Total Recall: The 25 Best Action Heroines of All Time

Who?s the toughest of them all? We count down to the best rock ?em, sock ?em lady of all time.



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01. Michelle Yeoh

What can you say about a woman who's starred in over 20 action films, performed most of her own stunts, kept pace with James Bond, and held her own alongside legends like Jet Li and Jackie Chan? Frankly, we think her resume speaks for itself. If you've seen Michelle Yeoh in the highly celebrated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (with Zhang Ziyi) or in any one of her classics like Yes, Madam (also Cynthia Rothrock's martial arts debut), you know you never want to be on her bad side, because she will break you off a burning piece of whoopass.


Comments

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Good list but there are some duds, I think the list should also deal with men I mean not to sound sexist but the coolest action stars to me are guys, no offens Jen lol, I mean Bruce Willis, Arnold, Harrison Ford (#1), Christain Bale, Will Smith is good, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, and duh Matt Damon. The only ones I will say here are amazing is Uma Thurman, Carrie Ann Moss, Pam Gries, not Demmi Moore, and I am sure I will think bot MaCovoy and Jolie will be the coolest action stars after this weekend. Still a pretty cool list, I got add some of these to my netflix.

Jun 25 - 09:13 PM

juice3335

Louis Arreola

its called top 25 action heroin's so @ joker no there shouldn't be any guys on this list duh!

Jul 3 - 04:24 PM

Hyphen Cide

Nicholas Duncan

That is why this is a list of the best action female stars. Heroines not heroes.

Jul 5 - 12:01 PM

ScottHodgins

Scott Hodgins

This list is called "The 25 Best Action Heroines of All Time" where the keyword is "Heroines" which means female heroes.

Jul 9 - 09:16 PM

Brent Thomas

Brent Thomas

keyword here 'heroine' were you so eager to leave your opinion but you forgot to read the title? haha

Jun 10 - 02:51 AM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Also where's Rose McGowan, I mean come on Plannet Terror! With that machine gun leg she was a fully loaded woman! Also for the guys a forgot Russel Crowe I mean Gladiator and 3:10 to Yuma, oh and Kurt Russel.

Jun 25 - 09:15 PM

wafflesdiary

mike k

"Heroine" means women. You're very smart.

Jul 6 - 06:01 PM

sovietbagpipes

dmetri myers

Like most lists on here it's a mixed bag.

And joker, Arnold and Ford wouldn't be near #1

Jun 25 - 09:38 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Oh lol yeah Arnold wouldnt be no #1, but in my opinion I consider Ford the best action hero. I mean Star Wars, Indy, and the Jack Ryan movies.

Jun 25 - 10:12 PM

blsinner

Uver Pena

Linda Hamilton is WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY too low on the list!

Jun 25 - 09:43 PM

genxorcist

Ren Hayes

I second that. She should be in the top 5 ... as should Sigourney Weaver. Ellen Ripley and Sara Conner both redefined the woman action hero. Many of the women on this list wouldn't be on this list if not for those two.

Jun 26 - 05:13 AM

Koli Mitra

Koli Mitra

My thought exactly! Before I started reading the list, I assumed Ellen Ripley and Sara Conner would be number 1 and 2!

Jul 27 - 04:03 AM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Pretty good list. A lot of the names on the list were "one-hit wonders" as far as good movies are concerned, but action films aren't exactly poetic from an acting standpoint. No argument on #1 at least.

Jun 25 - 09:58 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

I was happy to see Ziyi Zhang and Milla!

Some I'd like to see, but maybe aren't strict heroines.

Obviously Missed: Franka Potente in Run Lola Run

maybe Irene Jacob in RED

Keira Knightly as Domino (we see her boobs!)


