Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? 2015 ranking (final)

A ranking of 2015’s films for their representation of girls and women. (Some films that may qualify as 2014 films for awards purposes but that did not get wide releases until very late 2014 or early 2015 may be included here.) These are not “reviews” of the films! These are simply examinations of how well or how poorly they depict girls and 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. My reviews, when available, are linked from each rating page.)

See the rating criteria.

See also:

• the ranking of all films nominated for the 2014 Oscars (awarded in early 2015)
• the ranking of all films nominated for the 2015 Oscars (awarded in early 2016)

I crunched numbers on the 153 films that opened in wide release in the United States between December 25, 2014, and December 18, 2015. Get an introduction to this analysis here. You can examine a comprehensive spreadsheet of the details about these 153 films here.

Conclusions:

only 22% of 2015’s movies had female protagonists
best and worst representations of women on film in 2015 (and the average WATW score for the year)
critics are slightly more likely to rate a film highly if it represents women well
mainstream moviegoers are not turned off by films with female protagonists
movies that represent women well are just as likely to be profitable as movies that don’t, and are less risky as business propositions


KEY:
[ F ] = film has a female protagonist
[ Fe ] = film has an ensemble that is predominantly or entirely female
[ f ] = film has a female coprotagonist alongside a male coprotagonist
[ e ] = film has an ensemble with no clear protagonist that is reasonably gender balanced

+50
+46
+45
Spy [ F ]
+39
Inside Out [ F ]
+39
Truth [ F ]
+36
Still Alice [ F ]
+35
Sisters [ F ]
+34
+32
Grandma [ F ]
+31
+31
Trainwreck [ F ]
+29
+29
Wild [ F ]
+28
+27
+27
+27
Sicario [ F ]
+27
+25
+24
+24
Brooklyn [ F ]
+20
Big Eyes [ F ]
+20
+20
+19
Crimson Peak [ F ]
+19
Tomorrowland [ f ]
+17
+16
+16
Joy [ F ]
+15
+15
+15
+13
+12
+11
+11
+10
+9
+8
+7
Captive [ f ]
+7
+7
The Visit [ f ]
+6
+6
+6
+5
+5
+5
+2
+2
Home [ f ]
+2
+1
The DUFF [ F ]
0
0
0
No Escape [ f ]
0
0
0
Unfriended [ e ]
-1
-1
Poltergeist [ e ]
-3
-5
-5
-5
The Gallows [ e ]
-5
-5
It Follows [ F ]
-5
-5
-5
War Room [ F ]
-7
-8
-8
-8
-8
-9
-9
-10
-10
The Gift [ f ]
-10
-10
-11
-12
-13
-14
-15
-15
-15
-15
Krampus [ e ]
-15
-15
-15
-15
-15
-15
-16
-16
-17
-17
-17
-17
-20
-20
-20
-20
-21
-21
-21
-23
-23
-24
-24
-25
Cinderella [ F ]
-25
Focus [ f ]
-25
-25
-25
-25
-25
-27
-27
-27
Pan
-28
-29
-30
-30
-30
-32
-33
-33
-35
-35
Hot Pursuit [ F ]
-35
-38
-40
-40
Max
-43
-43
-44
-45
-45
-46
-49
-50
-50
-52
-52
-55
-57
-59
-60
-63
-65
-65
-65
-67
-70
-72
-79
-80
-88
-120
+50
+46
+45
Spy [ F ]
+39
Inside Out [ F ]
+37
+36
Still Alice [ F ]
+36
Suffragette [ F ]
+36
Survivor [ F ]
+35
Sisters [ F ]
+35
+31
Trainwreck [ F ]
+30
+29
+29
Wild [ F ]
+28
+27
+27
+27
Sicario [ F ]
+27
+26
Carol [ F ]
+25
+24
+24
Brooklyn [ F ]
+20
Amy [ F ]
+20
Big Eyes [ F ]
+20
+20
+19
Crimson Peak [ F ]
+19
+16
+16
+16
+15
+15
+13
+12
+11
+11
+10
+9
+8
+7
+7
The Visit [ f ]
+6
+6
+5
+5
+5
+3
+2
+2
Home [ f ]
+1
The DUFF [ F ]
0
0
0
No Escape [ f ]
0
0
0
Unfriended [ e ]
-1
Poltergeist [ e ]
-1
-3
-5
-5
-5
Child 44 [ f ]
-5
The Gallows [ e ]
-5
-5
It Follows [ F ]
-5
Man Up [ F ]
-7
-8
-8
-8
-9
-9
-9
-10
-10
The Gift [ f ]
-10
-10
-11
-12
-12
-13
-15
-15
-15
Krampus [ e ]
-15
-15
-15
-15
-15
-16
-17
-18
-20
-20
-20
-20
-21
-23
-23
-24
-24
-25
Cinderella [ F ]
-25
Focus [ f ]
-25
-25
-25
-25
-25
-27
-27
Pan
-28
-28
-29
-30
-30
-32
-33
-33
-35
-35
Hot Pursuit [ F ]
-35
-38
-38
-41
-43
-43
-45
-45
-46
-49
-50
-50
-50
-52
-55
-59
-60
-63
-65
-65
-67
-70
-73
-80
-88
-90
-120
+39
+38
Girlhood [ F ]
+37
+36
+36
Suffragette [ F ]
+36
Survivor [ F ]
+32
+32
+30
+29
+29
+26
Carol [ F ]
+25
Lila and Eve [ F ]
+25
Mustang [ F ]
+25
+24
+22
+21
+21
Room [ f ]
+21
+20
Amy [ F ]
+20
+20
45 Years [ F ]
+16
+16
+11
+11
+10
+10
+10
Results [ f ]
+6
+6
+5
+5
+2
+2
+2
+2
Wild Tales [ e ]
0
0
The Hallow [ f ]
0
0
-1
-2
-3
-5
Child 44 [ f ]
-5
-5
-6
Maggie [ f ]
-8
-8
-9
-10
-11
-11
-12
-12
-13
-14
-15
-15
-15
-15
-18
-20
-20
-20
-20
-20
-21
-22
-22
-22
-23
-25
-25
-25
-27
-27
-28
-28
-35
-48
-73
-73
-73
-83
-85
-90

