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Top Ten Heroine Suspense Movies

Updated on November 11, 2014

My Favorite Suspense Films with a Heroine

There are times when I just have to see a female hero take the bad guy out! Females are often portrayed as helpless, needing a male to save them, but this is not the case with these movies. Add some suspense and a few thrills to the film and you've got a great night filled with surprises and amazing heroines! This is my count down of my all time favorite heroine suspense movies...

Spoiler Alert!

I tried to maintain the suspense of the movies mentioned in this lens, but some of the following information may reveal a few extra details for those of you that have not yet seen them. However, these movies are so great that even after knowing a few extra tidbits you will still want to see them.

10 - Enough

A lot of people are down on Jennifer Lopez for not being that great of an actress, but I think she does pretty good job, especially in this film. In this movie she unexpectedly finds love, like most people do, and life could not seem like it could be any better. After having her first child, she suddenly finds that her marriage is starting to crumble. When she finally confronts her husband she painfully discovers he is not at all the man she had thought he was.

I don't want to reveal too much, but I would have to say if I found myself in a similar situation as Jennifer Lopez' character, nick named Slim; I would probably do the same thing the heroine did in the very end of this movie. It touches on a very real matter that I'm sure a lot of women face in the world today and it is nice to know that justice was served. Then again, some would not agree with that viewpoint.

Ending Debate

For those of you who have already seen the movie, I want to know what you think.

Was the ending fair and just?

9 - Panic Room

You've got two famous female leads in this movie: Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart. This was actually Stewart's first major role. Foster and Stewart are a mother and daughter that are trying to start a new life in a new home they have selected. They find that this home has a hidden panic room along with other secrets. When 3 men break into the home the mother daughter duo try to find refuge in the room only to find that they have put themselves in even more danger.

There is just something about Jodie Foster's demeanor that makes her a very powerful character in any role she takes on, but in this one she takes the intensity to another level. Not the most amazing suspense movie I've seen, but one I enjoy watching to see the female lead prevail.

8 - Obsessed

I watched this movie for the first time when a friend brought over some movies for Halloween. Let me tell you, there is nothing scarier than a mad obsessed woman! The scary thing is that there are some people like that out in the world. I personally think Beyonce Knowles is one star that I like better as a singer rather than an actress, but I really liked seeing her final scene in this movie.

Sharon, Knowles, and her husband Derek have a happy life. They met while she was his secretary and has now quit to raise their new baby. Lisa, played by Ali Larter who is popularly known for her roles in Final Destination and the TV series Heroes, is a temporary secretary that has her sights set on Derek and will go to any length to get her hands on him. If you are looking for a good catfight, then this is definitely the movie for you!

Beyonce Knowles' Greatest Talent

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7 - Red Eye

When you think of Rachel McAdams you usually start to think of romance, but this is a role unlike her usual scene. Lisa Reisert, McAdams, is a hotel front desk manager who is taking some time off to take a flight to the funeral of her late grandmother. Nothing could bother her more than flying and to top it all of she has to take the last night flight, but that is just the beginning of her worries, as a man later takes her captive on the plane in order to force her to help assassinate a politician. This movie also stars Cillian Murphy, Jayma Mays, and Brian Cox.

The movie moves a little slow until about the middle of the movie, but the rest of the film will definitely make the wait worth your while! I think Rachel McAdams should take more roles like this, as she was a very strong female character.

All Time Favorite Rachel McAdams Movie

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Murder by Numbers

Sandra Bullock, who I absolutely love and think is one of the most diverse actresses out there, is detective Cassie Mayweather who is assigned to a case that she connects with all to well. The case involves two high schoolers named Richard Haywood, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Pendleton, Michael Pitt, who seem to get bored with their every day rich lives and decide to start playing a dangerous game that leads to a killing spree. The two boys enjoy taunting Cassie, as they have done so well at covering their tracks that it is making it hard for anyone to discover what really happened.

The ending of this was quite a surprise for me the first time that I watched it! The way that Gosling and Pitt portrayed these characters made it very realistic, which made the movie more eerie. Some have said that this movie was even partially based on a real case.


