Femme Fatales: Top 16 Bad Ass Characters In Film


Saturday morning as I was prepping to head into NYC for my early birthday celebration, I listened to an episode of Confession of a Movie Snob. The episode which was entitled “Women Who Kick Ass … or Kick Ass Women? You Decide!” was genius. I agreed with a lot of what was said on all four top ten lists that were shared on the podcast and decided right away “I need to make a top 10 kick/bad ass females in movies list”.

When I sat down to make my top 10 list, I got somewhat carried away and it became a top 16. There are so many dope lady characters in film and it was really hard to narrow it down. I am sure some people will not agree with some of my picks and some will think I am down right out of my mind. My list consists of women I would either want to be when I grow up and women I wouldn’t want to face in a dark alley. It’s a wide range of bad ass-ness and I hope you enjoy!

16. Mrs. Smith.


Somewhere down the line, Angelina Jolie decided just to be type casted as the action film hot piece of bad ass. Don’t get me wrong, I miss the days of the super talented actress that was in Gia but sometimes you just need to see Angelina kick someone’s ass. Mr. and Mrs. Smith was probably the last “bad ass” Angelina role that I enjoyed. Not only did the film bring two of the hottest people in the world together, but it was fun. It was like watching an old married couple fight but in the most violent, sassy, action packed way possible. Mrs. Smith made me want to become a sexy assassin.

15. Rosemary.


How did you expect me to NOT put Rosemary on this list? Like i’ve mentioned in the past, Rosemary’s Baby is one of my favorite films. Mia Farrow did an amazing job in this film and it’s simply a classic. Rosemary makes the cut because duh, she gave birth to the devil. I mean on a scale weak ass to bad ass, I think this is high on the bad ass end of things. I am not sure how many women can handle knowing they were preggo with the son of Satan.

14. May.


This indie horror flick is another one of my favorites. May is part Carrie and part Frankenstein. The film is simply brilliant and if you’ve never heard of it or seen it, you MUST! Angela Bettis plays a very shy and off woman (May), just looking for companionship. She at some point decides to create the perfect friend in the most disturbing way. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t mess with May.

13 and 12. Helen and Madeline.


Death Becomes Her
is simply awesome! I don’t think I know anyone that doesn’t love this film. Helen played by Goldie Hawn and Madeline played by Meryl Streep are just perfect. The undead fight scene is one of my favorite fight scenes ever. To live forever, you have to be somewhat tough. Outside of being tough as nails, Helen and Madeline have some drastic tips and tricks to being forever beautiful. They should have launched a make-up line.

11. Regan.


Talk about someone you don’t want run into in a dark alley. I would probably drop dead if I ran into possessed Regan from The Exorcist. She was played by the infamous Linda Blair, and boy did she do a hell of a job. I know people to this day that still can’t watch the film without being terrified for days on end. Regan is terrifyingly bad ass.

10. Lisbeth.


I don’t think there is a person in the world that can deny the awesome that is Lisbeth’s character from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Take your pick, the Swedish version or the American take on the film. Both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara did an awesome job with the character. I was introduced to the character from the American take on the story, so Rooney is my original Lisbeth. Lisbeth has a dark past that leads her from super hacker to part of solving a world class mystery. She is pretty hardcore in her strategies but it’s completely necessary and this is why we love her.

9. Ruth.


If you were a child of the 80’s you should remember She-Devil. Roseanne plays Ruth, a woman that loses everything only to come out on top. She took matters into her own hands when her marriage hit the shitter and her husband left her for Mary Fisher played by the lovely Meryl Streep. Ruth being the little devil that she is, gets her groove back which gives her a spot on my list.

8. Miranda Priestly.


Are you noticing a pattern? Yeah, I sort of have a thing for Meryl Streep. Meryl played Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of “American Runway” in The Devil Wears Prada. She is a high fashion class act, that’s for sure. Miranda would crawl over a desk and eat the face off of anyone that tells her that she couldn’t have her way. She is willing to do anything to get what she wants and feels she deserves. She is pretty sneaky and full of tactics that will bring fear to your heart. This is definitely one bad ass broad.

