I used to do the full list, with good and bad all described, but the list is way WAY too long now! So I am going to just sort out the ones I actually recommend and describe them. Oh, and this list comes courtesy of AccessBollywood.net, you should go over there for constant up to date info and the full full list. Also, BE GRATEFUL!!! This took me literally all day and then WordPress swallowed the last half and I had to start again after I had finished.
This is NOT the full list, this is not eve necessarily the full list of good movies, this is just the list of movies that I, Margaret, personally vouch for. And to make it more useful, I am going to use a code to show you what might be best for your personal tastes. To find what you are looking for, you can just use the “ctrl F” shortcut on your keyboard and hunt for the symbol you want.
& = Classic film, vital part of the Hindi film canon, if you are in the mood to brush up on your classics
% = Good movie to watch with your kids
$ = Romance if you are in a romantic mood
@ = Movie I, Margaret, presonally really like even though it may not be very good
Several of this will have multiple symbols, if I have a review of the film available the title will be clickable, and if there is no review and no symbol it just means it is good enough for me to put on this list but I don’t have much else to say about it. Also, pay attention to dates! If it’s a 90s movie, it will be a 90s movie. If it’s a 50s movie, it will be in black and white. You know, use common sense.
& 3 Idiots (2009)
All around fun bright movie, about education reform and student suicide, and also practical jokes and campus hijinks and a little love story.
102 Not Out (2018)
A generally well-made film about issues between an elderly father and son. Feels a bit “play” like, but still good. Think The Sunshine Boys.
If you like cheesy horror films, this is the movie for you!
1920: Evil Returns (2012)
Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969)
I haven’t seen this, but it stars Dharmendra, and it is directed by Yashji and produced by his brother so I can guarantee it is high quality.
& Aag (1948)
Super classic film, Raj Kapoor’s first movie as a director and his first collaboration with Nargis. A little bit of a downer in that “agony of the artist” sort of way.
@ $ Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973)
An old movie but not a classic. But I really like it! Shashi and Sharmila romance, lots of cute songs and great costumes.
@ $ Aaina (1993)
Again, almost a classic, but not quite. Yash Chopra directed, a really generally good film, great role for Juhi Chawla and Amrita Singh, and Jackie Shroff is almost appearling as the hero!
@ % Aaja Nachle (2007)
Not quite a romance, but it does have some cute love tracks. More of a “put on a show!” movie. Great role for Madhuri, Kunal Kapoor is there being beautiful, and Konkona Sen Sharma is there being lovable. Plus, Akshay Khanna! Oh, and it might be an okay kid’s movie!
& % Aan (1952)
Stone-cold classic fairy tale movie! Dilip Kumar is the noble peasant bandit, Nadira is the spoiled princess, sword fights, horses, adventures, it’s even in color! Your kids will probably like it, and you will learn more about the Hindi Film Canon.
Hi Popka Superstar! I put this in for you, our Govinda champion. After struggling for over a decade, this is the movie that finally helped him breakthrough to the top of the box office. Big over the top silly comedy.
& Aar Paar (1954)
A Guru Dutt film, so automatically brilliant. Romance, comedy, adventure type thing. Our hero is a taxi driver torn between two women and trying to make a dollar in 1950s Bombay.
& $ Abhimaan (1973)
Jaya and Amitabh romance! A light sweeter version of A Star is Born, Amitabh is the top playback singer in the industry who encourages his new classically trained singer wife to sing with him, and then struggles as her popularity exceeds his own. The marriage scenes are so cute you will die, and the plot takes an unexpected twist at the last minute on the way to a happy ending.
& Achhut Kanya (1936)
The movie that launched Hindi films first true Star, Ashok Kumar. A tragic love story across castes.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016)
A generally good movie! Songs are great, performances are good, script is mostly tight. You might disagree with the ending and have other problems along the way, but you can still enjoy watching it.
$ Aisha (2010)
Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol in a Hindi version of Clueless! How could this not be good?
$ Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)
The movie where Ranbir and Kat fell in love! A college comedy with a soft tone, and a warm love story at the center.
@ Akaash Vani (2013)
This starts out light and then gets kind of dark. Be warned! Marital rape and abuse and the psychological pain it causes, fun fun! But, on the other hand, for once a film calls this out as really really wrong.
Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)
The Hindi version of Kramer Versus Kramer! Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala as a couple whose marriage falls apart leaving Aamir to discover the joys of single parenting. Great songs.
