Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Top 20 best Bollywood films of all time. Photo: Youtube

Sholay (1975)

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Cast: Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

This cult masala western sees escaped convicts Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (Bachchan) defend a village terrorized by bandits led by the maniacal Gabbar Singh (Khan). ‘Sholay’ has it all – epic dishum-dishum fight scenes, romance, humor, memorable songs, plot twists, thrilling dance sequences, and sparkling performances. The haunting score and Bollywood’s worse villain are the icings on a rollicking, all-action cake.

Udaan (2020)

Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Manjot Singh, Aayan Boradia

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Vikramaditya Motwane's directorial debut is easily one of the finest coming-of-age films to have come out of Bollywood. The film artfully combined the representation of teenage angst with its take on child abuse. With an eclectic soundtrack, brilliant cinematography, and heartbreaking dialogues, Udaan is the kind of film that leaves an impression on your heart and soul.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Director: Aditya Chopra

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Karan Johar, Anupam Kher

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Letterboxd

Shot throughout India, London, and Switzerland, the beloved “DDLJ” (The Big-Hearted Will Take the Bride) follows one man’s quest to win over the hand of a woman he meets by chance on a trip to Europe. The only trouble is, her father has already arranged for her to marry someone else.

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Chak De! India (2007)

Director: Shimit Amin

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shukla, Vidya Malvade

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Yidio

Between clever gangster movie ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ (2004) and the grossly underrated ‘Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year’ (2009), director Shimit Amin teamed up with writer Jaideep Sahni to give us this quintessential sports drama. The film narrates the story of a tainted ex-India hockey player (Khan) who coaches the women’s team to World Cup glory. While sticking to the underdog-overcomes-obstacles template, Amin and Sahni deftly weave in themes of cultural diversity, religious difference and feminism, Scoop Whoop cites.

Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)

Director: Maneesh Sharma

Cast: Ranveer Singh. Anushka Sharma, Manu Rishi, Shena Gamat, Manish Choudhary

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: SantaBanta

Band Baaja Baaraat is an entertaining reminder of what traditionally defines Hindi movies - the songs, the dancing, the drama, the comedy, and of course, the romance. But, what set the film apart was that instead of relying on 'star-power', the film focused on creating a relatable story, crafting genuinely hilarious sequences, and developing an original soundtrack. The result - a Box Office hit helmed on the shoulders of a debutant director and actor.

Mother India (1957)

Director: Mehboob Khan

Cast: Nargis, Rajendra Kumar, Sunil Dutt

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

According to Time Out, the first Hindi film to be nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film at the Oscars, this is a heartbreaking story of the complexities of rural farming in newly independent India and the exploitation of farmers by their feudal landlords. It follows the hardships faced by Radha (Nargis), a village mother of three sons who is abandoned by her husband and forced to toil the paddy fields to survive. The film entrenched the idea of the pure, self-sacrificing mother figure as synonymous with the notion of an idealized Indian (Hindu) nation.

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Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019)

Director: Shelly Chopra Dhar

Cast: Sonam K Ahuja, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla, Regina Cassandra

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

This heartwarming coming-of-age comedy-drama tells the story of a young woman named Sweety on her journey to love and acceptance as a closeted lesbian. Pressured by her rather conservative family, Sweety’s path towards pursuing a relationship with the woman she loves seems riddled with obstacles. However, she finds an avenue for hope in an unlikely place: through the help of a suitor.

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010)

Director: Dibakar Banerjee

Cast: Neha Chauhan, Rajkummar Rao, Anshuman Jha, Nushrat Bharucha, Amit Sial

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

As far as Hindi-anthologies go, Love Sex Aur Dhokha was definitely an unexpected film. It was a 'path-breaking' film in terms of both, its treatment of the subjects and its style of filmmaking (it was shot in a digital format with different cameras). What truly sets the film apart is how, it left the audience reeling with emotion - you may have loved it or hated it, but it was impossible to ignore the film.

Deewaar (1975)

Director: Yash Chopra

Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Neetu Singh

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Wordpress

Evoking ‘Mother India’ with its story of a good son pitched against a bad one and a mother caught between them, ‘Deewaar’ places an anti-hero center stage. Amitabh Bachchan excels as the simmering Vijay, who turns to criminality to provide for his mum, while brother Ravi (Kapoor) becomes a cop. Inevitably, their paths must cross. ‘Deewaar’ was Bachchan’s first step on the road to mega-stardom and it epitomizes his status as the bristling, angry young man railing against all around him.

3 Idiots (2009)

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Cast: Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: FlixWatch

A hilarious satire of adolescence and the education system, 3 Idiots follows three friends through their time in engineering school into adulthood. Well, backward, that is. But two of them will have to track down their long-lost friend before they can properly reunite with the past, as cited by Esquire.

Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

Director: Guru Dutt

Cast: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Johnny Walker

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

In a bizarre case of life imitating the movies, actor-director Guru Dutt died in an apartment in 1964 after allegedly consuming a concoction of sleeping pills and alcohol: his unsuccessful relationship with actor Waheeda Rehman was said to be one of the things that caused him to fall into depression. Six years earlier, Dutt made ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’, in which he played a director who falls in love with a film actress (played by Rehman). The film ended with Dutt’s character – a dejected filmmaker – dying in his chair at a film studio.

Bombay (1995)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Cast: Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Nowrunning

This poignant film covers one of the darkest periods in India’s contemporary history: the 1992 and 1993 Bombay riots. A love story about star-crossed lovers from different faiths who elope to Bombay to start a family, it proved so controversial on its release in 1995 that director Mani Ratnam’s house was bombed by extremists. Nevertheless, its heart, moral centre and cry for peace in India resonated, and ‘Mani Ratnam’ became a critical and commercial success.

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Mr. India (1987)

Director: Shekhar Kapur

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Amrish Puri

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Shekhar ‘Elizabeth’ Kapur’s most famous Bollywood film. Arun (Kapoor) becomes the invisible superhero Mr India, who uses his power to fight the evil Mogambo (Puri) who is intent on taking over the world. Stuffed with as many masala ingredients as possible, this is pure camp nonsense. But it’s told in such a cheeky kitsch way that the viewer surrenders to its sheer energy. ‘Mr India’ is huge fun, especially Mogambo’s catchphrase ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’ (‘Mogambo is happy’) which became a national craze.

I Am (2010)

Director: Onir

Cast: Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Suri, Manisha Koirala, Nandita Das, Rahul Bose

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

A brilliant and hard-hitting anthology, I Am dealt with topics (Section 377, Kashmir situation, Sperm donation, and Child sexual abuse) that are still relevant to Indian society. The film's nuanced approach to sensitive topics allowed you to empathize with subjects that you may not associate with, but that you should be aware of. And to date, it remains the culmination of some truly amazing talent, in terms of both - actors and directors.

Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2 (2012, 2018)

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

If Satya was Bollywood's introduction to gangster movies, Gangs of Wasseypur was the explosive rebirth of it. It was a violent tale of revenge and betrayal, spread across two films and some truly iconic characters (Perpendicular). From the colloquial dialogues to the regional music, Gangs of Wasseypur redefined the gangster era.

Shaan (1980)

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Cast: Amitabh Bachhan, Shashi Kapoor, Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Underrated excellence: Ramesh Sippy’s follow-up to his career-definingSholay’ (1975) rode in on high expectations and left many viewers underwhelmed. But this story of two conmen (Bachhan and Kapoor) mending their ways and collaborating with a sharpshooter (Shatrughan Sinha) to avenge the death of their cop brother at the hands of the dreaded Shakaal (Kharbanda, in a stunning debut) has aged very well. The cons are very original and the scale of the film extravagantly ambitious.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012)

Director: Kabir Khan

Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Yash Raj Film

Salman Khan adds a dash of cosmopolitan sophistication to his special brand of machismo with this story involving espionage and a love affair with an enemy agent (Kaif). As Tiger, Khan adheres to the muscle-man template, but he also struggles over questions of loyalty to his lady or his country – a complexity not always afforded to India’s defenders. This same dilemma is mirrored in Tiger’s colleague, Gopi (Shorey), who may have to rat out his friend.

Ghajini (2008)

Director: AR Murugadoss

Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Bearing many similarities to Christopher Nolan'sMemento’, this way-over-the-top thriller leans heavily on its main character’s short-term memory loss. Sanjay (Aamir Khan) is a leading Indian businessman, while Kalpana (Asin), a model, brags to everyone that she is Sanjay’s girl even though they’ve never met. When Sanjay discovers this, he decides to confront her but soon falls in love. However, Kalpana falls foul of a local crime lord and Sanjay is determined to avenge her death… ‘Ghajini’ was an enormous hit in India.

Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Cast: Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Rajkumar Santoshi’s ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ brought together two young, up-and-coming superstars, but the resulting film was a box-office failure. Its cult has grown over the years, spawning fan clubs and websites and ensuring record television rating time after time. Amar (Aamir Khan) and Prem (Salman Khan) are wastrels who both want to marry a rich heiress, but they become involved in a feud involving warring twin brothers and a buffoonish villain, Crime Master Gogo (Shakti Kapoor).

Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

Director: K Asif

Cast: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala

Top 20 Best BOLLYWOOD Movies Of All Time!
Photo: Youtube

Translated as ‘Emperor of the Mughals’ and set in the late sixteenth century in India’s Mughal period, this is the doomed story of Prince Saleem (Kumar), son of the ruling Emperor Akbar (Kapoor), who falls in love with dancing slave girl Anarkali (Madhubala). This is true epic filmmaking, with magnificent sets, huge battle scenes with hundreds of real elephants, elaborate costumes, an evergreen score, and naturalistic acting. It remains a gorgeous evocation of a bygone era and was one of the rare occasions when a film of the ‘Muslim social’ genre (i.e. interested in Muslim people and culture) became a blockbuster in Hindu-centric India.

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