Female-Directed Movies To Watch For Women's History Month

They’re girl-powered.

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Leslie Hayman, Kirsten Dunst, A.J. Cook, Chelsea Swain

Yes, female directors are seemingly getting their due at long last. The past few years in particular has been a big one for women in the role, thanks to highly acclaimed and box-office-busting films like Nomadland, Past Lives, and of course Barbie. One would think these wins would equal to more representation in the space, right? Wrong. According to a report by Associate Professor of Communication Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, of the 116 directors evaluated in the study for 2023, 12.1% were women. This percentage is an increase from meager 2.7% in 2007 and a bit of an improvement from 2022’s 9%, but considering the women directors have delivered the top box office films the last two years in a row, this number is disappointing to say the least.

“Over more than a decade and a half, the percentage of women in top directing jobs has not even grown by 10 percentage points,” Smith said in a January 2024 interview for USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. “These figures are not merely data points on a chart. They represent real, talented women working to have sustainable careers in an industry that will not hire them into jobs they are qualified to hold solely because of their identity.”

Couple this with Greta Gerwig’s snub for Best Director at the 2024 Oscars and you can see the state of the male-dominated industry is not too different from where it was a decade ago. That’s why, more than ever, it’s important to support the female directors who are and have been defying adversity in the name of art. Whether that be Sofia Coppola’s 1999 cult-classic The Virgin Suicides (which inspired a 2021 collection of Heaven by Marc Jacobs) or Celine Song’s 2023 acclaimed film Past Lives (which earned a 2024 Oscar nomination for best original screenplay), watching these women-powered films is an easy way to show your support.

Ahead 10 female-directed movies to help you celebrate Women’s History Month by giving these artists the credit they’re due.

The Virgin Suicides

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While Coppola’s most recent Priscilla and her 2003 hit Lost In Translation may be her more well-known projects for some, millennial women know the director for her melancholic period piece The Virgin Suicides, which chronicles the lives of the five dreamy and mysterious Lisbon sisters, whose doomed lives will forever haunt the neighborhood boys who loved them.


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The biggest film of 2023, Greta Gerwig’s triumphant story of self-discovery is worth another watch in March (even if you’ve seen it multiple times). For those not in the know, the colorful and fashion-candy-filled flick spotlights the iconic doll and her journey from Barbieland to the real world, which triggers an existential crisis of purpose and search for truth.

Past Lives


Song’s semi-autobiographical tale follows two childhood friends, Na Young “Nora” and Hae Sung (played respectively by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo) who are separated for more than two decades after Nora’s family emigrates from Korea to Toronto. The film chronicles their attempts at reconnection, the lives they created apart, and their eventual reunion that forces them to confront questions about what could have been — and what may be in a future life.


ARRAY Filmworks

When it premiered at the 2023 Venice Film Festival in September 2023, Ava DuVernay’s latest biographical film received an eight-minute standing ovation. The re-telling of author Isabel Wilkerson’s creative process in writing her acclaimed 2020 book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents has been described by critics as “a swirling tornado of ideas” (Variety) and a “moving drama that's unafraid to ask big questions” (Rotten Tomatoes). Actor Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor portrays the creative as she travels the world, exploring the caste systems in various countries like Germany, India, and the United States.


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Chloé Zhao was the first Asian woman and the second woman ever to win Best Director for this film about a widow in her 60s who leaves her life in quiet Nevada for one on the road as a nomad. Based on the nonfiction book by Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, the film features stunning visuals of the American landscape and authentic accounts of the nomadic life.

A League Of Their Own


“There’s no crying in baseball!” Tom Hank’s hilarious and now iconic line is only a minute factor in Penny Marshall’s genius and memorable film about the original women’s US baseball league, assembled during World War II. Between the all-star cast that includes Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Gina Davis and the empowering story of women defying the expectations of a sexist society and sport, this film is a must-watch (or re-watch) anytime of year.



We all know Barbra Streisand can do it all, and this film perfectly exemplifies her as a multi-faceted force of nature. As the director, co-writer, co-producer, and star of Yentl the icon flawlessly portrays an an Ashkenazi Jewish woman living in Poland at the turn of the 20th century who disguises herself as a man to receive an education in Talmudic Law. Selecting the best Streisand film is like selecting a favorite child, but her directorial debut in Yentl feels like an extra special treat for Women’s History Month.

Wonder Woman

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Patty Jenkins’ 2017 foray into the superhero space was an astounding success, winning over both critics and the box office. In fact, it brought in some $822 million worldwide and was one of the top-grossing films of the year. It also put actor Gal Gadot on the map as an ass-kicking Wonder Woman, which we are forever indebted to Jenkins for.

Women Talking


Director Sarah Polley took home the 2023 Oscar for best adapted screenplay for this female-powered masterpiece. The hard-hitting story is based on Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name inspired by true events in a Mennonite town in Bolivia in which the women have a crisis of faith after discovering they’ve been drugged and assaulted by the men in their community.



You’d be hard-pressed to find someone over the age of 35 who can’t quote this teen rom-com verbatim. Indeed, Amy Heckerling’s ‘90s take on Jane Austen’s period novel Emma, will spark both nostalgia, joy, and all manner of style inspiration. The best way to celebrate Women’s History Month, if you ask us.