Best Bollywood movies

The finest of Hindi-Urdu movies (or, in other words, Bollywood), from India, across genres and eras; some of them are known, and some of them, even though fine features, are in the realm of unknown.
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1.
Ghulami (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Near India and Pakistan's border-town of Fatehpur, lives Ranjit Singh Choudhary who has been labeled as a rebel by his schoolmaster and his dad... (199 mins.)
Director: J.P. Dutta
“ Fight against colonialism, and then fight against feudalism ” - av-ankur
 
2.
Frozen (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(109 mins.)
“ Poetry: a young woman tries to make meaning of life in a village on the border where armies violate the land's sanctity ” - av-ankur
 
3.
Sanshodhan (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Parmino is a small village in Central India, headed by a Village Committee comprising of all males....
Director: Govind Nihalani
“ Fight for social reforms by a woman who dares to raise voice ” - av-ankur
 
4.
Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Goa based Joseph Braganza and his wife Flavy, devout Catholics, are both deaf and mute. He makes a living selling soap bars door to door... (159 mins.)
“ Stunningly beautiful romance, with Goa as the landscape ” - av-ankur
 
5.
Jagte Raho (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty... (153 mins.)
“ A beautifully crafted comedy about the absurdity of urban existence. Rivalling, and even surpassing, Jacques Tati in every respect. ” - av-ankur
 
6.
Aamir (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A doctor of Indian origin returning to Mumbai from London is forced to participate in a terrorist plot. (99 mins.)
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
“ A thriller with terrorism as its background ” - av-ankur
 
7.
Barfi! (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Three young people learn that love can neither be defined nor contained by society's definition of normal and abnormal. (151 mins.)
Director: Anurag Basu
“ An irreverent romance ” - av-ankur
 
8.
Raincoat (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
All he wanted was to see her just once. Manu was from a village in the backwoods. Neeru was the girl next door, his lost love. (117 mins.)
Director: Rituparno Ghosh
“ Poetry: an O'Henry story beautifully adapted to Indian settings ” - av-ankur
 
9.
Saaransh (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An old couple lend a room on rent after recent death of the bread earner of the family, their only son. A budding actress starts living with them, who is in love with a local politician's only son. The movie shows what later ensues. (137 mins.)
Director: Mahesh Bhatt
“ A man's fight against corruption, marked by one of the finest acting performances that the world has seen (by Kher) ” - av-ankur
 
10.
Dil Se.. (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The clash between love and ideology is portrayed in this love story between a radio executive and a beautiful revolutionary (163 mins.)
Director: Mani Ratnam
“ A love story at its best ” - av-ankur
 
11.
Dev D (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After breaking up with his childhood sweetheart, a young man finds solace in drugs. Meanwhile, a teenage girl is caught in the world of prostitution. Will they be destroyed, or will they find redemption? (144 mins.)
Director: Anurag Kashyap
“ A critical, harsh examination of hedonists ” - av-ankur
 
12.
Nishabd (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A man, who has been married for 27 years, falls in love with his 18-year-old daughter's friend. (110 mins.)
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
“ A film celebrating lust ” - av-ankur
 
13.
Pyaasa (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world. (146 mins.)
Director: Guru Dutt
“ About the angst of an artist, and how creativity is born from that ” - av-ankur
 
14.
Maachis (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A realistic, hard-hitting portrayal of terrorism and youth in the Punjab after the 1984 riots. (160 mins.)
Director: Gulzar
“ A critical look at State machinery: why so-called terrorists are born in the first place - and who's right, in reality? ” - av-ankur
 
15.
Khamosh (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When a starlet is murdered on a film location, her detective brother arrives there to solve the mystery. (101 mins.)
“ A low-key suspense thriller, with no let-up in pace ” - av-ankur
 
16.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A rich brat and a poor chap try to woo a girl, with their rivalry culminating in the most prestigious college event - the marathon cycle race. (174 mins.)
Director: Mansoor Khan
“ Romance, sports and teen flick, all in one ” - av-ankur
 
17.
Saaheb (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Mr. Sharma (Utpal Dutt) lives with his four sons (Biswajeet, Vijay Arora, Dilip Dhawan) and a daughter... (150 mins.)
Director: Anil Ganguly
“ A poignant look into lower-middle-class India ” - av-ankur
 
18.
Saudagar (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Moti sells gurd in the market. He collects the raw material and takes them to an older woman, Mahjubhi... (131 mins.)
Director: Sudhendu Roy
“ Man's battle between sublime and earthly ” - av-ankur
 
