8 Empowering Movies You Need To Watch Before You Turn 18

At this point in my life, I love watching a good empowering movie, but I wasn’t always like that. When I was in high school, I was a fan of the “damsel in distress” narrative that is so popular among teen romantic comedies. I used to love the idea of the clumsy, innocent girl being saved by the mysterious boy (AKA Twilight). It wasn’t until I got a little bit older that I realized how messed up that plotline really is. Sure, you can be a shy girl who falls for the “bad boy,” but you don’t need him to “save” you, whatever that means. I wish I had watched more empowering movies when I was younger so that I could have realized this. Your life shouldn’t be like Twilight, even though I have to admit those books were pretty entertaining. You should be in control of your own story, and you definitely don’t need a man to be there for you.

I’m not saying that being in a relationship is bad, since it totally isn’t. But oftentimes in movies, the whole plot leads up to the big ~romantic~ kiss at the end, which shows that everything will be alright. Life isn’t like that. Unfortunately, guys aren’t always going to be knights in shining armor. That means that sometimes, you need to empower yourself, and not rely on anyone else to do it. If you need help, I totally get it. Here are some empowering movies that will totally inspire you to be the strong and unstoppable woman you can be. You’ve got this.

Mad Max

Hear me out: this movie was marketed as an "action-packed bro movie" but it actually has some pretty feminist themes. Obviously, it's not the most feminist movie out there (that title will forever belong to Legally Blonde, of course) but it makes you think. It takes place in a dystopian future where resources are limited, and the evil guy in power keeps women as his personal "baby makers" so that he can be even more powerful. First off, there is a strong female lead who doesn't give AF about men and can fight for herself. Next, there is the iconic moment when all of the females who had been forced to have children are released and then they declare "we are not things" after standing up for their right to their own bodies. Women are not there to cater to men! We are our own people, and it's important to realize that. I cried. Sorry not sorry.

Breakfast At Tiffany's

This movie is iconic for so many reasons, but I watched it when I was in high school and definitely felt empowered. Sure, Holly Golightly can be a little naive at times, but she stands up for what she believes in, and that's often herself, which is super important. She dates around, but doesn't take sh*t from anyone. My favorite moment in the movie is when she declares that she doesn't belong to anyone, especially not a guy who loves her. ICONIC.


Another classic that you might have overlooked. This movie shows not only that being smart is cool, but that your family doesn't have to be people who are directly related to you. Matilda comes from an abusive family who treat her horribly, and she finds a new "family" among her teacher and friends. She also uses magical powers to take revenge on people who treat her badly. Not that revenge is a good thing...but her family deserved it, TBH.

Kill Bill

Head up, this movie is VIOLENT, but if you're into that, it's definitely one you should check out. The main character, nicknamed "The Bride," takes revenge on the man who shot her on her wedding day. It can get a little gorey and outrageous at some points, but honestly, it's a good movie about a woman taking revenge on all of the awful men in her life.


This is a Disney movie that often gets overlooked, so if you haven't seen it, I'm not surprised. Mulan is literally amazing, and the movie is even getting a live-action remake, which could either be good or bad, IMO. But, since the original still exists, it's an important watch for any young girl who doesn't want to just be on the sidelines, and actually want to help her family and her country. Mulan takes her father's place in the war, and helps fight for her country. I'm not saying you can single-handedly change the world (or maybe you can! Dream big) But, you definitely don't have to leave it to the men to fight our battles for you, both literally and figuratively.

Legally Blonde

I mean, obviously. Do I need to explain? The movie follows Elle Woods, a popular sorority girl, who's boyfriend breaks up with her because she's not "serious enough." To try and get him back, she applies to law school and kicks ass. If you don't know how it ends, don't read on. BUT: at the end of the movie, she becomes successful AF, and refuses to get back with him, and becomes BFFs with his ex-GF. GOALS.

Mean Girls

This is another weird one, considering how mean this movie really is, but hear me out. I know that you've probably seen this movie many times before (unless that's just me), but it's a good representation of what happens if you tear other girls down, as opposed to empowering them. Girls are supposed to support each other, and it can get, ugh, messy if you don't. If you haven't seen this movie, I'll give you a run down: Cady moves from Africa to a public high school in Illinois. She is thrown into the world of rumor-spreading and girls tearing down other girls. It's a good movie to watch so you can see the bad side of bringing other girls down. Plus, it's hilarious.


Sure, there are some aspects of this movie that can seem a little shallow, but Cher proves that you can be materialistic and still be smart and witty. I mean, she helps give her teacher a makeover, she uses fashion as a way of empowerment, and runs a charity drive. What can't she do? I mean, she can't really drive,  but that's okay.

Are you going to watch any of these empowering movies? Tell us in the comments!

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