Finally, on-demand after a theatrical release in December 2020, Promising Young Woman is the latest black comedy thriller that has left viewers on the edge of their seats, where a former medical student seeks vengeance for her best friend. Both critics and audiences love the movie for its captivating story, with a spectacular performance by Carey Mulligan and brilliant direction by Emerald Fennell. With such high praises, the revenge thriller is now one of the strongest contenders for the upcoming award season.
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Of course, movies like Promising Young Woman are great for uncovering the biggest plot twists and rooting for the protagonists to succeed in their revenge quest. The movie also embodied female empowerment to raise women’s voices against sexual harassment and seek justice. Luckily, several other movies cover these elements, whether it be a revenge story, strong female representation, or a combination of both.
10 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
After a woman died forty years ago, a wealthy industrialist hires a reporter to investigate his niece’s death. He soon joins a private investigator Lisbeth Salander, who also uncovers these mysteries. While searching for answers, things take an unexpected turn in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Based on the book series, this crime thriller stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, who appeared in her breakthrough role. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was critically acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. The film was listed as one of the top movies in 2011 by the National Board of Review and received several award nominations, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for Mara.
9 Suffragette (2015)
This historical drama centers on the early 1910s when women did not have the right to vote in Britain. The suffragette movement began as several female activists seek to gain the right to vote. As these female characters fight for their rights, they also challenge the traditional roles of domestic life.
For Carey Mulligan, this is not her first venture in taking female-empowering movies. She starred in Suffragette with an incredible female cast of Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.
8 The Crow (1994)
A musician and his fiancée were unfortunately murdered the night before their wedding. A year later, on their death anniversary, the groom is revived, becomes the Crow, and seeks vengeance against the gang that killed his fiancée. However, will he succeed in seeking his revenge?
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The film is based on the comic book series also called The Crow. While the critics raved the movie for its story, emotional tone, and filmmaking style, it is also infamous for the tragic death of Brandon Lee, who accidentally died on set from a gunshot wound. However, the crew managed to complete the film in time for its release, making it a tribute to Lee. Also, Lee was praised for his performance and considered to be the best portrayal to date. Furthermore, the movie became a cult classic.
7 Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
In this spaghetti Western, a married woman faces tragedy when her husband is found dead. With all this land, the widower’s life is at risk when an assassin seeks to finish his deed, but a strange man, Harmonica, protects her life at all cost. Now, everyone’s lives are interconnected with the henchman Frank in what is a revenge story masterpiece.
Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best Western classic films, praised for its complex story and beautiful score. This spaghetti Western film also has a cult following and became an inspiration for several modern filmmakers.
6 Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
When the Bride wakes up from a coma, she seeks vengeance against Bill and the Deadly Vipers, who tried to kill her on her wedding day and caused her to lose her unborn child. She spares no one on her hit list, preparing the most unspeakable retribution against those who wronged her.
Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 is perceived as one of his best works. Critics raved the movie for its unique style of a revenge story with spaghetti Western influences, grindhouse elements, and martial arts. Uma Thurman received a nomination at the Golden Globes for the Bride, becoming one of her best roles to date. There is also a sequel Kill Bill Vol. 2.
5 North Country (2005)
North Country is a drama that focuses on a single mother who works at an iron mine and faces the problems of sexual harassment by her male colleagues. When it finally gets to the last straw, she files a sexual harassment lawsuit. However, it comes with challenges when people are against her, including her family and friends.
The film features Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Jeremy Renner, and Woody Harrelson. Though the movie may not be perfect, this drama still covers a powerful and remarkable story that shares the message of social justice. Both Theron and McDormand received acting nominations at the 78th Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
4 Oldboy (2003)
Dae-Su is unexpectedly released from imprisonment after 15 years. During his 15 year imprisonment, he had no contact with the outside world and only possessed a TV. Now that he is free in the world again, he searches for his captors who caused his years of isolation.
RELATED: 10 Films To Watch If You Liked Oldboy
South Korean cinema continues to be some of the best pieces of international work. Oldboy takes an unusual approach to a revenge tale, but it stuns the audience with its plot twists and incredible action sequences. It is one of the best South Korean movies. An American adaptation was made with Josh Brolin but failed with its creative choices to remake the original.
3 Straw Dogs (1971)
A married couple, David and Amy, relocate to a rural town, where Amy previously resided. However, David is an outsider in this small town and encounters Amy’s old fiancée. After a few locals rape his wife, David drastically changes as a person, unleashing a violent persona that no one has ever seen before.
As a 1970s thriller starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, Straw Dogs dealt with the controversy over its heavy violence. Regardless, the movie was well-received, with many critics calling it a powerful movie. A 2011 remake was released with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, but it is not as impressive as the original.
2 The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002)
Based on the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo focuses on an innocent man Edmond Dantes, who was wrongly imprisoned by his best friend, Fernand. With all the deception and jealousy, Dantes plans his revenge against Fernard and get his love back.
While the movie is old-fashioned, the adventure film is still amusing to watch for the audience as it reveals shocking secrets while focusing on a complicated love story. The movie features Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris, and Henry Cavill.
1 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
In a post-apocalyptic dystopian society, Max Rockatansky is captured under the dictatorship of Immortan Joe. While perceived as a job to collect gas and ammunition, Joe realizes that his pregnant wives are missing and pursues a warrior Furiosa in a sequence of a mind-blowing car chase. An alliance is formed between Furiosa and Max, where they help the five wives escape from Joe.
Starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road is a remarkably brilliant and stunning film to watch due to its captivating action sequences, immaculate visual effects, and beautiful cinematography. With all the craziness and explosions, it leaves viewers with goosebumps and shows a noteworthy representation of female empowerment. The film became one of the best action movies of all-time and was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film went on to win six awards at the Oscars, and a prequel is in development, focusing on Furiosa.
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About The Author
(53 Articles Published)
Based in South Florida, Fariba Rezwan is a list writer for CBR and Screen Rant. Though working on her graduate degree at the University of Florida, her science education does not take away her love of movies and TV shows. She is a huge geek and considers her herself a huge fan of many fandoms including Star Wars, Marvel, GoT, Supernatural and many more.
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