I love movies, and have always wondered why directing is such a male-dominated job.  But there are a handful of women in the biz who have orchestrated some good stuff.  Here are my faves:


10. Something’s Gotta Give (2003, Nancy Meyers)

Entertaining rom-com with great chemistry between leads Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton.  And Keanu’s actually not bad.


9. Lost in Translation (2003, Sophia Coppola)

Sophia won an Oscar for original screenplay.  Kind of slow-moving, but Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson make it pop.  Best part: they don’t sleep together (too predictable).


8. Wayne’s World (1992, Penelope Spheeris)

Takes a popular SNL sketch and turns it into a very funny movie.  Lots of quotable lines.  And, let’s face it, Tia Carrere is babelicious.


7. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, Amy Heckerling)

Captures high school in the early 80s quite well.  And it has the best slow-motion topless scene ever to appear on film.


6. The Hurt Locker (2008, Katheryn Bigelow)

The first woman to win the best director Oscar, and deservedly so.  Some intense stuff here.


5. I Shot Andy Warhol (1996, Mary Harron)

Bizarre true story of enthusiastic but unstable 1960s feminist Valerie Solanas, wonderfully played by Lili Taylor.  Harron also directed the great dark comedy American Psycho.


4. The Kids Are All Right (2010, Lisa Cholodenko)

Unorthodox, but very interesting, modern drama with a great cast.  I’m not a big Mark Ruffalo fan, but he’s quite good in this.


3. Boys Don’t Cry (1999, Kimberly Peirce)

I first read the Rolling Stone article on which this is based and thought, “that’s really fucked up.”  Rather frightening, especially because it’s a true story, and Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her performance as gender-confused Brandon Teena.


2. Big (1988, Penny Marshall)

Come on, who doesn’t like this movie?  Tom Hanks is inspired, and it’s just a great comedy fantasy.


1. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981, Penelope Spheeris)

Another Spheeris film, and the only documentary on my list.  Unflinchingly chronicles the early 80s punk rock scene in L.A.  I admit this is #1 because I love punk; it’s a shame so much of the cast died so young.  She also directed the sequel, which follows the area’s metal years.