Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [why this matters]
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? (*in this case, an adult child) [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
The female character in a position of authority mentioned elsewhere? She is present solely to be awesome perfect support for the male protagonist, and so that she can be won over by him despite the fact that he is an unsocialized boor.
A woman who is barely a character — she is a mute personification of a videogame character — is awarded to a man at the end of the film as a literal trophy for his success.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: There are movies that treat women as if they’re trophies for men who triumph. And then there’s this movie, in which a woman is awarded to a man as an actual trophy. (She’s not able to speak, so she can’t say anything in protest.) And that’s on top of all its other offenses against women.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Pixels! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Pixels.