Adventure Movies Featuring Women

Until recently, movies in the adventure genre that would feature women as the main leads were quite uncommon and sometimes difficult to find. Only in the last decade and a half has the push for more diversification and inclusion in Hollywood finally led to a sizeable selection of adventure films that star a woman as the main character of the story.

Previously, women would more often just be shafted to a side role as damsels in distress or potential love interests for the main character. But now, if you’re planning to spend a day with your daughter for quality bonding time and want to put on a movie about a woman that has a grand adventure, you have plenty of options to choose from. We narrowed down the selection to a handful of some of the most entertaining movies and made a list. These can range anywhere from fantastical fictious worlds to slow paced and lengthy movies about a girl exploring the great outdoors.

Women Outward Bound (2016)

Challenging the belief that was held until so recently and is one of the reasons this post was written, Women Outward Bound attacks the issues of sexism and inequality between the treatments of women at its core. The just over an hour-long documentary follows the story of 28 brave women who, in the year 1965, took it upon themselves to break societal norms and challenge the sexism they faced head on.

The documentary is centered on a certain Outward Bound Wilderness School and its refusal to allow women to participate in its programs. The 28 women take it upon themselves to survive out in the woods for almost a month with no one to rely on but themselves and each other. In doing so, these women put to rest once and for all the question of whether one sex is less qualified to handle itself in the wild compared to the other sex. The documentary can be purchased or rented for viewing on DVD.

Wildlike (2015)

Wildlike is a very engaging film about sexual assault and the following trauma, while also focusing on how women can take initiative to help themselves start to heal. Wildlike follows a 14-year-old girl that is sent to live with her uncle in the state of Alaska due to the death of her father and her mother’s hospitalization. While there, she faces sexual harassment from her uncle and, after things become unbearable, escapes the house and starts to try to make her way back home.

The movie sees her befriend a much older backpacker along the way who eventually helps her get back home to Seattle after a journey that slowly heals her as time goes on. The movie has been very well received by critics and audience alike, and has won over a hundred festival awards while having been played at over 150 film festivals. Wildlike is a pretty good introduction to the issues young girls often have to face at the hands of society, and how they recover from it over time.

Maidentrip (2013)

Truly an awe-inspiring film, and one that shows the whole journey as it was filmed, Maidentrip is a film about the youngest person ever to have sailed around the globe. Laura Dekker, an ambitious and extremely daring girl, was born on a boat and spent her earliest years in shipyards. These circumstances likely played in to her dreams of one day becoming the youngest person to have sailed the seven seas.

When she was only 13, she floated this idea to the public and was met with strong criticism from the authorities as well as her family. However, she refused to relent and within a year had secured the legal rights to set sail. The whole documentary borrows heavily from the raw footage Laura filmed herself as she went around the whole world on her tiny boat, and is without a doubt one of the strongest truth-based piece of media out there. Laura Dekker now resides in New Zealand, her country of origin, and continues to work in shipyards while occasionally giving presentations about her iconic journey.

Captain Marvel (2019)

There is absolutely no way you are unaware of this film unless you’ve literally been living under a rock. Released just last year, Captain Marvel was a movie that had had people on their toes ever since it had been announced. With how great MARVEL movies have been doing this whole decade, people had extremely high hopes for the film, and Captain Marvel delivered.

A superhero film with MARVEL’s wit and epic storytelling combined with a super confident and excellent female role, the whole movie is an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The film, though also heavily focused on fast-paced action scenes, has a pretty good story driving the whole thing. Without spoiling too much in case you still haven’t watched it, the story follows Captain Marvel as she tries to make sense of recurring visions from a supposedly real past life, and has lots of thrilling twists and turns that will keep your eyes glued to the screen as this one woman powerhouse almost singlehandedly saves the entire galaxy.

Arrival (2016)

Arrival is one of those films. You know the one; the kind of film that leaves your eyes wide open, your body covered in goosebumps, and you excitedly debating the plot with everyone else as you already begin to plan a re-watch. It’s that kind of movie. Arrival follows a female scientist who is assigned on a team sent out to a remote area to observe and try to communicate with a gigantic alien ship of sorts that has just materialized out of the fourth dimension of Spacetime and is now hovering eerily a few hundred feet above the ground.

The whole film is an absolute masterpiece when it comes to cinematography and storytelling, and the whole adventure of our lead character slowly figuring out the answers and putting the pieces together is so well told and so deeply planned that you will only ever get the full story if you watch the film twice or even more times. Without spoiling much, the film centers around focusing on the perception of space and time and how it might differ from how we perceive it to be.

Best Female Action Stars

Action movies are commonly considered as “guy flicks,” and many of the greatest action movies of all time had male leads. But several outstanding action films that have made much money have strong female leads. The women who have bravely taken on these male roles have concretized their names in movie history and have changed the game of the film industry. The following are the most notable women taking the role in an action film.