This project was launched by my generous Kickstarter supporters. You can support this work now by:

buying some Where Are the Women? merch
becoming a monthly or yearly subscriber of FlickFilospher.com
making a pledge at Patreon
• making a one-time donation via Paypal


posted in:
where are the women
  • randomshoe

    Mary Ann I’m so glad you care about this
    You inspire me

  • Foster “Zissou” Breadford

    I agree with most of these but I think you misjudged Inherent Vice.

  • Well, you certainly set me straight!

  • Foster “Zissou” Breadford

    Did I say something to offend you? I didn’t mean to imply anything other than the fact that we see the film differently. If anything I was hoping to discuss why in an open way. I respect the intent of this site but think there is some wiggle room with certain films.

  • I’m not offended. You’re just wasting my time and cluttering up my comments threads with stuff that says nothing.

    If anything I was hoping to discuss why in an open way.

    What’s stopping you? Disagree with me all you want. But you have to explain *why* you disagree! That should have been in your first comment. Why wasn’t it?

    And now there’s another comment thread cluttered up with stuff that does not in any way constitute discussion of a film. :-(

  • Bluejay

    Maybe there should be a zero-tolerance, one-strike-you’re-out policy for openly hostile comments (not referring to Zissou here, but in general) as well as “arguing about how to argue” threads? (And I fully acknowledge that some of the debates I engage in fall in that category.)

    That would probably be quite time-consuming, though. :-(

  • I am trying to not be too heavy handed with comment deletion and commenter banning, but my patience is wearing *really* thin with the people who seem to have no interest in anything but digitally urinating on a thread to make a mark.

  • Bluejay

    They do seem to be popping up a lot more lately.

  • LaSargenta

    Only to be expected. I’m actually surprised at how few there are.

  • a

    Maybe he wants you to review the film, do you have any plans on reviewing it?

  • As noted on its WATW post, no.

  • Nina

    Though I’ve already made a few comments here and there, I figured I needed to acknowledge and commend your work on this project properly. MaryAnn, I’ve been a reader of yours for years. I was 14 when I came across your movie reviews (I’m 28 now). I don’t remember what movie you were writing about when I “discovered” you, but you hated it. The review was caustic, biting, and hilarious. You became my go-to movie guru right then and there. Throughout high school, I looked up to you as a sort of feminist idol – I was raised amongst some pretty problematic opinions concerning both men and women, and your writing really helped open my eyes to the oppression of women in the media, and by extension society. Your snark and shameless love of all things geeky also made me feel more comfortable in my own skin as a woman who’s always pursued less conventionally “feminine” pursuits. Because of you I’m not ashamed of admitting that I know the names of the aliens in the Mos Eisley Cantina, for instance. I also have no problem ploughing into family members for making bigoted and sexist remarks. I could go on about how your writing helped me change from a shy, gawky wallflower to a snarky (yet sweet), out and proud lady-nerd-woman-child. I know you certainly don’t need my approval because you have temerity in spades, and never let the lame trolls here bring you down. Still, I figured that you might like to know how important you and your site (in its many incarnations) have been to me throughout the last 15 years. Thanks for your continued dedication to fighting the good fight! I shall always be a loyal follower and fan!

