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Nearly Half of 2016’s 25 Biggest Films Passed the Bechdel Test — But Plenty Failed

The test sees if a work of fiction involves two or more women talking about something other than a man.

“Bad Moms”

STX Entertainment

The Bechdel-Wallace Test was developed in 1985 by Alison Bechdel and Liz Wallace to see if a work of fiction featured at least two women talking about something other than a man. Looking at the 25 top-grossing films of 2016, The Hollywood Reporter decided to conduct the test to see if those movies passed. 

The test has three requirements: 1. Does it have more than two female characters (with names) in it? 2. Do those characters engage in a conversation with each other? 3. And is that conversation about anything other than a man?

The results were put into four categories, Pass, Incomplete, Fail and Seriously, which meant that the film didn’t achieve any of the three requirements. According to THR only half of the movies passed, with “Ghostbusters” having 36 scenes involving two or more women talking about something other than a man and “The Conjuring 2” having 27 scenes.

Other films that checked all the requirements were “Bad Moms,” “Trolls” and “Sausage Party.” Movies that quite didn’t were “Doctor Strange,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sully.”

READ MORE: Margot Robbie, Millie Bobby Brown and Tom Hardy Top IMDb’s Top 10 Stars of 2016 List

Check out the full results below.

Pass! (achieved all three things)

• “Ghostbusters”

• “The Conjuring 2”

• “Bad Moms”

• “Zootopia”

• “Sausage Party”

• “Finding Dory”

• “Suicide Squad”

• “Trolls”

• “Captain America: Civil War”

• “Batman v. Superman”

• “X-Men: Apocalypse”

• “Independence Day: Resurgence”

• “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Incomplete (achieved only two out of three)

• “The Secret Life of Pets”

Fail (achieved only one out of three)

• “Doctor Strange”

• “The Angry Birds Movie”

• “Sully”

• “Central Intelligence”

• “Kung Fu Panda 3”

• “Star Trek Beyond”

• “Jason Bourne”

• “Deadpool”

• “The Jungle Book”

Seriously? (achieved none)

• “The Magnificent Seven”

• “The Legend of Tarzan”

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The test is valid but of limited value. For instance, “Star Trek Beyond” which scores an Incomplete features two strong female characters played by Sofia Boutella and Zoe Saldana. If I recall correctly their characters were on two different story tracks in different locations and may not have intersected at all.




    And the female characters in “Dr. Strange” can’t really be measured by how much they interact, because their different spheres mean that they literally only encounter each other when one of them is mortally wounded.


      You can add Jason Bourne to that list. It features Julia Stiles and ALicia Vikander, both strong and accomplished characters with no interaction in the movie.


If you think this is in any way important, you spend too much time staring at screens.


The Bechdel Test has to be the stupidest load of time-wasting rubbish ever invented. Its only purpose is to provide ammunition to man-haters and serves no useful function in the entertainment industry. Anyone who treats this so-called ‘test’ seriously is an idiot, and nobody in this business could care less if the movie ‘passes’ or ‘fails’ this so-called ‘test.’


Alison Bechdel looks like a dude, she looks like JJ Abrams to be exact. So that explains her test aka agenda.


Wow never seen so much anger over ‘a stupid test that proves nothing’.
Also everyone claiming ‘but this and that movie had strong female leads whose storylines just never met.’ -yeah thats exactly the point. Just apply the reverse test to male characters and almost every movie with strong male lead characters who never meet would STILL pass the ‘reverse bechdel test’ at some point. Its literally just about that imbalance and nothing more.


So the headline really should be: “Over half of 2016’s 25 biggest movies failed the Bechdel Test.”

Jack Barnes

Now I know which movies to not see. That would be the ones that PASSED.


Looking back, I think “Sully” definitely would have benefited from a scene where Laura Linney and Anna Gunn hopped on the phone to discuss flight simulators.

Hugh Mungus

Slow News Day…………………

Iván el Conquistador

Screw this test! Characters like Imperator Furiosa or Ellen Ripley are what do the most for creating a better image of women in cinema.


No one cares…

Derek fleming

Women in the real world fail this test everyday

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