Here Are 21 Movies Every Woman Should See Before Turning 25

People tend to only pay attention to 21st and 30th birthday milestones.  However we would argue that hitting the age of 25 also has its own merits. Partying and hanging out all night might not have the same novelty that it once did, but you may not exactly be prepared to pay a mortgage or truly understand what a 401K means yet. Still in any woman’s life, 25 is a fantastic time. You’re finally getting the hang of adulting and living life on your own terms. In celebration of all Women’s History Month, and just being all around kick ass ladies, here are 21 movies every woman should see before turning 25. Keep slaying the game ladies!

As we get older, women start to see their mothers as more than just parents. We begin to see them as people and hopefully friends. 1983's Terms of Endearment is a tale about just how complex mother-daughter relationships can be. Starring Shirley MacLaine, Jeff Daniels, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment is a true tearjerker so be sure to have plenty of tissues on deck. Check out the trailer here.
Based on Alice Walker's heartbreaking novel, The Color Purple is the pivotal story of the poor and abused, Celie Johnson and the hardships she faced as a black woman in early 20th century America. Though the story is a personal and fictionalized account, the trials and tribulations that Celie endured were representative of entire generations of African American women. Despite Celie's downtrodden position in society, she is able, through the kinship of other women to carve out a better life for herself. The film is very difficult at times to watch, but it's messages of sisterhood and perseverance make it worth the watch. Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Color Purple was Whoopi Goldberg's breakout role. Check out the trailer here.
Acclaimed director Spike Lee's first feature-length film She's Gotta Have It, is a masterpiece about a young Brooklynite, Nola Darling who can't seem to decide what type of man she wants to date. Instead of choosing, she dates three different men. The black and white film explores why women are pushed to settle for one thing, when they have complete agency of their bodies, lives and choices that they make. The film is one of Lee's best. It's lush, entertaining and presents a Black, independent, and successful woman in a way rarely seen on the big screen.
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In the 21st century, we are no longer here to break glass ceilings, we're all about smashing them to smithereens. Still, we can pay homage to all of the amazing women who did a ton of leg work for us. In 1988, Melanie Griffith starred in Working Girl as a secretary who uses her boss' absence to her advantage by proving she's worth a lot more than grabbing coffee and making copies. It's a film that proves ladies need to stick together in the business world. Check out the trailer here.
Sisterhood can transcend time and age, and that is what housewife Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) learns when she befriends Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) while volunteering at a nursing home in Fried Green Tomatoes. Ninny begins telling her the story of her free-spirited sister-in-law Idgie, the owner of small Alabama café in the 1920s, and her BFF Ruth, whose bond triumphed over an oppressive heterosexual relationship. Ninny's tale gives Evelyn the confidence to make changes in her own life. The glorious southern food alone really makes this film worth the watch. Check out the trailer here.
Often as we get older, we can find it difficult to understand our mothers, but the daughters of immigrants can sometimes find that connection to be even harder. Based on Amy Tan's best selling novel,The Joy Luck Club is a story of four Chinese immigrants whose daughters try to come to understand their sacrifices and bravery for a better life in America. It's a story of reflection and strength, and it will probably inspire you to have a conversation with your own mother. Check out the trailer here.
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In a series of films that spans nearly two decades, The Before Trilogy begins in 1995 with Before Sunrise and follows two strangers, American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Parisian Celine (Julie Delpy) who end up meeting on a train and spending one day together. If you're a woman who believes in love, chance and fate then this is the series for you. Before Sunset and Before Midnight are equally stunning follow ups to the original. Most importantly, it's a film series that proves that sometimes the best things in life happen unexpectedly with no plans or direction. Check out the trailer for Before Sunrise here.
One of the most important aspects of being a woman, are the lifelong friendships that we make that help guide us from girlhood into adulthood. Now and Then follows a group of 30-something women who reflect on one unforgettable summer from their childhood. The film proves that while time may cause you to grow apart, that doesn't mean that you're true friends won't be there when you really need them. With an all-star cast of women helming the project, Now and Then is nostalgic perfection. Check out the trailer here.
Directed by Forest Whitaker and based on Terry McMillian's best-selling novel, Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine star in Waiting to Exhale. This drama follows four friends who bond over their trials and tribulations with the opposite sex. It's a film that gets to the heart of female friendship despite personal choices. Also, Angela Bassett burns up a luxury car. For that scene alone, the film is worth the watch. Watch the trailer here.
