50 Must Watch Bollywood Movies Of All Time

Indian Cinema has come a long was ever since its onset of cinema in the early 20th Century. Indian Film industry is one of the largest when it comes to the sheer amount of audience it caters to. Gems from Bollywood like Mughal-e-Azam, Awara and Bahubali have earned a fan following across the globe. Here in this article, we list some of the must watch Bollywood movies through the years and eras.

Raja Harishchandra was the first  feature length film in Bollywood. It was a silent film made in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke. Since then we’ve come a long way in terms of arts, culture and civilisation. Movies have transitioned too. In retrospect, we can draw a stark contrast between the old and contemporary movies. Whether it be screen resolution, sound design, or content. Or, a simple fact that earliest movies of the Indian cinema had men playing roles meant for women. In fact, now we’ve gone digital: which has open doors for OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Hotstar.

Below, we present you a list of 50 must watch Bollywood movies of all time:

1. A Wednesday 

A man plants  four bombs across Mumbai. He demands the release of four dreaded terrorists. And thereby, brings the system to its knees by exposing the flaws in their day to day operations. A movie with a gripping plot and devoid of the traditional superstars, A Wednesday has gained a cult following over the years!

2. Agneepath 

Kancha Cheena and his goons destroy Vijay’s family and reputation:  kill his father and molest his mother. Vijays wants to avenge the injustice that his family suffered by killing Kancha Cheena. A movie that will always be remembered for the legendary act put up by Amitabh Bachchan, Agneepath is a must watch Bollywood movie.

3. Amar Akbar Anthony

Kishenlal’s family succumbs to the poverty as he serves his term in jail. His wife dies and sons are adopted by three people: a Hindu, Muslim and Christian. Watch the film to know what happens 20 saal baad. One of the iconic works of Manmohan Desai and the example of a typical Bollywood Masala movie, Amar Akbar Anthony is also one of the must watch Bollywood movies of yester years.

 

4. Anand

Bhaskar is an Oncologists. He treats the poor for free; however, he is constantly perturbed by the prevalent poverty in the country.  However, he comes across terminally ill yet optimistic and cheerful Anand. And his outlook towards problems and life change forever. A movie that has inspired millions and continues to do so even decades after its release, Anand is a must watch Bollywood movie that also teaches you some valuable life lessons.

Also read: 10 Best Dialogues Of Anand Which Are Simply Timeless

5. Andaz Apna Apna

Two young men want to get rich to live a comfortable life. They plan to do so by marrying a millionaire’s daughter who is  conducting a swyam-vyar type wedding. With funny characters, dialogues and comical acting, this film is a laughter riot.

Also read: 10 Evergreen Andaz Apna Apna Dialogues That Are Simply Hilarious!

6. Awara

Raj  and his mother have been abandoned by his father. They live life of poverty and Raj grows up to be a thief.  The father-son are unaware that  they are related. As face each other in the court of law, as criminal and judge. One of the must watch Bollywood movies of all time, Awara was not only a superhit in India but also helped Raj Kapoor gain a cult following in the Soviet Union and many other countries.

7. Bahubali – The Beginning

In Mahishmati kingdom,  Shivudu is in pursuits of Avantika. But, during one of his pursuits he comes aware of his past and legacy. And he decides to reclaim what was truly yours. With larger than life cinematography, effects, performances and sets, Bahubali is a visual extravaganza.

Also read: 10 Amazing Dialogues & Quotes From Baahubali 2

8. Black

Black is a classic film of all times. Michelle’s parent isolate her from he rest of the world as she cannot hear or see. Her eccentric  and persistent teacher Paul comes up as a ray of hope in her life .

9. Black Friday

Black Friday is a dark, audacious  and immersive experience. Especially for the victims of the 1993 bomb blasts that brought Mumbai to standstill.  The film centres around the actual event, recreating the entire scenario: the mouse and cat hunt between the Mumbai Police and the Underworld.

10. Bombay

A Hindu man and a Muslim women marry each other against their families’ will. Mumbai riots which took place after the demolition of Babri Majid poise a threat for their family.

11. Border

Border is an adaptation of  India -Pakistan war of 1971. In particular it is about the Longewala post: a unit of 120 soldiers facing the wrath of full-fledged Pakistan army. The beauty of the film is that that it recognises the human plight of loss. A movie that aroused patriotism and nationalism in the 90s and even today, Border is probably the most popular war movie of Bollywood.

Also read: 12 Dialogues From Border That Packs A Powerful Punch

12. Chak De India

Kabir Khan  was labelled as traitor  in a World Cup  match against Pakistan. Years later, he has been assigned as the captain of the  Women’s Hockey team. He must use this opportunity to salvage his reputation. A movie that marked the beginning of new age cinema and sports movies in Bollywood, Chak De should also be marked for one of the most iconic performances of Shah Rukh Khan!

Also read: 12 Iconic Dialogues From Chak De India We Loved!