  • Thank you for that. I really needed to hear something like that right now.

    I know the names of the aliens in the Mos Eisley Cantina

    Ha! You’re a bigger geek than I am. :-) So proud that I had a small hand in that.

  • Klokinator

    Wow, love the site! Now I can tell exactly which films are rated poorly by feminists! I finally have access to perfect manosphere titles! You’re a saint!

  • amanohyo

    I was about to congratulate you on creating the hilarious word “manosphere,” but lo and behold, apparently it is an established term. Manosphere… just saying it makes me giggle.

    A horn sounds out across the western lands. Thousands of male professional wrestlers, body-builders, and pick-up artists converge in Los Angeles Stadium, heeding the clarion call of masculinity. Michael Bay takes the podium:

    “Dudes and gentlemen, I’ve gathered you here because the moment we feared has come to pass. Men have begun to treat hoes with the respect and thoughtful consideration once reserved only for bros. I fear only one option remains: It is time for us to form… the Manosphere!”

    Masculine gasps erupt from the audience as they flex in dismay. A single tear rolls down Chuck Norris’ cheek, a geyser of oil erupting from the ground where it lands. The throng seems confused and on the verge of breaking up when suddenly, the clouds part and the dulcet crooning of Insane Clown Posse pierces the air as a resurrected Randy Savage floats down onto the fifty yard line. As one, the assembled defenders of masculinity fall silent, put on their sunglasses, and turn toward Macho Man.

    “Snap into the Manosphere! Oooh Yeah!”

    Drawing on the charisma and confidence of their Supreme Alpha, the men lock arms and begin to build with the stoic, engineered precision biologically bestowed upon them by their testicles and upper body strength. In minutes, they have formed the base of an enormous Geodesic dome. Larger and larger it grows, larger still until it dwarfs the stadium and blocks out the sun itself. Macho Man floats up to the final empty space at the summit.

    “And I’ll form the head! Oooh Yeah!”

    Tucker Max sobs openly, “It’s so fucking beautiful man.”

    “That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!” a random african american extra exclaims.

    “It’s so… fabulous,” a flamboyantly gay body-builder lisps.

    “Yesss… let’s see them run to their… women’s shelters now,” Paul Elam cackles maniacally.

    All across the globe, similar scenes play out until there are hundreds of manospheres dotting the landscape of every major city. Michael Bay gazes up to the heavens reproachfully.

    “Sexy ladies, I didn’t want it to come to this, but the feminazis left me no choice. It’s time to pay the price. Manospheres, transform and roll out!”

    And on that fateful day, our corrupted feminized civilization was wiped from the surface of the Earth, crushed by the weight of your enormous balls. Custody of the surviving children was given to the fathers of the new Golden Age of Man. To be fair, humanity had it coming, look at the way we were dressed.

  • RogerBW

    [applause]

  • Klokinator

    You can always tell when a feminist replies, let alone a woman. She blows everything out of proportion and doesn’t blow a man!

  • LaSargenta

    I’m starting to wonder if there needs to be some Unified Score developed specially for movies that are terrible AND represent women badly. Or, maybe I should just starting think of them like baseball team standings….The Gift is +40 under .500 (if -100 is 1.00) and is -10 from the wild card spot in the positive range.

  • RogerBW

    It’s only loosely correlated, though – The Boy Next Door is near the top of the list.

  • LaSargenta

    I’m not looking for a correlation, just some way to express a movie that is crap and treats half the human race like crap. That’s why I was thinking maybe the standings model was the way to think about it. A team can be doing its personal best (and be fun to watch) but be down in the conference standings due to all kinds of things.

  • Danielm80

    That’s one of the charts I’d like to see if MaryAnn* posts statistical analysis of the WATW project. I get the impression–based on the amount of green I see on the lists–that Oscar nominees might represent women better than other films. Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between critical acclaim and the WATW score.

    The score does seem to go up when a movie has a female lead or a largely-female ensemble. Female writers and directors seem to help also, though not as much. I’d like to see statistical confirmation, though, from someone who’s better at math than I am.

    I’d also like to know how many films show men “humorously” dressed as women. Based on the recent scorecards, the answer seems to be: All of them.

    *Or someone else who has the time.

  • I will be adding some other data to the charts soon.

  • LaSargenta

    AAAAaaaaaAAAAAhhhhhh! I’m not trying to make YOU do the work!! Crowdsourcing here, that’s what I’m looking for.

Pin It on Pinterest