10 Best Bollywood Indian Movies

The list of the 10 best Bollywood Indian movies includes mega-blockbusters that were in theaters for months, critically acclaimed films that tugged at the heart, and even a few lighthearted films. Bollywood movies have a distinct style, often featuring big song and dance numbers. The movies tend to run long, by American standards, but almost always leave you with a smile. 

  1. "Sholay." "Sholay," one of the ten best Bollywood Indian movies, is the highest grossing Bollywood movie ever and was named by the BBC as the “Film of the Millennium.” At the Fiftieth Annual Filmfare Awards, it was named the best film of the previous 50 years.
  2. "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Big Hearted Will Take the Bride)." This movie set a record for continuously being shown in Mumbai theaters at a remarkable fifteen years. One of the ten best Bollywood Indian movies, it was only one of two Indian films included on the famous “1001 Movies to See Before You Die” list and deals with the issue of arranged marriages.
  3. "Mother India." "Mother India" is the second of two films to appear on the “1001 Movies to See Before You Die” list. This was the first Bollywood film to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar and follows the trials and tribulations of the character Radha, told in flashback.
  4. "Om Shanti Om." This mega-blockbuster of 2007 starred the huge star Shahrukh Khan and rising starlet Deepika Padukone. It was the biggest Bollywood moneymaker of 2007 and the best performing Bollywood movie ever in the U.S. It’s certainly one of the ten best Bollywood Indian movies.
  5. "3 Idiots." This comedy, one of the ten best Bollywood Indian movies, is the all-time biggest moneymaker of all Indian movies. Released in 2009, the film follows the antics of three engineering students.
  6. "My Name is Khan." Sharukh Khan plays a slightly autistic Muslim man in this touching movie that looks at both autism and terrorism. The movie was particularly poignant in the wake of heightened security after the 9/11 events. It is the highest grossing Bollywood movie ever in both the UK and the Middle East.
  7. "Sangam." Sangam was directed by legend Raj Kapoor and is considered one of the all-time Bollywood classics. The film, one of the ten best Bollywood Indian movies, was one of the first to shoot scenes in exotic locations and was also Kapoor’s first color film. The film clocks in at four hours, long even by Indian cinema standards.
  8. "Bobby." Released in 1973, this film was influential and provocative, and ranks today as the tenth highest grossing Bollywood film of all time. The Romeo-and-Juliet storyline attacked aspects of Indian culture, including the caste system.
  9. "Black." "Black" is a take on the life of Helen Keller, and is about the story of a blind and deaf girl. It won eleven Filmfare Awards, and Indiatimes ranks it on its list of 25 Must-See Bollywood Films. The film did not make a lot of money, compared to other movies on this list, and only features one song, but it is a moving and emotionally gripping film.
  10. "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (From the End to the End)." This movie indicated a shift in Bollywood films in that it featured two young leads and brought traditional Indian music back into fashion. The movie won seven Filmfare Awards.