Let’s be honest here. The most classic mainstream fighting movies have men as the leads (even on Netflix). They are always at the forefront, kicking ass, taking names, and dropping one-liners that have made Hollywood history. From time to time, there would be a female character in these male-dominated films that could hold their own, but that was a rare occurrence.
Over the past decade or so, that has thankfully changed, and women are headlining their own fighting movies, some of which are featured on Netflix.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular Netflix fighting movies that are led by women. As you will see, they can get as down and dirty as the men with fierce fighting and unrelenting action.
Best Netflix Female-Led Fighting Movies
Halle Berry stars as Jackie Justice, a former and disgraced MMA fighter who is given one last chance to prove her worth as a fighter and ultimately a mother. Jackie has lost herself in a bottle and a dead-end job after she forfeited her last major fight.
Now, after getting a taste of the MMA world once again, she feels she is ready to give it a go. Then her six-year-old son returns to her life, causing Jackie to face the fact she walked out on him when he was a baby. Berry also directs the film, making this her feature film debut.
Watch Bruised on Netflix.
Maria is a Filipino action-fighting film starring Christine Reyes as the title character. Maria lives a nice home life with her husband and child, Min-Min. But their happy home life is about to get uprooted when Maria’s past comes back to haunt her.
Maria is an ex-assassin who walked away from that life of death and violence. But the past has a way of catching up, as Maria soon finds out. Now Maria is fighting for her life and that of her family as well.
Watch Maria on Netflix.
Never Back Down: Revolt (2021)
Never Back Down: Revolt is the fourth film in the Never Back Down franchise which began in 2008. This time around, the film stars a whole new group of fighters, not featuring any from the first three films. Here we find Olivia Popica as Anya, a young lady who has been kidnapped and forced to fight in elite underground fights.
Winning her fights will also win Anya her freedom. The action is fierce in this film which also stars former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping.
Watch Never Back Down: Revolt on Netflix.
Okay, so we might be blurring the lines a bit here with this film being female-led, but how can you not appreciate Chloë Grace Moretz as the vigilante, Hit-Girl? Kick-Ass comes from director Matthew Vaughn, who is well-versed in action fighting movies, that he based on the Mark Millar-John Romita comic book of the same name.
This one follows Dave Lizewski, an avid comic book reader who decides to become a superhero. He doesn’t have any superpowers, so his goal is going to be a tough one. Joining him is Hit-Girl, a ruthless young crime-fighter who definitely can kick some ass. Moretz definitely handles her fight scenes with pizazz.
Watch Kick-Ass on Netflix.
The Mother (2023)
The Mother is the newest film on this fighting movie list and stars Jennifer Lopez in a role many never thought they’d see her take on again. Here JLo is The Mother, an ex-US Army operative who has been in hiding for a number of years. She is forced out of hiding when the daughter she gave up to protect her has been kidnapped.
Now, The Mother must rely on her old and deadly skills to track down the criminals who want her and rescue her daughter. JLo holds up well and is quite believable in her action role.
Watch The Mother on Netflix.
Comparatively speaking, Hanna is an old-school female-led fighting movie. Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, a young teen raised by her father Erik (Eric Bana) in the wilds and trained as an assassin. Her father, though, is a wanted man which is why they’ve been in hiding Hanna’s whole life.
But her father has trained her well with one goal in mind – to eliminate CIA officer Marissa Wiegler, who in turn wants to shut him up for a secret he possesses and one that could take down Marissa.
When Hanna says she is ready for the task, her father sets off a radio beacon that will alert Marissa to their location. Cate Blanchet is fantastic as the evil Marissa.
Watch Hanna on Netflix.
The Old Guard (2020)
One more female-led fighting movie on Netflix and this original stars Charlize Theron as Andromache of Scythia, a centuries-old warrior with powers to heal and regenerate. Andy, as she is called, is part of a group of warriors who have this same ability to regenerate.
They take on missions and have been protecting the public at large forever. Now, these warriors, led by Andy, have a new mission to go to South Sudan and rescue a group of kidnapped girls.
Once in Sudan, they realized the whole kidnapping scenario was a setup as the big bad guy is trying to harness the Old Guards’ abilities for his own benefit.
Watch The Old Guard on Netflix.