In a world where courage knows no gender, female soldiers have continually shattered barriers, commanding both the silver screen and the hearts of audiences worldwide. From gripping tales of valor to unyielding displays of strength, these 12 remarkable movies put the spotlight firmly on the indomitable spirit of women in uniform. As we embark on this cinematic journey, we’ll witness their triumphs, struggles, and unyielding determination, celebrating the powerful portrayals that have graced our screens and forever altered the perception of what it means to be a soldier. Brace yourselves for a thrilling countdown of the best 12 movies with female soldiers, where each unforgettable performance leaves an indelible mark on the annals of cinematic history.
12. Battleship (2012)
Battleship is a sci-fi action film, loosely based on the popular board game of the same name. It combines elements of action and sci-fi, centering on an intense battle between the US Navy and an extraterrestrial force. It follows Lieutenant Alex Hopper, a reckless naval officer who is thrust into a leadership role when the aliens attack. Under Alex serves Petty Officer 2nd Class Cora “Weps” Raikes, played by singer and actress Rihanna. Raikes is a weapons specialist and a capable gunner who serves on the USS John Paul Jones, a U.S. Navy destroyer. Raikes is a no-nonsense member of the ship’s crew and plays a significant role in the battles against the invaders. As a weapons officer, she is responsible for operating the ship’s advanced weaponry, including the ship’s impressive naval guns.
11. Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Battle: Los Angeles is a science fiction action film set amid an alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a group of US Marines as they engage in intense urban combat against the extraterrestrial invaders. Serving under Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, Tech Sgt. Elena Santos is on a mission to rescue civilians trapped in a police station in the heart of L.A., which has become a war zone. Portrayed by Michelle Rodriguez, Santos is a tough and skilled soldier. She demonstrates courage in the face of the extraterrestrial threat, and she becomes an integral part of the team’s efforts to survive and protect the civilians they encounter.
10. Courage Under Fire (1996)
Courage under Fire is a war drama film, starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. The story revolves around investigating a female U.S. Army officer’s actions during the Gulf War and the quest to uncover the truth behind her actions. Army Capt. Karen Walden, played by Meg Ryan, is the first woman to be considered for a Medal of Honor, posthumously. She was killed in action during the Gulf War while leading her unit through a firefight. Her actions were believed to be heroic, saving the lives of her fellow soldiers. However, doubts about the official version of events arise, leading to an investigation into Walden’s actions. The movie delves into themes of truth, honor, and the toll of war on soldiers’ mental and emotional well-being.
9. Starship Troopers (1997)
Starship Troopers is a satirical military sci-fi film with over-the-top action, dark humor, and propaganda-style elements. It follows Johnny Rico and his friends in a futuristic society where citizenship is earned through military service, as they battle a hostile alien species called the Arachnids. The movie offers a critical commentary on militarism, nationalism, and the consequences of glorifying war. Fighting alongside Rico, Private Dizzy Flores is a skilled and brave soldier who serves in the Mobile Infantry. Dizzy is strong-willed, determined, and fiercely loyal to her comrades. Throughout the film, Dizzy develops romantic feelings for Johnny, which create a subplot in the story. She is portrayed as a capable combatant and an essential member of the military unit. Her unwavering loyalty and bravery make her a significant presence amid the intense battles against the Arachnids.
8. Private Benjamin (1980)
Private Benjamin is a comedy film starring Goldie Hawn. The movie follows the story of a woman who finds herself in the U.S. Army after joining on a whim. It centers on Judy Benjamin, a wealthy woman who lives a pampered life with her husband. However, her life takes a turn when her husband suddenly dies. Feeling lost, Judy decides to enlist, hoping that the military will provide her with a sense of purpose. She expects an easy experience, similar to what she had seen in recruitment ads. Once in the Army, Judy quickly realizes that military life is far from what she imagined. The rigorous training shocks her, and she struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The clashes between her privileged background and the army’s demands lead to humorous situations. Goldie Hawn’s portrayal of Benjamin earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
7. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (2009)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is an action-adventure film based on the popular toy line by Hasbro. The movie follows an elite military unit known as G.I. Joe as they confront a global threat posed by a sinister organization. Led by General Hawk (Dennis Quaid), the team is comprised of highly skilled soldiers, each with their unique talents. Among them is Sgt.(E-5) Scarlett, a resourceful soldier who is an expert in intelligence gathering and a highly proficient markswoman. Scarlett’s character is known for her strategic thinking, combat prowess, and strong leadership skills. She is dedicated to the G.I. Joe cause and willing to put herself in harm’s way to protect others and uphold justice.
