The Top Ten Female Action Stars

Because blogging is largely about reading others' work and saying "I could do that, but better...." I've decided to do a response post to a recent post by one of my fellow Movie Bloggers, Heather of Movie Mobsters. I read the Top Ten Action Stars (which I'll give props to being well written and well thought out and entertaining) and was slightly uncomfortable that there were no women on the list. I get that the typical action "hero" in the past has been a male-dominated genre, but there are plenty of women that kick ass on screen and ones that I would argue rose to fame as being action stars. So the following is a list of my favorites, in a moment of Female Empowerment:

10. Milla Jojovich

I haven't seen Resident Evil, nor do I intend to. However, I did see the Fifth Element, and I think that to call Bruce Willis the star of this movie is an overstatement, because Milla Jojovich as an action star provided cause for the entire plot to happen. There wouldn't have been a movie without her, and if you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, go out and rent it because all I can say is that action movies are where she belongs.

9. Sienna Miller

She was the only remotely interesting character in G.I. Joe. Most likely because they gave her actual action skills to work with instead of computer animated technology. Let's ponder this and make the connection between her being the lead female character.

8. Franka Potente

I first saw her in the Bourne Identity and thought she was pretty awesome. Then, I saw Run, Lola, Run. All I can say is, if there were more female characters that were along the lines of Lola, the movie industry would be a much better place for women.

7. Lucy Liu

From being the only one to actually look like she has some sort of fighting skills in Charlie's Angels (Drew Barrymore? Really? We're not that stupid) to being a murderess in Chicago, to playing the head of the Japanese Mafia in Kill Bill, I think we can successfully come to the conclusion that Lucy Liu is ruthless.

6. Jennifer Garner

She successfully took her TV action skills and seamlessly transitioned from "Alias" to Daredevil, and then to Elektra. We forget that before desperate Mom-to-be in Juno, there was Jennifer Garner the action hero synonymous with being a double agent, and later a superhero.

5. Rosario Dawson

Sin City. Josie and the Pussycats. Deathproof. Men In Black 2. Is there anything Rosario can't do? There are no words. I tried to find a clip from Sin City to show how awesome she is, but alas, there were none on youtube save for stupid fan shit. We'll just have to tap into the most memorable parts of the movie stored in our brains. 

4. Sigourney Weaver

I have yet to see a movie Sigourney Weaver in which there aren't aliens involved, unless you count GhostBusters. And WALL-E. But... yeah. She's kind of always fighting something, which is what makes her an awesome action star, from Alien to Galaxy Quest to Avatar. You can't have a list like this and not include Sigourney Weaver.

3. Linda Hamilton

There is no better female action hero than Sarah Conner. Although Linda Hamilton has had a pretty successfully diverse acting career since 1984, the world will forever remember her as the awesomely ripped gun-loading futuristic female hero and later mom (I, personally liked Judgement Day waaay better).

2. Kate Beckinsale

Although a lot of people associate her with being in serious indie movies, people seem to forget that Kate Beckinsale first came to our attention kicking ass and taking werewolf names in Underworld, and then again in the sequel (both of which I have seen, although I must admit that I never saw Rise of the Lycans and opted instead to see My Bloody Valentine in 3D. I still am not sure if I made the right decision). Needless to say, I would call her a pretty awesome female action star.

1. Anjelina Jolie

Though she has dabbled more recently in serious dramatic roles (and even won an Oscar for Girl, Interrupted), I would argue that Anjelina Jolie, whether you're a fan of hers or not, is the Queen of Action Movies. From the time she took on Lara Croft, America has embraced her as this emblem of what the most awesomely badass female can aspire to. Add that to Gone in 60 Seconds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Wanted, and now Salt, she dominates the action world. Even at forty, she still can hang out of a car window and shoot bad guys. If that's not an action star, I don't know what is.


The Movie Mistress


  1. Angelina Jolie is 40?!

  2. It's funny you did this list as I just finished writing up my top 10 asian leading ladies list. Nice job on your list...Rosario Dawson *drool*...hmmmm

  3. I've spent my life thankful that Milla Jovovich exists, and that she usually doesn't have too many lines of dialogue.

  4. I'm madly in love with Milla and I'm straight. That's one tall glass of water right there.

    I'd have put Ellen Ripley at the top, though. I'm not a big Jolie fan (though she does action well), and Ripley is just such an iconic character. Really unforgettable.

  5. Man Rosario Dawson is smoking HOT.

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