Top 20 Must-Watch Bollywood Movies | List of Best Indian Films

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Bollywood cinema that has bewitched audiences worldwide with its vibrant hues, infectious music, and compelling narratives. In this article, we’ll embark on a fascinating exploration of the top 20 Must-Watch Bollywood Movies that have imprinted themselves on the industry and captured the hearts of millions.

The Classics

1. Sholay (1975)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Sholay

Celebrate the timeless masterpiece, “Sholay”, an impeccable blend of action, drama, and romance. The film, directed by Ramesh Sippy, boasts of an iconic cast, unforgettable dialogues, and an everlasting villain, Gabbar Singh.

2. Mother India (1957)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Mother India

Experience the moving saga of “Mother India,” a testament to the resilience and strength of womanhood. This film by Mehboob Khan stands tall in the annals of Indian cinema, embodying the true essence of motherhood.

3. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: DDLJ

The quintessential Bollywood love story, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, is a heart-stealing masterpiece. Directed by Aditya Chopra, this film set new standards for romance and celebrated the victory of love over all obstacles.

4. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Mughal E Azam

“Mughal-e-Azam”, directed by K. Asif, is a cinematic gem that transports viewers back to the grandeur of the Mughal era. The epic historical drama narrates the forbidden love story between Prince Salim and the beautiful courtesan Anarkali.

5. Pyaasa (1957)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Pyaasa

Guru Dutt’s “Pyaasa” narrates the heartrending tale of a struggling poet seeking recognition and love amidst a materialistic world. With its potent narrative and haunting melodies, this film is a tribute to artistic beauty and the pursuit of dreams.

The New Age

6. Lagaan (2001)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Lagaan

“Lagaan,” directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, is a cinematic spectacle blending sports, patriotism, and an inspiring underdog story. Set in British India, this cricket-centric drama captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.

7. 3 Idiots (2009)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: 3 idiots

“3 Idiots,” a film that resonated with audiences of all ages, challenged societal norms and emphasized the pursuit of one’s true passion. The film’s thought-provoking storyline and standout performances were brilliantly executed by director Rajkumar Hirani.

8. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Dil Chahta Hai

“Dil Chahta Hai,” directed by Farhan Akhtar, revolutionized Bollywood with its depiction of urban youth and their self-discovery journey. This coming-of-age film became a cult favorite among the younger generation.

9. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

Karan Johar’s “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…” is a grand family saga exploring the intricacies of love, relationships, and societal expectations. The multi-starrer film features lavish sets, melodious songs, and unforgettable performances.

10. Rang De Basanti (2006)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Rang De Basanti

“Rang De Basanti,” directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, awakened the patriotic spirit within every Indian. The powerful film touched upon corruption, youth activism, and the yearning for change.

Recent Blockbusters

11. Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Bahubali: The Conclusion (2017)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Bahubali - The Beginning

S.S. Rajamouli’s “Bahubali” duology elevated Indian cinema to unprecedented heights with its epic scale, stunning visuals, and riveting storytelling. These films became a cultural phenomenon, showcasing the power of Indian filmmakers on a global stage.

12. Padmaavat (2018)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Padmavati

“Padmaavat,” a visually mesmerizing period drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, tells the story of the legendary Rajput queen, Padmavati. The film’s opulent sets, exquisite costumes, and powerful performances received critical acclaim.

13. Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: URI - The Surgical Strike

“Uri: The Surgical Strike” is a gripping war drama based on real events, paying tribute to the Indian Armed Forces. The film, directed by Aditya Dhar, resonated with audiences for its realistic portrayal of military operations and bravery.

14. Gully Boy (2019)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Gully Boy

Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” brought the underground hip-hop scene of Mumbai into the limelight. This coming-of-age musical drama portrayed the struggle, dreams, and triumphs of an aspiring rapper, captivating critics and audiences alike.

15. Andhadhun (2018)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Andhadhun

A darkly comedic thriller, “Andhadhun,” directed by Sriram Raghavan, crafts a complex tale of deception, mystery, and music. With its unpredictable twists and top-notch performances, the film kept viewers riveted till the end.

Modern Gems

16. Article 15 (2019)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Article 15

“Article 15,” directed by Anubhav Sinha, addresses the sensitive issue of caste discrimination in India. This hard-hitting social drama sparked discussions about inequality and the need for social reform.

17. Dangal (2016)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Dangal

“Dangal,” directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is a sports biographical drama based on the real-life story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters. Starring Aamir Khan, the film exemplifies the power of determination, shattering stereotypes, and achieving greatness.

18. Pink (2016)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Pink

“Pink,” directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, delves into the critical subject of consent and women’s rights. This hard-hitting courtroom drama brought societal issues to the forefront with its standout performances.

19. Badhaai Ho (2018)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Badhaai Ho

“Badhaai Ho,” directed by Amit Sharma, is a heartwarming comedy-drama exploring the dynamics of a middle-aged couple grappling with an unexpected pregnancy. The film challenges societal norms and celebrates the essence of family and love.

20. Super 30 (2019)

Must Watch Bollywood Movie: Super 30

“Super 30,” directed by Vikas Bahl, tells the inspiring story of mathematician Anand Kumar and his educational program for underprivileged students. This biographical drama showcases the transformative power of education.


Bollywood boasts a rich history of cinematic brilliance, with films that have not just entertained but inspired millions. The above list of the top 20 Bollywood movies epitomizes the diversity and depth of Indian cinema. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned cinephile or a casual moviegoer, these films offer a unique viewing experience that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.

Key Takeaways

  • Bollywood offers a diverse array of films, from historical dramas like “Mughal-e-Azam” to modern classics like “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”.
  • Films like “Deewaar” and “Sholay” have become cultural landmarks, remembered for their iconic dialogues and performances.
  • The new wave of Indian cinema, represented by films like Queen, Dangal, and Gully Boy, is pushing boundaries and exploring new themes.
  • Bollywood’s rich history of cinematic excellence continues to entertain and inspire audiences worldwide.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which Bollywood movie has won the most awards?

The Bollywood movie “Gully Boy” holds the record for winning the most awards. It received numerous accolades, including several Filmfare Awards and the prestigious National Film Award.

Are Bollywood movies only popular in India?

While Bollywood movies primarily cater to Indian audiences, they have gained popularity worldwide. Indian diaspora and enthusiasts of Indian culture across the globe embrace Bollywood films, contributing to their international appeal.

Who are some of the iconic actors in Bollywood?

Bollywood has seen the rise of several iconic actors over the years. Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Priyanka Chopra are a few names that have achieved immense fame and popularity both within India and internationally.

Are all Bollywood movies musicals?

While music plays a significant role in Bollywood movies, not all films are full-fledged musicals. Some movies focus more on drama, action, or other genres while incorporating songs and dance numbers to enhance storytelling.

How is Bollywood different from other film industries, like Hollywood?

Bollywood and Hollywood have distinct characteristics. Bollywood films tend to be longer, often featuring melodrama, song sequences, and a blend of genres. Hollywood, on the other hand, is known for its focus on realism, technology-driven filmmaking, and a wider range of genres.

Do Bollywood movies always have happy endings?

While Bollywood movies often have happy endings, it is not a rule set in stone. Indian cinema encompasses a variety of genres, including romantic dramas, comedies, thrillers, and tragedies, offering a range of different narrative outcomes.