6. Battle for Sevastopol (2015)
Battle for Sevastopol is a 2015 biographical war drama film, based on the true story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a legendary Soviet sniper during WWII. The story follows the life of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, from her early days as a young girl in Ukraine to her remarkable achievements on the battlefield during the war. As a young student, Lyudmila becomes an exceptional sharpshooter and excels in marksmanship. She is subsequently enlisted in the Red Army and deployed to the Eastern Front to fight against the invading German forces. On the battlefield, Lyudmila’s extraordinary skills as a sniper gain recognition, and she quickly becomes a feared figure among the German troops, who nicknamed her the “Lady Death”. As the war continues, Lyudmila faces the harsh realities of combat, witnessing the loss of friends and comrades. Despite the horrors of war, her dedication to her country and the fight against fascism never wavers.
5. A Few Good Men (1992)
A Few Good Men is a legal drama film that centers around a young military lawyer who becomes involved in a high-profile court-martial case. It follows Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), a talented but unambitious Navy lawyer known for negotiating plea deals to avoid going to trial. His superiors assign him to defend two Marines, who are accused of murdering a fellow Marine. At first, Kaffee is ready to arrange a plea deal to quickly close the case. However, his mindset changes when he meets Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway (Demi Moore) who believes the case deserves a thorough investigation. Galloway believes that the Marines may have been following orders from their commanding officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson). A Few Good Men features powerful performances, particularly the iconic “You can’t handle the truth!” scene delivered by Jack Nicholson.
4. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
In Edge of Tomorrow, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) finds himself trapped in a time loop during an alien invasion. Reliving the same day repeatedly, he gains combat experience with each iteration. During one of these loops, he crosses paths with Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), the renowned “Angel of Verdun” for her heroic feats against the alien invaders. Rita, having broken free from her time loop in the past, recognizes the potential in Cage’s ability to reset the day. She becomes his mentor, training him to harness his combat skills and make the most of each loop. With Rita’s guidance, Cage becomes an increasingly formidable warrior, learning from his mistakes and using his knowledge of future events to predict and counter the Mimics’ moves. Their partnership becomes crucial in the fight against the relentless alien forces!
3. Home of the Brave (2006)
Home of the Brave is a 2006 war drama film that follows the lives of four American soldiers who return home from the Iraq War and face various challenges as they try to readjust to civilian life. One of them is Sgt. Vanessa Price (played by Jessica Biel), is a young soldier who served as a medic in Iraq. She returns home to her family, but her experiences in the war have left her emotionally scarred. She grapples with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the difficulty of reintegrating into her old life. The film explores the emotional scars she carries from her service, shedding light on the struggles faced by veterans, particularly women, and highlighting the importance of providing support to those grappling with the lasting effects of war. Price’s journey exemplifies the resilience of soldiers who confront the invisible wounds of combat long after the war has ended.
2. Aliens (1986)
While Ellen Ripley’s courage has undoubtedly garnered significant attention, our focus shifts to the true female soldier of the movie – Private First Class Janette Vassquez. “Aliens” is a sci-fi action sequel to “Alien.” Ellen Ripley, the lone survivor of the Nostromo, is recruited to join a team of Colonial Marines investigating a lost colony, now infested with deadly Xenomorphs. Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) is a prominent member of the Colonial Marines. She is known for her toughness, bravery, and proficiency in combat. Along with the rest of the Colonial Marines, Vasquez is sent to investigate the lost colony. She becomes a key figure in the battles against the Xenomorphs. Consequently, Her character has become an iconic part of the “Aliens” franchise. She will always be remembered for her courage and memorable one-liners, making her a fan favorite.
1. G.I. Jane (1997)
Was there even a doubt? Our top pick for this list of best movies with female soldiers is “G.I. Jane”. The movie stars Demi Moore in the lead role as Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil, the first woman to undergo rigorous Navy SEAL training. When a controversial senator pushes for equal opportunities for women in the military, Lieutenant O’Neil volunteers for the program to prove that women are capable of handling the same arduous training as men. Despite facing intense opposition from the male-dominated military establishment, O’Neil begins her training at the demanding and grueling Navy SEAL training camp. The film follows her challenging journey as she endures physically and mentally demanding tasks, striving to earn the respect of her skeptical instructors and fellow trainees. Demi Moore’s portrayal of Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil earned abundant praise for her unwavering dedication and compelling performance.