13. Chupke Chupke

Chupke Chupke is one of the best rom-coms of the Indian cinema. Sulekha’s husband wants to test her Jiaji’s intelligence by playing a prank on him. A this unfolds a series of comical errors in their lives. A movie with simple characters, simple plot and yet full of humor, Chupke Chupke is sitcom you can always watch with your family.

14. Darr

When love becomes an obsession, life falls apart. Kiran is engaged to Sunil. Kiran’s obsessed lover and stalker, finds it difficult to accept. He leaves no stones unturned to break them apart.

15. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Raj and Simran meet on a rail trip across Europe and fall in love. However, Simran is from a conservative family. She is getting married to a boy of her father’s choice. A movie that redefined love and romance, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is probably the most iconic movie of the 90s whose plot, dialogues, performances and songs never seems to fade from the memory of audiences. A must-watch Bollywood movie in short!

Also read: 10 Iconic DDLJ Dialogues That Redefines Love & Relationships

16. Deewaar

Deewaar is the classic tale of choices  we make amidst adversities in life. Ravi and Vijay are two brothers with a traumatic childhood. Ravi becomes a cop when he grows up and Vijay turns a criminal. their fates intertwine when they both face each other as a robber and a cop. The movie that established Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of Indian Cinema, Deewar unsurprisingly makes it to the list of the all time must watch bollywood movies.

17. Devdas

Devdas has been made three times in Bollywood so far. And every time, it has been the highest grosser of the box-office. Originally, it was adapted from Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel of the same name. Devdas  for the first time was brought to screen by Bimal Roy. If you are a sheer romantic you must watch this tale of pure-love.

18. Dil Chahta Hai

It is a coming of age film of three college passed friends: Akash, Sameer and Siddharth. The film aptly describes the growing up phase that youngsters go through.

19. Do Aankhen Barah Haath

A jail warden undertakes the responsibility of rehabilitating six prisoners. He takes them to work on a farm where they learn to value hard work.

20. Do Bigha Zamin

Bimal Roy’s classic Do Bigha Zamin  was made in the year 1953. It mirrors the zamindari system prevalent in the country back then. It shows us how a poor farmer is robbed of his land by a cunning landlord. This movie is treasured as one of the classic of Indian Cinema and should definitely be in your list of must watch Bollywood movies.

21. Don

Vijay is a look alike of the Don that Mumbai Police is searching for. He has been hired by the DCP to find the whereabouts about the Don and help police nab him.  Vijay is pulled into the abyss of mafia world but finds it difficult to make his way out. A movie which has been remade into another hit and whose dialogues are remembered even today, Don is one of the most memorable releases of that era and one of the must watch Bollywood movies.

Also read: 10 Iconic Dialogues From Don That’ll Always Be Evergreen!

22. Dosti

Ramu becomes crippled right after his parents death. Alone and on the street, he finds it difficult to survive on his own. He is befriended by Mohan who is visually handicapped but is a good singer. And, the duo together face the world and survive as a singer and harmonica player. A Bollywood classic and a beautiful tale of friendship, Dosti is a gem of Indian Cinema.

23. Drishyam

Vijay is a happy go lucky guy but his life would no longer be same after the disappearance of the city’s Inspector General’s son. How far would he go to save his family from the wrath of law?

24. Garm Hava

The film deals with the anti-Muslim sentiments raging across the nation post-partition. In particular, it talks about  Salim Mirza and his family’s sufferings. Mirza’s  ancestral property is snatched by Indian Government as owner, his elder brother migrates to Pakistan.

25. Gangs of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur is about the rivalries of warring gangs in and around Dhanbad. The usp of the film is that it has been directed by Anurag Kashyap.This action packed thriller is one of the best action movies of Bollywood.

Also read: 20 Best Gangs Of Wasseypur Dialogues That Makes It A ‘Cult’

26. Ghayal

Ghayal is an action thriller of 1990s. A rich business man kill’s Ajay’s brother and frames him for the murder. Once out of the jail, Ajay seeks revenge.

27. Golmaal

In order to escape his boss’s ire Ramprasad makes him belief of existence of an imaginary identical twin.  We  see a  cynical Bhavani trying to  find out the truth but finding nothing!The film is a laughter riot.

28. Guide

Raju, a tour guide, falls  in love with the wife of one of his customers. He helps her escape the man, motivates her to take up dancing and music as her carrier. But, as he helps her build his own world is falling apart.

29. Hera Pheri

Babubhai, Raju and Ghyansham have only one problem in life: money. The film is  their journey to come out of this problem. Watch this comedy as the trio make fool of others and themselves.

Also read: 14 Best Hera Pheri Dialogues That’ll Make You Laugh All Over Again

30. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

No film  explores the topic of rampant corruption as beautifully as Jaane Bhai Do Yaaro. It is a dark satire on the  Indian society of the 1983.

