So based on these examples, I obviously can believe that some woman can carry the tough girl act. But for every Sigourney and Angelina there is a Michelle Rodriguez, who has built a career out of playing the woman with a chip on her shoulder. The one difference between her and the previous two actresses is they can actually act. Rodriguez is like a robot who has only a default setting of "hardcore" and loses all believability with me. She is incapable, mostly through typecasting, of expressing any other emotion, so her bravado seems more of an act. She doesn't speak softly, but carries the big stick, and therefore is a caricature. I'm not going to count her.
Evangeline Lilly, who was on Lost with Rodriguez, had some of the bad girl aspects to her. She had the attitude, the cunning, definitely the charm, but physically it was hard to believe she could punch a man and not break every bone in her hand. The woman is tiny and thin, so while I had no problem with her firing a gun, I took issue with her general ass kicking.
Uma Thurman had a shot thanks to Kill Bill, but since then she seems to have hung up the yellow jumpsuit. Too bad. She could have been awesome. Next.
Sadly, most of today's action heroines come not from the crime genre, but from sci-fi. Resident Evil has Milla, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix, and Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Television has a few thanks to shows such as Alias, The Shield, and Undercovers, but for modern day movies I'm drawing a blank.