19.
Gangster (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In Seoul, a gangster's alcoholic moll falls in love with another man. (123 mins.)
Director: Anurag Basu
“ Romance triangle - don't be misleaded by the title ” - av-ankur
 
20.
Parinda (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two brothers are caught on the different sides of a gang war. (154 mins.)
“ One of the earliest films about the mafia of Bombay, a theme that would prove to be quite productive in later years. A powerful story of how crime never pays - in the end. ” - av-ankur
 
21.
Umrao Jaan (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Faizabad, British India, Daroga Dilawar is sentenced to several years in prison after Amiran's dad testifies against him... (145 mins.)
Director: Muzaffar Ali
“ A courtesan's story - not to be missed for the diva that Rekha was ” - av-ankur
 
22.
Angoor (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Based on Shakespeare's 'A comedy of errors', this is a story of identical twins (2 pairs) and mistaken identities. (131 mins.)
Director: Gulzar
“ Shakespeare's comedy wonderfully adapted to Indian settings ” - av-ankur
 
23.
Woh Chokri (1994 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Tunu lives and spends her time at the Howrah Railway Station, searching desperately for her father Dinesh Roy, a small-time politician. He abandoned her and her mother, Geeta, who is now a bootlegger and prostitute in order to survive.
Director: Subhankar
“ A disturbing look at Indian politics, civic corruption and urban poverty ” - av-ankur
 
24.
Mother India (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In this melodrama, a poverty-stricken woman raises her sons through many trials and tribulations. But no matter the struggles, always sticks to her own moral code. (172 mins.)
Director: Mehboob
“ An epic story, with a strong feminist element early on ” - av-ankur
 
25.
Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An estranged couple battle for the custody of their only son. (160 mins.)
Director: Mansoor Khan
“ Remake of Kramer vs. Kramer with modifications: a better story and film than the Hollywood original. ” - av-ankur
 
26.
The Blue Umbrella (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Young Biniya lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in the mountainous and snowy region of Himachal... (90 mins.)
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
“ Ostensibly a children's film, but marked by beautiful shots of the Himalayas and a touching story ” - av-ankur
 
27.
1942: A Love Story (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young Indian couple, both from wealthy backgrounds, find themselves caught up in the 1940's Indian revolutionary movement against their families whom are under the thumb a sadistic British general. (157 mins.)
“ A bit too ambitious, but the melodrama still works: great music and Manisha Koirala during the peak of her career ” - av-ankur
 
28.
Aghaat (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Madhav Verma (Om Puri) is a dedicated, honest, and diligent union representative. He represents the majority of the employees in an organization... (138 mins.)
Director: Govind Nihalani
“ Labour issues and corruption ” - av-ankur
 
29.
Aakrosh (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A public prosecutor discovers the harsh realities about life of the scheduled tribes in India during 1980s while defending a case of a tribesman charged of murdering his wife. (144 mins.)
Director: Govind Nihalani
“ A realistic look into Indian society, corruption and judicial system ” - av-ankur
 
30.
Lamhe (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Viren, on a visit to India, falls in love with Pallavi, who happens to be older than he is. Her age doesn't bother him but as Dai Maa points out... (187 mins.)
Director: Yash Chopra
“ Romance with elements of incest ” - av-ankur
 
31.
Khamoshi (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
khamoshi is an intriguing tale of a female nurse trying to maintain a balance between her professional life and her emotions who falls victim to the natural feeling of love and compassion when a person takes care of another person. (127 mins.)
Director: Asit Sen
“ Strong feminist film, with minimalistic plot, located within a mental asylum ” - av-ankur
 
32.
Khosla Ka Ghosla! (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A Delhi based retired middle class man tries half-heartedly to get his land back from a swindling property dealer with the help of his sons and their friends. (135 mins.)
“ A brilliant, sharp comedy, ruthlessly exposing corruption entrenched in every Indian system ” - av-ankur
 
33.
Highway (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Right before her wedding, a young woman finds herself abducted and held for ransom. As the initial days pass, she begins to develop a strange bond with her kidnapper. (133 mins.)
Director: Imtiaz Ali
“ A movie of journeys: literal and figurative, outwards and inwards. ” - av-ankur
 
34.
Satya (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young man named Satya (J.D Chakravarthy) comes to Mumbai from South India in search of a job. Jailed for something he did not do... (170 mins.)
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
“ A realistic look at the Mumbai underworld ” - av-ankur
 
35.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young man and woman - both of Indian descent but born and raised in Britain - fall in love during a trip to Switzerland. However, the girl's traditional father takes her back to India to fulfill a betrothal promise. (189 mins.)
Director: Aditya Chopra
“ The definitive romantic film of the Hindi cinema ” - av-ankur
 