1. Jodie Foster for Silence of the Lambs
2. Carrie Fisher in Star Wars
3. Gillian Anderson
4. Elizabeth Hurley in Austin Powers
5. Jennifer Jason Leigh in ExisTenZ
6. Lori Petty in Tank Girl
7. Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire
8. Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen
9. Charlize Therone in that God Awful MTV movie . . .forgot name
10. Jane Fonda in Klute/Barbarella
11. Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
12. Meryle Streep in Silkwood
13. Sarandon and G. Davis in Thelma and Louise
14. The girl from Whale Rider
15. Parker Posey as Fay Grimm
16. Mary Stuart Masterson in Fried Green Tomatoes
17. Pocahantos girl in The New World
18. Halle Berry X Men


I love Famke J, but I don't think she is even the best Bond girl, let alone someone who should make the list.

I'm sure I forgot a ton.

Oh well.




Jun 25 - 10:03 PM

Jaycee Caramsalidis

Jaycee Caramsalidis

RE: #9 - I think you mean Aeon Flux.

Nov 4 - 04:06 AM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Oh lol yeah Arnold wouldnt be no #1, but in my opinion I consider Ford the best action hero. I mean Star Wars, Indy, and the Jack Ryan movies.

Jun 25 - 10:12 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

FRANCES McDormand in FARGO


Natassja Kinski in Cat People
Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight
Theresa Russel in . . . err, i forget. Someone help me.
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
Whoever played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. . .
Ingrid Bergman as Joan of Arc
Audrey Hepburn in Wait until Dark

Sissy Spacek as Carrie
Julia Roberts as Erin Brokavich
Renee Zellweger in COld Mountain

Judy Garland as Dorothy in OZ
Sally Field as Nora Rae
Angela Basset as Tina Turner
Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (BUt no way the awful awful sequel)

Selma Blair in Hellboy I/II

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity



*Diane Lane in Streets of Fire

OK. As you can tell, I'm putting off doing something by coming up with names. . .

Jun 25 - 10:33 PM

Silverevilchao

Silver The Evil Chao

This list is FAIL. Sigourney Weaver should be #1 for Alien ALONE.

Jun 25 - 10:44 PM

mustard_tree

Moe Martínez

I totally agree dude... This list sucks... Hey, where's Carrie Fisher?

Jun 26 - 12:08 AM

outis

Alex Outis

Yes, obviously our listmakers have very short memories. Ripley is not only one of the great action heroes of ANY sex, she's one of the great female leading roles of all time. How many on this list can boast four huge movies, including the classics by Mssrs. Scott and Cameron. I'm no sci fi fanboy, but her character was not only physically strong, but mentally tough and a leader. Many of these others who made it higher on the list (ehem Lara Croft? gotta get that plug in for the advertisers, no?) were merely posing action dolls in expensive effects sequences. No exploration of the tough decisions or sacrifices a hero must make.

Yeah, yeah, taking it way too seriously... Slam away you bastards! I guess I'm just one of those nerds who still loves film enough to think it is a modern art form and can tell stories about fully realised characters--even when they are captains of spaceships and carry a really big gun. Silly me.

Jun 27 - 01:38 PM

JimmyLegs

John Wray

I agree with Outis 1000%. It takes a lot more than guns, kung fu, and a green screen to be a hero(ine). And one last point - one of the things that makes Ripley and Sarah Connor such marvelous heroines is that their heroism is directly tied to their womanhood. Sarah kicks butt not because she's a trained CIA assassin or random butched-out gun-toting babe, but as a way to protect the life of her son, John. And the climactic showdown with the queen in Aliens is a clash of not one but TWO mothers each trying to protect their children (Newt being Ripley's surrogate daughter in this case). Men could NOT have played those roles - and that's not something that can be said about most of the other roles on this list.

Jun 29 - 04:19 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Juliet Lewis as Mallory in Natural Born Killers

Neve Campbell in Scream?

female main actor in first Nightmare on Elmstreet.


I agree about McGowan in Planet Terror.

I think this category is TOO BROAD for my simple mind.

BROAD. he heh.

Jun 25 - 11:15 PM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

Another dissapointing list, R.T. Seriously, Demi Moore? And how

the hell is Weaver not in the top five? Also, is it too much too ask for you

to list the best action heroines on good movies. Seriously, any list that

includes a McG movie makes it an invalid list, just saying RT staff. Also, I

hope these lists are not being determined by how good of an YouTube video

you can find.

