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You may have heard that there’s a new movie coming out this summer about Barbie. But she’s not the only strong woman fronting a major movie this season. We’ve curated a list of the 10 most-anticipated movies to watch and enjoy with female leads this Summer 2023.

10 most-anticipated movies to watch with female leads this Summer

Cinephiles, you’re in luck. This summer looks like it’s going to be a great time to go to the movies. The theaters are filling up with some of the most-anticipated movies since 2020, and we can’t wait.

And best of all, these movies are full of strong, interesting, complex female characters – who just happen to be played by some of our favorite actresses.

the 10 most-anticipated movies to watch and enjoy with female leads this Summer 2023

So before your summer calendars start to overflow, we recommend adding these ten movies to your watchlist – you’ll laugh, cry, smile, and sing, and you’ll ride into fall feeling the high of so many great female-led stories.

10 most-anticipated movies to watch with female leads this Summer

1. The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is already in theaters, and we’re so excited to see Halle Bailey in the title role. Whatever else may be true, Bailey is a star, and she – and her voice – are the best thing about this new take on the watery tale. However you may feel about the remake, the movie is worth watching for Bailey’s star-turn alone – and it makes us all the more excited to see what she’ll do next. Out now.

2. You Hurt My Feelings

If you’re looking for another movie you can catch in theaters right now, consider You Hurt My Feelings. Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, You Hurt My Feelings stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a writer whose life is shaken when she learns her husband does not like her most recent novel. We love this movie, because it feels like the kind of story – about a middle-aged married woman, struggling with her relationship and her creative work – we so rarely get to see. And the cherry on top is the rest of the film’s all-star cast, which includes Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, Zach Cherry, and many of our other favorite performers. Out now.

the 10 most-anticipated movies to watch and enjoy with female leads this Summer 2023

3. Past Lives

And if you need one more option that is now playing in theaters, we have to recommend the buzzy – and extraordinary – Past Lives. Written and directed by Celine Song, Past Lives stars Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, and John Magaro, telling the emotional story of two childhood best friends, reunited after twenty years apart. The description may not sound like much, but this is one of those films you simply need to see for yourself. Some are already calling it the best movie of the year, and we think that’s a title it earns. Out now.

4. Barbie

Barbie needs no introduction. Greta Gerwig’s latest film is easily the most anticipated movie of the year, with every new image and trailer generating a thousand tweets. We can’t wait to watch Margot Robbie take on the role of our little girl dreams, and to see what story Gerwig has cooked up for this major motion picture event. We are counting down the days until we get to see Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, and so many others on the big screen. Out July 21st.

5. No Hard Feelings

Everyone loves a summer comedy. This is true especially when Jennifer Lawrence is the one playing the lead. In this fascinating new film, Gene Stupnitsky writes and directs the tale of a woman (Lawrence) who is hired by the parents of a nineteen-year-old (Andrew Barth Feldman) to teach their son about sex. Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti also star, in what sounds like a movie premise we truly haven’t seen before – we’re intrigued. Out June 23rd.

6. Being Mary Tyler Moore

If you’re looking for a movie you can watch at home, we would point you towards the incredible documentary Being Mary Tyler Moore. Just released, the documentary by James Adolphus offers a chronicle of the icon’s life, showcasing the extraordinary impact of her career and of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Now available on Max, this is a must-watch for anyone who’s an avid fan of television or television history. One of our favorite documentaries of the year. Out now.

7. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Though Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny may seem like a funny title to include in this piece – especially with the mixed reviews it’s received – we couldn’t help leaving space for James Mangold’s new film. After all, our Fleabag queen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, takes a leading role, and we can’t wait to see her play alongside Harrison Ford. Whatever the script may have in store for Indy and for the audience, we know watching Ford and Waller-Bridge share the screen is worth the price of admission. Out June 30th.

8. They Cloned Tyrone

Science fiction fans, you’re going to want to catch this upcoming film, written and directed by Juel Tayler. Teyonah Parris stars, alongside A-listers Jamie Foxx and John Boyega, in a story about a group of people who find themselves drawn into the investigation of a government conspiracy. This film looks full of energy, and we can’t wait to watch. Since it’s going to be released on Netflix, we get to plan a watch-party at home.  Out July 21st.

9. You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

Though we’ll have to wait until the end of summer to see it, we are already full of anticipation for Sammi Cohen’s You Are So Not Invited My Bat Mitzvah. It is based on Fiona Rosenbloom’s popular novel of the same name. This movie tells the story of two teenage girls’ whose friendship is disrupted in the days before their bat mitzvahs. Given the hilarious source material, and the film’s stars – Idina Menzel and Adam Sandler, plus Sandler’s wife and daughters – we know this film by Alison Peck is going to be a riot. Out August 25th.

10. Happiness for Beginners

Happiness for Beginners sounds like the mid-summer pick-me-up we just might need. It is ritten and directed by Vicky Wight and based on the book by Katherine Center. The comedy features Helen (Ellie Kemper), a woman who enrolls in a wilderness survival program in the wake of her divorce. The film will be coming to Netflix, and will also star Luke Grimes and Nico Santos also star. We have a really good feeling about this one, Out July 27th.

10 most-anticipated movies to watch with female leads this Summer

That’s our take on 10 movies to watch and enjoy with female leads this Summer 2023 in addition to Barbie. Enjoy!

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.