& @ % Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
The best multistarrer of them all, 3 separated brothers, lots of wacky misunderstandings, lots of colors and humor, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
& $ Amar Prem (1972)
Do you like weepy tragic romances? This is for you! And it’s a classic! A tragic prostitute and a lonely businessman fall in love, but can never be together. Includes the classic line “Don’t cry Pushpa, I hate tears”.
& @ Anand (1971)
It’s a movie about sickness, but it’s also a movie abotu life and love and friendship. It’s the classic best Hindi film that let’s you cry, but also lets you feel good about the world.
& @ Andaz (1949)
Don’t ask me why I like this movie, I just really really do! Love triangle with Nargis, Raj, and Dilip, that goes in kind of a bonkers direction towards the end, and maybe implies that women should be punished for being modern, but at the same time lets Nargis be such an awesome modern woman that it feels like maybe the message is messed up.
$ @ Andaz (1971)
The other Andaz! Totally unlike the first one! Sweet cute love story between a widow and widower in gorgeous brightly colored green scenery. Oh, and very progressive message.
& Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
The cult classic comedy. Watch out, most of the jokes are of the “rule of three” variety, that is, they build on each other. You will laugh a lot more at the end of the film when the whole structure is in place than at the beginning. And way more on the second watch than on the first.
Want to watch Shahrukh be a villain and Madhuri be AWESOME???? This movie is here for you!
& $ Aradhana (1969)
The movie that made Rajesh Khanna a star! Even though in reality it is more Sharmila Tagore’s film. Anyway, sexy love song, bad aging make-up, cute baby, screwy plot, you’ll love it.
% @ Arjun Patiala (2019)
I freaking LOVE this movie! It’s meta-comedy, it’s silly, it’s entertainingly performed, and it has a strong comic lead role for the heroine. I don’t know why no one else liked it, but they are all WRONG.
Do you have a crush on Arjun Kapoor? Or Prithviraj? Or Swara Bhaskar? Or Sikander Kher? This movie has the best of ALL of them!
& Awara (1951)
Another super super classic, maybe THE most important classic. Raj Kapoor’s first massive insanely big hit, love story between a conman and a thief and a pure clean woman studying to be a lawyer. With some father-son family drama mixed in, and so many important foundational moments of film technique I can’t even remember them all.
Family drama about widow remarriage, with Amitabh doing the right progressive thing, Rani in great costumes, and Hema Malini and John Abraham looking hot.
& Baazi (1951)
Guru Dutt’s first film, gorgeously filmed film noir, Dev Anand looking heartstopping, and classic SD Burman score.
Aamir Khan does a drag scene.
Twisted thriller with Kajol and Shahrukh, and fun songs!
Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
Ranbir Kapoor’s big break out film, he plays a cad who breaks the heart of 3 awesome women. Bright colors, great songs, a fun timepass even if the hero is horrible.
Bobby Deol and Rani Mukherjee action film, she is a the bright peppy modern rich girl, he is the troubled outsider arrived in their small town, there’s a lot of other plot too, and the songs are really good.
$ Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)
Pure romance! Some nice songs, great chemistry between the leads, decent movie overall if you are in the mood for romance.
@ Baghban (2003)
Great movie about elderly love and family and doing the right thing. It’s sweet! And I really really like it!
& % @ Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
Going out on a limb slightly by calling this a “classic”. But I think it is! Really a beautiful story about love and kindness and seeing beyond prejudice. Plus, Salman gives one of his all time best performances, really you will see why people love him after watching this, and there is a little girl who will steal your heart away.
$ Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)
Other people love this fun happy rom-com, I don’t, watch it and join the discussion!
& Bawarchi (1972)
Rajesh Khanna plays a cook who moves in and solves the problems of the family! Classic cute Hrishikesh Mukherjee film.
@ $ Befikre (2016)
I really really like this movie! Light farce in France with sex and truly great song/dance bits and really good chemistry between Ranveer and Vaani as the leads.
Anil Kapoor and Madhuri back in their heyday! Great Madhuri role as the daughter-in-law who challenges the evil stepmother with Anil as the sexy dumb farmboy caught in between.
@ % Bharat (2019)
A multi-decade film about Salman as the head of a family. And, more importantly, about Salman and Kat as unmarried life partners who support each other every day in every way.
% Bhoothnath (2008)
Cute kids movie, about a little boy who becomes best friends with the ghost that lives in his house!
& $ @ Bobby (1973)
The sweetest brightest happiest young love story of ALL! Rich boy falls for his nanny’s granddaughter, they sing to each other, they have cokes, his parents object, they ride a motorcycle, really it’s great.
& Boot Polish (1954)
Raj Kapoor’s grounded children’s drama. Think Bicycle Thief, but with more kids.
