10 Kick-Ass, Female-Led Action Movies That Satisfy

We love a good woman-centered spy or assassin film here, the ones filled with running, shooting, great stunts, and even better fights. The 355 seemed poised to scratch the itch just perfect. Unfortunately, it did not. Instead, it disappointed most critics, and audiences didn’t seem to disagree. 

If you’re anything like us, you still want to get your fix of women fighting injustice, breaking jaws, and more. With that in mind, here are ten women-centric run ‘n gun films that should make up for The 355 letdown. 


If you were hoping for a spy thriller from Jessica Chastain in particular, this might be more your speed. Chastain plays the titular Ava, a former soldier and addict who went into the contract killing business to get her head on straight. Now she’s sober but increasingly questioning what she’s doing. 

La Femme Nikita

The progenitor of this current era of women-centric run ‘n gun films, La Femme Nikita sets the tone. Over 30 years later, it remains one of the best. Directed by Luc Besson, it proved his first international hit. 

The Protégé

The Protégé does its thing very well, with strong action sequences, a great lead-in Q, and some excellent supporting players. However, far and away what recommends it most is the weirdo sexual chemistry generated between Q and Michael Keaton as a fixer for the number 1 suspect behind Moody’s murder. 


Soderberg does international espionage thriller with bone-crushing results is the logline on this one. While audiences seemed displeased by it, it connected with critics. With the gift of hindsight, viewers’ hesitance to embrace the film is understandable. Its rhythms are decidedly unusual for the genre.