10. Riley North (Jennifer Garner, Peppermint): when a gang murders her husband and daughter, Riley doesn’t just get mad, she gets even. She goes underground for years to train and get tough, and resurfaces on the anniversary of their deaths to exact revenge on the killer and all those she holds responsible.
9. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween): riddled with PTSD for the past 40 years, Laurie has nevertheless steadfastly prepared herself and her home for the inevitable return of her tormentor, Michael.
8. Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson, Annihilation): she’s a whip-smart physicist who undeerstand the changing world around her as it’s happening AND she kills a bear that’s just ripped the jaw off her colleague.
7. Shuri (Letitia Wright, Black Panther): she may be young but she’s hella smart and she invents the most badass weapons ever. She’s got the brains to be behind the scenes and the courage to head straight into battle when needed. Her blasters are just plain cool – and leave it to Shuri to make sure they look fierce too.
6. Meg (Storm Reid, A Wrinkle In Time): wow, I’m seeing a real pattern of super smart women in this list. Meg is just a kid but she’s prepared to face her fears and do what she must in order to save not just her family, but the universe. And trust me, there are some pretty scary things out there.
5. Helen Parr/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter, Incredibles 2): she’s the mom of 3, but Elastigirl has always been able to hang with the best super heroes out there. She’s prepared to face the villains alone to spare her family, but she’ll have to unlock even higher levels of bravery when her family becomes involved.
4. Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give): Starr is just a teenager when her friend is gunned down by a cop right in front of her. It takes guts to speak up and take on institutional racism, but Starr finds her voice and uses it.
3. Veronica (Viola Davis, Widows): planning a heist is the least of what Veronica’s had to do in her life. She is one tough cookie and she’s confident enough to go after what she wants. Better still, she takes her friends along with her.
2. Okoye (Danai Gurira, Black Panther): hot damn this woman is all kinds of fierce. And she’s got such decisive morals and values. She’s a warrior, but she fights on the right side. This is the hero we need and deserve.
1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG): no need to travel to Wakanda for this one; this tough lady can be found on the U.S. Supreme Court actually making this world a better place.