5. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The movie: Olive can’t believe it when she’s given the opportunity to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, and with a little persuasion, her whole family piles into their van for a cross-country road trip to make it to the contest in time. They get held up along the way thanks to family disagreements and the odd unforeseen death, but that’s all part of the fun of a family road trip, right?
How it passes: Throughout the Hoover family’s journey, Olive and her mum Sheryl chat about non-male related things. Plus, once they arrive, Olive meets Miss California and poses her a very important question: Does she eat ice cream? Technically, the conversations Olive has with her male family members don't count, but they’re all so female-positive that it helps round out a very feminist film. Lauren O’Callaghan
4. Black Swan (2010)
The movie: Nina is a superb ballerina with a controlling mother who is determined for her to be the best. It seems her dream comes true when she’s chosen as the prima ballerina for her company’s production of Swan Lake, but she struggles to capture the essence of the Black Swan during rehearsals. Under an enormous amount of pressure, Nina feels threatened when newcomer Lily who joins and seems to personify the Black Swan perfectly.
How it passes: Nina not only has many conversations about her career with her overbearing mother Erica, but she also spends a lot of time talking to fellow ballerina Lily about their work. The pair have a very intense relationship which epitomises how complicated female friendships can be and there’s barely a man in sight. Lauren O’Callaghan
3. Wonder Woman (2017)
The movie: Princess Diana was raised to believe her purpose was to protect mankind, so when Steve Trevor washes up on her shores talking of a war to end all wars, she knows she has to go back with him and help stop the fighting. Oh, and she’s also an amazingly strong and skilled fighter with the powers of a god and some impressive accessories.
How it passes: As you can probably tell from the name, Wonder Woman is a film about a pretty incredible woman, and is one of the few superhero movies with a central female character. This alone would be enough to give it a spot on this list, but it also features many other named female characters, from Diana’s mother Queen Queen Hippolyta and her Aunt Antiope, to Steve’s secretary Etta, who talk more about battle strategies than they do men. Lauren O’Callaghan
2. Aliens (1986)
The movie: After she gets back to earth safely, Ripley isn’t given much rest in this sequel before she’s sent out again to a far-flung colony to investigate their mysterious silence. Spoilers: they’re silent because everyone is dead. Thanks to the oh-so-familiar aliens. Everyone except Newt, that is, a young girl orphaned by the massacre.
How it passes: Ripley and Newt. Enough said. Their mother-daughter relationship makes descending into an alien hive no big deal, but before things get quite that desperate, the two talk about Newt’s parents, the monsters, and surviving in a pleasantly heartfelt way considering all the death and destruction surrounding them. Vasquez - the female soldier with the killer machine gun - also talks to Ripley about the alien threat. Oh, and the villain is a giant, female alien who Ripley battles with equal strength while wielding a killer heavy-lifting exoskeleton. Making them strong female characters both literally and metaphorically. Zoe Delahunty-Light
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The movie: The world has become little more than a wasteland with the most precious resource water, so the person who controls the water, controls everything else. That doesn’t stop Immortan Joe’s wives from leaving him though, and with the help of Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, they go on an epic car chase through the desert toward freedom.
How it passes: It might sound like this is a stereotypical story about women leaving an abusive home (just set in a dystopian world), but Mad Max: Fury Road is so much more than that. Not only are all Immortan Joe’s wives strong female role models, but Theron’s character is a badass of epic proportions and Hardy’s Max often defers to her judgement or expertise throughout the film (if you haven’t seen Feminist Mad Max, you’re missing out). Although, it’s true a lot of the time the female cast talk about how to escape Joe (a man), they also meet another group of female survivors and discuss building a new community, the future of the world, and overthrowing the dystopian patriarchy. Lauren O’Callaghan