5 best movies like Netflix's 'Damsel'

Millie Bobby Brown wields a sword in Damsel, a new movie coming to Netflix in 2023
(Image credit: Netflix)

We’ve all seen the movie where the prince saves the princess from [insert danger here]. But what if the princess saves herself instead? She can even still have a prince if she wants — but her choice and actions dictate her fate and not some age-old tradition or a plight to save the kingdom. Though feminist-leaning fairytales are harder to find than the dime-a-dozen classic damsel stories, they do exist, and we’ve seen more of them in the past decade than ever before.

Where to stream 'Damsel'

"Damsel" is streaming on Netflix

Netflix just released the Millie Bobby Brown-led movie “Damsel,” where her character Elodie contends with betrayal at the hands of royalty and has to fight her own battle against a dragon (who got equally screwed by this particular kingdom). The film is a lot more brutal and bloody than you might expect as Elodie fights for her life and avenges those who came before her.

If you finish “Damsel” and you’re still itching for more feminist fairytales, we’ve got you covered with five of the best movies like “Damsel" you can stream now. Most of them are just a tad bit less violent.

'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Kristin Stewart’s Snow White has a backstory we’re all familiar with: Her father died and her jealous stepmother wants to kill her. Yet romance has virtually no fuel for this fairytale. Sure, Liam Hemsworth’s Huntsman begrudgingly helps her, but it becomes clear early on that she doesn’t really need him. Snow is determined to do the hard, grueling work to save her kingdom without a flashy dress or sparkling shoes. 

Charlize Theron starred alongside Stewart and Hemsworth as the ever-beautiful stepmother Ravenna who wants to kill Snow to win back her title as the “fairest of them all.” Girl, it’s just not that serious. Sam Claflin (William), Sam Spruell (Finn), Ian McShane (Beith), and Bob Hoskins (Muir, his final role) also appear in the 2014 film. “Damsel” actor Ray Winstone also played Gort in this movie. 

Watch on Starz via Prime Video


In the words of Britney Spears, “Cinderella’s got to go.” The 2021 reimagining of the classic tale turns Cinderella’s glass slipper upside-down in this sometimes bizarre but always entertaining movie-musical. Ella (Camila Cabello) has little to no interest in royalty, castles or ball gowns — unless she’s designing them. She enjoys the hustle of being a fashion designer in a kingdom that refuses to let women work. 

While Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) certainly tries to woo her with the promise of saving her from her stepmother’s cruelty, Ella is more keen on saving herself. Ella isn’t going to give up her dreams or aspirations for him, either. Kay Cannon wrote and directed the movie-musical that stars some major Hollywood players like Billy Porter (Fabulous Godmother), Idina Menzel (Vivian), Pierce Brosnan (King Rowan), Minnie Driver (Queen Beatrice), and Tallulah Greive (Princess Gwen). 

Watch on Prime Video

'Enola Holmes'

“Damsel” isn’t Bobby Brown’s first foray into feminist takes on classic tales. In 2020, she starred in the Netflix movie “Enola Holmes” which focuses on the younger sister of Sherlock. Enola will stop at nothing to follow in her brother’s detective footsteps despite the gender expectations of the time period. Enola has better things to do than think about boys, even when one catches her eye. 

The movie examines real-life issues that still occur today like gender wage gaps, dismissing women in the workplace, and women having to prove themselves ten times over to get a small amount of respect. The 2022 sequel even features the plight of the matchstick girls: real women who were essentially poisoned by phosphorous in London by horrid working conditions during the Industrial Revolution. 

The movie stars actors like Henry Cavill (Sherlock Holmes), Sam Claflin (Mycroft Holmes), and Helena Bonham Carter (Eudoria Holmes). Harry Bradbeer directed both movies written by Jack Thorne and adapted from Nancy Springer’s “Enola Holmes” books, which were of course inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” series. 

Watch on Netflix


Forget diamonds — dragons are a girl’s best friend. Back in 2014, Angelina Jolie gave us a twist on the Snow White fairytale with “Maleficent.” The movie centers on, you guessed it, Maleficent but there’s a twist: According to the movie and its sequel, there’s more to Maleficent’s rise to villainy than the original tale wants us to believe. As it turns out, the evil queen has a soft spot for Aurora rather than the cold, callous ruler we’ve come to know in other adaptations. 

“Maleficent” captures the dark, dragon energy of “Damsel” in this film directed by Robert Stromberg and written by Linda Woolverton. Both the original movie and its sequel star Elle Fanning as Aurora while Brenton Thwaites plays Prince Philip. 

Watch on Starz via Prime Video


The 2012 animated movie “Brave” is certainly a different vibe from the grim and dark nature of other feminist fairytales. However, you might need a lighter palette cleanser after this particular movie marathon. “Brave” takes audiences to Medieval Highland Scotland where we meet Merida, a young princess who would rather practice archery than attend royal events. Merida is absolutely not interested in an arranged marriage and she opts to save herself when she flees the castle and ventures out on her own into a dark forest. 

The film features a trio of writers/directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell. Kelly Macdonald voiced Merida and she was joined by actors like Billy Connolly (Fergus), Emma Thompson (Elinor), Julie Walters (The Witch), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin), and Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh). 

Watch on Disney Plus

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Xandra Harbet

Xandra is an entertainment journalist with clips in outlets like Salon, Insider, The Daily Dot, and Regal. In her 6+ years of writing, she's covered red carpets, premieres, and events like New York Comic Con. Xandra has conducted around 200 interviews with celebrities like Henry Cavill, Sylvester Stallone, and Adam Driver. She received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Randolph College, where she chilled with the campus ghosts and read Edgar Allan Poe at 3 am. 

    Please, Damsel is an absolute dumpster fire with zero redeeming qualities. There are no good movies "like" it.