Last year was a good year for tough female heroines in action films. Worth considering if strong females don't make you quake are "Hanna" and "Haywire." "Hanna" stars Saoirse Ronan. Raised by Eric Bana in the Arctic Circle, she is homeschooled out of an encyclopedia and trained to take down a grown elk and a grown man with deadly efficiency. She wants out of their lonely existence, but may soon regret it once she learns people are out to kill her and her father. Bana and Cate Blanchett are strong in their supporting roles. As the tension ratchets up, you watch them calculating the collateral damage. Action-packed, "Hanna" has both physical feats and psychological thrills.
"Haywire" stars Gina Carano, who reportedly did all her own stunts. Seeing her brawl with Channing Tatum is one of the film's highlights and it ends all too quickly. "Haywire" is a standard covert operation gone wrong, but the storyline is mostly plausible between smack downs, and it's rewarding to see a female in the lead role. Both Ronan and Carano are attractive and engaging, but as these heroines look for the truth instead love, they find it's just as elusive.
--Cindy F., Headquarters