Must See Movies for Women

Many women dislike movies with violence, killing, or war.

So it may be helpful to include the following list of films about women’s issues or feel-good movies that women may enjoy more.

Links to Films for Women:





















More Must-See Movies for Women:

The Lady in Number 6:
Music Saved My Life

Documentary 2013 NR 38m. Czech pianist and holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer describes how music enabled her to survive one of the darkest chapters in human history. Wow….all I can say is wow! What a profound and uplifting film! Alice shares her views on how to live a long happy life using the tools available to everyone: music, laughter, love and unrelenting optimism. This powerfully inspirational video tells not only her amazing story of survival but how, throughout her life, she was able to be strong by choosing to be happy, even during times of great loss. Alice is probably more full of life than anyone ever after living through so much. Alice’s friends are as inspiring as she is. Three women who not only survived Nazi death camps, but did so with a positive attitude. Quite a testament to the human spirit, and how it can survive even indescribable horrors. The emphasis is on the eldest of the three, a consummate musician who at 109 is still playing, and smiling. Never has a film of 38 minutes better reflected the human power of supreme optimism and joy amid such great adversity. What a touching and inspiring documentary. Absolutely beautiful! A true inspiration that we all should take lessons from. We can learn a lot about how to live our own lives with joy, fulfillment, mental fortitude, and positivity from listening to and learning from Alice. She could teach all of us with the beauty of her spirit. She certainly helped me put some things in perspective. A great lesson for all generations. Wise words and beautiful music. So sad to learn she died 2/23/14. An amazing life. Really makes you think about your own. This won the 2013 Oscar for Best Short Documentary. A must-see film. Do not miss this one. Watch it, that’s all I can say. Watch it and be amazed, touched and enlivened.


Documentary 2009 NR 80 minutes. Filmmaker Bertrand Normand’s fascinating documentary profiles five outstanding Russian ballerinas from the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre (the renamed Kirov Ballet), following them from grueling rehearsals to flawless performances around the globe. Dancers in the spotlight include gifted 18-year-old Alina Somova, the newest Mariinsky ballerina, along with Svetlana Zakharova, Evguenya Obraztsova, Diana Vishneva and Uliana Lopatkina.

Erin Brockovich

Docudrama 2000 R 131 minutes. Julia Roberts earned an Oscar in this unconventional drama based on actual events for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich, a twice-divorced mother of three who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins — with a little help from her push-up bra. She develops a case against PG&E; for poisoning the water of the community of Hinkley, CA, with the carcinogen, hexavalent chromium.

Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal

Docudrama 1982 TV-14 96 minutes. Marsha Mason stars in this inspirational made-for-TV movie as mother turned activist Lois Gibbs, who refused to keep quiet when she suspected that chemical waste was poisoning her children — and scores of others in Love Canal, N.Y. What begins as a one-woman crusade to get the government to take responsibility for their suffering mushrooms into a 700-strong community battle for accountability, justice and truth.

Not Without My Daughter

Docudrama 1991 PG-13 1hr 55m. In this fact-based thriller, Sally Field plays an American housewife who finds herself virtually trapped in Tehran when she accompanies her Iranian husband on a vacation to his native country — and he decides to relocate the family to his homeland.See Full Review

The Loving Story
(Long Way Home: The Loving Story)

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 17M. This documentary profiles Mildred and Richard Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for breaking Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage. This couple fought for what they believed in and as a result a change spread across the nation. Her spirit was so intelligent and motherly and calm. His demeanor was so tough and honest and protective. This story is simply beautiful. A captivating look at the lives of the couple who reluctantly and inadvertently caused the eventual setting aside of the blatant racist laws in 16 states against interracial marriage. The last miscegenation laws was repealed in 2000 in Alabama. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Loving. I would have been proud to be their neighbor, proud have known them. This is a real love story, one man and one woman set the example for the rest to follow. I guess they’re true American heroes we never got to hear about. Amazing story. I do not think I have ever seen a better documentary, one that has better caught and held my interest.  See Full Review

Blind Mountain

(Mang Shan)

Drama 2007 NR 95 minutes. Blind Mountain reveals one of China’s continuing social problems, selling women for marriage in modern day China. The promise of a good-paying job lures a young Chinese woman into a horrifying predicament in this drama. In the 1990s college student Bai Xuemei (Lu Huang) awakens in a remote village to find she’s been sold into a marriage to the repulsive “husband” that is slavery in disguise. Her resistance only results in being raped by her “husband” and continued beatings at the hands of her husband, her husbands’ parents and the villagers. Trapped in the fiercely traditional town, the young woman finds that her avenues of escape are all blocked. As she searches for allies, including a young boy, a school teacher and a mailman. With hope running out, Bai undertakes one final dramatic stand against her oppressors. See Full Review