$ Brahmachari (1968)
Ready for an AWESOME plot? Our heroine is too boring and traditional and is rejected by her modern fiance. She runs away and finds a place with our hero, a cheerful monklike-guy who runs an orphanage. He gives her a make over and helps her win over the fiance, but is it possible they have fallen in love along the way?
@ Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
Fun fun fun conpeople comedy! Rani and Abhishek run away from home and become partners in small time cons. Super fun and funny tricks, and a little bit of light romance. Oh, plus Amitabh as awesome comic relief!
@ The Burning Train (1980)
See, there’s this train. And it’s on fire. And on the train, coincidentally, are two sets of estranged lovers, plus estranged best friends. Plus a whole cross section of Indian society. Basically, picture The Towering Inferno, but it’s a train.
& C.I.D. (1956)
Another classic Film Noir! Dev Anand is the honest cop, Waheeda Rahman is the troubled femme fatale, and then there’s some other woman who is “good” and the daughter of Dev’s boss.
@ % Chak De India (2007)
Such a good movie! And will work for your kids, if they like soccer/field hockey! Classic sports movie, with a feminist touch, and Shahrukh there being noble and good.
Chal Mere Bhai (2000)
Pretty predictable but fun rom-com, two brothers fall in love with the same woman. The leads are Salman, Sanjay, and Karisma and the chemistry between the cast is so amazing that it makes the whole film fun.
& @ Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1957)
OMG, so fun! three brothers who run a garage, the two youngest fall in love, there are misunderstandings and wacky car tricks, and fabulous Kishore Kumar-Madhubala chemistry.
$ @ Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986)
This is a really sweet romance! A little bit of a cult favorite, but not really a classic. Anil Kapor and Amrita Singh are two nice average kids from the neighborhood who fall in love and nice people around them help convince their parents to come around.
& Chandni (1989)
Classic Yash Chopra/Sridevi movie, gorgeous visuals, so-so heroes.
Chandni Bar (2001)
Tabu as a bar dancer, very high quality early 2000s film.
& $ @ Chashme Buddoor (1981)
Such a sweet love story! Struggling student looking for his first job falls in love with the young woman who knocks on his door selling detergent flakes.
& Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)
Classic Guru Dutt historical tragedy. Two friends end up accidentally in love with the same woman, one of them ends up poetically broken hearted.
Perfectly pleasant so-so movie. Remake of the American “Chef”, with Saif being super likable, and a cute kid, and great food porn.
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001)
Kind of odd film, Salman and Rani and Preity in a throuple, really good catchy songs that you will never get out of your head.
Chor Machaye Shor (1974)
SHASHI ALERT!!!! Baring-bring-bring!!!! Shashi falls in love witha rich girl; whose father has him thrown in jail, where he makes friends and escapes with his friends to get his girl back. And then other stuff happens.
& @ Chupke Chupke (1975)
Dharmendra in a white uniform. It’s beautiful. Also, a fun plot with lots of comedy and jokes and misunderstandings
@ D-Day (2013)
Taut thriller, but with a conscience. Actions have consequences, characters feel pain because of what they do and what happens to them. Really, it’s just remarkably good.
& Daag (1973)
The first Yash Raj film EVER! And, it’s about polyamory! Sort of. Rajesh Khanna accidentally ends up with two wives.
& $ @ Daawat-e-Ishq (2014)
SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!!!! You must watch it. You will fall in love with Aditya Roy Kapoor, and Parineeti Chopra, and the food, and the place, and EVERYTHING.
% Dabangg 3 (2019)
Fun cop action movie! Kind of strangely put together, some minor plot gaps, but still very entertaining and good for kids.
& Darr (1993)
Brilliant thriller that confronts our assumptions about romance and love and stalking and all kinds of things. Also, brilliant SRK performance.
A Death in the Gunj (2017)
Beautiful snapshot of a moment in time, the late 70s, and a sad moment of broken people looking to be fixed by each other and instead failing each other.
Dedh Ishqiya (2014)
Madhuri playing a gorgeous middle-aged lesbian princess.
$ Deewana (1992)
Decent 90s romance film, two heroes (one of whom is SHAHRUKH KHAN!), happy ending, pretty songs, and SRK stuff.
@ % Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (2015)
Really surprisingly good period detective movie. Secret Samurais, disguises, chases through dark alleys, fun in a Sherlock Holmes kind of way.
& Devdas (1955)
The true best version of Devdas. Not romanticized, just sad and ugly and tragic. Really, you should see it!
