30 Best Movies Directed by Women on Netflix in 2021

The entry of women into the media industry has always been a bit of a taboo. Still, thankfully times are changing, and the modern-day movements and demonstrations have immensely diversified all the fields of work.

Hollywood was deprived of the fresh eye of a woman in direction. After numerous setbacks and vigorous fights, multiple streaming services have paired up with talented and most successful female directors to produce some of the best pieces created in the industry.

Netflix is one of those streaming services that have become an example for all others to follow in their footsteps and give female directors a chance to portray their talent in front of the world. This list is proof of all of that.

If you are unfamiliar with movies that women directed, then this list is where you can learn that. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of those movies which became a total hit after its first part was released on Netflix, which lead to it producing two more movies from the same franchise, based on the book series also written by a woman.

The list is endless, but we are glad to see that the opportunities are growing for female directors, which was always considered a man’s job in Hollywood. Following are the list of all the movies that you will easily find on Netflix if you connect to a Netflix VPN to avoid any inconvenience. These movies are directed by women, and some are based on robust and empowering female characters.

1. Bird Box (2018)

Horror, Sci-Fi

IMDb: 6.6

Director: Susanne Bier

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich

If you see it, you die. A post-apocalyptic horror-thriller that will send you to the gripping edge of your seat. Bird Box is not everyone’s forte, and it will come out as a surprise that this thriller is one of the films directed by women. The concept may seem similar to that of A Quiet Place, where one has to lose the use of one of their senses to survive, but here the most crucial sense of sight is at stake. One must keep their eyes covered to prevent the creature from taking the form of their worst fears because right now, survival is the key.

2. Lady Bird (2017)

Comedy, Drama

IMDb: 7.4

Director: Greta Gerwig

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts

Christine Lady Bird McPherson is going through it all, from her broken relationship with her mom to going through puberty-related phases and crises. This coming-of-age story walks us through the struggle of a highly artistic girl who yearns for better opportunities to express herself while trying to be a typical teenager trying to find a college far away from her home in Sacramento, California.

3. The Half Of It (2020)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 6.9

Director: Alice Wu

Stars: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

A Netflix Original movie directed by Alice Wu, which may look like a typical storyline with a shy but intelligent Chinese girl is pretending to be the Jock and trying to woo in a girl based on her intelligence and love for literature? Yeah, but that’s only the half of it (Pun intended). Ellie and Paul both are secretly in love with Aster, but she doesn’t know that and thinks her connection with paul over text is true when Ellie is the one she is talking to.

4. Julie and Julia (2009)

Biography, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 7.0

Director: Nora Ephron

Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina

Separated by time and intervened by their love for food, Julie, a young blogger, is at her wit’s ends to master the culinary techniques of Julia Child. Separated by times, what connects them together is their passion and the effort to make something out of it.

5. Mamma Mia (2008)

Comedy, Musical, Romance

IMDb: 6.4

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Stars: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried

One of the best films directed by a woman, hoping to find her birth father, a soon-to-be bride, takes her chances by inviting 3 different men to her wedding. These men happened to be her mother’s lovers, and one may eventually be her father as well. The comedic musical is a pleasure to watch with numerous vital roles of women, making it the best movie for women.

6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 7.1

Director: Susan Johnson

Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish

Lara-Jean Covey is a good girl, but her love life is not so much to talk about, and hence her concerned younger sister posts out 5 of her un-posted love letters from grade 5. The recipients include her former best friend’s boyfriend and her sister’s boyfriend. Will this create a rift between either of those two people? And will Lara-Jean find love after all? To All the Boys trilogy became the highest-grossing films directed by a woman after its release on Netflix immediately, creating a mass franchise. This is also one of the best movies on Netflix right now.

7. Birds of Prey (2019)

Action, Adventure, Comedy

IMDb: 6.1

Director: Cathy Yan

Stars: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

A highly under-rated movie with an all-female cast, accurately displaying the hardships and terrors a woman has to face to make it through the day, especially when you are the ex-girlfriend of the most wanted and protected criminal in the world and half the country is after you, now that you both have broken up. Chaotic, yet it qualifies as one of the best feminist movies on Netflix.

8. The Old Guard (2020)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

IMDb: 6.6

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Stars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts

A group of immortal mercenaries are doing what it takes to keep the mortal world running by conducting missions and saving it from all harmful entities. But this time, the threat is directed towards them and their ability to remain alive.

9. American Honey (2016)

Adventure, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 7.0

Director: Andrea Arnold

Stars: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

Of the carefree days, an American teenager usually yerns to live in their prime time; Star is that very teenager who has nothing to lose and thus embarks on her journey with a group of door-to-door sales crew who venture deep into the lifestyle of fun and never-ending night-life.

10. The Forty-Year Old Version (2020)

Comedy, Drama

IMDb: 7.3

Director: Radha Blank

Stars: Radha Blank, Peter Kim, Oswin Benjamin

There aren’t many Black female directors in Hollywood town. And those who have genuinely made an effortless appearance and worked hard to create a name in the industry just as Radha Blank did in her movie by reinventing herself as a rapper before she hits the 40-year mark.

11. First They Killed My Father (2017)

Biography, Drama, History

IMDb: 7.2

Director: Angelina Jolie

Stars: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata

Recalling the atrocities and sufferings of her childhood, Loung Ung presents in this biographical movie the cruel regime of the Khmer Rouge, which lead her to become one of the trained child soldiers at the age of 5. At the same time, her siblings were sent to the labor camp. Directed by Angelina Jolie, it is one of the most famous movies directed by a woman.