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Monica and Quincy (played by Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps respectively) are childhood friends and fierce basketball players. As the duo grow closer over the years, they realize that having both Love & Basketball isn't as easy as it looks. Monica especially, has to contend with what it means to be both a girlfriend and daughter, while fostering her basketball career. Her choices, and those of Quincy's aren't the same nor are they equal. Gina Prince-Bythewood's debut film masterpiece is about dreams, passion, sacrifice and of course love. Check out the trailer for this epic film here.
Being a grown ass woman means always staying true to yourself. Reese Witherspoon slays in Legally Blonde as Elle Woods, a bubbly sorority girl who gets into Harvard Law School thorough her own unique ingenuity and ends up winning a super elite internship and high profile case. If being a girlie girl makes you happy, then why shouldn't you get regular manis and wear pink? Legally Blonde proves that people might judge you and underestimate you, but that's their problem not yours. Check out the trailer here.
As teens, we expect our lives to look a certain way once we are in full-fledged adulthood. More often then not, that's not how life turns out. Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 proves that that is more than OK. Adulting is really freaking hard, and it's completely fine if you don't have it all figured out just yet. Check out the trailer for the film here.
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We haven't come across one woman who would go back to high school, and for good reason. Mean Girls is a witty and sharp film, that takes a close look at what high school life is like for millennials who have access to anything and everything. Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady Heron, a high school transfer student who finds herself sucked into the popular girls (aka The Plastics) world of mind games and cruelty. Rachel McAdams also stars in the film that would be her breakout role. Hopefully, we've all moved way past high school games, but they're still fun to watch. Check out the trailer for the film here.
We hope that by now you know never to let anyone deter you from doing something just because of your gender. Hilary Swank certainly didn't as boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in the critically acclaimed film Million Dollar Baby. The raw and gritty drama follows a woman who was determined not to give up, despite naysayers. Check out the trailer for the film here which also stars Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. Just remember to bring plenty of Kleenex if you watch it.
We weren't exactly enthusiastic when we learned that Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston's acclaimed masterpiece Their Eyes Were Watching God was being turned into a made for TV film. However, we were thrilled with the results.Halle Berry stars as Janie Crawford, a woman living in the 1920's who breaks the barriers of the time in order to take control of her life, and sexuality. It's also a film that proves that you might just get more than one great love in life. Love is what you make, and with whom you make it. Check out the trailer here.
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Obviously Meryl Streep can do no wrong, even as the fashion editor Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. The film follows Anne Hathaway as Andrea, a journalist who lands a job as Priestly 's assistant. It's an entertaining look at the fashion industry but it's also a story of how millennial women are beginning to approach their professional lives. A job is just a job, it shouldn't make you miserable nor should it change who you are as a person. And certainly, you should take shit from anyone no matter how elite they appear to be. Check out the trailer here.
Putting your big girl panties on means dealing with the inevitable amount of weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, engagement parties every season for the next dozen years or so. 2011's female driven Bridesmaids starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy among others, is a hilarious comedy that proves that just becomes you're closest friends lives are going in a certain direction, doesn't mean that yours needs to follow that same path. Life can be rough, so cut yourself some slack. Puppies and cupcakes are always helpful. Check out the trailer here.
Dee Rees' sensational indie drama debut Pariah, follows Brooklyn teenager Alike, who is struggling to come to terms with her sexual identity. To be young, Black and lesbian is no easy feat, despite some of the strides that we've made in in this country. Pariah is a film about the importance of self-acceptance despite the possibility of being outcast by the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally.  Check out the trailer here.
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As 21st century women, we have agency over our own bodies, sexuality and reproduction. And yet, life still doesn't always go according to plan. Comedian Jenny Slate stars in Obvious Child, a story about a care-free 20-something who must decide what she wants to do when her fling results in an unplanned pregnancy. It's a film that shows that abortion is not only a choice women absolutely should have, but shows that there is no shame nor anything abnormal about that decision. Check out the trailer here.
Amma Asante's 2014 film Belle gives us an entirely new view of 18th century British high society. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Dido, a girl of mixed-race who is adopted into an aristocratic family and develops a relationship with a vicar's son. Though outwardly Dido has all of the privileges of 18th century aristocratic woman, she soon learns that her skin color is seen as a mark against her. It is a film that looks not just the restrictions that women had to and still have to deal with in society, but also the obstacles that women of color face as well. Check out the trailer here.
Though we'd never condone being a full fledged psychopath, we can certainly admire Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. Amy is a woman who refuses to continue to play the "cool girl" and allow her husband to carry on with his extra martial affair. Gone Girl is precise, grisly and whether you're married or not, it will make you question what the institution of marriage truly means. Check out the trailer for film here.