Jun 25 - 11:48 PM

mustard_tree

Moe Martínez

I totally agree dude... This list sucks... Hey, where's Carrie Fisher?

Jun 26 - 12:08 AM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Yah! Carrie Fisher!

Jun 26 - 12:55 AM

genxorcist

Ren Hayes

I second that. She should be in the top 5 ... as should Sigourney Weaver. Ellen Ripley and Sara Conner both redefined the woman action hero. Many of the women on this list wouldn't be on this list if not for those two.

Jun 26 - 05:13 AM

Koli Mitra

Koli Mitra

My thought exactly! Before I started reading the list, I assumed Ellen Ripley and Sara Conner would be number 1 and 2!

Jul 27 - 04:03 AM

bsideleau

Brandon Sideleau

Sigourney Weaver should be #1 hands down, no argument. And 90% of the ladies in this list shouldn't even be there....lots of 80's one-note punchlines and even a couple modern flavor of the months.

Jun 26 - 06:11 AM

'Stache-Attack

Nick Esser

How 'bout Kiera Knightly. Three 'Pirates' movies, plus an interesting role in 'Domino'. Not great movies, but pretty strong action/heroine roles. At least better than some of others listed. (I mean come on waitsjr, seriously, Erin Brakovich??? To each their own I guess.)

Jun 26 - 07:29 AM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Stache Attack,

Man. I haven't slept in 30 hours. I'm entitled to mention Erin Brokavich. I mean, they had some listed that I thought Brokavich would be a better hero, what with her hotness as her weapon. . .

But, remember, I was the first to bring up


CARRIE FISHER!!!!!


So, please, remember me for that.


Oh, and the person who mentioned Pirates of the Carribean with Knightly, that's so true, that and domino and that King Arthur movie.

Jun 26 - 10:08 AM

opTIMus Nerd

Tim Ahlberg

I enjoyed the list but agree Ripley and Sarah Connor are far too low. I would vote for Uma to be in top 2, if not 1, I have never seen any woman kick more *** then in the Kill Bill flicks. I appreciate the kung-fu ladies I have never heard of but there are plenty of better know heroines that are not on the list (see above comments). I also was not aware The Fifth Element is now a cult classic...I just thought is was cheap to put on syndication as it is on TV all the time.

Jun 26 - 07:39 AM

Soundwave2008

neal white

This list is total BS! How can anyone beat out Sigourney Weaver for Alien and Aliens? No offense to any other female characters but Ellen Ripley kicked total *** in both movies. She should be number one hands down.

Jun 26 - 08:18 AM

Derbeste

Rob Beste

I don't normally criticize RT lists. I know most of them have formulas and every list is HIGHLY subjective anyway......

But I have to agree with many of my peers on this one:

- Linda Hamilton is BEYOND too low.

- Sigourney Weaver should be top 3 at the very least IMO.

- It seems like knowing Kung Fu will get you a much higher spot....but you don't see martial artists kicking the sh** out of robots and aliens.

Glaring absences:

- Carrie Fisher (as many have said). Just....WOW.

- Jamie Lee Curtis. Mike Myers is cultural folklore now because of her.

- Sarah Michelle Geller. Ok...not a movie heroine, but you can't deny the badassery of Buffy.

- Jodie Foster. Silence of the lambs is now Iconic.

- Halle Barry. Yeah...I'm joking. But I do like Storm. :)

Jun 26 - 08:48 AM

Derbeste

Rob Beste

oh....and though she's not real....

I think Elastigirl should get an honorable mention. :)

Jun 26 - 08:50 AM

3263827

Scott Berkey

Karen Allen - if you don't know what I'm talking about then it's time you learned.

Jul 3 - 05:28 AM

DEMCAD

REGINALD KAIGLER

Why isn't Peta Wilson (from the V show "Le Femme Nikita") not on this list?

And why is Kate Beckinsale ranked higher than Linda Hamilton?

Jul 9 - 12:20 PM

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