With the approach of 2019 International Women’s Day, the push for gender equality is at its peak. In recent years, particularly with the momentum of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, achieving gender equality across industries has been at the forefront of our attention…but there’s still much to be done. In all its glamour and prestige, the notoriety of Hollywood for reflecting a male-dominated society has been exposed that includes the lack of representation of females in lead roles. Thanks to growing recognition for female directors and more feminist actresses rooting for equality, female presence in the world of cinema is slowly moving the needle. We only need to consider the catalogue of films hitting the big screen this year to witness to evolution of female characterisation, making for an exciting and diverse programme for 2019.

Discover the 10 films due to be released this year that feature a strong female lead:

Dark Phoenix

Intended as the 12th chapter of the X-Men films, the upcoming edition observes the characters encounter Phoenix; Jean Grey’s alter ego that’s much more confident and powerful. ”˜Game of Thrones” Sophie Turner takes the title role, starring alongside James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and others.  

Expected release date: 7th June 2019

Charlie’s Angels

Kristen Stewart in Charlie's Angels

An all-female kickass trio and kickass female director, Elizabeth Banks directs Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska in this reboot of the popular 70’s TV series. Banks will also take on the role of ”˜Bosley’, formerly played as a male. Glamour Magazine describes it as a modern update that keeps with the ”˜current momentum for feminist narratives’.

Expected release date: 25th October 2019

The Rhythm Section

Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section

Blake Lively takes the lead in Reed Morano’s thriller based on Mark Burnell’s novel. Lively plays Stephanie Patrick, a woman whose family was killed in a plane crash. After learning that the crash was no accident, she seeks revenge on those who orchestrated it.

Expected release date: 22nd November 2019

The Kitchen

The stars of The Kitchen

Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss are the wives of imprisoned gangsters who take over their husband’s criminal operations. The comedy-drama is directed by Andrea Berloff, and is one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

Expected release date: 20th September 2019

What Men Want

We all remember when Mel Gibson was suddenly able to hear the inner thoughts of women, which he used to his advantage before falling for Helen Hunt. It’s now been flipped, where sports agent Ali seeks help from a psychic in her quest to succeed in a ”˜man’s world’ and is suddenly exposed to the thoughts of men around her.

Expected release date: 25th March 2019

Star Wars Episode IX

Rey in Star Wars Episode 9

While we don’t know exactly what will be happening in the ninth chapter of the Star Wars saga, what we do know is that it revolves around the latest powerful Jedi, ”˜Rey’, played by Daisy Ridley. She is the heroine set to rebalance the power of the force…who needs Luke Skywalker these days?

Expected release date: mid December 2019

Isn’t it Romantic?

A statrical romcom starring Rebel Wilson, this film is feel-good and pokes fun at the genre’s typical cliches. Wilson stars as ”˜Natalie’, who after being rendered unconscious from being hit on the head, wakes up to find her life playing out like a fantasy romance film. Priyanka Chopra, Liam Hemsworth and Wilson’s ”˜Pitch Perfect’ co-star Adam DeVine are also cast.

Expected release date: 28th February 2019 via Netflix

The Hustle

A busy year for Rebel Wilson, who also stars opposite Anne Hathaway in this remake of ”˜Dirty Rotten Scandals’ (1988). Swapping two men for two women, Wilson and Hathaway play a pair of con artists on a mission to take down men who have wronged them.

Expected release date: 10th May 2019

The Aftermath

Keira Knightly plays the wife of a British Colonel of World War II, who moves to a ruined Hamburg with the task of rebuilding the city. The married couple enter their new home there, only to find they will be sharing it with its previous German owner and his daughter. The film is based on the book of the same name by Rhidian Brook; a tale of transforming animosity into affinity through understanding.

Expected release date: 1st March 2019

Paradise Hills

Paradise Hills

Alice Waddington’s directorial debut stars Emma Roberts, Eiza Gonzalez and Milla Jovovich. Uma (Roberts) wakes up one day at a boarding school on a remote island, which aims to rein in ”˜wild’ girls through lessons in etiquette, speech, beauty, diets, gymnastics and more. But a deeper, darker secret lurks, and it soon becomes a race against time for Uma and her friends to escape.

Expected release date: It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but the official release date remains unknown.

With some great films heading our way, take a look at TickX’s cinema listings to find screenings, times and tickets near you.

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