Month of SRK: 18 Best Shahrukh Movies, Ranked

More discussion! It occurs to me that I do a variation of yesterday’s post and today’s post every single year, and they are probably never quite the same. Oh well, I am allowed to change my mind.

Best to worst, prepare to fight me! And I am going on pure objective film quality, not favorite or best role for SRK or anything.

1.Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

I love this movie, but besides that, I really really respect the quality of the craftsmanship that went into it. Amazing script, performances, songs, visuals, everything. Probably the best film Shahrukh will ever be a part of.

Image result for ddlj poster

2. Fan

Incredibly ambitious concept, perfectly pulled off. Special effects, performance, script, who thing.

Image result for fan shahrukh poster

3. Jab Harry Met Sejal

Just a beautiful beautiful movie. With probably the best soundtrack of any Shahrukh film.

Image result for jab harry met sejal

4. Dil Se…

Second best soundtrack. Also a beautiful movie. But I wouldn’t put it at the level of perfection of the other 3 above it. A more ambitious movie perhaps, but still not quite as good.

Image result for dil se poster

5. Darr

A very underrated film. It’s not a love story, or a thriller, it is an interrogation of the whole idea of the traditional Hindi film love story from every aspect.

Image result for darr poster

6. Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa

Another challenge to the traditional love story! Sweet simple immature and mistaken love. First love isn’t always perfect and poetic, sometimes it is just dumb.

Image result for kabhi haan kabhi naa

7. Swades

It’s only this low because it drags a bit in certain parts, and the ending is a bit rushed. But otherwise, this is an amazing movie which deals with emotions and issues no other Hindi film before or since has addressed as well.

Image result for swades poster

8. Chak De! India

Some of the conflict feels a bit forced, and some of the dialogue is a little too on the nose, but the ambition of this film and how well it fulfills that ambition still keeps it on this list.

Image result for chak de india

9. Don

Such a brilliant plot! And a different look and a fun soundtrack and so many other good things. A wee bit hammy in certain areas, and the budget limits showing in others, but overall great!

Image result for don shahrukh poster

10. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Deceptively simple. Really just a 3 character film, with no location shooting or anything else fancy, and yet a difficult plot handled well.

Image result for rab ne bana di jodi poster

11. Dear Zindagi

Again, a bit rough. The ending could be slightly better, certain areas felt more preachy than necessary. But a beautiful film to look at, and a refreshingly different tone.

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12. Om Shanti Om

So over the top! So fantastical!!!! But emotional, entertaining, all those good things as well.

Image result for om shanti om poster

13. Main Hoon Na

Funny! Legitimately funny! And imaginative, and fun, and not afraid to tug on the heart strings.

Image result for main hoon na poster

14. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

The camera work hasn’t held up, nor have the costumes. And the performances are slightly try-hard. But it’s still a classic story and a classic film.

Image result for kuch kuch hota hai poster

15. My Name is Khan

A weird movie to consider in terms of quality. The good parts are some of the best film work I have ever seen anywhere. But the bad parts are pretty bad.

Image result for my name is khan poster

16. Chennai Express

It’s just fun! And the songs are pretty. And some of the humor is really funny too. Not as tightly written as Main Hoon Na or Om Shanti Om, and not as ground breaking in the visuals as either of them, but the same “just fun” attitude.

Image result for chennai express poster

17. Devdas

Blech, I hate this movie! But it is very pretty.

Image result for devdas poster

18. Kal Ho Na Ho

So over the top! So melodramatic! And yet I almost put it in the top ten. Because the breaking the 4th wall style of filming, the amazing songs, and the whole very New York/NRI feel to it is done super well.

Image result for kal ho na ho poster
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29 thoughts on “Month of SRK: 18 Best Shahrukh Movies, Ranked

    • After all the rebellion for not including Devdas in the performances post, you all wore me down.

      I decided no Paheli because there are gaps in the story. Not major ones, but compared to the other films on this list, little things like feeling there was a scene missing with Juhi and Suniel somewhere, stand out. Same with Raees. Generally great movie, ending is weird and sudden and drops all kinds of things (what about the whole election story and stuff?). They’d be there if I’d done this a few days back and had more slots to play with, but didn’t make the cut for 18. K3G I adore, but the technical stuff is just not good. And Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman has even more of a story problem than the other two.

      On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 3:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • K3G: Every scene is lighted the exact same way, and the only camera options are close up, two shot, or long shot. Or, a couple times, spiral. It’s just boring, especially if you compare it with ADHM which has all of these subtly difficult movements and images. Maybe Karan just is more comfortable with digital cameras?

          RBGG: WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THAT LAST HALF HOUR???? We have a nice love triangle with some subtle social statements, and then all of a sudden children are dying every where and stuff. I like Masala, but this is just not good.

