Warning: Contains spoilers.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—something along those lines. Whether you’re just trying to buy a nice dress on Rodeo Drive or looking to finally beat the Toros at Nationals, what could feel better than prevailing over those who underestimated you?
Here are 15 films to quench your thirst for blood (figuratively, of course).
The Lady Eve (1941)
“I need him like the ax needs the turkey.”—Barbara Stanwyck as Jean
The Lady EveShutterstock
After slyly winning over the heart of a dashing millionaire (Henry Fonda), Stanwyck’s Jean isn’t going to let him get away that easy when he suddenly dumps her. Donning a new disguise and make-believe British title, she has him right where she wants him—totally and blissfully in love with her all over again.
“I have learned how to live...how to be in the world and of the world and not just to stand aside and watch. And I will never, never again run away from life. Or from love, either.”—Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina
Heartbroken, Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) books a trip to Paris when her unrequited love for David Larrabee (William Holden) ends with a proposal to another woman. Armed with a new outlook on life (and a très chic pixie cut), she returns from the City of Light to re-woo Larrabee—only to fall in love with his eldest brother, Linus, played by Humphrey Bogart. Talk about an upgrade.
“Everyone isn’t bad, mama! Everything isn’t a sin!”—Sissy Spacek as Carrie
Let this be a lesson to bullies everywhere: Do not mess with Sissy Spacek. Raised by a hyper-religious mother, Carrie (Spacek) soon recognises a power within herself. Shy and unsuspecting, she endures her classmates’ taunts until the year’s prime event—prom night. She takes home the crown and title of ultimate prom queen, pig blood and all. Available on Netflix
Pretty Woman (1990)
“You get paid off commission, right? Big mistake. Big! Huge!”—Julia Roberts as Vivian
Vivian (Roberts), a sex worker with a heart of gold, makes an attempt to dress the part of ritzy socialite with a shopping spree at the famed Rodeo Drive. In her thigh-high boots and borrowed men’s blazer, she’s humiliated by two snobby saleswomen. Undeterred, she returns with an armful of glossy shopping bags, ready to serve haughtiness back to their stunned faces. Available on Netflix
Waiting to Exhale (1995)
“Hell, I’m not worried—you, on the other hand, should be.”—Angela Bassett as Bernadine “Bernie” Harris
Waiting to ExhaleAlamy
In this story about the power of female friendships, we follow four women and the twists and turns that come with life, love, and men. Bernie (Bassett) finds out her husband is leaving her for another woman after she gave up her dream catering business to raise a family. Enraged, she sets his BMW and designer clothes aflame. The now highly GIFed scene of Bernie lighting her cigarette and tossing the match into the flames goes out to all those who have been wronged in a similar way.
The Craft (1996)
“Oh, relax, it’s only magic. Now who’s pathetic?”—Robin Tunney as Sarah
New girl Sarah, played by Robin Tunney, finds herself befriending a band of misfits whose after-school activities encompass potion making and spells. Greed takes hold of their newfound coven’s leader, Nancy (Fairuza Balk), and soon chaos ensues. Sarah takes matters into her own hands, binding Nancy from doing any more harm and restoring balance to the realm.The First Wives Club (1996)
“There are only three ages for women in Hollywood. Babe, district attorney, and Driving Miss Daisy.”—Goldie Hawn as Elise
The First Wives Club
If you’ve never seen Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler lip-sync along to “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore, you have a real treat in store. In this classic film, the three women join up to take revenge on their respective feckless ex-husbands, discovering in the process that they’re much stronger together than they ever were apart.
Bring It On (2000)
"Every time we get some, here y’all come trying to steal it, putting some blonde hair on it and calling it something different. We’ve had the best squad around for years, but no one’s been able to see what we can do. But you better believe all that’s gonna change this year. I’m captain, and I guarantee you we’ll make it to Nationals.”—Gabrielle Union as Isis
Bring It OnShutterstock
Clover cheer captain Isis (Union) gets pom-pom revenge on rival school captain Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) when it’s revealed the Toros squad has been stealing their routines. Justice is finally served in the form of toe touches and back-handsprings during a rousing dance-off at the Nationals Cheerleading Championship.
