The Weekly

20 damn good films (that happen to be feminist)

Feel empowered without even leaving the couch.

Is there anything better than curling up under a big doona when it's raining with a huge bowl of popcorn and watching a great movie?

Of course there isn't.

So instead of wasting time scrolling through Netflix begging someone else to choose we've found the best shows that pass the Bechdel test – spoiler alert: Paul Blart Mall Cop isn't here.

Ones that are classics

Steel Magnolias

If you feel like bawling your eyes out, friends, this is the one for you. Through an unimaginable tragedy, this group of women support and love each other while smiling through the tears.

9 to 5

Another Dolly Parton class (bless that woman), this 1980s classic highlights the sexist struggles of working women at the time and shows what a little bit of rat poison can do. Oh and you get to listen to Dolly's killer theme song.

Erin Brokovich

Watch that trailer and tell me it doesn't give you goosebumps. The fact it's based on a true story makes this movie as iconic as the line: "They're called boobs, Ed".

Ones that were home grown

Whale rider

Okay, so New Zealand isn't quite home-grown, but we already try to claim the pavlova so why stop there. This tale of an 11-year-old girl desperately fighting back against thousands of years of tradition to become chief is heartwarming.

Mad Max Fury Road

If Meninist supporters declare a movie a feminist conspiracy of mass-emasculating proportions, you best believe that's a move you need to go and see. It might be called Mad Max, but Max is definitely second fiddle to Furiosa's fierce lead.

Muriel's Wedding

This Aussie classic follows Muriel desperately trying to impress her "friends", who are honestly the worst people ever, to eventually just not giving a damn what anyone thinks.

Ones to make you laugh

Legally Blonde

Look, a movie about a woman whose only motivation in life is to get back with her skeezy boyfriend doesn't scream feminism, but girl went to Harvard and put a murderer in jail so…

Spy

This movie has not received the attention it deserved. A truly refined satire, Spy hilariously challenges the deeply-entrenched misogyny of 007 films while we watch see the rise of the awkward, introverted desk woman come out on top.

10 Things I Hate About You

Kat Stratford is the hilarious protagonist with stinging sarcasm that doesn't work to be "likable" – but you best believe she is. The film can be summed up perfectly with her iconic line - "You don't always have to be who they want you to be, you know." Oh, and Heath Ledger sings "I love you, baby" and your heart will melt.

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Ones about strong women of colour

The Colour Purple

If not for the heart wrenching and beautiful storyline, watch this 1985 film adaption purely to see Whoopi Goldberg's film debut.

The Help

This film is the epitome of strong women. Not only does it showcase the horrific struggles of African-American women in the 1960s, it also highlights the uphill battle for career-driven women to be taken seriously. It also won three Academy Awards as well as a nomination for Best Picture so must be pretty good viewing.

Hidden Figures

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This movie was so worthy of its Oscar buzz. Celebrating women for their brains, the fact Hidden Figures is based on a real story makes you feel even more empowered.

Ones for the kiddies

Mulan

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^ No thanks.

After failing spectacularly at being a traditional girl, Mulan goes on to win the war for China. I challenge you to find something that's more empowering that that, also the soundtrack is Disney's crowning jewel.

Moana

Disney has a lot of strong, female leads but their latest film is great because there isn't an accompanying romantic plot line – it's purely about Moana being an independent woman determined to save her people. The voice of Moana is 16-year-old Auli'I Cravalho

Matilda

Matilda has it rough. Her dad's a jerk, her mum couldn't care less about her and her principal is a grade-A psychopath. But the tiny girl with everything against her outsmarts them all and with fantastic 90s CGI to boot, you can't go wrong.

Ones to make you think

It's a Girl

Did you know that every year, more baby girls are "eliminated" in India in China than are born in the USA. In this documentary, experts, activists, and those with firsthand experience explore this terrifying epidemic.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Miss Simone was a cultural icon, hero to feminists, and an absolute powerhouse that never seemed to falter. This documentary follows her story and is summed up perfectly by her daughter who describes her "as fragile as she was strong".

The Hunting Ground

You've probably heard about this doco that follows the horrific attitude of American colleges to complaints of rape and sexual assault from their students. It focuses on the shattering effects of a persistent rape culture and you'll definitely be equal parts outraged and sad by the end.

The best one

Suffragette

If you've made it this far, congratulations! Your reward is by far the best feminist film ever made - no contest.

Set in early 20th century Britain, it follows Maud Watts, a working class washerwoman turned politically engaged freedom fighter, and the militant acts performed by suffragettes.

And boy, will the movie make you feel. Angry, violent, sad, happy, empowered. And if the movie itself isn't enough, the rolling timeline of when women were given the right to vote around the world will certainly get your attention. Switzerland only granted women the vote in 1971.

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