5 - Double Jeopardy

It is hard enough to realize your husband and the father of your son has been murdered, but then to be wrongly tried and convicted and have your son taken away as well is practically unbearable. Determined to try to protect her son and have as close of a relationship she still can with him from behind bars; Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd) finds out her husband might still be alive while on a phone call with four year old Matty. Contact is lost with her son at this discovery and her drive to find her son takes over when she decides to take matters into her own hands, but she did not account for her parole officer, Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones), to be hot on her trail.

This is a classic Tommy Lee role with the same great suspense that is in most of his movies. You want Ashley Judd to find her husband so badly you can practically taste it!

4 - What Lies Beneath

You have a powerful duo playing the lead characters Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, who are none other than Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford. Claire Spencer has gone through some recent stressful events and starts seeing bizarre things in her home. Her husband Norman is actually fairly supportive in trying to help his wife with whatever may be occurring, not knowing that something in his past may be back to haunt him.

I could not tell who was good or bad in this movie until the end. I also held my breath a lot throughout the movie and even found myself feeling like I was questioning the sanity of Claire. This is an unpredictable movie that will keep you guessing at every moment.

3 - Pacific Heights

A couple starts a new chapter in their life by making a new property investment and becoming landlords. Patty Palmer, Melanie Griffith, and Drake Goodman, Matthew Modine, seem to have everything set up for their future together. What did they not expect is that a psychotic tenant would ruin their lives and everything they had worked for.

A great, and very scary, performance by Michael Keaton, as he plays Carter Hayes. It is hard to watch all the horrible things that happen to this couple. Patty is almost forced into being the heroine and there are times where you are unsure if her efforts will pay off.

2 - Untraceable

This film makes you look at things on the internet with a wary eye. The great Diane Lane is FBI agent Jennifer Marsh who works on catching hackers and other such criminals on the internet. One day a case comes in that she can not trace and the things that the agency whitness taking place on the website are unimaginable.

I have watched this movie several times and still feel the same emotions I had the first time I watched it. It is one of those movies that you deeply desire for the "bad guy" to be taken out!


1 - The Hand that Rocks The Cradle

This was one of the first realistic suspense movies that I had seen with a woman being the hero and maybe that has a lot to do with the reason it is my number one. I have seen many suspense movies and I still cannot think of a heroine in a movie that I have watched yet, who I can say was stronger than this main character; after seeing all that she endures.

Claire Bartel, played by Annabella Sciorra, suffers from asthma and after having a horrifying visit to her gynecologist barely makes it through the ordeal. Her husband Michael, Matt McCoy, supports her in the fight to press charges against Claire's doctor, causing other women to come out and talk about similar incidents they also had with the doctor. Humiliated and perhaps ashamed, Dr. Mott commits suicide and leaves his wife behind to fester in the anger of it all. Rebecca De Mornay is a very mentally deranged Mrs. Scott who is out to literally take the life of Claire Bartel in more ways than one.

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The Real Deal

While I hope and pray no woman has to face anything that these women do in these films, these are some great female hero characters that take the title from fighting the odds. Every time I watch one of these movies it makes me want to be a stronger woman. May we have more films with heroines, as these ladies are the real deal!

Who is your favorite heroine from a suspense film?

Did You See Your Favorite?

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    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 5 years ago

      @Wendy Leanne: I love The Cell! I haven't seen Pitch Black, I'll have to check that one out. Aliens is good as well! Thanks for the adding those suggestions!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 5 years ago from Texas

      I totally agree with The Hand the Rocks the Cradle, Red Eye, and What Lies Beneath. Those movies were awesome. I think you should have the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell somewhere on here. Also, even though Pitch Black was Vin Diesel's debut, the hero of the story throughout it was a woman. Finally, don't forget Sigourney Weaver's kick butt performance in the very first Alien.

      Great lens topic. *~blessed~*

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Definitely a great list! Red eye is one of my favorite movies :)

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      Very nice list. I like a lot of these.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Panic Room was my fav from this list.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      I haven't seen a movie in a long time... Great lens though!

    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 5 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: Thank you, I appreciate your kind words!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Very nicely done lens, and you involved your reader beautifully. I really enjoyed your lens. Good work!