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17 Films With Heroic Female Characters to Watch With Kids

Girl-power picks for an inspirational family movie night

Angelica Lai

Published on: February 22, 2022

17 Films With Heroic Female Characters to Watch With Kids

“Black Panther”

Movies for older tweens and teens

Movie: “Dolores” (2017), character: Dolores Huerta

Not rated, recommended for ages 11 and older

This documentary film delves into the untold story of Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist and labor leader who laid the groundwork with César Chávez in founding the first labor union for farm workers. The mother of 11 continues her tireless activism to this day — at the age of 89.

Movie: “Black Panther” (2018), characters: Nakia, Okoye, Shuri and Ramonda

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 12 and older

The women of Wakanda are amazing reminders that anyone can be anything. Nakia is a spy, Okoye is the head of an all-female special forces unit, Shuri is a brilliant scientist and Ramonda is the Queen Mother of T’Challa, the Black Panther. These women give their all to protect Wakanda and are integral to the nation’s success.

Movie: “Wonder Woman” (2017), character: Diana

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 12 and older

Wonder Woman is girl power at its finest — Diana of Themyscira is part-Amazon, part-god, has super strength and speed, can heal rapidly, and, did we mention, she’s part-Amazon, part-god? Wonder Woman has great moral and physical strength, and her narrative challenges viewers to aim high and to fight for what’s right. 

Movie: “The Hate U Give” (2018), character: Starr Carter

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 13 and older

As in the award-winning book the film was based on, the character Starr Carter doesn’t have to exist in a fantasy realm to find her superpower. While the 16-year-old lives in the fictional Garden Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood, she confronts racial divides and systemic racism that exist in present-day America. Having to code-switch and live as two versions of herself, Starr grows to understand the power of her voice. It’s a political awakening that youths today can relate to — a coming-of-age story about developing a social conscience, creating change and, in Starr’s case, picking up a literal megaphone to make herself heard. 

Movie: “The Hunger Games” (2014), character: Katniss Everdeen

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 13 and older

There’s no wonder Katniss is known as “the girl on fire.” As in the bestselling trilogy on which the film is based, Katniss is a courageous hero, a highly skilled archer and a survivor. She’s loyal, intelligent and risks her life to save her family and her district. And, if that’s not superhero-ey enough for you, Katniss becomes a symbol of hope and endurance for the oppressed people of Panem. Iconic.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2020, and updated in February 2022. 

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