Girl power isn’t just a bedazzled slogan imprinted on the shirts of tweens, it is much more than that. Seriously ladies, look how far we’ve come. Though there are the unavoidable cliques of less admirable women (that Amber Rose/Khloe Kardashian Twitter feud is almost as embarrassing as a high school dance  fight), this is the era of strong female leads that are not only breaking taboos, but they are praised for doing so. Yeah, ladies have always been awesome, but this is the time they are the most appreciated and encouraged, especially when it comes to the arts. Though the entertainment industry is still mostly run by men, there are still more and more female directors, writers and producers breaking the glass ceiling and making a name of their own. We have for you some ass-kicking female films either directed or starring female talent that are too cool for school. Whether they’re embracing physical strength, or the witty dialogue of  a woman that knows what she wants, these five girl power films will make you love your vag. And if you don’t have one, they will make you love someone else’s vag. Win win for all.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Lisbeth Salander. Shit, what isn’t there to say about Lisbeth. Based on the very popular Swedish crime series, The Millennium Trilogy, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo stars one of the bravest and unique female characters to have ever graced film and literature. Tech-savvy and rebellious, petite Salander has gone through some terrible shit, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t overcome it withe a shaking fist and some coffee along the way. Her tactics can be extreme at times, but when Salander aims to get even, she really does, encouraging women everywhere to never play victim, and to fend for themselves.


In a World...(2013)
Nothing is more frustrating for a woman than trying to break into a male-dominated scene, especially when you’ve been discouraged by mostly every man in your life, including your father. Written, directed and co-produced by Lake Bell, In a World… explores the struggles of women in male-dominated occupations. Bell stars as vocal coach Carol, who is overshadowed by her legendary voice-over father Sam. Carol wants to break into the world of voice-overs too, and is competing against her father for a voice-over trailer gig for an upcoming Hunger Games-like franchise. A lot of sexism and double standards are implemented, but the genius behind this film is Bell’s chill screenplay. Though this is a battle between father and daughter, who just don’t get each other, the girl-powerness (yes, I made that up) of this film isn’t overwhelming, and instead balanced by Bell’s great humor. “Guess who’s a whore?!”, will be your favorite line days after.


Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)
Quentin Tarantino has an uncanny way of writing up some pretty deadly women. Yeah, he may have given us Reservoir Dogs and other macho-esque classics, but his female characters almost never disappoint. Kill Bill’s the Bride is an example of this; she embodies what a Tarantino character should be- unforgiving, dangerous and smart. Journeying into an adventure of revenge, The Bride is possibly the scariest of any Tarantino character. Avenging the death of her unborn daughter years after a massacre on her wedding rehearsal, the Bride is driven by the belief that she must get even. In a way, you tend to forget that the Bride is a mother avenging her daughter’s death, that her intentions may be female-driven. This becomes easy to overlook because you don’t just see the Bride as an angry mama, but generally as an angry person who deserves her revenge. Kill Bill blurs the gender lines by shaping a character that deserves to kill, regardless if she is a woman or not. She is not wearing a frilly skirt like a sailor scout the whole time; she’s too busy getting down to the killing, drenched in blood, dirt and rage.


Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
Curly-haired blue eyed Miranda July sounds like she’d be a Zooey Deschanel-like actress. She is more than blushing cheeks and great hair, however; she writes, directs and stars in her own films that are quite the odd balls. In her directorial debut,Me and You and Everyone We Know, July presents us with a romantic-comedy drama that is a sub-genre of its own. Maybe “strange occurrences and characters” would be the best way to describe this trail-blazing feature? Consisting of several sub-plots, July explores the lives of a number of kooky characters, like a pair of teenage girls trying to grow up a little too fast, and two young brothers chatting online using a poop emoticon they created. July effortlessly imbeds gender-based scenarios by writing up characters, mostly female, that are flawed and carefully navigating through their faulty choices. July’s directorial and literal contribution supports the argument that women can make artsy films that leave an impression, other than sexual impressions many directors try to squeeze in.


The Hours (2002)
Based on one of the most fem pieces of literature of its time, “Mrs. Dalloway”, The Hours explores three intertwining stories of three very different women. You have Nicole Kidman portraying Virginia Woolf, the actual author of “Mrs. Dalloway”, Meryl Streep portraying the fictional Mrs. Dalloway in modern-day New York, and Julianne Moore portraying a 50s suburban housewife. Each of them share the same discontent, desiring to discover more than what they bargained for. Though The Hourscan come off as three women who do not know what they want, it is actually an exploration of the dissatisfaction women can feel within their female roles, such as wife or even friend. The Hours is a very real film, and though Nicole Kidman’s nose is fake as fuck, The Hourscertainly is not.