Ava

Come for the action, stay for the angst.

This tale of an assassin coming to terms with her life choices does offer its fair share of herky-jerky scenes of Jessica Chastain opening a case of whup-ass.

But it’s actually the quieter moments, such as those where our world-weary hit woman has emotionally-charged conversations with mom Geena Davis and boss John Malkovich that have the biggest impact.

Davis, an action hero from a different era (go watch Cutthroat Island now!) gets to deliver one tightly-wound confessional which will put most of this year’s Oscar contenders to shame.

She shoots, and scores.

A League of Their Own

Tears are taboo on the diamond.

A rollicking grand slam, this fictionalized look at real-life women who helped keep professional baseball going in America during World War II is as fresh today as when it hit theaters in ’92.

Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances, rumpled and sarcastic, a faded star who finds, to his abiding horror, that he actually still cares.

Geena Davis, among the most-athletic of actresses (check out Cutthroat Island for more proof), is the true star, but don’t sleep on Lori Petty as her rambunctious lil’ sis.

This lineup is loaded with Hall of Famers.

 

Thelma and Louise

The movie theater was angry that day, my friends.

There came a point when I realized, in a half-full opening day matinee, I was the only dude in the building.

We got further into this superbly-acted story, electricity rippling and crackling as viewers absorbed every pain inflicted on Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as their own.

It was a magnificent film, and remains so to this day, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was the first one out the door at the end.

And I can still feel the eyeballs burning a hole in my departing back.

Cutthroat Island

Eat my shorts, “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

This is the swashbuckling epic which should have been a huge worldwide hit, pieces o’ eight raining down in the studio coffers all day and night.

It’s got Geena Davis kickin’ butt and takin’ names as a pirate captain who waits for no man to save her, Matthew Modine as a plucky sidekick, and a full-throated Frank Langella as the devil of the high seas.

Action, intrigue, even a little (clumsy) comedy, all topped with one of the best send-offs in cinematic history (“Bad Dawg!”).

What’s not to love, ya scurvy landlubbers?