Snow White has never been known as a badass. She’s a delicate flower who relies on a man to save her life. She’s the quintessence of a damsel in distress. But that might all change this Friday. Kristen Stewart‘s Snow White could join the ranks of badass female movie characters. Heck, she might even break into the top 10. So, to honor the release of Snow White and the Huntsman, we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Badass Female Movie Characters. Check it out.
This was a very hard list to make. Before we get started, let’s note that there are tons of badass ladies in movies out there. But in order to be on this list, the heroine must fulfill a few prerequisites. First, the heroine must be fearless. She has to be able to go up against anyone or anything with true grit. Also, our heroine had to be portrayed by an actress who made the performance memorable. Lastly, we want a heroine with a good back story. We want layers and complexity. She ain’t gotta be perfect because honestly, perfect is boring. Got it? Alright, let’s get on with it.
Here’s out list of the Top 10 Badass Female Movie Characters.
10. Hit-Girl – Kick-Ass
Hit-Girl was raised to be fearless. She’s an 11-year-old killing machine who swears like sailor and takes bullets like champ. Kick-Ass may be star of the movie, but she definitely steals the show.
- Played by: Chloë Grace Moretz
- Memorable Badass Moment: Hit-Girl singlehandedly attacks a room full of grown gunmen, dodging every bullet and sparing no man’s life.
- Badass Quote: “So, you wanna play?”
9. Shosanna Dreyfus – Inglorious Basterds
Shosanna Dreyfus is the archetypal badass heroine. As a teenager, she witnessed the gruesome murder of her entire family. Being the sole survivor of the massacre, she vowed to avenge her family. None of us expected her to go as far as she did, but it was her bold behavior that led to the killing of Hitler and tons of other powerful Nazis… in Quentin Tarantino‘s fictional universe, of course.
- Played by: Mélanie Laurent
- Memorable Badass Moment: Shosanna’s previously recorded speech plays for an audience of Nazis (Hitler included). Her laughter is heard over a sea of crying and burning Nazis.
- Badass Quote: “My name is Shosanna Dreyfus and THIS is the face… of Jewish vengeance!”
8. Clarice Starling – The Silence of the Lambs
As an FBI cadet, Clarice Starling is given the task of interviewing the brilliant serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), who wouldn’t mind having her brain for dinner. Clarice may not look like your typical badass, but she’s got the bravery of a thousand lions. In the end, she’s the one who captures and kills Buffalo Bill.
- Played by: Jodie Foster
- Memorable Badass Moment: Unaided, Clarice manages to kill Buffalo Bill in a pitch-black room.
- Badass Quote: “You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.”
7. Jackie Brown – Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown may not be a deadly assassin or a brilliant computer hacker, but she can still hold her own. Jackie’s not out for revenge like most badass female movie characters. She’s a struggling 40-year-old flight attendant working towards a better life. Her wits and cool get her what she wants.
- Played by: Pam Grier
- Memorable Badass Moment: Jackie Brown calmly aims a gun at Ordell Robbie’s (Samuel L. Jackson) groin.
- Badass Quote: “Shut your raggedy-ass up, and sit the f*ck down!”
6. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen will go down as one of the most heroic and badass female characters in film history. She’s not out for blood or revenge. She’s fighting for her life. She’s got no superpowers, only a bow and arrow. She selflessly volunteers to represent her district at the Hunger Games to save her little sister’s life, and her bravery and selflessness are admirable.
- Played by: Jennifer Lawrence
- Memorable Badass Moment: Volunteering as tribute, thus saving her little sister’s life.
- Badass Quote: “I volunteer! I volunteer as a tribute!”
5. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter series
Behind every great man, there’s a great woman. For Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), that woman was Hermione Granger. Without her, he would have died way back when the troll invaded Hogwarts in Sorcerer’s Stone. Hermione isn’t an action hero. She’s a geek at heart, but her actions throughout the Harry Potter films are truly heroic and badass.
- Played by: Emma Watson
- Memorable Badass Moment: The awesome moment when Hermione punches Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton).
- Badass Quote: “Who cares… I mean it’s sort of exciting isn’t it… breaking the rules.”
4. Lisbeth Salander – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
It doesn’t matter which version you prefer, both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara are captivating as Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth is a brilliant cyber-hacker with a photographic memory. Not exactly superpowers, but close. She’s a complex character with an awful past. Some of her methods may be a bit intense, but all of her actions attest to why she’s so high on this list. She’s fearless and we like that.
- Played by: Noomi Rapace (Swedish version), Rooney Mara (American version)
- Memorable Badass Moment: Tattooing ‘I Am A Rapist Pig’ across a man’s belly.
- Badass Quote: “Lie still. I’ve never done this before, and there will be blood.”
3. Sarah Connor – Terminator series
Sarah Connor goes from damsel in distress to total badass/crazy person. Even by the end of The Terminator, Sarah shows signs of a true warrior when she destroys the cyborg. By Terminator 2, Sarah’s as tough as nails. She may have been locked away in a mental asylum, but that didn’t stop her from prepping for the future.
- Played by: Linda Hamilton
- Memorable Badass Moment: Breaking out of that high security insane asylum was pretty badass.
- Badass Quote: “You’re already dead, Silberman. Everybody dies. You know I believe it so don’t f*ck with me!”
2. Beatrix Kiddo – Kill Bill
Like Shoshanna, Beatrix Kiddo’s story is tragic and bloody. Her former co-workers and lover gave her a bloody beating, leaving her for dead. When she rises from her four-year coma, she seeks out those who betrayed her. Beatrix is a ruthless warrior, skilled in martial arts. Through her journey, she defeats an army of (nearly) 88 crazy men, gets shot in the chest with rock salt, gets buried alive and still manages to kill nearly everyone on her “Death List Five.”
- Played by: Uma Thurman
- Memorable Badass Moment: Fighting against all the Crazy 88 gang (though there weren’t really 88 of them) and coming out the victor.
- Badass Quote: “It all depends. When do you want to die? Tomorrow? The day after tomorrow?”
1. Ellen Ripley – Alien series
Are you surprised? Of course not. Ellen Ripley is the beginning and the end. She’s the ultimate badass female movie character. This role was originally written for a dude, but could you imagine a world with no Ripley? After being the sole survivor of a an alien aboard her ship, Ripley survives numerous attacks, destroys the alien queen, and leads a colonial military into hostile territory. She may have died on her own terms, but even that wasn’t enough to stop her from coming back. She’s queen of the badasses.
- Played by: Sigourney Weaver
- Memorable Badass Moment: All of Ripley’s battles throughout the Alien series are memorable.
- Badass Quote: “Get away from her, you bitch!”
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
- Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) – Hanna
- Selene (Kate Beckinsale) – Underworld series
- Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) – Salt
- Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) – Scream series
- Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) – Winter’s Bone
- Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) – Haywire
- Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) – Iron Man 2 and The Avengers
- Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) – The Matrix series
- Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) Star Wars series
- Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) – The Fifth Element
- Lola (Franka Potente) – Run Lola Run
- Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) – Avatar
- Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason (Angela Bassett) – Strange Days
- Alice (Milla Jovovich) – Resident Evil series
Disagree with me? Have another badass female character in mind? Who else do you think should be on this list? Do you think Snow White will be badass enough to join this list? Leave a comment and let us know!
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