Movie Playlist: Leading Ladies You Will Love

With Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to grab some friends, make one of those fancy snacks from your Pinterest board and watch some of the best films featuring strong female leads. 

“Hidden Figures”

“Hidden Figures” tells the true story of the amazing women who played an instrumental role in helping NASA send the first American into orbit. While the primary focus of the film deals with the racial discrimination that Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson) and her counterparts had to face, their determination and brains serve as examples to women everywhere. Henson puts on an incredibly powerful performance, most notably during an emotional scene in which she directly confronts her co-workers about their racist attitudes after they complain about how long it takes her to get back from the segregated bathrooms. 


This film by legendary director Alfonso Cuarón has been the recipient of countless awards, including three Oscars and two Golden Globes. Actress Yalitza Aparicio stars as Cleo, a young maid who works for an upper-class family in Mexico City. At first, she has a bittersweet relationship with her employers as she often feels like one of the family, but is too often reminded that she is not. While the family begins to fall apart, she makes some uplifting connections and learns a bit more about understanding herself. 

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

This list would not be complete without this award-winning film. Lead actress Kiki Layne brings to life an incredibly relatable character, Tish, stuck in a complex but all-too real situation. After her childhood lover is wrongfully imprisoned, she must find the strength to support herself while she works to free him. To top it off, Regina King received an Oscar for best actress for her role in the film as Tish’s mother. 


Florence Pugh’s performance as Dani, a young girl whose family tragedy leaves her dependent on an immature boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), is almost too believable. During a vacation with Chris and his friends, the group finds themselves stuck in a sinister cult. Serving as a twisted kind of princess in her own dark fairytale, Dani connects with cult members and is shown that Christian is not the answer to her problems. She ultimately finds herself making a surprising decision—should she stay or go? 

“Always Be My Maybe”

Ali Wong is not only the lead actress in this film, but also the writer and producer. Wong tackles a common issue (running into an ex that you may or may not still be in love with) and manages to make it extremely comical while still remaining heartfelt. This movie is sure to have you laughing and crying right up to the end, and possibly reminiscing about some past relationship. Watch at your own risk. 


In what is possibly one of Toni Collette’s best performances, this film brings to the spotlight just how powerful women can be in the horror genre. After the passing of her mother, Collette’s character (Annie) slowly spirals into madness as tragedy after tragedy befalls her family. She uncovers some family secrets that would be better left undiscovered and ultimately pays the price.

 Kirstin Joyce can be reached at [email protected] or @joyce_kirstin on Twitter.