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10 Best Male-Bashing Movies

This article is dedicated to all women told to just deal with it.

Amy Adams brilliantly portrays artist Margaret Keane in "Big Eyes" (2014)

Amy Adams brilliantly portrays artist Margaret Keane in "Big Eyes" (2014)

It gives you an idea how male-centered our culture is that when I entered the phrase "why women love male-bashing movies" into Google, nearly every headline was rushing to defend poor, put-upon men. Please. It's a movie, darlings. Lighten up. It's not that bad, I think you're just being paranoid.

Women shouldn't apologize for demanding a space where they have control, and a movie gives them a couple hours that belongs to them. This list compiles ten movies demonstrating feminine strength, resiliency, and cunning.

10 Movies Where Women Overcome Men

10. The Color Purple (1985)
9. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
8. What’s Love Got to Do With It? (1993)
7. The First Wives Club (1996)
6. The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
5. Chicago (2002)
4. The Stepford Wives (2004)
3. The Prize Winner From Defiance, Ohio (2005)
2. The Changeling (2008)
1. Big Eyes (2014)

“Women bonding together is the most fun thing and I have to say I miss it. We don’t get to do it that often, our lives are busy, we got our husbands, we’re always obligated to something. But when you get us together, there’s nothing more fun. Nothing.”

— Goldie Hawn

Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover in "The Color Purple" (1985)

Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover in "The Color Purple" (1985)

10. The Color Purple (1985)

  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Margaret Avery

This all-time Steven Spielberg classic, based on the novel by Alice Walker, portrays the life of Celie Harris (Whoopi Goldberg) as she endures four decades of abuse, starting with a sexual abuse from her stepfather that produced two children, and later from her owner/husband Albert Johnson (Danny Glover) whom she calls “Mister.”

The historical setting of this movie is the beginning of the 20th century, an era marked by lynching, Ku Klux Klan and self-imposed bigotry in which black women were not even considered worthy of occupying space. Celie is the victim/hero that finally she triumphs spitting in a glass of water.

Of course, one can’t ignore the powerful performance given by Oprah Winfrey as Sophia, especially the scene where she refuses upfront to become a maid. But, that's nothing compared to the “God is trying to tell you something” scene where libertine Shug (Margaret Avery) finally reconciles with her father, the reverend.

Avery was actually a member of the Freedom Riders, a civil rights group active during the 1960s. She did not sing, however. Her singing parts were provided by gospel singer Carmen Rosa “Tata” Vega.

Susan Sarandon starred in 1987's "Witches of Eastwick" with Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer. Cher actually stole Sarandon's part and Susan didn't find out until arriving on set!

Susan Sarandon starred in 1987's "Witches of Eastwick" with Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer. Cher actually stole Sarandon's part and Susan didn't find out until arriving on set!

9. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

  • Director: George Miller
  • Starring: Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher

The special effects alone make this movie a worthwhile experience, yet it is the topic of women as a nuisance what earned the production eleven nominations and six awards.

Released on the full moon of June 12, 1987, this wicked comedy shamelessly dares to explore man’s perception of women as expressed by Jack Nicholson’s interpretation of horny little devil, Darryl Van Horne: “Women, a mistake? Or did [God] do it to us [men] on purpose?”

The movie, based on the novel written by John Updike, portrays a sexually repressed town in which single, middle-aged women are bound to stay put. These women, unbeknownst to them, unleashed their powers in a simple but magical ceremony where they summon their ideal man.

Although they played witches in the film, Cher is a Buddhist, Susan is a Catholic and Michelle is a Protestant. Jack Nicholson, born and raised a Catholic, claims to be an atheist, yet he envies “those who still have faith”.

Tina Turner in 1990, three years before "What’s Love Got to Do With It?," the biopic based on her 1986 autobiography, was released to commercial and critical acclaim.

Tina Turner in 1990, three years before "What’s Love Got to Do With It?," the biopic based on her 1986 autobiography, was released to commercial and critical acclaim.