The Help

Docudrama 2011 PG-13 146 minutes. In 1960s Jackson, Miss., aspiring writer Eugenia Phelan crosses taboo racial lines by conversing with Aibileen Clark about her life as a housekeeper, and their ensuing friendship upsets the fragile dynamic between the haves and the have-nots. When other long-silent black servants begin opening up to Eugenia, the disapproving conservative Southern town soon gets swept up in the turbulence of changing times. See Full Review

Midnight in Paris

Fantasy 2011 PG-13 94 minutes. In this charming romantic comedy, legendary director Woody Allen focuses his lens on an engaged young couple whose experiences traveling together in Paris make them begin to question the kind of life they want to live.

Fair Game

Docudrama 2010 PG-13 108 minutes. After her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), writes op-ed columns accusing the Bush administration of misleading the public to justify invading Iraq, Valerie Plame Wilson’s (Naomi Watts) status as a covert CIA agent is leaked by administration officials. Based on events described in Plame Wilson’s memoir, this drama explores the political scandal that led to the conviction of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.


Docudrama 1983 R 131 minutes. While working at an Oklahoma nuclear power plant, Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep) becomes exposed to radiation. When the official investigation is tampered with, Karen conducts her own inquiry, but she disappears under suspicious circumstances before its completion. Kurt Russell co-stars in this fact-based drama, which was nominated for multiple Oscars and earned Cher a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for her minimalist performance.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Drama 1962 NR 130 minutes. Southern comforts abound in this big-screen adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel as lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, in an Oscar-winning role) defends an innocent black man (Brock Peters) against rape charges but ends up in a maelstrom of hate and prejudice. Meanwhile, with help from a friend (John Megna), Finch’s children, Jem (Phillip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham), set their sights on making contact with a reclusive neighbor (Robert Duvall). See Full Review

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Docudrama 2002 PG 93 minutes. Australia had an official white supremacy program, which lasted for over 100 years until 1970. Australia’s aboriginal integration program of the 1930s took young aborigines from their families and placed in an abusive orphanage. Three girls resolve to make the 1,500-mile trek home, without food or water. Meanwhile, a well-intentioned tracker is trying to return the girls to the authorities. This story is true, and two of the girls (now old women) actually appear in the movie. See Full Review

Which Way Home

Documentary 2007 NR 83 minutes. In 2006, Rebecca Cammisa received a Fulbright Scholar Grant to travel to Mexico to document the plight of the children left behind when their families travel to the United States to find work. This Oscar-nominated film is the result of her journey. Cammisa and her crew follow a trio of children who set out on their own from their Latin American abodes on a dangerous trek through Mexico en route to the U.S. border and — they hope — their families’ embrace. See Full Review

The Elizabeth Smart Story

Docudrama  2003 NR 89 minutes. Inspired by true events, this made-for-television drama centers around the disappearance of and subsequent search for Elizabeth Smart (Amber Marshall), the 14-year-old girl who was abducted from her family’s Utah home one fateful night in 2003. Sparking a countrywide search, Elizabeth’s shocking kidnapping became a media sensation and captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation for almost a year.

Abduction of Eden

Docudrama 2012 R 1hr 38m. “Hyun Jae” is still a teenager when she’s kidnapped and taken to Las Vegas, where she’s forced to work as a prostitute for two years. (It is based on a true story of Korean-American Chong Kim’s abduction and enslavement.)  See Full Review

I Am Slave

Docudrama 2010 NR 1hr 20m. This drama inspired by true events follows a Sudanese girl who learns to fight her oppressors after being kidnapped and sold into slavery, first in Khartoum Sudan and then in London. Today, as absurd as it may intellectually seem, slavery still exists. Breaks my heart to know this is happening all over the world to thousands of people. How can anyone believe they truly own another human being? Simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant. A powerful story of modern day slavery that will touch you to the core. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that people not only in African but in parts of Asia and in the Middle East are still forced and sold into slavery every day. Really shows how things must of been in USA not too long ago, when the laws where horrifically outrageous, beyond stupid, the racism mind-boggling. I am now going to look for ways I can get involved to help.  This is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. And I didn’t even have to read subtitles. Thank you to the producers, writers, and actors for making it. The postscripts after the movie estimate that there are 5,000 women living as slaves today in London, and that 20,000 people have been enslaved in Sudan. See Full Review