% Dhoom (2004)
Great fun movie to watch with your kids! Heist film, cop film, bright colors and songs, super awesome.
% Dhoom 2 (2006)
An ever brighter bigger funner heist film to watch with your kids!
% Dhoom 3 (2013)
And the biggest BIGGEST bright fun heist film of them all! Warning for kids, slightly downer ending, but the rest of it is incredibly fun.
$ Dil (1990)
90s Aamir and Madhuri romance, college pranks, elopement, misunderstandings and BEST WEDDING EVER.
% $ Dil Bole Hadippa (2009)
Cute sports movie, our heroine has to pretend to be a boy in order to play cricket, but the coach is a really cute boy!
% $ Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Bright put on a show love triangle! Madhuri, Karisma, and Shahrukh bouncing around in spandex being super cute. And for some reason, small children love it.
& $ @ Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Love love LOVE this movie.
Disco Dancer (1982)
This movie is everything you think it is from the total.
Do Aur Do Paanch (1980)
Shashi Alert! Baring-bring-bring-bring!!!! Not just Shashi, Shashitabh! And Parveen, and Hema, and a 70s masala conman plot set in a boarding school.
& Do Bigha Zamin (1953)
The classic of all classics! Struggling poor farmers looking for just a little bit of land, sounds like fun, right?
& % Don (1978)
So good! Crazy twists, awesome heroine, fun songs, polka dots!
@ Doosara Aadmi (1977)
So good! Rishi and Neetu, plus Raakhee being glamorous, and SHASHI!!!!
$ Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)
The first Ayushmann Khurrana small middle class romance! Arranged marriage romance, couple that slowly finds their way to each other despite his discomfort with her large size.
@ % Dus (2005)
I LOVE this movie. And also acknowledge that it is very stupid. Elite cop group, lots of action sequences, getting the team together type stuff, massive cast, and really REALLY catchy songs.
% Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)
Tragic romance, classic, beautiful.
Ek Hasina Thi (2004)
Tough female revenge drama with Urmila Matondkar!
% Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
Big silly action film about two spies who fall in love.
% Elaan (2005)
Another silly action film! Rahul Khanna and John Abraham and Arjun Rampal and Amisha Patel and Lara Dutta are get together for VENGEANCE!
$ @ An Evening in Paris (1967)
Shammi and Sharmila, and a secret second Sharmila (no, really)! And it’s in Mod Mod 60s Paris! And there’s water skiing!
Brilliant brilliant movie, kind of dark, but BRILLIANT.
The only Aamir-Kajol romance in existence, good songs, pretty colors, kind of strange plot.
% Ghayal (1990)
The movie that brought Sunny Deol to the top of the list! And a little smattering of cute Sunny-Dimple romance. But mostly Sunny, being angry and punchin’ stuff.
The Ghazi Attack (2017)
I wish I had a symbol for “movie to watch with your Dad”, because this would be it! Submarine warfare! Maps! Radar! Airlocks! Or is it just my Dad and Grandpa that love that stuff?
% Gold (2018)
Really good sports movie, a team coming together as one and bringing pride to India and stuff.
& Golmaal (1979)
Classic comedy! Our hero has to pretend to be his own identical twin in order to keep his job/romance the girl.
% Golmaal Again (2017)
There’s a lot of Golmaal movies on Prime, but this is the only one that makes my list. Ghost comedy thing, with really strong female roles for Tabu and Pari and lots of physical comedy. Watch with kids!
& Guddi (1971)
Cute cute story, which made Jaya Bhaduri into India’s sweetheart. She plays a teenage girl with a crush on Dharmendra that blinds her to the boy next door. Her family arranges for her to meet Dharmendra in real life and get over her crush so she can see the guy right in front of her.
Gully Boy (2019)
Amazing soundtrack, really surprisingly solid film all around, Zoya-Reema brilliance once again.
Remake of And Then There Were None! Strangers brought to a mysterious island, stuff happens, Helen has a lot of songs.
Half Ticket (1961)
Remake of one of my favorite American classics, The Major and the Minor! Kishore Kumar can only afford a “half ticket” on the train, so dresses as a child, and then stuff happens.
$ Hameshaa (1997)
Saif and Kajol in a reincarnation love story! It’s so fun and silly and 90s.
It’s fine. Rani, magical teacher of slum children, so on and so forth, we’ve all seen this movie before.
Classic Sridevi Hindi movie! Jeetendra is the hero, Sridevi is the rich woman he has to “tame”, there are soooooooooooo many great song numbers.
Hindi Medium (2017)
Irrfan Khan plays a befuddled father trying to get his daughter into a good school, nice light comedy with a heartwarming ending.