1. Michelle Yeoh – Michelle Yeoh has a long history in the film industry and has made a name in action movies. It takes a lot to beat Jackie Chan. Still, Michelle Yeoh did it in Police Story 3 by merely riding her motorcycle down a cliff and landing it on a rolling train. Her most notable performance was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which may have put her on this list. She also appeared in the Supercop and Tomorrow Never Dies 007 movies.

2. Angelina Jolie – Angelina Jolie is essentially the female counterpart of those famous Hollywood actors who have starred in numerous high-budget action films, such as Will Smith or Ben Affleck. In the Tomb Raider series, she played Lara Croft and the lead in the movie Wanted. She is a typical most sought-after movie star who can easily carry any role thrown her way.

3. Michelle Rodriguez – Michelle Rodriguez is without a doubt one of the most well-known female action stars of all time; her involvement in the Fast and Furious series has paved the way to her stardom. She also appeared in Avatar, Alita: Battle Angel, S.W.A.T., and other films outside of the trilogy. She also appeared in Machete, the movie that provided the much-deserving first main part to another legendary Latin badass, Danny Trejo.

4. Scarlett Johansson – After joining the MCU, Scarlett Johansson, who has been in the industry for a while, rose to an action legend. Her time playing the role of Black Widow has been incredible. Among other films, she appeared in Lucy and Ghost in the Shell. 

5. Cynthia Rothrock – For the 1980s and 1990’s film fanatic, Cynthia Rothrock is a well-known face. She is perhaps the best Western on-screen martial artist of that era, frequently putting the like the female version of Van Damme and Seagal. She is essentially the only American actor to achieve actual stardom in Hongkong. Her film with Michelle Yeoh, entitled Yes, Madam, is a timeless masterpiece.

Interesting Facts About Women in Films

Everyone can agree that there are still few positions and chances for women in front of and behind the camera, even though much has changed since the invention of film. Nonetheless, women have advanced significantly in recent years. These eye-opening facts can inspire optimism for the future of women in film.

1. The first female-led superhero movie in over ten years, Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep, is also Streep’s first debut as a hero.

2. Jane Campion was the only female director who won the Palme d’Or, the top film at the Cannes Film Festival. And Sofia Coppola won the best director award for The Beguiled in 2017, becoming just the second woman to do so.

3. Rey’s appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is believed to have been inspired by concept images of Luke Skywalker from the early stages of the film’s development when George Lucas considered making Luke a woman.

4. When filming the Wonder Woman sequel, Gal Gadot discovered she was pregnant. The green cloth was placed over her growing belly so that editors could digitally delete it after the shoot. 

5. Jodie Foster worked as Mary Ann Krause’s shadow to prepare for her role as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Foster was motivated by Agent Krause to include the scene where Clarice sobs in front of her car because Krause advised her that it was a healthy emotional release from the demanding task.

6. To portray the transition more accurately between Jean and her violent alter ego in X-Men: The Last Stand, Famke Janssen conducted a study on split personalities and dissociative identity disorders.

7. Ancient historical queens and warriors paired with contemporary athletic attire that would work better during filming inspired Wonder Woman’s Amazon warrior armor. The functionality of the clothes for riding horses and fighting prevailed over their elegance, according to costume designer Lindy Hemming. Also, each Amazon warrior in the film was given a certain type of armor to fit their personality. Antiope’s armor was designed to appear as though it had been fashioned by her out of the skins of the animals she hunted, in contrast to Hippolyta’s golden royal style.

8. Rooney Mara’s body piercings were real in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She underwent several procedures to get all of Lisbeth Salander’s piercings. Still, she took out most of them after the movie was shot.

9. As Trinity in The Matrix, Carrie-Anne Moss performed many of her stunts. While filming a sequence, she hurt her ankle but decided not to notify anyone for fear of being recast. According to The Matrix’s costume designer, Trinity’s outfit was constructed from cheap P.V.C. because of the limited budget.

10. Ellen Ripley was brought back by aliens to take on the Alien Queen. The puppetry and machinery used to bring the queen to live were incredibly intricate. Up to eight persons were required to operate the alien queen, and they had to coordinate their actions. Two stuntmen operated her four arms within the queen. Other persons used wires, rods, and hydraulics to direct her movements.


Those are but a handful of great adventure movies starring female roles as the main characters. There are so many more out there nowadays that you won’t run out of stuff to watch any time soon. If instead of movies you’re racking your brains to figure out what type of songs you can use in slideshows of special occasions like your children’s birthdays, this post might help you make a decision. Want to read a longer list of some good movies to watch with your daughter? We’ve got 20 movie ideas right here.