Top 10 Female Revenge Movies of All Time

Top 10 Female Revenge Movies of All Time

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
Nothing's more satisfying than a female revenge movie. For this list, we'll be looking at the most thrilling action, horror and crime films about a heroine exacting revenge. Our countdown includes "Promising Young Woman," "Carrie," "Revenge," and more!

Top 10 Female Revenge Movies of All Time

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female Revenge Movies of All Time

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most thrilling action, horror and crime films about a heroine exacting revenge.

Which of these female-led revenge flicks is your favorite? Leave us a comment below.

#10: “Peppermint” (2018)

Director Pierre Morel is no stranger to revenge movies. In 2008 he directed the surprise hit “Taken” that turned Liam Neeson into an action star and introduced “a very particular set of skills” into our pop culture lexicon. Ten years later he was back on the revenge path, but this time it was Jennifer Garner walking down it in “Peppermint.” And don’t let the sweet title fool you. Garner picks up some very impressive skills of her own, which she puts to good use when the men who killed her husband and daughter are let off by a judge.

#9: “Hard Candy” (2005)

Before the unplanned pregnancy in “Juno”, Elliot Page doled out vigilante justice in “Hard Candy.” The film features Page as Hayley Stark, a 14-year-old who takes a 32 year old man captive, suspecting that he’s a sexual predator. The film doesn’t pull any punches with its disturbing and controversial material and succeeds with a strong script and even stronger performances. The handheld camera adds a claustrophobic and immersive style that doesn’t let you look away, even if you want to.

#8: “Lady Vengeance” (2005)

When it comes to revenge movies, South Korean director Park Chan-wook is an expert. Not only did he direct 2005s “Lady Vengeance”, but the film was the third in what has been dubbed Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy.” While the first two films in the trilogy, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”and “Oldboy” feature male protagonists, “Lady Vengeance” has, as the name suggests, a female at its center. Lee Geum-ja went to jail for a muder she didn’t commit. When she gets out, she seeks vengeance on the real murderer. The film is, as fans of Park would expect, stylish and violent. There is little Lee won’t do to get her revenge.

#7: “The Villainess” (2017)

Our next entry is another movie from South Korea. The film’s director Jung Byung-gil has said that the film drew inspiration from Luc Besson’s 1990 film, “La Femme Nikita”. As with that film, “The Villainess” features a girl trained as an assassin by a secret government agency. After the agency betrays her, she seeks revenge. If you’re looking for action, look no further. “The Villainess” is filled with violence and kinetic energy - from the opening first-person-shooter styled sequence to a sword fight on motorcycles.

#6: “A Vigilante” (2018)

Sadie makes it her business to aid those who need help escaping abusive situations. Played by Olivia Wilde, Sadie suffered a tragic loss at the hands of her husband, which led her to transform herself into a vigilante dedicated to saving others. Eventually her past comes back to haunt her once again, but now she’s ready and able to get revenge. “A Vigilante” is carried on the back of Wilde, who delivers an incredible performance that gives voice and strength to those who have survived similar horrors.

#5: “Promising Young Woman” (2020)

Cassie Thomas is a med school dropout who spends her days working in a coffee shop and her nights pretending to be drunk, going home with men she meets. Once there, she confronts them for trying to take advantage of her. Cassie’s quest for vengeance stems from a tragic event that occured when she was in medical school. The film perfectly blends dark comedy with psychological thrills, and the script digs much deeper than most revenge movies. In fact, it won top honors at the BAFTAs, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and the Oscars.

#4: “Revenge” (2017)

It’s all right there in the title for this one! “Revenge” tells the story of a woman, Jen, who’s assaulted and pushed off a cliff. Against all odds, she manages to survive and returns for … you guessed it, revenge! Jen’s attackers are made to realize their mistake as the tables are turned. Not for the faint of heart, “Revenge” is pure bloody vengeance in all it’s stylized glory. Think Rambo with a feminist twist.

#3: “Carrie” (1976)

Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, “Carrie” follows a 16-year-old girl who’s tormented by high school bullies and her fervently religious mother. What they don’t realize - at least at first - is that Carrie has telekinetic powers. So messing with her is a very, very bad idea. Often cited as one of the greatest horror films of all time, “Carrie” features one of the most iconic revenge scenes ever. On one hand, you might never think of proms the same way again. On the other, it’s one of the best revenge movies ever made!

#2: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

While the central story is about the 40-year-old mystery of a missing girl, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” expands out in multiple directions. That includes the tale of Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara, a computer hacker and assault survivor who went from victim to vigilante, exacting revenge on the man who abused her. The scene in question, and the film as a whole, are dark and intense. Director David Fincher has shown his skill in the psychological thriller realm with his films “Seven” and “Zodiac”, but “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” might just be the best of all of them.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Colombiana” (2011)
After a Drug Lord Kills Her Parents, Cataleya Grows Up & Seeks Revenge

“The Brave One” (2007)
Living in Fear After Being Attacked, Erica Bain Becomes a Vigilante

“Double Jeopardy” (1999)
Libby Parsons Seeks Revenge After Being Framed for Murder

“Gone” (2012)
Held Captive Years Earlier, Jill Finally Gets a Chance at Revenge

“I Spit on Your Grave” (1978)
This Horror Film Remains Controversial Due to Its Graphic Violence

#1: “Kill Bill: Volume 1” (2003)

After this Bride’s wedding party is gunned down, she’s left for dead by the ruthless gang she used to work for. But she survives and swears revenge - hunting down each member in pursuit of their leader, Bill. Quentin Tarantino initially planned for just one “Kill Bill” film. However, when the runtime came in at over four hours, the movie was split up into two parts. Both are filled with brilliant dialogue, stylized violence, and nods to samurai cinema, blaxploitation, and Westerns. The result is a bloody, epic, and satisfying revenge story, with a badass heroine at its heart.