Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Yeah, your mom might have been in a constant struggle to make sure you got your school lunch, and made it to soccer practice on time – but I’m sure she didn’t have to fight in a war between Skynet and the existence of the human race. Luckily, we got the amazing (and somewhat scary) Sarah Connor to take care of that motherly duty.

Yeah, it’s impossible to do any sort of movie mother related list without talking about this iconic sci-fi heroine. She’s strong, smart, intimidating, and willing to do just about anything (seriously, anything) to make sure the world is saved from the horrible future that is to come. But that doesn’t make her a perfect person, nor a perfect mother, by any stretch of the imagination – especially when you look at her not so great relationship with her son, John. The two are estranged at best due to Sarah’s obsession with saving the world – but deep down, we as an audience know that Sarah loves him, in her own way.

Sarah proves that mothers don’t always need to be the cookie cutter sweethearts of the past to save the day, and they don’t have to be necessarily “good people” by typical standards. Instead, Ms. Connor is an example of what incredible journeys a mother will go through to protect what matters to her – even if she isn’t at all good at showing it, and her actions may have clouded her more traditional motherly instincts.

Queen Ramonda from Black Panther

Though her introduction in Marvel’s Black Panther might not have been full of moments to get her on this list, Queen Ramonda is an amazing movie mom because of her supportive and strong nature, along with her regal beauty.

Played by one of the greatest women in all of moviedom (Angela Bassett), Ramonda is clearly the definition of royalty. Her stance is proud (even after the death of her beloved husband) and she never loses her hope in T’Challa, Shuri and the people of Wakanda (even in the bleaker moments of the film’s climax.) Top that all off with the fact that she (along with Shuri and Nakia) faced the Jabari Tribe and eventually were able to give T’Challa the Heart Shaped Herb that save him, shows how willing she is to do anything to protect her family and her country.

But what makes Ramonda a mother to watch for is what lies ahead for her. In her comic book origins, Queen Ramonda has quite the arc – where she is captured by a white supremacist and kept locked away in his mansion. Maybe in the future, we’ll get a version of this story on screen, and rather than letting her be taken over by such a villainous individual, this cinematic take on the Queen will have her kicking some serious butt. This is the Queen of Wakanda we’re talking about – and she doesn’t take no for an answer.

Sariatu from Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings might simply seem like a typical hero’s journey, seen through the eyes of a young boy. But deep down, this is a movie that is very much about the bond between parents and their children, and the struggles of such figures trying to do what is best for their children rather than letting them making such decisions for themselves.

Sariatu (Kubo’s mother) is in a constant battle with her father, The Moon King, for that exact reason. He wanted her life to go a certain way (including not falling in love with a human man), and also wanted to make Kubo an immortal just like him. But Sariatu stands an example of a warrior who will do anything for her child, even sacrifice the best parts of herself to him keep him safe from Kubo’s enemies – her own family.

But unlike Sarah Connor, Sariatu loves her child with open arms. Even if in her various forms, she can’t take care of Kubo in the traditional way that mothers do with their young children. She feels compassion and love for those she cares for, even if she is focused on finishing her goals and saving the day. And sometimes, even in that moments where we don’t feel their love instantly – those are best kinds of mothers out there.

Rose from Moonstruck

Unlike many of the mothers on this list, Rose (played by the incredible Olympia Dukakis) speaks first and thinks about the emotions second. She’s blunt and to the point, and will likely tell you how incredibly stupid you are for choosing that blouse or letting a schmuck put that cheap ring on your finger. But deep down, Rose has a good heart – even if it is a bit confused at times.

Throughout Moonstruck, we (the audience) are shown time and time again that Rose is the brains of her household. Her husband, Cosmo, may think he is the leader of this operation, but he would be nowhere without Rose – a lesson that takes quite a while for him to grasp. Our heroine, Loretta (Cher), also embraces the words of Rose (her mother) – even if they might not be the Hallmark greeting card type phrases she wants to hear during her realizations of true love.

Yet what makes Rose an obvious addition to this list is her resistance to let anyone ruin her life. From her turning down a younger gentlemen wanting to have an affair with her, to telling Cosmo to stop his own affair and to go to church, Rose ain’t no pushover of a momma – one that everyone should take inspiration from.

Katherine from Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures might not stand-out immediately as a great cinematic example of motherhood. Yet when your mom is real life NASA hero, Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson) – who helped in the great Space Race between the USA and the Soviet Union – it’s quite obvious that this isn’t just an amazing story for female empowerment, but of motherly empowerment too.

Right from the start, Katherine is a go-getter, even at a young age. This spirit is embedded onto her three young daughters, who see their momma as the mathematical super genius she is. Unfortunately, due to her busy work schedule (and being a young widow) she doesn’t get a ton of time with her kids – making her personal life even more of a hurdle than it otherwise would have been. But somehow, even as a hardworking single mom dealing with sexism and racism, she helps NASA’s astronauts launch into space (and finds new love along the way.)

Whether cinematically or as her real life hero, Katherine Johnson is a fantastic example of a career driven mother, who doesn’t let her dreams get sidelined. She can raise three beautiful children, but also create history in more ways than one. And that is a story we all (no matter who we are) can be inspired by.


That’s all for our round-up of the best movie moms. Who are some of your favorite mothers from the movies?

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