Top 10 Movies: Strong Female Cast

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We're not saying these are necessarily movies to empower women, but they are films with a large female ensemble cast. 

In celebration of the release of Bridesmaids, which is being hailed "The Hangover for women," we thought we'd go through our top 10 favorites films with a female ensemble cast.  Whether those women are young or old, most of these films show the bonds of sisterhood and the positive relationships between women. 

Some of these films you might not even remember, but take a look at our list and then chime in with your favorite films with an ensemble female cast.


10. Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch All Five Girls Banner

This film isn't necessarily about the bonds of sisterhood, but it is about a group of women staying loyal to each other amidst some pretty awful adversity.  Even though this isn't rooted in reality, the way these women work together to keep each other safe and have the others back is enough to make it on out list.

9. White Oleander (2002)

White Oleander Poster

Based on the novel by Janet Finch, this movie explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, whether biological or not. At times hard to watch, it isn't a happy, uplifting film about the bonds shared between women.  It is dark film about what connects us and sometimes it's just not enough.  Astrid finds herself in the care of multiple women, each with her own demons and the performances from Robin Wright Penn, Renee Zellwegger, and Michelle Pfeiffer are extraordinary.

8. Waiting to Exhale (1995)

Waiting to Exhale Movie Poster

This film follows a group of women who stay friends through good and bad times.  It follows four women -- Savannah, Robin, Bernie, and Gloria -- through different times in their live, including love and loss.   The tag line for the film reads: "Friends are the people who let you be yourself... and never let you forget it."  This film is a great illustration of that as the women support each other and love each other through whatever comes their way.

7. Friends With Money (2006)

Friends With Money Poster

Much like Waiting to Exhale, Friends With Money follows four friends as they navigate life, each thinking their problems are worse than the others.  The women lean on each other for support even when they are dealing with their own issues and can be unpleasant to be around.  This film illustrates that not all female friendships are great all the time, but sticking together helps everyone get through the tough times.

6. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2007)

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Poster

How do teenage girls who are separated for the summer after spending most of their lives together survive?  By sharing a pair of jeans, of course.  The is the basic premise of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which chronicles the lives of Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen who are living apart and must find their way on their own for the first time.  The pants are a symbol of the bond they still share, but we see it tested as the pants are sometimes forgotten.

5. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Poster

After a mother and daughter have a falling-out, the daughter is forced to understand what makes her mother tick through an album that chronicles her life full of racism, incest, and family drama.  Her mother was part of a group of women who formed a secret order called the "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" to which they pledged undying loyalty.  Through flashbacks, it is clear the young women are supportive of one another and go through a lot together.

4. Steel Magnolias (1989)

Steel Magnolias Poster

In this small southern town, the bonds of sisterhood are strong.  Even when a woman is very ill, her mother and friends help take care of her the only way they know how.  Shelby is about to get married and all the women in her circle are worried about her because she is a diabetic and may not be able to have children.  The women are there for each other through thick and thin, even if they don't always agree with one another.

3. Now and Then (1995)

Now and Then Poster

Now and Then follows the story of four best friends in 1970 who are experiences changes in their lives that they can't always handle.  They experience the journey together often leaning on each other for support as they go through various rites of passage.  The film also shows the women 15 years later as they all return to their hometown -- some of them are still there, other haven't been back for years and they haven't seen one another in a long time, but the bonds of friendship are strong and they easily continue where they left off.

2. The Women (2008)

The Women Movie Poster

One of the only movies with an exclusive female cast, The Women attempts to push boundaries by showing that a film doesn't need men to be successful.  The women talk about the men in their lives, but we never actually see any of them and it's an interesting concept, that turned out surprisingly well.   The 2008 version if a remake of the classic 1939 version, but it brings the storylines and issues the women are facing into more modern times.  The women talk about their successes, failures, heartaches and uniquely special triumphs of being a woman.  It is an interesting study of the female spirit and turns out brillantly.

1. Sex and the City (2008)

Poster for Sex and the City: The Movie

We can never forget the women who changed everything for females all around the world.  Sex and the City brought a new concept to the table for women -- it's okay to talk publicly with others about sex and relationships.  Women were transformed by Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha and they are still extremely popular and beloved characters.  Although the series takes credit for the unprecedented change and acceptance of women's sexuality, the film is a great celebration of love women have for one another and the ways they navigate the world through their own relationships and friendships with each other.  And that is why it tops our list of best female ensemble casts.

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