Also read: 11 Absolutely Hilarious Dialogues From Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

31. Kahaani

A woman is on a quest to find her missing husband.Or is she?Why else would a seven months  pregnant woman travel from London all the way to Kolkata.

32. Lagaan

Lagaan is a period film dating back to the year 1983. India is under the British Raj and Indians are living their lives in misery. And Captain Russell only adds to their woes by  doubling the land tax in a drought hit region.When Villagers bring this to his notice; he devises a cunning plan to escape : a game of cricket between the villagers and the British officials.

33. Mother India

Radha  rises her three children single-handedly. Despite her  adversities and hurdles which include a greedy money-lenders advances she never compromises on her morals.

34. Mr. India

.Arun’s family is a set of orphaned kids. One of the kids gets killed by a notorious gangster. Furious Arun decides to save the people from the gangster using his father invention: a watch which makes you invisible. Mr. India isn’t just a film it is a childhood nostalgia for every 90’s kid. If you haven’t watched the film yet, you must do it now.

35. Mughal-E-Azam

Mughal Prince Salim and Anarkali love each other. But, emperor Akbar wouldn’t let Salim marry her. They both  fight each-other: One for love, the other for ego.

Also read: 10 Iconic Mughal-E-Azam Dialogues That Still Remain Evergreen

36. Omkara

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara is based on Shakespeare’s Othello.  A women decides to marry a man of her choice. But, in a society ruled by men, how can she ever be happy? Some want vengeance; others power and love often falls prey to such male ego.

37. Padosan

Bhola is truly, madly and deeply in love with  his beautiful neighbour. In order to win her affection he pretends to be an ace musician.  His plan falls flat when she discovers the truth and decides to cut off all ties. A desperate Bhola must do all he can to save the love of his life.

38. Pakeezah

Pakeezah is about the pious and true love between Salim and Sahibjaan. The only obstacle in their life is their past: Salim is from a respectable family whereas Sahibjaan is a courtesan in a brothel. Would they risk it all to be together?

39. Pyaasa

Vijay tries to get his poems published but is struggling as none of the publications want it. However, amidst all the rejections  and  troubles he finds  emotional support from a prostitue, who falls in love with  him and his poems.

40. Rang De Basanti

Rang De Basanti is an ode to the freedom fighters of our nation. It connects the modern day, apolitical youth with our country’s past. A group of friends are cast in a film on freedom fighters. It instills a spirit of integrity and patriotism in them; to the extent that, they don’t think twice before killing  corrupt minister.

Also read: 11 Rang De Basanti Dialogues That Will Hit You Hard!

41. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

Saheb Bibi and Ghulam: the title aptly describes the three central characters of the film. A faithful house wife resorts to drastic measures to draw attention of her husband who spends all his time at the brothel. None in the household seem to understand her agony except for Bhoothnath, a servant.

42. Salaam Bombay

An 11 years old Krishna is sent to work in a travelling circus after he destroys his elder brothers motorcycle. His family wants him to repay the money. to his brother. Along with the circus  he moves to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he meets a drug dealer and a prostitute, and learns the ways of life.

43. Sangam

Sangam and a plethora of Bollywood movies of the same category brings us to a conclusion: Bollywood is a tougher place for lovers  to survive than real life. Do watch this classic love triangle and think for yourself.

44. Satya

Satya is a crime thriller about Satya, a young and naive man, who is falsely implicated in a murder and sent to jail. Unwillingly, he falls into the dark mafia world.

45. Sholay

Jai and Veeru are recruited by Thakur Baldev Singh against the notorious bandit Gabbar.  Sholay remains one of the most popular films across all ages.

Also read: 25 Iconic Dialogues From Sholay That We Still Cherish

46. Shree 420

Shree 420 is a classic film with Raj Kapoor and Nargis in the Lead roles. We see a naive Raj come to city for job, but instead he loses all his possessions and remains unemployed. It is much appreciated as it depicted the unemployment and the state of society post Independence.

47. Swades

An NRI decides to visit his nanny on one of his visits to India. As he reaches her village, he feels loved and warmth of his country-men force him to rethink his decision of staying abroad.

48. Teesri Kasam

Teesri Kasam is a sad yet  beautiful movie with relatable characters and good moral lessons. It is about a village bullock cart driver who faces difficulty making his livelihood and his vows.

49. Umrao Jaan

Umrao Jaan is a famous Courtesan. Out of family rivalry, she was sold to a brothel as a kid. Although, she is in relationship with a Nawab, her reputation doesn’t let him accept her as a wife.

50. Zanjeer

Vijay is a detective who tracks down his parents’ killer and hatches a play to avenge his loss. Zanjeer and a few other action packed film of the same period successfully gave Amitabh Bachchan the tag of, “angry young man” in Bollywood.

Well, Bollywood has a rich legacy with innumerable releases every single year and hence this list of the must watch Bollywood movies is along long! Write to us if we have missed any other movie that should make it into this list of all time bests.

How many of these must watch Bollywood movies have you seen? Comment below!

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