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
”Don’t think about tomorrow. Don’t think about anything but tonight. Tonight the maid is a lie. And this—this is who you really are.”—Marissa Matrone as Stephanie
Maid in ManhattanShutterstock
A modern-day Cinderella story, Lopez glows up from penthouse hotel maid to stylish aristocrat with the help of a creamy white Dolce & Gabbana number. As fate would have it, she catches the eye of a young politician (played by Ralph Fiennes). A romantic night at a charity ball (who can forget that vintage pink gown!) ends with the discovery of her true identity, but Lopez has the last laugh as Fiennes sticks by her side, proving love is more about connection than a swanky zip code. Available on Netflix
Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2 (2003 and 2004)
“We have unfinished business.”—Uma Thurman as The Bride
Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2Shutterstock
It takes two films, a knife fight with Vivica A. Fox, a throwdown with Chiaki Kuriyama, a duel with Lucy Liu, and a trailer-park tussle with Daryl Hannah, but Beatrix, a.k.a. The Bride (played by Thurman), finally kills Bill. The saying “it takes guts” becomes literal for the ex-assassin.John Tucker Must Die (2006)
“Normally, I’m opposed to the slaughter of animals, but in John Tucker’s case, I’ll make an exception.”—Sophia Bush as Beth
John Tucker Must Die
Okay, this rom-com probably isn’t going to crack the AFI Top 100, but in terms of revenge canon, you can’t ignore John Tucker Must Die. In this film, three jilted exes band together with the new girl in town to make their former beau—the eponymous John Tucker—pay for cheating on them. Mid-aughts girl power to the extreme!
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
“Everybody has secrets. The trick is just finding out what they are.”—Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander
The Girl With the Dragon TattooShutterstock
Black leather, piercings, and reptilian ink—Salander’s look means business and so does she. A pseudo-superhero, she partners with reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to solve a 40-year-old murder. The most indelible scene is her revenge upon an attacker—an intense scene Mara had to prove she could pull off during auditions.
Gone Girl (2014)
"Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind. I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl."—Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne
The monologue to end all monologues. Amy (Pike) discovers her blissfully unaware husband, Nick (played by Ben Affleck), has been cheating on her with one of his young students. She plots out the perfect revenge—no matter how tedious and time consuming (how does she find the time to plant his fingerprints on BDSM porn)—and ends up back with the man she loves, whether he wants it or not. Available on Netflix
The Beguiled (2017)
"You’re our most unwelcome visitor, and we do not propose to entertain you." —Nicole Kidman as Martha Farnsworth
Don’t let the pastoral scenes fool you—this is a thriller. An injured Union soldier, John (Colin Farrell), strays away from battle and lands at an all-girls school in the South. Headmistress Miss Farnsworth (Kidman) agrees to take him in until his wounds are mended. But in a house full of lonely ladies, a lone handsome soldier can cause some drama, and what begins as innocent courting ends up having very serious consequences. Available on Netflix
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
"So I just wanted you to know that one day, when he marries another lucky girl who is enough for you, and you’re playing with your grandkids while the tanhuas are blooming, or the birds are chirping, that it was because of me. A poor, raised by a single mother, low-class, immigrant nobody." —Constance Wu as Rachel Chu
Crazy Rich AsiansShutterstock
Economics professor Rachel Chu (Wu) falls in love with someone she believed to be a totally normal New York guy, Nick Young (Henry Golding). It isn’t until she flies to Singapore to visit his family that she discovers he’s practically royalty—with butlers, cars, diamonds, and a disapproving mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). Chu stands her ground when her integrity (and humble roots) are questioned, beating Eleanor in a game of mahjong and wits. Available on Prime Video
"Once upon a time there was a girl, and the girl had a shadow. The two were connected, tethered together. When the girl ate, her food was given to her warm and tasty. But when the shadow was hungry, she had to eat rabbit, raw and bloody." —Lupita Nyong’o as Red and Adelaide Wilson
Nothing like Peter Pan’s shadow story, Us is about a terrifying revelation: a mirror version of yourself who suddenly appears, condemned forever to wear unflattering red jumpsuits, and wanting your life. An uprising occurs, and soon mother of two Adelaide must fight for her life as her twin, Red, seeks to take over.
"Look, there’s nothing I can really say to make sense of what went down. But everybody’s hustling. This city, this whole country, is a strip club. You’ve got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance." —Jennifer Lopez as Ramona
Strippers Ramona (Lopez) and Destiny (Wu) turn into pole-dancing heroines when they flip the script on Wall Street bros, using their assets to woo rich guys into thousand-dollar submission. This exotic tale of friendship also boasts a Fiona Apple–set dance solo by Lopez that sizzles.Promising Young Woman (2020)
“You might be surprised to hear that gentlemen are sometimes the worst.”—Carey Mulligan as Cassie
Promising Young Woman
This candy-colored, gleefully gory revenge romp isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of intricate payback plans and many, many, many “nice guys” getting what’s coming to them, you’re sure to enjoy Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a med school dropout who makes a habit of going out and pretending to get drunk so some man or other will take her home. When she’s at their apartment, she suddenly snaps back to sobriety, and from the gleam in her eyes, you know it’s not going to end well for them.
This article originally appeared on Vogue.com
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