Fans have waited much longer than anticipated for the sequel to 2017’s wildly popular Wonder Woman.
After many months and multiple delays, Wonder Woman 1984 will finally premiere on Christmas Day, simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. For fans of DC Comics and badass women in general, it could be the much-needed feel-good movie we’ve all craved during this tough year.
If you want to complete the experience, we’ve compiled a list of ten movies like Wonder Woman to check out once you’ve devoured WW84.
Some are familiar, others are hidden gems, but they're all defined by their narratives of strong women fighting the odds in a genre setting.
Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman to ever win a Best Director Oscar, may be best known now for her cutting-edge political dramas.
However, she started out making daring and occasionally radical genre pieces, including the sinfully underseen sci-fi thriller Strange Days.
Half dystopian drama, half hard-boiled noir, the film stars Ralph Fiennes as a black marketeer of memory discs who tries to solve the mystery of a murdered sex-worker.
This is a surprisingly hefty movie that tackles themes as weighty as racism, rape culture, and systemic abuses of power. But it's also hugely enjoyable, and another example of one of the best directors in the business, at the top of her game.
Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy made superhero movies a reliable commercial success, Rachel Talalay adapted the indie comic Tank Girl into a very strange and messy flop.
Fortunately, the movie has earned a cult fanbase over the ensuing 25 years since its release, and rightly so.
It's a truly bonkers gonzo effort full of random humor, fascinating production design, Ice-T as a kangaroo man, and even a full-on Cole Porter musical number. The movie still stands alone as a giddily chaotic and deeply feminine experience amid an overcrowded market.
Margot Robbie's company has optioned the rights for a new adaptation, but the 1995 film is still worth your time.
The Old Guard
Comic book industry favorites Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández's superhero tale The Old Guard received a spot-on adaptation thanks to director Gina Prince-Bythewood of Love and Basketball fame.
The Netflix movie brought together a murderer's row of on-screen talent — Charlize Theron! KiKi Layne! Chiwetel Ejiofor! Luca Marinelli! — for this all-out ballistic action-fantasy about a group of centuries-old warriors with regenerative healing abilities on a mission of revenge.
The violence is full-on, the twists unexpected, and the ensemble hugely appealing. This is also the first movie with out-gay superheroes in the lead, and their passionate relationship is never downplayed or turned into something that can be ignored. If only other superhero movies could follow suit.
Charlize Theron is one of the best actresses of her generation, and she’s also one of the most fascinating and charismatic action stars of the past decade (hence why she’s on our list no fewer than three times.)
Atomic Blonde is a neon-soaked, hyper-stylized frenzy of blood, sex, and betrayal that sees Theron giving Keanu Reeves's John Wick a run for his money. The punches hit hard, and every fight feels thrillingly real.
It's just over-the-top enough without descending into self-parody, and the entire affair is drenched in the neo-noir atmosphere of Cold War Berlin.
Netflix is working on the sequel, and director David Leitch has even discussed the potential of a crossover film featuring Atomic Blonde's Lorraine Broughton and John Wick himself. We can but hope.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The wuxia genre of Chinese martial arts has proven to be hugely influential on 21st-century Hollywood, with the combination of wire work, acrobatics, and sped-up camera techniques providing a kinetic take on action that proudly bends the rules of reality.
The movie that arguably introduced the genre to mainstream English-language audiences was Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The legendary Michelle Yeoh steals every scene she's in.
Even though the movie is loaded with astounding action set-pieces, the real beauty is in its stunning technical work, from the paint palette-esque cinematography, to the score by Chinese composer Tan Dun.
Watch this film and see the iconic movie that 20 years of Hollywood cinema has ripped off.
Birds of Prey
Margot Robbie grabbed the role of Harley Quinn — Gotham City's most infamous psychiatrist turned gangster's moll — with both hands, and shepherded the character into her own solo movie following Suicide Squad.
Birds of Prey may not have set the box office alight, but those who saw it know exactly how good it is. Imagine a Robyn music video with violent action scenes and you're halfway there.
Director Cathy Yan's proud girl-gang movie of snark and steel is an absolute blast from start to finish. Everyone on screen is clearly having the time of their lives with this vibrant ode to anti-heroism, female friendships, and breakfast sandwiches.
Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise may be the big star in Edge of Tomorrow, a time-loop sci-fi action film that plays like a cross between Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day, but this is all about Emily Blunt.
Cruise plays Major William Cage, a PR man with no combat experience who finds himself stuck in an endless repeat of the same day where he is sent into battle and dies horribly.
He teams up with the decorated war hero Sergeant Rita Vrataski to find a way out of the time loop and hopefully an end to a futile war. Cruise is often styled as self-serious, so it's genuinely hilarious to see him be railed on over and over again, usually by the much more badass Blunt.
It's a tightly executed thriller that mines a lot of unique moments out of its recurring concept, without getting dull or repetitive.
Where would we be without Ellen Ripley? Sci-fi and action cinema would certainly be much poorer for her absence.
Fans will argue for days on end over which film in the still-running Alien franchise is the best, but for sheer bang for your buck, you can’t beat James Cameron’s unrelentingly gripping Aliens.
Sigourney Weaver helped to define a new era of cinematic heroism, one that every female protagonist has hoped to emulate in the ensuing decades, including Wonder Woman.
Weaver received an Oscar nomination for her performance here, and rightly so. She nails Ripley’s flinty determination, offset by her obvious trauma and mistrust of those around her. If you’ve never seen Aliens before, there’s no better time to introduce yourself to its pleasures.
Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller’s reboot of his own Mad Max franchise is undeniably one of the greatest action movies ever made. It’s the sort of film that’s so mind-bogglingly detailed and non-stop excitement that it feels like a total miracle that it ever got made in the first place.
Fury Road ticks all the boxes for the ideal action movie experience: astounding stunt work, a rocking score, a bizarre diesel-punk aesthetic, an utterly distinct tone, and memorable characters across the board.
Max's name may be in the title, but this is all Furiosa's story, and Fury Road's layered examination of gender roles and rape culture makes it fiercely relevant as well as heartily entertaining.
Now available to watch on Apple TV+, the latest beautiful fantasy from the Irish company Cartoon Saloon is easily this year's best animated film.
This Celtic-inspired adventure follows the journey of two young girls: Robyn, an English girl living in Ireland whose father is a wolf hunter hired by the malevolent Oliver Cromwell; and Mebh, a wild one of the forest who turns into a wolf when she sleeps.
Aside from being the most exceptionally beautiful film of 2020, Wolfwalkers is also a stunning female-centered adventure story that prizes the two girls' friendship above all else.
Such stories remain dishearteningly rare in Hollywood, and Wolfwalkers is a sumptuous and achingly moving reminder of why they remain so important.