Welcome to Girls on Film -- a Monday-night column here at Cinematical, full of female-centric musing, rants, love and aggravation.

Finding a good collection of great female cinematic characters is like finding a bunch of needles in a haystack -- it takes a lot of sifting, time and the dreaded p-word -- patience. Add the mayhem and chaos of the Christmas consumer frenzy, and the task becomes near impossible and completely unappealing.

Enter our beloved Bechdel Rule. While it isn't the perfect way to find great female fare -- its requirements can exclude great films and include questionable ones -- The Rule is a great way to weed through much of the horde and find true gems. As the old comic states, to pass the test, a film must have two female characters who talk to each other about something other than men.

What seems like such a simple and easy-to-fulfill concept is a lot harder to find on film than you might think, and after some perusing and pickiness, what follows are a slew of Bechdel-passing films full of great female characters, grouped by theme. These flicks are sure to please any gift-ee itching to watch some great cinematic women, and anyone eager for some good cinema.