The new action thriller Haywire will be hitting theaters on Jan. 20, but it’s the film’s heroine, betrayed operative Mallory Kane, who will be doing most of the hitting ass-kicking. Despite this being her first leading role, mixed martial artist and American Gladiator Gina Carano, who plays Mallory, will be in some very familiar territory– her opponents in the movie (including Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum) will wish they had never crossed her.
But there have been many who paved the way for female badassery in movies. There’s perhaps no more obvious choice than the original female rebel, Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) who not only faced down some terrifying extraterrestrials in the Alien saga, but uttered one of the most copycatted lines in movie history. Then again, Sarah Connor and her unbelievable arms (courtesy of Linda Hamilton) could have just as easily fought off those pesky space invaders. Just look at all damage she (and those biceps) did in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
And then there are the ladies who make revenge look so good: Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in the two versions of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Kate Beckinsale as vampire Selene in the Underworld series. Or how about Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity in The Matrix trilogy, Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita, or Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?
They may be bringing tough-as-nails video game heroines to life, like Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft and Mila Jovovich as Alice in the Resident Evil films. Or they could be leading the charge for a new generation of no-nonsense female warriors, like Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass and Saorise Ronin as Hanna in Hanna. Clearly, there’s no shortage of awesome women showing the enemy where it hurts.
Now it’s up to you, EW readers, to decide: Who is your all-time favorite female film badass? Take our poll below and choose wisely, because the winner will be revealed in an upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly. (And the “losers” could very well kick your butt.) Happy voting!