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20 Feminist Films from the 2010s that are Bechdel Test Failures

By: Megan Bishop


The 2010s brought major attention to the representation of women in Hollywood cinema. Each year emphasized the importance of women on screen while critics and social media users used their voices to declare the problems of certain representations and depictions of women. An easy test that has been used since it was published in 1985 is the Bechdel Test. If you have never heard of this creation by illustrator and writer Alison Bechdel, it has 3 requirements for a film to pass:


(one) feature two female characters that

(two) have a conversation about

(three) something other than a man.


While this test can be a great way for film viewers to decide what films they want to support, it is misleading as some films that fail this feature incredible female characters.

There is no one answer to determine if a film is feminist; everyone has a different idea as to what positive representation can look like. As a storytelling medium, some stories do not involve many characters or include multiple women but they do not have a conversation.


When compiling this list, I set my own set of requirements that the film had to accomplish at least one:


(one) the film features a female character in a prominent role

(two) the film features a female character who is just as skilled or capable as the male characters

(three) feature multiple female characters with their own storylines or backstories that are not dependent on men

or (four) directed by a woman.


While these films do not pass the Bechdel Test, I believe that they all feature positive female representation in 2010s cinema.

1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

2) Gravity (2013)

3) Pacific Rim (2013)

4) Under the Skin (2013)

5) Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

6) The Imitation Game (2014)

7) Jane Got a Gun (2015)

8) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

9) Sicario (2015)

10) Arrival (2016)

11) Star Trek Beyond (2016)

12) Colossal (2016)

13) Revenge (2017)

14) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

15) Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

16) Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

17) A Quiet Place (2018)

18) Deadpool 2 (2018)

19) Queen and Slim (2019)

20) Marriage Story (2019)