Howrah Bridge (1958)
Helen’s first featured dance! And also, a film noir style film with Madhubala and Ashok Kumar.
@ Hulchul (2004)
I really really love this movie, for no logical reason. Akshaye Khanna and Kareena have great chemistry and are both super charming as the leads, the rest of the cast is equally good, and it’s got that Priyadarshan comedy crossed with feeling thing going for it.
& Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994)
The classic! Big warm family drama with a romance at the middle of it.
% $ Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)
So so so so SO CUTE!!!! And if your kids like gentle comedy with other kids playing tricks on grown ups, they will also love it.
Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999)
Very 90s over the top happy family romance thing. Hum Aapke Hain Koun times 20.
$ @ Hum Tum (2004)
Maybe it’s because this is one of the first Hindi rom-coms I saw, but I really like this one. Saif is funny, Rani is confident, and it’s kind of an interesting romantic tragectory.
I Am (2010)
Want to see a slightly artistic and out there film about the problems of various people living in modern India including Queer issues? This is the movie for you!
$ Ishaqzaade (2012)
Really REALLY good Pari-Arjun Kapoor romance, but with a sad ending (watch out for that).
$ Ishq Vishk (2003)
Cute little college romance, Shahid Kapoor’s big break, surprisingly sweet.
Vidya Balan being AWESOME. And sexy and tricky and keeping both Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi on a string.
& Ittefaq (1969)
Another Yash Chopra film! Twisty unique imaginative locked room mystery.
@ Jaan-E-Maan: Let’s Fall in Love Again (2006)
I really really really love this movie, and few other people do. It’s surreal, it’s magical, it’s odd.
& Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)
Classic cynical comedy, about land graft and corrupt media and lots and lots of brilliant comic set pieces.
$ Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai (1998)
Surprisingly sweet Salman-Twinkle romance! With a kid!
$ Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
I don’t LOVE it, but if you need some swoony over the top romance to take you away, this is the movie for you.
$ @ Jab We Met (2007)
I love it, you love it, it’s a legitimately really really good rom-com.
$ @ Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)
A great romance between Abhishek and Preity playing average nice shop girl and shop boy types. A little surreal too.
Super SUPER fun silly 90s comedy with Salman and Karisma.
& Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Super SUPER classic! Guru Dutt again, his magnum opus.
Kaala Patthar (1979)
Need some classic Amitabh in your life? Try this! Oh also, SHASHI!
More classic Amitabh! And a really cute classic scene where he tries to teach Parveen Babi how to wear a sari.
Want to see Reservoir Dogs, but in Hindi? This is it!
Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
SHASHI! And also other people and a crazy plot and a wonderful ending chase scene, but mostly SHASHI.
It’s not great, in many many ways. But you are stuck home, the visuals are spectacular, it’s worth playing in the background.
Also not great. But Irrfan does his lowkey deadpan funny thing, and Dulquer is there being pretty, and it has that perfect indie road movie comedy thing going for it.
$ Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
Shammi! And romance and the “Yahoo” song! Fun fun.
& Kati Patang (1971)
Another classic Rajesh Khanna tragic romance! If you are in the mood for that.
$ @ Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
This is the one Bhansali movie I don’t just tolerate, but actually like! Really sweet romance between the daughter of two deaf people and the visiting musician who bonds with her over her love of music.
Khandaani Shafakhna (2019)
Unambitious nice little movie about a young woman who inherits her uncle’s small sex clinic.
& Khatta Meetha (1977)
Sweet sweet movie, widow and widower each with large families falls in love with each other, the kids don’t like it and try to get in the way of the romance, eventually everyone comes around.
The movie that made Akshay Kumar a star!!!! Tricky twisted thriller crossed with a college romance, and super catchy songs.
@ Khuda Gawah (1992)
This is such a silly silly movie! Everyone talks about themselves in third person, the wigs are insane, Sridevi is crazy until she isn’t, and Danny Denzongpa is there too!
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007)
Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek, together again! Plus Kunal Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Slightly downer of a plot about sex work, but happy ending! And good songs!
Laal Kaptaan (2019)
Saif! Weird wig! Period film!
& Lamhe (1991)
Another classic Sridevi movie! Plus Anil Kapoor without a mustache, which is seriously freaky. And a very odd interesting plot.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Want to watch a movie about Bhagat Singh that has an amazing montage in the first 5 minutes and then goes down from there? This is it!
$ @ Love Breakups Zindagi (2011)
It’s a very minor rom-com, but it’s got a great warm spirit to it, and I really like it.