7. Carrie.


In the 1976 classic film, Carrie who was an abused, picked on, and quiet girl seemed to be the least likely to be on a bad ass females in film list. Sissy Spacek played Carrie and she made this character legend! With the gift of telekinesis it’s impossible not to be kick ass. I seriously wake up everyday hoping I am blessed with this gift.

6. The Bride. 


Ah, The Bride! It would be nearly impossible to make a list of kick ass women and NOT put her on it. The Bride aka Beatrix played by Uma Thurman is one of my favorite of bad ass women roles ever! The Bride wakes up after a long coma, finds that the baby she was carrying is missing, and instantly turns into a bad ass killing machine. She has one goal and one goal only, to kill Bill and get revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her – a team she used to be a part of.


5. Girly.


The film Girly is a British 70’s horror film that I discovered about 3 years ago. Girly played by the late Vanessa Howard, is part of a wealthy, fatherless family. The family takes in bums and hippies into their household and forces them to participate in a very odd game of role play in which they pretend they are the perfect family. Girly is the key player in a ritualistic series of murders when the men refuse to be a part of this twisted british family’s games. Girly is pretty bad ass.

4. Fat Amy. 


I love everything about the character, Fat Amy from the film Pitch Perfect. The irresponsible and eccentric character is played by Rebel Wilson. Rebel typically is out of control and will have you belly laughing for hours. Fat Amy was the glue that held singing group together in tough times but did it her way. Her way was bad ass, hysterical, and necessary.

3. Cherry Darling. 

Grind House

Cherry is a Go-Go dancer with big dreams in the film Planet Terror. Cherry Darling played by Rose McGowan, decides to “better herself” but ends up in a world of zombies. Her bad ass gets turned up to the highest level possible when she is transformed into a semi-automatic-wielding heroine of humanity. Rose never takes on a role that isn’t completely bad ass. I mean, think about it. Hell, I want to go watch Jawbreaker right now.

2. Coffy. 


Everything that Pam Grier touches is full of bad ass amazingness that I am not even sure if I need to say much about Coffy. Coffy was a nurse that takes matters into her own hands when her sister becomes a victim of inner city drug dealers. Everything about this film is wonderful and will have you screaming out “YES!” repeatedly. I definitely want to be Pam Grier when I grow up.

1. Hit Girl.


Chloë Grace Moretz took on the role of Hit Girl in the amazing film Kick-Ass. Kick-ass is full of action, dark humor, and awesome! I seriously laugh and cried during this movie. Sometimes, I cried because I laughed so hard. In my opinion, Hit Girl was the best part of the film. She is a ball of violent and amazing fury. I love the idea of looking innocent and sweet but being completely dangerous. She is a superheroine with a potty mouth and I absolutely think it’s brilliant.

Yes, I know. My list is insane and random but I love it. I actually had a complete blast putting together my top 16 and as I was doing it I thought of some more bad ass ladies. This list can really be endless. If you’re able to do so, take the hour and listen to the Confessions of a Movie Snob episode. It inspired me to take a moment and acknowledge some bad ass characters with vaginas. VAGINA POWER! Who are some of your favorite bad ass female characters in film?


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15 Responses to “Femme Fatales: Top 16 Bad Ass Characters In Film”

  1. Jaymz says:

    Ruth from She Devil is one of my favorite characters of all time! 🙂 Also, I love that Fat Amy made the list, haha. I’m glad Hit Girl is number one though, she’s the most Bad ASS!

  2. Sidra says:

    This is seriously badass. I’m happy to see The Bride made the list – she kicked butt!

  3. Uncool Aaron says:

    Thanks for writing this, imatation is and something about flattery;)

  4. Your list is bananas! The fact that you have May on here goes to show how deep your femme fatale-ism goes!

  5. This is a great list. Some of these I forgot about as Femme Fatals. I haven’t thought of Death Becomes Her in a while. Nice job.

  6. Femme Fatales with an ‘e’. lol

  7. jefferson eight says:

    Good list…but where is meiko kaji as sasori or lady snowblood??? This girl is the original bride ! she got some real hard 70s flicks !!!

  8. Alicat2911 says:

    This is a great list but I could think of a few more. I’m gonna go with the cliche heroines and say that I think Katniss and Hermione should be on here, as well as characters like Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Then again, if I made a list like this there would be at least 30. 😀

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