12. Mud Bound (2017)

Drama, War

IMDb: 7.4

Director: Dee Rees

Stars: Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke

Life after the war is tough, and the two war veterans have been experiencing a series of unfortunate events as they try to make their lives better by working on a rural Mississippi farm.

13. Atlantics (2019)

Drama, Mystery, Romance

IMDb: 6.7

Director: Mati Diop

Stars: Mame Bineta Sane, Amadou Mbow, Traore

Ada is caught in a love triangle, Souleiman is the love of her life, but she is promised to Omar, who dies a mysterious death, leading to various suspicions towards Ada.

14. Dumplin (2018)

Comedy, Drama

IMBb: 6.6

Director: Anne Fletcher

Stars: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush

Expectations are always high when you are the daughter of a former pageant queen. Willowdean, aka Dumplin’, is not the spitting image of her mother, but she is a force to be reconned with when she enters a pageant and empowers numerous girls to follow in her footsteps.

15. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Comedy, Romance

IMDb: 6.8

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito

Teenage lovers wind up together in their hometown; the only difference is that they have grown poles apart; Sasha leads a hi-fi life while Marcus still lives with his dad. The spark is still there after 15 years, but will they wind up together?

16. Set It Up (2018)

Comedy, Romance

IMDb: 6.5

Director: Claire Scanlon

Stars: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu

Trying to get away from the tyranny of their workaholic bosses, two personal assistants try to make them fall in love to clear their schedule, only to end up spending time together with each other and falling in love.

17. Miss Americana (2020)

Documentary, Biography, Music

IMDb: 7.4

Director: Lana Wilson

Stars: Taylor Swift, Andrea Swift, Scott Swift

Taking a deep look inside the sensational pop icon, singer, and songwriter Taylor Swift’s life and career.

18. 13th (2016)

Documentary, Crime, History

IMDb: 8.3

Director: Ava DuVernay

Stars: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker

Taking a closer look inside the radical history of inequality in the United States, with a tighter focus on the disproportionate division of African-Americans in America’s prisons.

19. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Comedy, Drama

IMDb: 7.3

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner

Nadine is having a hard time coping up with her dad’s sudden death and the fact that she is an awkward person who barely has enough friends left behind when her only best friend starts dating her brother, whom she does not get along with. Yeah, that’s a mouthful.

20. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019)

Drama

IMDb: 6.9

Directors: Kathleen Hepburn, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Stars: Violet Nelson, Charlie Hannah, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

A brief encounter on the street causes Alia to bring a young domestic abuse victim home, and together they unfold the events that lead to her assault and eventually on the street.

21. Love Song (2020)

Drama, Music, Romance

IMDb: 6.3

Director: Bradley Walsh

Stars: Jessy Schram, Niall Matter, Lucas Bryant

Your cliched love story with a country singer and a songwriter teaming up together to produce the best music one will hear. But this eventually leads to several complications, including falling in love.

22. The Invitation (2015)

Drama, Mystery, Thriller

IMDb: 6.6

Director: Karyn Kusama

Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman

A dinner with sinister causes, Will doubts the motives of his ex-wife and her new husband, who have invited a bunch of mismatched guests to dinner.

23. Tallulah (2016)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 6.7

Director: Sian Heder

Stars: Elliot Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard

Taking full responsibility for a baby from her careless mother, a young babysitter proves to be much more than that when she pretends the baby is her own and moves in with her ex by claiming the baby is their daughter.

24. What a Girl Wants (2003)

Comedy, Drama, Family

IMDb: 5.8

Director: Dennie Gordon

Stars: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston

An illegitimate daughter of a famous politician running for office, she vowes to find him, but it may tarnish his image and cost him his position at work.

25. The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)

Drama, Thriller

IMDb: 6.7

Director: Sara Colangelo

Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García Bernal, Ato Blankson-Wood

Seeking talent in a young student, a kindergarten teacher goes to all lengths to protect the poetry talent of the young blood.

26. Obvious Child (2013)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDb: 6.8

Director: Gillian Robespierre

Stars: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann

Unplanned pregnancies and a new eye for adulthood, Donna, an unemployed comedian, must navigate life and experience and embrace the new form of maturity that she happened to stumble upon.

27. Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

Drama, Fantasy

IMDb: 7.5

Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Stars: Adriano Tardiolo, Agnese Graziani, Alba Rohrwacher

A beginning of a lifelong friendship between a simple-minded man and a nobleman; cursed by his imagination who is all set to take help from Lazzaro to orchestrate his own kidnapping.

28. The Breaker Upperers (2018)

Comedy

IMDb: 5.9

Directors: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek

Stars: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston

Women are known to be homewreckers; this is a myth that Jen and Mel turned into truth by starting an agency that purely breaks up a relationship. All this just to get away from their own problems, but things derail when one of them releases the messed up nature of their business.

29. Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (2019)

Documentary, Music

IMDb: 7.5

Directors: Beyoncé (as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), Ed Burke (co-director)

Stars: Beyoncé, Joe Brown, Marvin Brown

Celebrating the iconic success of Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella and the trying journey and hard work that went into the creation of all her performances.

30. The Bling Ring (2013)

Biography, Crime, Drama

IMDb: 5.6

Director: Sofia Coppola

Stars: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson

A group of fame-obsessed high-schoolers forms a cartel where they hunt the whereabouts of famous celebrities and rob them off of their shoes, clothes, and jewelry worth millions of dollars just to gain attention.

Ellison Shirley
Ellison Shirley

Ellison Shirley tends to go down the rabbit hole when it comes to research; hence it’s up to her to present the latest happenings in streaming town. And so she does. A serial binge-watcher, opinionated with a pinch of feminism on top, you name it, she’s a bit of everything.

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