movie you can watch over and over again, but it provides a good insight into how childhood abuse affects mental health even into adulthood." – Jack Boole, Facebook


7. Winter's Bone (2010), dir. Debra Granik

Roadside Attractions

"I will never grow tired of it. It is a phenomenal work of art. Even though the families are mainly patriarchal, the women are the ones who drive this movie. Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Ree Dolly is her finest performance. The film is raw and captivating, much like the book it was adapted from. It is truly an underrated classic." – Ann Catherine Hughes, Facebook

8. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), dir. Lynne Ramsay

Oscilloscope Laboratories

"[Lynne Ramsay] is so talented. The film is gorgeous and haunting and you see evil incarnate. I highly recommend it to everyone. It's also based on a book written by a woman, Lionel Shriver." – America Lopez, Facebook


11. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), dir. Ana Lily Amirpour

VICE Films

"I loathe horror but absolutely adore this film. It's a must watch for anybody – both the storytelling and the cinematography are flawless, and I’ve rewatched it more times than I can count." – atalantas

12. Real Genius (1985), dir. Martha Coolidge

TriStar Pictures

"It’s about a high school-aged kid who gets accepted into college with '80s Val Kilmer as a mentor. Parties, popcorn and lasers. Never underestimate the little guys!" – NinaVollmer

13. D.E.B.S. (2004), dir. Angela Robinson

Screen Gems

"It’s a funny, sweet comedy: a spy movie spoof with the good guy and bad guy caught in an accidental lesbian romance. And unlike 99.99% of lesbian relationships in film – studio or indie – this one has (gasp!) a happy ending." – judo_lin

14. Bend It Like Beckham (2002), dir. Gurinder Chadha

Fox Searchlight Pictures

"When I was little, I had a sleepover with my friends for my birthday. One of them insisted that I open her present first, and it was the Bend It Like Beckham DVD. She was Indian and had family in Britain, but the rest of us lived in the midwest, so the movie was completely unusual for us. My overly-Christian parents and twelve ten-year-olds watched it all together. Oh, what fun." – s1x319


15. Girlhood (2014), dir. Céline Sciamma

Pyramide Distribution

"It’s a stunning and empowering film about a group of young black women coming of age in one of the poorest areas of Paris. It’s touching and deals with the oppression of women in certain communities, as well as the beauty and strength of feminine solidarity. Every single shot is perfect." – cheesegromit

16. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), dir. Valerie Faris*

Fox Searchlight Pictures

*OK, and her husband, Jonathan Dayton.

"It seems like just a cutesy family film from the exterior, but it explores the characters and their unique relationships in such detail and so beautifully. It makes you laugh, cry, and everything in between!" – marthaj4b4ecca41

17. But I'm A Cheerleader (1999), dir. Jamie Babbit


"It was crucial in my formative years and to my understanding and appreciation for the vast array of sexual identities we all see in the world. My friends and I founded our high school’s first LGBT+ Alliance because of it." – davidcrose89

18. American Psycho (2000), dir. Mary Harron


"It’s so dark and humorous, truly showing that women don’t shy away from 'masculine' subject matter. Plus, it basically illustrates the escalation of hypermasculinity." – sydem


19. A League of Their Own (1992), dir. Penny Marshall

Columbia Pictures

"It tells the story of the Rockford Peaches, a team in the All-American Girls Baseball League. The film had brilliant performances from Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty and Madonna (seriously, she was really good in this one!), and was brilliantly directed by Penny Marshall." – EverythingTaboo

20. The Piano (1993), dir. Jane Campion

Miramax Films

"The music, the setting, the story. It all goes together beautifully. The movie is about a mute woman who comes to New Zealand with her daughter to live with her new husband, who she has never met and has basically been sold into marrying. The only true voice she has is through her piano, but she has to give it up. It’s lush and rich and wonderful in storytelling, and the music is incredible." – fabfourdarling

21. Orlando (1992), dir. Sally Potter

Sony Pictures Classics

"It’s based on the Virginia Woolf novel of the same name and it follows one person through different eras of history as they transition from male to female. It’s beautiful, and everyone should watch it." – katieg117

22. The Virgin Suicides (1999), dir. Sofia Coppola

Paramount Classics

"The Coppolas are some of Hollywood’s biggest directors but Sofia is the only woman in the family who has reached such great success. She inspires me every time I watch that goddamn movie." – maggiea4260cd8d8

Note: Some submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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