Thelma & Louise [1991]

Thelma & Louise is a feminist manifesto writ large on the big screen, a smart and funny gender reversal of the standard Hollywood buddy formula, a road movie extraordinaire, with characters who became instant cultural icons. No matter how you define it, Ridley Scott's 1991 box-office hit pinched a nerve and made the cover of national news magazines for tweaking gender politics like no movie before or since. Callie Khouri's screenplay overhauls the buddy formula with its story about two best friends (Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) who embark on a liberating adventure that turns into an interstate police chase after a traumatic incident makes both women into fugitives; they are en route to a destiny they could never have imagined. The perfect casting of Sarandon and Davis makes Thelma & Louise a movie for the ages, and Brad Pitt became an overnight star after his appearance as the con-artist cowboy who gives Davis a memorable (but costly) night in a roadside motel. --Jeff Shannon

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