Riley (Jennifer Garner) had it all until her husband and daughter were taken from her. Emptied of love, Riley fills the void with elite military training until she's a one-woman engine of destruction, hell-bent on revenge. Oh yes, Hell truly hath no fury, especially in these female vigilante movies!
KILL BILL VOL. 1 & 2
If you kill someone, make sure they're dead. Especially that's The Bride (Uma Thurman) A.K.A., the unstoppable assassin, Black Mamba! Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' movies pair revenge-driven westerns with the samurai movies that inspired them, creating a unique fusion of style, action and straight-up cinema that continues to influence and shape Hollywood today.
Pam Grier's 'Coffy' and 'Foxy Brown' movies are the pinnacle of blaxploitation and sexploitation. In 'Coffy,' Pam Grier as the titular character is a nurse who trades her syringe for a gun when her sister gets addicted to heroin. She works her way up the racial, social and wealth ladder of the 70s until she finds the man responsible: her local politician.
LADY SNOWBLOOD, PARTS 1 & 2
Written by Kazuo Koike, creator of the legendary 'Lone Wolf & Cub' series, comes the samurai epic that inspired 'Kill Bill.' In feudal Japan, Sayo (Miyoko Akaza), a female prisoner, dies in childbirth, leaving her daughter Yuki (Meiko Kaji) to enact vengeance against the men who'd wronged her. Yuki's journey is soaked with blood and drips with meditations on morality.
THE BRAVE ONE
After her husband is killed and she is hospitalized, Erica (Jodie Foster) buys a gun for protection. When she sees others suffering, she takes the law in her own hands. Now a vigilante, she doesn't know if she's any better than her husband's killers. Detective Sean Mercer (Terrance Howard) wonders the same thing, and the answer they find shakes them both to the core.
The sweetest mask for the deadliest poison. Katie Holmes' Miss Meadows is prim, proper and particularly deadly if you don't mind your p's and q's and if you've ever evaded justice. With nothing left to live for, Meadows uses her upstanding substitute teacher persona as a ruse to get close to criminals and to get close to the sheriff aiming to curb her killing spree.
Luc Besson certainly likes his vengeful woman. In 'Colombiana,' Columbian assassin Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) leaves a lipstick drawing of a colombiana orchid on each of her victims as she kills her way toward the crime lord that murdered her parents. Once she gets her sights on him, she has to deal with a little snag: he's in witness protection and he's very well protected.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
Meir Zarchi's grindhouse classic is a truly uncomfortable watch, when Camille Keaton's Jennifer Hills, a writer on vacation, suffers graphic, brutal sexual violence at the hands of four men, and is hospitalized. After she recovers, she uses her sexuality to lure her assailants before meting out gut-wrenching revenge.
The third installment in Park Chan-Wook's aptly named Vengeance Trilogy revolves around Lee Yeong-ae as Lee Geum-ja, who was framed for crime and imprisoned for 13 years. Geum-ja fakes sweetness and innocence in prison until she's paroled and proves herself to be anything but to those who'd set her up. Always beware of cakes baked by a woman wronged.
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
How long could you wait for vengeance? When Ellen's (Sharon Stone) father is lynched before her eyes in the Old West, she grows up mastering the gun, waiting to challenge her father's killer Herod (Gene Hackman), a cruel mayor, in the only time he's vulnerable: a quickdraw contest. Trouble is, she'll have to shoot her way through a gang of duelists to get to him.