          On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 9:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. I’d replace Kal Ho Naa Ho with Yes Boss. As a feminist who grew up in Berkeley, CA there is nothing plot wise about Yes Boss that I should like. I shouldn’t have any sympathy for either of the main characters. And yet, because of how it is filmed, scripted, and acted I think, “Why shouldn’t a woman want to marry a rich guy?” “Does a man really owe anything to the women who willingly involve themselves with his married boss?” If a movie can turn my previous assumptions on their head I figure it has to have objective quality to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting argument! Now I am trying to think what SRK movies have made me accept an unacceptable premise. Darr, I guess, sort of. Which is why it is so high on the list. But also Kal Ho Na Ho come to think of it, I have been won over to the idea of “Preity absolutely positively MUST get married”.

      On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 11:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I think it is different every year! Wonder if that’s just mood, or you changing, or him changing, or the world changing?

    My top five just based on movies that hold together best as a whole would be Chak De India!, Fan, Don, JHMS, and RNBDJ. After that it gets much fuzzier. This is an interesting exercise because so many of the movies have great sections and also big flaws (looking at you, MNIK!). Dil Se is in this category, even Swades I long to delete the NASA scenes. I would edit sections of JHMS and the ending of RNBDJ. On the other hand, Dear Zindagi has no parts that stand out as objectionable, but I find the whole movie kind of forgettable.

    Amazed as procrastinatrix to see Devdas on the list but I do think it belongs here. Maybe you lowered my expectations so much that it seemed surprisingly good :). I don’t know that I’d choose Darr but I understand your reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least the first few years I had an excuse because he was releasing new movies that slightly altered the list. But it’s more than that, I think it’s if I have rewatched a film recently and seen something new in it, or if I have changed and understood and appreciated something on a deeper level than before (or less deep), or learned something about a movie that makes me like it more, or any of that. Now I kind of want to go back to previous years and see what shifted!

      Someday I should prank you all by doing a “best of” list that is all Bhansali films and romantic tragedies, just to really blow your minds.

      On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 11:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • They came up with an interesting and plausible job for him, but then depicted it in a completely ridiculous way. Not every project has to be world changing with very serious press conferences. You could just show it involves a lot of people and a huge amount of money, which is probably accurate and still feels high stakes in terms of his decision to stay in India. Argh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Or go big on the emotional pull, explain that it is a less interesting project for NASA as a whole, but he believes in the work and believes in how it can effect a positive change for billions around the world. Versus his project in the village, which is small and for a small number of people. How does he walk away from a global effort to help with water resources in order to light a single bulb in an Indian village?

          I feel like this story is already there, but I want it to be a bigger focus, the real challenge for his character to consider.

          On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 9:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Big thumbs up for Main Hoon Naa. It’s a film that hangs together perfectly – I would change nothing. It has everything thrown in there and is genuinely funny. This was the first ShahRukh film I saw in entirety and I can still remember watching gobsmacked when he is chasing the terrorists on the rickshaw, thinking “what the heck?”

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  4. I may be the only one but I would put Zero into the list and therefore dispense with Dear Zindagi.

    Great, unusual characters, recommendable cinematography, exceptional VFX work, interesting story, three-layered, magical.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t agree with doing it, but I do agree that Zero is the perfect replacement for Dear Zindagi. DZ is the better movie (I think) because the plot holds together, it is logical, and it has a clear point that I can understand. Zero has none of those things, but on the other hand the performances and vision is far FAR more ambitious than DZ. So it gets down to if you would rather have an ambitious mess, or a well-down average.

      On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 9:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Shocked Chennai Express made this list (and over Kal Ho Na Ho I loveee that film). I never finished Chennai Express, but the whole film seems like such a.joke? And I was surprised to see K3G didn’t make the list considering its massive popularity in pop culture. I also never watched JHMS, but I thought it got poor reviews? Interesting that you would put it in your top 3…

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    • I love Chennai Express! It knows what it wants to be and it is that.

      Jab Harry Met Sejal is brilliant. Reviews aren’t always everything.

      On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 10:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • CHENNAI EXPRESS IS SO GOOD BECAUSE YOU WALK IN EXPECTING A STUPID FUNNY ACTION MOVIE WITH SOME ROMANCE AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU GET. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. but i’m also extremely biased because it was the first Bollywood movie I ever saw.

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        • Hey! It was Procrastinatrix’s first SRK movie too!!!! So I guess it is a really good intro.

          Totally agree. Nothing wrong with a big silly action movie, so long as everyone knows that is what it is going to be and it is really well done. Know what your goals are, and achieve them. The big marker for me of a high quality film!

          On Sat, Oct 19, 2019 at 9:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I agree about Chennai Express. I remember that when I finished watching it I said: So that’s all? All the plot is just that they were traveling here and there? The movie is lacking heart.

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  6. Donโ€™t really agree with the list or the order in which some movies appear. Like Claudia, I would have added Zero and a few others that are missing. The order would be vastly different too. But itโ€™s still a cool list!

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    • I like having to sit down and write it out every year, it’s a good mental exercise.

      On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 12:03 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I canโ€™t believe JHMS is in the top 3? I know you enjoyed it but the film was bad and contrived and boring. My top 5 would be
    DDLJ
    RNBDJ
    Chak De
    Bazigaar
    Swades

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    • The nice thing about film is that it is subjective, so we can both be right!

      On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 11:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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