In our contemporary film space, two things are true. Dispiritingly, we still have a long way to go when it comes to ensuring equitable space for female directors, especially in the long masculine space of “action cinema.” But optimistically, 2019 saw a record number of films directed by women. And 2020 promises to be a banner year for female-directed films, particularly in the action/blockbuster space. We’ve got Reed Morano’s The Rhythm Section, Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, Niki Caro’s Mulan, Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, and Chloé Zhao’s The Eternals — not to mention the countless female directors doing wonders on the small screen.
To celebrate this incoming influx of female-directed action entertainment, to honor the works of the past from genre trailblazers, and to simply remind everyone we still have a long way to go in terms of representation behind the camera, here are 10 of our favorite action movies directed by women.