Arguably more than any other year, 2017 is a proving ground for films centered around women. For one, "Wonder Woman" is the highest-grossing movie of the summer, also lassoing more money at the box office than any other male-led DC Extended Universe movie -- including "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Here are 12 movies released in 2017 wherein women take command of the big screen.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) takes a big leap forward in her representation of women in film. Coming from the mystical island of Themyscira, she is untainted by the sexist standards of patriarchal society, therefore making her oblivious to and free from the limitations women often experience.
Release date: June 2
"I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore"
This film depicts Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) fighting back against an unjust world. She simply wants “for people to not be assholes.” It's a wild indie comedy-turned thriller-crime flick in which the heroine manages to find empowerment during an existential crisis.
Release date: Feb. 24
"A Woman, A Part"
Starring Maggie Siff as an actress who takes a break from her job, this film deglamorizes Hollywood and addresses industry sexism and misogyny. Feminist director Elizabeth Subrin focuses on emotion rather than the male gaze. It was filmed with a majority female cast and half female crew.
Release date: March 17
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
"Beauty and the Beast"
If there’s one movie in which Disney didn’t mess up the casting, it would be this 2017 live-action remake. Played by real-life feminist-activist-role-model Emma Watson, Belle is unapologetic in her rejection of Gaston and his out-of-step values.
Release date: March 17
"The ZooKeeper's Wife"
Although there are many movies that tell powerful stories about those who helped European Jews during the Holocaust, "The ZooKeeper's Wife" recognizes the heroism of women and the risks they took. The film follows the story of Antonina (Jessica Chastain), whose oppressed traditional housewife role doesn't stop her from challenging authority in service of a greater cause.
Release date: March 31
Music Box Films
"A Quiet Passion"
Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) rebels against the constraints of a conventional female role often enforced by male figures, using poetry as an outlet for her sexual frustration and romantic independence.
Release date: April 14
Warner Bros. Pictures
Outspoken activist feminist and actress Amandla Stenberg, who has 1.3 million Instagram and 306,000 Twitter followers, is known to use her platform to raise awareness of social and political issues. This young adult movie in which she stars features an interracial relationship -- though the film's focus is not on race. Directed by Stella Meghie, the film is based on a novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon -- whose goal was to create a character that her biracial daughter could finally relate to.
Release date: May 19
Roadside Attractions, FilmNation Entertainment, Elevation Pictures
"Beatriz at Dinner"
The film focuses on Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a masseuse and healer who is unapologetically vocal about the moral wrongs of a privileged businessman, whose ignorance is insulated by the comfort of his double-gated, wealthy hilltop mansion. Being mistaken as part of “the staff” doesn’t stop her from standing her ground against the ignorant, Trump-esque conservative, who is destroying the world one hunted rhinoceros at a time.
Release date: June 9
Sofia Copolla's retelling of the 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood reworks it through the perspective of women to highlight gender dynamics and female empowerment. Starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, each character is restricted indoors during the Civil War and yearns to explore beyond the confines of their home. Though the arrival of a Union soldier (Colin Farrell) turns their routine lives upside-down, they prove that a man cannot take away their agency by the end of the film.
Release date: June 23
Four friends reclaim their youth during a wild and raunchy weekend. “Girl’s Trip” is worth watching for the undeniable chemistry of the “Flossy Posse” -- played by Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish. Using the Essence Festival as the setting celebrates both womanhood and the black community, with some musician cameos as a perk.
Release date: July 21
The new female 007 is also reminiscent of Charlize Theron in “Mad Max” and “Monster,” in that it epitomizes her knack for portraying strong female lead roles. Objectified and underrated by men in the movie, she fights back at not only KGB agents but also against the patriarchy they represent. Also worth recognizing: In performing many of her own stunts, Theron's training was so hardcore that she cracked her back teeth.
Release date: July 28
Halle Berry still has it -- even as a distressed mother in hot pursuit of her abducted son. As a female lead who carries the movie, Berry depicts how women can be strong and brave -- even if they are at their most vulnerable.
Release date: Aug. 4