& $ Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989)
Sweet youthful love story, Salman looking the best he has ever looked, just strangely addictively sweet.
Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (2005)
Want to see Cactus Flower remade with Salman and Sushmita and Katrina? You know you do! Or, if you have never heard of Cactus Flower, you can also think of it as the romantic farce that helped launch Katrina Kaif.
@ Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994)
This is a super good movie, clever and holds together and funny and all that. And also, SUPER GAY. I like it, you will too.
Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (2003)
Totally ridiculous movie! Maybe the only one on this list that is an absolute “so bad it’s good” watch. There’s an animated parrot.
$ Mann (1999)
An Affair to Remember, in the 90s, with Aamir and Manisha. It’s awesome!
Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
Chinatown, remade with Abhay Deol, brilliant and dark and twisted.
Rani as a hero cop! It’s a bit dark, it’s about human trafficking, but it’s also Rani as a hero cop!
Mardaani 2 (2019)
Haven’t seen it, but if you liked the other one, we can do this one!
$ Marjaavaan (2019)
Swoony gangster romance thing with Sid M, but bad hair.
& Masoom (1983)
An amazing movie about children, for adults. What happens when a man has to bring home to his wife and daughters the little boy that is the result of his affair?
& Mera Naam Joker (1970)
The movie that broke Raj Kapoor. Epic length, epic sweep, circus as a metaphor for performing and life, all kinds of things.
$ @ Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011)
Cute little love story about a younger brother who picks a cool bride for his older brother and then falls in love with her himself and vice versa.
& Mili (1975)
So great, although also ILLNESS WARNING. But sweet Jaya-Amitabh romance, really great characters, and ends on a note of hope.
$ @ Mirzya (2016)
Such an amazing movie, epic and romantic and beautiful and the soundtrack is truly unique.
Not a super great movie, but the song sequences are good, and Shahrukh is charming in parts, and it will kill some time.
& $ Mr. & Mrs. 55 (1955)
Total classic, rich girl has to marry a poor cartoonist in order to get her inheritance, feels very much like a classic 30s-40s American screwball.
& Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
Elephants! Battle Scenes! Love that almost toppled an empire! ALL THOSE THINGS!
$ @ Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (2002)
Uff, this movie is so great! And dumb! Mistaken identity love triangle and all that, plus Hrithik being sexy and insane.
Mujhse Shaadi Karoge (2004)
Perfectly pleasant comedy, Salman is a man with anger issues trying to propose to his girlfriend, Akshay Kumar is the fly in the ointment who keeps interrupting him.
Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost (2009)
Young Abhishek as a young man who brings a satellite dish to a remote village and learns about village life and falls in love.
Sridevi is a snake who falls in love with Rishi Kapoor!
$ Namastey London (2007)
Kind of a cute romance, Katrina is a modern London girl forced into an arranged marriage with a Punjabi farmer who follows her to London and slowly wins her over.
& Naya Daur (1957)
Super classic, helped to inspire Lagaan, an old fashioned cart driver has to win a race with a train.
$ @ Neal ‘n’ Nikki (2005)
It’s a hard sell, a boy on a last wild week before marriage and a girl trying to get over a broken heart.
I haven’t seen it, but other people say it is good!
$ Noor (2017)
Not as good as it should be, but still pleasant! Our heroine is a reporter struggling with her career and her love life and blind to her best friend who is right there.
$ @ Notebook (2019)
I love love love this movie! Two teachers who fall in love with each other through the journal they leave behind for each other at the same remote school.
ILLNESS ALERT. And also not as good as it could/should be, but still a decent reflective film.
& Pakeezah (1972)
Soo good! The classic Tawaif film, and it even has a happy ending.
A really bad movie, that is somehow also entertaining. Multi-generation star crossed lovers, separated brothers, and Saif’s first movie!
@ Pari (2018)
Do you want to see a really really good horror movie about women’s bodies and childbirth and spooky stuff like that.
& Parineeta (1953)
Classic Bengali novel turned into film, class issues and wealth issues and stuff.
Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978)
An infidelity comedy, but it’s way better than it sounds!
Pati Patni Aur Woh (2019)
Remake of the infidelity comedy, and I also kind of loved it!
Paying Guest (1956)
If you liked Half-Ticket, you will love this. This time, the hero has to pretend to be a different ethnicity/language group in order to rent a room.
& Pinjar (2003)
It’s definitely not a romance, but it is a story about love. And trauma. And rape. It’s complicated.
% Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)
Live action fairy tale, great to watch with kids, sword fights and horses and things.
