'Divergent' hits theaters this Friday and is expected to crush it at the box-office in its opening weekend. But how will Shailene Woodley’s Tris compare to other heroines who graced the silver screen before her?
Read the list to see the 10 best female film heroes that Woodley must compete with.
10. Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen not only wields a bow and arrow with legendary skill, but she is also a proven box-office hero. “The Hunger Games” is the biggest franchise right now outside of Marvel, and at its center is Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss. What makes her great is her resourcefulness and her desire to protect those she cares about. What keeps her from not being higher on this list is the fact that, at least in the first two movies, she is not the driving force in the greater cause. Hopefully she takes up more of that responsibility in the final parts of the series.
9. Amelie - Amelie
Amelie may not be a fighter, she may not save the world, but that doesn’t stop her from going through a hero’s journey. Amelie, in all her wonderful quirkiness, helps people. She eventually must turn that ability toward her most difficult challenge yet, herself. Amelie becomes her own hero, takes charge of her own life so she can have what makes her happy. It might not be as epic as saving the world but to everyone that Amelie helps her efforts were no less heroic.
8. Marge Gunderson - Fargo
It’s easy to underestimate Marge Gunderson as hokey when every other sentence either ends in ‘oh yeah?’ or ‘you betcha’ with her charming Minnesota accent. Make no mistake, though, Marge Gunderson is a one tough cookie. As Sheriff of small town, she tracks down a pair of murders practically all by herself. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that she is pregnant? Marge may seem like your silly neighbor next store at first, but she’s definitely somebody you don’t want to mess with.
7. Princess Leia - Star Wars
The first half of “Star Wars” may mainly consist of the rescue of Princess Leia, but we quickly learn that Leia is no helpless damsel. Tough, spirited, and ready to kick as much butt as her fellow heroes, George Lucas may not have stuffed enough strong female characters into the “Star Wars” universe, but he managed to create, with the help of Carrie Fisher, one of the best heroines in that or any other galaxy.
6. Sarah Connor - Terminator
It’s hard to think of a greater character transformation between two films than Sarah Connor between “Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” At first she is completely overwhelmed and out of her element. By the second film, however, she is a badass warrior that will stop at nothing to complete her mission. Just be sure not to get in her way.
5. Hermoine Granger - Harry Potter
Harry Potter may be the center of JK Rowling’s billion-dollar franchise, but Harry isn’t nearly as interesting as Hermoine Granger. She is the smartest witch her age, she has just as much courage as Harry, and she’s even had a harder road to prove herself. Hermoine’s parents are muggles, so she studied, practiced and essentially worked herself to the bone to become the witch she is. Harry is the hero because he just is.
4. Scarlett O'Hara - Gone with the Wind
On the surface, Scarlett O’Hara is incredibly vain, but as we spend three hours watching her navigate her way through the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, we see a person not only do battle with and overcome the time she lives in, but also her own misgivings and illusions. More than it’s epic scale, more than perhaps the greatest line in American film history, “Gone with the Wind” remains a classic because of Scarlett O’Hara as played by Vivien Leigh, one of the first great heroines.
3. Clarice Starling - The Silence of the Lambs
A key signature of every hero is the mentor, and Clarice Starling definitely has that with Hannibal Lecter. What makes Starling unique is the fact that her mentor is also her greatest enemy. The dance between these two characters is palpable from the very first time we see them on screen together. Not only must Starling maneuver around Lecter, but she also must deal single-handedly with the serial killer Buffalo Bill. There is no question that Starling is a formidable hero at the end of “Silence of the Lambs,” even if the sequel was a little less so.
2. The Bride - Kill Bill
More than anyone on this list, the Bride’s motivations are more personal than anything, but boy does she make revenge look cool. Whether in a yellow jump suit or executing Pei Mei’s five-point palm exploding heart technique, the Bride, aka Beatrix Kiddo, is the deadliest woman on the planet. What makes her more than just an extremely gifted killer is the fact that her rampage of revenge is all targeted at the man she loved more than anything. Hell hath no furry, but it wasn’t easy for her either.
1. Ripley - Alien
You have to take your hat off to the first real female action hero. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley set the mark for all future heroines to be based off of. Even 35 years later, there still hasn’t been a hero quite like her. The character survived two different directors and two widely different genres in “Alien” and “Aliens” but didn’t lose any of her tenacity or personality. Ripley is not only one of the greatest heroines to grace the screen; flat out she is one of its best characters.