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The top 10 badass line deliveries by movie ladies

The top 10 badass line deliveries by movie ladies (photo)

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Even the best-choreographed beat-down scene in a film can benefit from a one-two-punch of witty dialogue right before the fists start flying. A few actors try to make these scenes work in theaters every summer, but even the best leading men in Hollywood don’t have to wear heels when they rumble.

Today, we salute the women who make armies run away, dish smack-talk right back at barroom bullies and wield heavy, bullet-loaded machinery with finesse. They stand up for their countries, their friends and even the human race. For that, we thank them and rank them as both brawlers and eloquent speakers.

(Note: we tried to find video clips of the quotes in question for as many of these as possible, but a couple weren’t available. In those cases, a trailer was substituted.)

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10. Milla Jovovich in “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” (1999)

Jovovich can be a one-woman Special Forces unit when she needs to be in a role, but her speech in front of the British army in “The Messenger” is brilliant because you can tell that Joan of Arc is scared out of her gauntlets to be riding up to speak to the enemy…and she does it anyway.

“I’ve seen enough blood,” she says. “But if you want more, I can’t stop you. I can only warn you that it will be your blood, not ours.” If you know your history or this film, you know what the British decided to do.

9. Angelina Jolie in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001)
Jolie is an evergreen pick for any list of leading ladies capable of dishing out hard fists and well-placed bullets. “Tomb Raider” gave her some memorable lines, as well as a killer accent, though, particularly when she verbally jousts with her charismatic competitor, Manfred Powell (Iain Glen).

Giving away her entire plan, she asks him, “Why would I try and cheat you out of anything, now? I need you to get the piece so I can steal it from you later.”

8. Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)
Swank deservedly received an Oscar for her performance as Maggie Fitzgerald, floating around the boxing ring and letting her fists fly. She’s at her finest talking back to her character’s mother (Margo Martindale), though. After winning enough money to buy her old lady a house, the ungrateful woman still resents Maggie.

Maggie lays down the law to her, however, and says, “Momma, you take Mardell and JD and get home ‘fore I tell that lawyer there that you were so worried about your welfare you never signed those house papers like you were supposed to. So anytime I feel like it I can sell that house from under your fat, lazy, hillbilly ass.”

7. Carrie-Ann Moss in “The Matrix” (1999)
Neo never would have been anything if it weren’t for Trinity (Moss) showing him the ropes in The Matrix. She pulled of some wicked stunts in her shades and boots, but she really shines when Neo find himself on the wrong side of a gun, opposite an Agent.

Trinity pulls out her own gun with simple “Dodge this!” to warn the guy about the shot she’s about to send through his head.

6. Natalie Portman in “Leon: The Professional” (1994)
Portman seemed destined for greatness after playing 12-year-old Mathilda alongside Jean Reno. The girl seems understandably vulnerable after her parents are killed, but her rage starts to show when she asks Leon (Reno) to teach her “how to clean.” She tells him straight up what she wants when she asks him, “How much would it cost to hire someone to get those dirtbags who killed my brother?

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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