@ Pyaar Impossible (2010)
I like it, even if no one else does! A geek pretends to be a nanny to get close to the hot girl he has a crush on.
& Pyaasa (1957)
So beautiful, about art and hope and humanity and stuff.
$ @ Raabta (2017)
I don’t know why the critics hated this movie, it’s time traveling romance and it’s cute and it has Jim Sarbh as the villain!
Very well-made spy thriller, which deals into legitimate questions about right and wrong and so on.
$ @ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
No one doesn’t like this movie!
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992)
Cute cute romance between Shahrukh and Juhi, which gets a little darker towards the end, but is still mostly cute cute cute.
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)
Kind of different movie, about an honest salesman who start a secret company based on honesty and respect and so forth.
$ Saagar (1985)
Surprisingly magical romance, Dimple is from the fishing village and Rishi is the rich man, but there’s also Kamal Haasan as Dimple’s childhood friend.
$ @ Saathiya (2002)
Rani and Viviek as a super super cute young couple who elope and then struggle to deal with the realities.
$ Sadma (1983)
Sridevi’s best Hindi performance, as a young woman who suffers a hit on the head and reverts to the mental age of 6. Kamal Haasan adopts her and loves her as a daughter.
$ Salaam Namaste (2005)
It’s not great, but there is that kind of early 2000s charm to it!
$ Sanam Teri Kasam (2009)
Swoony romance between a dowdy librarian and a hot dude with tattoos.
The best Hindi remake of The Godfather, out of all the Hindi remakes of The Godfather.
Satte Pe Satta (1982)
Very fun Seven Brides for Seven Brothers remake, there’s all kinds of surprise twists, and two Amitabhs!
% Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)
Hema Malini in a double role! Lots of physical comedy! Roller skates!
Insane movie. Man eating alligators! Helicopters! Car chases! SHASHI!!!!
% Shahenshah (1988)
Amitabh plays a superhero! He puts on a costume and wig and stuff at night, and during the day pretends to be a coward.
Brilliant movie about politics and corruption and stuff like that, if you are in the mood for that kind of thing.
% Shivaay (2016)
Mountain jumps! Car chases! Ajay has to get his daughter back from kidnappers!
& Shree 420 (1955)
Massive classic. Raj as the innocent arrived in the city, Nargis as his first love who pulls him to good, but then he is corrupted and a bunch of other stuff happens.
Want to see Prithviraj Kapoor in a tiny skirt play Alexander the Great?
& Silsila (1981)
The classic infidelity movie! Be prepared to really really dislike the central couple!
$ @ Socha Na Tha (2005)
Very good romance, really good. And also, one I have a special soft spot for. And Happy!
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018)
This is a way better movie than it sounds like, our hero is trying to break up his best friend’s wedding, but he has real reasons! And it’s funny!
Street Dancer 3D (2020)
It’s exactly the movie you think/hope it is from the title.
% Student of the Year 2 (2019)
Tiger is a scholarship student torn between his childhood sweetheart and the poor little rich girl he just met! Also, Kabaddi games!
Sui Dhaaga: Made in India (2018)
A newly married couple builds a bond through setting up a traditional crafts workshop to make clothing from scratch.
% Sultan (2016)
Can middle-aged ex-wrestler Salman make a come back as a mixed martial arts fighter? What if he tries really really hard?
Salman is an archaeologist excavating an old castle, where the ghost of the princess Amrita Singh desires him and flashes back to him as a tough blonde barbarian in a previous life.
@ Tashan (2008)
I really love this movie, plays with our expectations like crazy, and Anil Kapoor is having just the best time playing the villain.
% Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (2008)
Cute movie, Rani is literally an angel sent from heaven to help Saif take care of his adorable orphaned nieces and nephews.
% Thugs of Hindostan (2018)
Great movie to watch with your kids! Fun action bits, sword fights, boats, magical hawk, great stuff!
Tiger Zinda Hai (2017)
Personally I don’t love it, because it is kind of a dark action movie, but it is a well made action movie.
Do you want to see a really good horror movie? This is it!
Tumhari Sulu (2017)
Sweet nice movie about a housewife who finds a second career as a DJ.
$ Veer-Zaara (2004)
I don’t love it, but it has a lot of swoony SRK moments.
$ Vivah (2006)
Sweet love story between a young arranged couple who fall in love over the course of many MANY engagement events.
Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005)
Okay movie, Akshay is the spoiled son of a rich father who forces him to grow up.
@ % War (2019/Hindi)
So good! So Gay! So much crazy action!
Okay thriller mostly worth it for Farhan and Amitabh chemistry.
