10 Female Movie Directors You Need to Know

Kathryn Bigelow

Most Notable Movie: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

At this point, Kathryn Bigelow is a household name. In fact, not knowing her is akin to not knowing who James Cameron is. The first woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Director, for her 2008 war drama The Hurt Locker, Bigelow followed that up with the most controversial film of the past year, Zero Dark Thirty, a gritty procedural drama about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, which was arguably better than her Academy Award-winning film.

And to think, back in the '80s and '90s, Bigelow, whose main focus has always been more action-oriented films, was having trouble gaining footing and respect in industry, dropping box office duds like Jamie Lee Curtis' Blue Steel and the laughable Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze flick, Point Break.

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