8. What’s Love Got to Do With It? (1993)

  • Director: Brian Gibson
  • Starring: Angela Basset, Laurence Fishburne, and Tina Turner (as her own mother)

Anna Mae Bullock’s biography in film could not have a better cast. Although Angela Bassett does not sing, she gives an extraordinary performance that draws audiences into believing that she is Tina Turner, earning her a Golden Globe in 1994 and an Image Award in 1995.

Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner epitomizes the abusive partner who pushes women to the point of slavery and servitude. What’s Love Got to Do With It? brought the spousal abuse subject to public discussion. This film is as empowering as they come.

Tina, who was born in 1939, broke up with/escaped Ike in 1976 after 18 years of exploitation and abuse. The movie embodies not only her suffering but her indisputable success as an artist and a powerful woman.

What’s Love Got to Do With It? is based on Turner's 1990 autobiography I, Tina, which was co-written with MTV's Kurt Loder. Directed by Brian Gibson, the R-rated film exhibits some brutal scenes detailing the physical, emotional and financial abuse Tina endured at the hands of Ike.

The fabulously fashionable Diane Keaton starred with Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn in "The First Wives Club" (1996)

The fabulously fashionable Diane Keaton starred with Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn in "The First Wives Club" (1996)

7. The First Wives Club (1996)

  • Director: Hugh Wilson
  • Starring: Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton

Olivia Goldsmith wrote The First Wives Club in 1992, a best-selling novel about three middle-aged women trying to get back at their ex-husbands for betraying them with younger females.

The First Wives Club delivers delicious comedy scenes and non-stop puns to the delight of females and open-minded men. Maggie Smith (Gunilla Garson Goldberg) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Shelly Stewart) are marvelous in their “fork” scene. Sarah, in particular, is the movie's ultimate anti-hero.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Midler, Hawn and Keaton confessed how much fun they had making First Wives, particularly the gondola scene, in which the ladies use the prop to escape from a building after having been caught spying.

Ironically (and tragically), Goldsmith denounced youth as a “home-wrecking” tool, but died after cosmetic facelift surgery in 2004.

Nora-Jane Noone in "The Magdalene Sisters" (2002)

Nora-Jane Noone in "The Magdalene Sisters" (2002)

6. The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

  • Director: Peter Mullan
  • Starring: Geraldine McEwan, Anne-Marie Duff, Nora Jane Noone, and Dorothy Duffy

This award-winning film was inspired by the 1998 documentary, Sex in A Cold Climate: The Magdalene Asylums. The movie discusses the Irish Catholic Church laundry asylums established from 1964 to 1969, in which about 30,000 women were reportedly secluded in monasteries for various "violations." Although the Catholic Church categorizes these reports as fictional, the detailed testimonies of the "Magdalenes" can’t be dismissed lightly.

The film presents three girls sentenced to life in a monastery, one for accusing her cousin of rape, another for talking to boys while being pretty, and the third for getting pregnant. Some scenes in the movie should not be watched by children, and teenagers should only watch with adult supervision.

Director Peter Mullan faced harsh criticism from the Catholic Church. Since Disney has owned Miramax since 1993, and Miramax was the film's distributor, religious groups like the U.S.-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights threatened to boycott Disney if the movie was ever distributed in the United States.

As of this writing, The Magdalene Sisters is available through Netflix.

Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Chicago" (2002)

Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Chicago" (2002)

5. Chicago (2002)

  • Director: Rob Marshall
  • Starring: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, and Taye Diggs

This movie directed by Rob Marshall won six Academy Awards. The plot is about women taking the law in their own hands after being betrayed by their lovers. Small parts like Nickie are played by legends like Chita Rivera, who played Velma Kelly in the original 1975 Broadway production. Here Kelly is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Numbers like “Mr. Cellophane”, interpreted by John C. Reilly, cannot compare to the original by Ben Vereen, but hey does a great job of conveying his despair and lack of recognition.

Chicago seeps with sweet revenge, “tit for tat,” and glamorous injustice. The original play was written in 1926 by court reporter Maurine Dallas Martin.