36.
Do Bigha Zamin (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the hope of earning enough money to pay off his debts and save his land, a poor farmer becomes a rickshaw puller in the Calcutta and faces many difficulties. (131 mins.)
Director: Bimal Roy
“ Rich-poor divide and exploitation ” - av-ankur
 
37.
Chupke Chupke (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A newly wedded husband plays a practical joke on his wife's family with full support from his wife and friends. (127 mins.)
“ A heart-warming comedy, which can be seen again and again ” - av-ankur
 
38.
Darkness (1986 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
This TV miniseries ("Darkness" in English) became famous in India in the mid/late 80s for its realistic... (297 mins.)
Director: Govind Nihalani
“ A rare attempt to understand what happened during the Partition (of India-Pakistan) ” - av-ankur
 
39.
Filmistaan (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In Mumbai, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star... (117 mins.)
Director: Nitin Kakkar
“ Ode to Hindi films in the form of comedy, and a lesson to humanity over what truly matters ” - av-ankur
 
40.
Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A popular director recruits a new actress to work for his Movie. The popularity of the movie spills... (148 mins.)
Director: Guru Dutt
“ An artist and his muse - a tragic love story ” - av-ankur
 
41.
Aavishkar (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Amar and Mansi are in love, and decide to get married. They do so, and still continue to be in love... (107 mins.)
“ A rare example of some brilliant editing work in a Hindi film, the story is of how a marriage is slowly poisoned as time goes along and ideals are forsaken. ” - av-ankur
 
42.
Sheesha (1986 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The wife of a senior executive must deal with his arrest for attempted rape. (113 mins.)
Director: Basu Chatterji
“ Whose word do people believe? A look at how the judicial system works when it comes to rape ” - av-ankur
 
43.
Damini (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The theme revolves around the character Damini who represents truth and innocence. After her marriage in renowned wealthy family... (175 mins.)
“ A melodrama with rape and fight for justice at its core ” - av-ankur
 
44.
Raavan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A bandit leader kidnaps the wife of the policeman who killed his sister, but later falls in love with her. (130 mins.)
Director: Mani Ratnam
“ Modern-day retelling of Ramayana, but where Raavan is the hero and Ram the villain: stunning locales, great music and fluid structure ” - av-ankur
 
45.
Haider (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young man returns to Kashmir after his father's disappearance to confront his uncle - the man he suspects to have a role in his father's fate. (160 mins.)
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
“ An Indian adaptation of Hamlet: a world of insecurities and deceptions, with the backdrop of Kashmir and its politics. ” - av-ankur
 
46.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young man and young woman fall in love against their feuding fathers' wishes; Romeo and Juliet set in contemporary India. (162 mins.)
Director: Mansoor Khan
“ Two fresh faces playing two teens, and a story of doomed love between them ” - av-ankur
 
47.
Sholay (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After his family is murdered by a notorious and ruthless bandit, a former police officer enlists the services of two outlaws to capture the bandit. (198 mins.)
Director: Ramesh Sippy
“ The only Indian Western; not a bad job: great moments of comedy, and one could watch it for Sanjeev Kumar ” - av-ankur
 
48.
Bawarchi (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Squabbling Sharma family has a dubious reputation of not having any cook last there for more than a few months... (130 mins.)
“ A gem of a comedy, which also slips in many lessons about how to live ” - av-ankur
 
49.
Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Charandas lives a poor lifestyle in a small town in India along with his older brother, Bhajandas, and Bhabhi... (136 mins.)
Director: Basu Chatterjee
“ Bubbly little comedy ” - av-ankur
 
50.
Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A poetic blend of Dreams and Reality, a story of ordinary people and that what is extra-ordinary in them. (160 mins.)
Director: Amol Palekar
“ A poetic film: about the importance of having romance and adventure in life ” - av-ankur
 
51.
My Brother... Nikhil (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Famous swimmer Nikhil Kapoor (Suri) deals with the repercussions of announcing the fact that he has HIV/AIDS. (120 mins.)
Director: Onir
“ In spite of flawed editing and poor direction overall, the film works well because of strong story and beautiful shots; a rare film from India that talks about HIV/AIDS and gay rights ” - av-ankur
 
52.
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A lowly servant, Bhootnath gets close to the wife of his employer, and narrates her story through his eyes and perspective. (152 mins.)
Director: Abrar Alvi
“ A man's apprenticeship - to trade, to world and to women ” - av-ankur