How often have you googled "best movies ever made" only to be met with endless lists of Quantum Tarantulas and mafia movies like Godfathers? While they're all great, you'd think that people would also praise something else. After all, some of us just find them kinda boring. So we'll offer you the top ten best female gaze movies that get pushed to the side..
10. Catwoman (2004)
From its release to this very day, this movie gets a lot of criticism. With a mere 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems everyone alive hates it. Yet, we found ourselves on a hill we're ready to die on as "Catwoman" is incredible. It has a quality many movies on "best movie of all time" lists lack: it doesn't take itself seriously.
How often have you suffered through some pretentious piece of art or some superhero movie that seems so up their own you-know-what you want to yeet yourself out of the window? Yet, "Catwoman" is pure camp! And it's so much more interesting than Mr. I Am Vengeance or I Am Shadows Batman. "The Batman" can be a cringy movie, and it gets praised, but Catwoman doesn't? Your Honor, we call BS.
9. Thor: Ragnarok
Taika Waititi is a national treasure. He went out there and directed a Marvel movie with no unnecessary romantic B-plot, funny jokes, and sexy characters like it's nothing. We get the best brotherly interactions in the MCU, some of the best character development, and cool and campy fights??? Sign us up!!! Seriously, we could talk about this movie the whole day.
Another thing we believe isn't entirely appreciated here is that we get to see an awful, dystopian planet that isn't mainly gray and black. It's essential to show that not every pretty and colorful landscape is a paradise. "Oh, but the visual parallels-" no, no, no. Stop talking. We've had enough visual parallels to last us several lifetimes; therefore, we need some "Not all that glitters is gold" moments. If you've suffered through something like "The Eternals," "Thor: Ragnarok" will restore your faith in superhero movies.
8. Pan's Labyrinth
We have not seen nearly enough people praise this work of art. Sure, it's universally acclaimed as an excellent movie that won a baffling amount of awards. However, it's still not talked about enough. Is someone really going to sit there and try to explain why "Pulp Fiction" is better than "Pan's Labyrinth" and expect us not to laugh in their face? Add it to that list, besties.
It's such an incredibly terrifying movie that we can't believe we watched it as children. Guillermo del Toro's genius for making horror films is shown in this masterpiece. Furthermore, Javier Navarrete's score haunts everyone who watched it. Who wouldn't hear the first couple of notes and be immediately transported back into that world?
7. Every Ghibli Movie Ever Made
We see your accusing fingers. "That's cheating," you say, "You can't just put every movie a studio has made," you say. This is a fair point, but we actually have a permit that says we can do whatever we want, so… sorry, but the rules allow it. Besides, we want you to look us in the eyes and try to pick out just one Ghibli movie to put on this top ten list. Come on, we dare you.
Moreover, it's undeniable how Ghibli movies are their own… let's say, genre. Nothing feels as nostalgic or as comforting as a Ghibli movie. They invoke a sense of yearning, which we didn't think was possible. You're left sitting, wishing to return to a time or place you never actually experienced. And yet, you're still filled with a lust for life.
6. Crimson Peak
There are several reasons to adore this movie, some more superficial than others. Number one, we have Tom Hiddleston playing a part of a gentle, devoted lover. And there's a sex scene. Look, we said some are more superficial than others, and we're a bunch of material gworls here. The man is pretty; what can we say?
But the movie is an incredibly dazzling work of art for more serious reasons. The colors, costumes, and scenes paint a breathtaking picture and story. It's a great representation of gothic horror done right, from the obsessive romance to ghosts to more disturbing elements of the story. It's a haunting tale, and we recommend everyone to watch it.
5. Jennifer's Body
"Jennifer's Body" is one the most underrated movies of all time. Because of the decisions made by the marketing team, it never got to stand a chance. It was marketed only as "Megan Fox hot" and drew a primarily male audience looking for something similar to Transformers. Meanwhile, this is centered around the experiences of teenage girls.
It's a touching story about female friendship and the abuse women and girls experience in their lives. Somehow, people looked at it and said, "Hey, let's market this movie to the people it criticizes." At the very least, the cultural shift after the #MeToo movement became a cult classic.
4. The Devil Wears Prada
This is undoubtedly one of the finest flicks ever made and is based on a chick-lit book. While it does have its faults (Andy should have ditched her toxic friends), the effort put into it to create the story is incredible. The costumes here are jaw-dropping. Contemporary costumes often get easily dismissed, but they play a pivotal part in showing who the characters are.
Miranda wears more "timeless" pieces, while Emily prefers alternative ones. Yet, Andy is OK with whatever she gets her hands on. And we can see the type of clothes they wear evolve along with their characters. Emily journeys from extremely angular and defensive shapes to slightly more approachable things. Meanwhile, Andy goes through the most significant change, wearing designer clothing while working for Miranda and regular yet flattering pieces when she isn't.
3. Dead Poets Society
We don't see nearly enough hype for a film as incredible as "Dead Poets Society" is, while some failures get it. It has a dedicated fanbase amongst those into Dark Academia, and Robbie Williams fans certainly love it. Thus, sadly not many film buffs go to when they recommend movies. Seriously, we're sick and tired of the "Godfather" on top of every list.
"Dead Poets Society" is a touching story about art and its meaning. Everyone involved gave their absolute best performance. And while it is a spoiler, we need to give a trigger warning for suicide. If that subject matter upsets you, skip it. No movie is worth your mental health, no matter how good it is.
2. Umma (2022)
While this is a recent movie, it has every right to its place on this list. The story added approximately fifteen years to our lifespan. We feel like we haven't had a horror movie that primarily deals with a societal problem and lets the horror element be second place in a while. Umma shows us the horror Korean immigrants faced without turning into some torture p**n.
Besides, the portrayal of motherhood is incredible. We are shown what an awful relationship with your mother might cause and what healing from it feels like. We see the importance of female friendship and its positive influence on women. Not to mention Sandra Oh's incredible acting. This movie is just all-around incredible.
1. The Addams Family
Is there a single movie more iconic than "The Addams Family"? We'd say we'll wait until you can think of an answer, but we'd be waiting forever. The concept of the Addams' has been around for multiple generations, all the way from the distant sixties. Therefore, Addams' are a household name for any American family and likely will be for a while.
The story surrounding how people feel about them is an interesting one. They were created as a parody of the traditional American family - the husband and the wife utterly obsessed with each other and supportive of their children's endeavors. Over the years, as people drifted away from the American dream, they realized that the Addams family's love for each other is the actual ideal.
We would like to clarify that while not every movie on this top ten list utilizes the female gaze, we wanted the list to feel like it's from the female gaze. While we did leave out some of the iconic movies popular with the girlies, like Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Cinderella (2015), we tried to do this top ten list justice and add variety.
What are some of the top movies you never see on the list of the best ones? Name some of your guilty pleasures!
Cover photo: YouTube screenshot
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