Nicole Kidman, speaking here at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, starred in the 2004 reboot of "The Stepford Wives."

Nicole Kidman, speaking here at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, starred in the 2004 reboot of "The Stepford Wives."

4. The Stepford Wives (2004)

  • Director: Frank Oz
  • Starring: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Roger Bart, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, and Christopher Walken

Based on Ira Levin's 1972 novel and the original 1975 film, The Stepford Wives puts us in a surreal suburb where women are happy complying with each of their husbands’ requests. Too happy. They even dispense money out of their mouths like ATMs!

Something is not right in this landscape and the heroes (Midler, Kidman and Bart) are determined to find out how everyone can be so jolly and complacent while women are so submissive. The answer opens a Pandora's box of male chauvinism and short mindedness that is a painful delight to watch.

This black comedy satires a sad reality: there are women out there who will surrender everything they are in order to please their husbands. What will they become?

This Paramount/DreamWorks production won the 2004 Golden Trailer Award.

Julianne Moore (left) and Terry Ryan, author of the book, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio," the basis for the 2005 film.

Julianne Moore (left) and Terry Ryan, author of the book, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio," the basis for the 2005 film.

3. The Prize Winner From Defiance, Ohio (2005)

  • Director: Jane Anderson
  • Starring: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Laura Dern

This true story set in the 1950s depicts the life of Evelyn Ryan, a mother of ten and wife of a tender/raging alcoholic, who participated in numerous contests to supplement the family income. Woody Harrelson (Kelly Ryan) is a standout as Evelyn's husband, a man so crappy his own children turn against him.

Writer/director Jane Anderson based the film on Terry Ryan's 2001 book of the same name. Terry was child number six of Evelyn and Kelly.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio did not make big box office because it didn't show outside of Los Angeles and New York. However, it's available through Netflix, Amazon and Vulcan at the time of this writing.

Angelina Jolie on the set of "The Changeling" (2008)

Angelina Jolie on the set of "The Changeling" (2008)

2. The Changeling (2008)

  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Starring: Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich

The male-dominated Los Angeles Police Department hits the fan in this movie starring supermother Angelina Jolie and award-winning actor John Malkovich. Jolie stars as Christine Collins, whose son disappears resulting in a year-long search and a lot of media attention.

One day, the LAPD calls Christine claiming to have found her son, but when she goes to pick him up, she realizes the boy isn't hers. The police commissioner persists in his version of positive identification, closing her case, and declaring her a lunatic for refusing to recognize her own child. Her persistence in finding her true son leads to one of the most gruesome crimes of the century.

Based on a true story, The Changeling was directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Joseph Michael Straczynski. The movie has strong scenes and lines not suitable for minors. John Malkovich gives an all-time powerful performance as the activist Reverend Gustav Briegleb who uses his voice and church to denounce the injustices and corruption of the LAPD.

Margaret Keane admired how Amy Adams projected her feelings of impotence, fear and frustration in 2014's "Big Eyes."

Margaret Keane admired how Amy Adams projected her feelings of impotence, fear and frustration in 2014's "Big Eyes."

1. Big Eyes (2014)

  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Starring: Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz

Painter Margaret Keane did not see much of a future in her career as a single mother in the 1950s, but when she found gallant Walter Keane coming to her rescue, offering her instant marriage, all of her prayers were answered. This apparent fairy tale soon turned into a lifetime of servitude in which her husband became one of the most successful commercial graphic artists of his time by exploiting his wife’s talents.

Directed by Tim Burton and written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Big Eyes details the humiliation Margaret had to suffer before she resolved to come out clean and tell the world that she was the artist. The authentic characterization of Margaret earned Amy Adams a coveted Golden Globe. In fact, Margaret Keane admired how Adams truly projected her feelings of impotence, fear and frustration.

Christoph Waltz deserved a Golden Globe for his performance as the systematically abusive, lying and terrifyingly psychotic husband. Only life can create such a horror story.

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