Jean de Florette / Manon of the Spring

Drama 1986 PG 234 minutes. Claude Berri directs this pair of award-winning dramas that tell the story of a farmer who falls victim to a cruel scheme by his neighbors, and the comeuppance later delivered by the man’s daughter. In Jean de Florette, two men (Yves Montand and Daniel Auteuil) block the water source that a new farmer (GĂ©rard Depardieu) needs for his crops. In Manon of the Spring, Jean’s grown daughter (Emmanuelle Beart) goes after the two men with a vengeance. See Full Review

A Matter of Sex
(The Willmar 8)

Docudrama 1984 TV-14 1hr36m. After watching male workers pad their salaries with high-paying promotions, disgruntled female bank tellers stage a protest for union rights. A Matter of Sex is a labor-management drama that demonstrates the blinkered sexism and routine chauvinism in a small-town Minnesota bank in the late 1970s. It is so sad that women, just 30 years ago, were met with such discrimination in the workplace. This should be a must see movie for all.  See Full Review

The Miracle Worker

Docudrama 1962 NR 106 minutes. A bout with scarlet fever has rendered Helen Keller (Patty Duke) blind, deaf and mute. When her parents can no longer cope with the feral girl’s tantrums, they call in inexperienced but innovative teacher Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft). Though Helen perceives sign language as a finger game, Annie’s unflagging tutelage ultimately awakens in her charge the concept of words. Bancroft (Best Actress) and Duke (Supporting Actress) won Oscars for their work.

Children of Pride

Documentary Frontline 1983. Kojo Odo, a 42 year-old single black man, took in his first child a decade ago-a 7 year old boy with his arm missing. No one wanted the youngster. Each of Odo’s 21 children came to him with a physical or mental handicap. Frontline looks at the daily life of this remarkable family and Odo’s battle to keep the family together.

Homo Toxicus

Documentary 2008 NR 87 minutes. Documentarian Carole Poliquin uses wit, intelligence and common sense to unravel bureaucratic red tape and illuminate the science of the more than 100,000 chemicals created since World War II that contaminate mammals, plants, fish and even human DNA. Poliquin examines the prevalence of estrogen-mimicking compounds resulting in a lower birth rate of human males and the mutations of various species, and how science and governments are reacting. See Full Review

Redefining Clean for a New Generation

Documentary 2009 NR 1hr 15m. Blending humor and education, this engaging documentary follows the Goodes, a typical American family, as they attempt to rid their home of all toxins. The film provides simple remedies to help viewers reduce the toxic substances in their lives.

Blue Vinyl

Documentary 2002 NR 98 minutes. In this sardonic but sobering exposĂ©, activist filmmakers Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold reveal the potentially toxic effects of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is used in everything from cars to water mains to toys. Armed with a piece of blue vinyl siding, Helfand and Gold head to Louisiana — America’s vinyl-manufacturing capital — and to Italy, where bigwigs from a PVC-producing company stand accused of manslaughter in a landmark case.

Silent Spring

Documentary 1993 NR 56 minutes. Rachel Carson’s tireless devotion to nature would make her the godmother to the environmental movement. In this “American Experience” presentation, Carson’s groundbreaking best-seller Silent Spring and its tremendous impact are explored. The book’s focus on the dangers of synthetic pesticides — specifically DDT — on the environment set off an outcry that led to a ban on the substances and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The King of Masks

Drama 1999 TV-14 1hr41m. Nearing the end of his life, Wang — a locally renowned street performer and wizard of the venerable art of mask magic — yearns to pass on his technique. But custom decrees that he can only hand down his craft to a male successor. Anxious to preserve his unique art, the heirless Wang buys an impoverished 8-year-old on the black market in a startling scene. The child is 8, and is held by the seller on a leash. But when the child divulges a dreaded secret, Wang faces a choice between filial love and societal tradition. Setting is provincial Sichuan in 1930. See Full Review

China’s Lost Girls

Documentary National Geographic 2005 NR 43 minutes. Accompanied by her team from her travel show, “National Geographic’s Ultimate Explorer,” reporter Lisa Ling (“The View”) flies off to China with American parents set to adopt baby girls, the casualties of the country’s long-standing one-child policy. In hewing to this strict rule, families wind up aborting, abandoning or hiding their daughters, many of whom end up in the United States, brought by couples longing for children.

Mother of Mine
(Aideista parhain)

Drama 2005 NR 1hr 43m. Director Klaus Härö tackles the real-life drama of history in this heartbreaking film set against the backdrop of World War II. Evacuated to the safety of neutral Sweden along with more than 70,000 other Finnish children, 9-year-old Eero (Topi Majaniemi) grapples with feeling abandoned by his biological parents and yet detached from his surrogate family. Unfortunately, things only get worse when he returns to a much different home life.


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Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know