$ Yeh Dillagi (1994)
Remake of Sabrina with Kajol!
I’m about to review Aankhen (which was not on prime here, I watched it on youtube), spoiler: I didn’t like it.
But it’s the movie that made Govinda a star!!!! How can you not like it?
Also, if I get bored enough, I will type up Anupama Chopra’s article on Govinda for you, it’s amazing and from back when Aankhen became a hit,
On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 4:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Have you seen it?
Any Govinda fan will tell you that most of the time, his well known stuff is far from his best stuff. I literally cannot watch Coolie no. 1. Aankhen is kind of in the middle for most of them as far as I can see. Anyway, once I’ve screencapped it I will post the review.
I have not! I have seen like 2 Govinda movies, because I am a Bad Person.
On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 2:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Well, don’t watch Aankhen.
On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 8:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Don’t watch Coolie no. 1 either unless you are super into Shakti Kapoor, potplant heroines, and giving yourself a headache.
I am not into giving myself a headache!
On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 8:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Thanks for illness alerts.
I feels tempted by Chaudhvin Ka Chand lately but I’m not sure if I will like it because I don’t feel the old style filmaking. Kaagaz Ke Phool, such a classic and beautiful film, but I was so distracted by the abrupt changes of the mood and scenes I couldn’t enjoy the story. What do you think, will I like the movie?
Chaudvin Ke Chaand might be a hard sell for you. Hmmm. Amar Prem might be a better bet? Also a swoony tragic love story.
On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 5:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I have so many opinion!
Amar Akbar Anthony: Not only super masala and entertaining but also political as hell and very much promoting a Ghandian vision of India. First 20 minutes, before the credits even roll, are completely bonkers and could be a standalone movie.
Andaz Apna Apna: Very, very tough for people who rely on translations. I know there are non-Hindi speakers who love it but most folks I know who aren’t just can’t get through it (including me)
Bunty Aur Babli: Cannot find this film with decent subs, not even on Einthusan, woe
Dhoom 3: It’s popular to hate on this movie but I love it for how deeply stupid and derivative it.
Lamhe: IMO a psychological horror story like Vertigo, not a romance
Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon: Completely and utterly terrible but peak Hrithik & Kareena gorgeousness and yes, they totally totally had sex.
Saagar: Hold up, there’s another Rishi Dimple fishing village romance???
Tiger Zinda Hai: Also not my fave but this is the movie that convinced me Kat needs to star in her own action franchise.
Yeh Dillagi: You can hear me rave about this one on the It Pod to Be You podcast. Remember when Akshay was likeable?
One you left off:
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Zoya does the three buddy coming of age film, Hrithik puts in one of the best performances of his career: https://www.netflix.com/title/70202336?source=35
YES! You need to watch Saagar! It falls into your Rishi exception clause!
Agree abotu ZNMD, but this was the Prime list. Someday, when I have built up my strength, I will tackle the Netflix list.
You are a superstar and I AM GRATEFUL! Love, Love, Love this list. I recently made a much shorter one for a friend who wanted my take on an what I thought were must see films that also had danceable songs (since she’s in my Indian dance class.)
So glad someone is grateful! So much work. I didn’t include danceable songs as a symbol, but maybe you can figure it out from the other context clues? Like, if I say “good music”?
On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 10:14 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Also super fun to see where we disagree! That’s where the magic of life is!
True!!!! there’s a whole other list of the movies I didn’t even include, that’s where the real disagreements would lie. But then, they aren’t even here! Someone has to work super hard to track them down.
On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 10:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I just barely began the C’s, but had to quit as I was already exhausted! So I commend your mindboggling ability to put the whole list together. But I have to ask — why Baabul? It’s such a terrible movie, with a very confused message, and a poor attempt to reprise the success of Baghban, but alas, with no substance to make that possible.
I tried to err on the side of including as many things as possible, instead of excluding. So Baabul is there because the songs are decent, it’s got a high profile cast, if someone is on a Rani kick or a Hema kick or something there’s no reason necessarily NOT to watch it.
On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 12:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Wow!! Well done for compiling such a great list – do have to see Gully Boy as Alia Bhatt is one of the very few good actresses around these days.
I recommend Nagin (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Sholay (1975) & Virasat (1997) if you haven’t seen any of them.
Personally, I couldn’t stand Waqt – The Race Against Time… much prefer the 1965 multi-starrer myself.
Thanks very much for the blog as I enjoy reading it. Adding it to my favourites right now!
Thanks for reading the whole list! Watch out for Sholay on Prime, it’s the messed up censored version though.