30 Best Bollywood Movies From Recent Past You Should Watch

An action packed drama or a coming of age story, a  good film is akin to great entertainment. But, that is not all. Films teach us  about the type of societies we live in, the contemporary culture, cuisine, relationships and much much more  in a subtle, ironical or direct manner. Take a look at some of the best Bollywood movies from recent past to know what  are the most prevalent issues of today.

You’ll meet people who love to use cell phone  as a new norm instead of landline. You’ll meet men who’d wear their jeans  low waist and moustache is a thing of absolute necessity!  But what’s even more beautiful is that  unlike the yesteryear films you’ll see stories where heroes are women, old men and  children.  Stories that are relatable and transcend into the lives of common people. And if you think it’s too much of a change, don’t  you worry: every now and then you’ll see glimpses of our loved cutting chai and not-so-loving desi Katta!

Also Read: 25 Best Bollywood Romantic Movies Of Recent Times

We bring you a list of 30 Best Bollywood movies from recent past (released after 2000) that you should definitely watch, if you haven’t!

1. 3 Idiots

Three Idiots  is loosely based on a  novel, ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat. This film  highlights  that Indian parents across all social classes – rich, upper middle and  middle, put an immense pressure on their children to be successful  in life. And by ‘success’  they mean  to clear engineering entrance exams, preferably, the Indian Institute of Technology.  The film is a light – watch about  how Rancho (Aamir Khan), who is a child prodigy tries to challenge the way education is imparted in prestigious colleges, with an impetus on getting marks and placements rather than focus on learning.  The film sends a clear message that success follows excellence.

2. A Wednesday!

The film is a narrative encounter of an about to retire  police officer who describes the most complex case he faced in his life on an otherwise unassuming Wednesday. The movie was made on a low budget but due to positive word of mouth publicity it went on collect a whopping 120 million at box office. A movie with stellar performances by Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah, ‘A Wednesday’  has a gripping story-line and a powerful script making it one of the best bollywood movies of recent times.

3. Agneepath

Action packed Agneepath hit the silver screen in 2012. It is based on the premise of the original film, Agneepath(1990) directed by Mulk Anand.The current version depicts Hritik Roshan as ‘Vijay Dinanath Chauhan’ and Sanjay Dutt as ‘Kancha’. The current version has Vijay precariously planning and executing an extremely dangerous path to avenge the death of his father. Intense storyline, carefully crafted dialogues and  power packed performances of Hritik and Sanjay Dutt make it one of the best Bollywood films from the recent past.

4. Andhadhun

Some films are mind-boggling. Andhadhun isn’t. It is mind blasting, like a bomb exploding in the mind space.  It is set  in the present day Pune.  The  film is about a pianist  who feigns blindness to perfect his piano playing skills.  A series of events lead him to be falsely accused of a murder, lose eyesight for real and  his kidneys stolen. However, he narrowly escapes  the odds to fulfil his European dream. How does he do it? That is for you to watch!

5. Bahubali

Bahubali is an epic action film directed by S.S Rajamouli. The film was shot in Telgu and Tamil and dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam laguages. Rajamouli’s interest in Amar Chitra Katha and mythology inspired him to make this film. One of the grandest

6. Bajirao Mastani

Bajirao Mastani is a period drama, based on the life of 6th Peshwa of the Maratha empire, Bajirao and his second wife Mastani. It is a tale of two people who defied power, tradition and everything else just to be in love with each other. Love was their truth; the supreme religion,  far  beyond life and death. The film in its architectural grandeur, cinematic fineness and remarkable performances is a splendid watch for the people who believe in  love.

7. Barfi!

A light – hearted rom-com film, Barfi is set in 1970s. It is about a deaf -mute Barfi ( Ranbir Kapoor)  and his romantic relationships with well educated Shruti (Illeana D Cruz) and  Jhilmil(Priyanka Chopra), who suffers from autism.  As you enter Barfi’s world you learn living can  be uncomplicated and happy experience, irrespective of the challenges that life throws.

8. Black

Black denotes darkness, often, this colour has a negative connotation attached to it. But,  as Sanjay Leela Bhansali introduces us into the world of Michelle McNally, who is  completely blind and deaf, he shows us that ‘black’ can be beautiful too.

9. Black Friday

Black Friday is a dark,  audacious and  bone chilling tale of  the bomb blasts that  took place in Mumbai in 1993. Produced  by Anurag Kashyap, it  is based on a book called, “Black Friday: The True Story Of Bombay Bomb Blasts”, by Hussain Zaidi.

10. Chak De India

Chak De India is one of the finest films made in the recent past. For one  it is based on a sport that isn’t cricket and second the sport, hockey, is ” womens’ hockey” . One a grand scale this film is about Indian Women Hockey Team gaining an international repute as their coach Kabir Khan leads them to victory. But, microscopically it  also challenges sexist and chauvinistic attitudes, and gender bias.

11. Dev D

Dev D, as the name suggests, is a modern take on the classical “Devdas”, A novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. To give the film a touch of the modern day, urban youth, the script was developed watching news stories of generation X. This film is a little experimental in nature as it explored various facets of the modern day people. At one point they’d be  naive and gullible and the next instant would indulge in self destructive behaviours. It remains a landmark film in the recent past and was appreciated by critics and audiences alike.

12. Devdas

Devdas is the based on the novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chatopadhyay. This film is nothing short of a visual treat. The story depicts neighbours Dev (Shahrukh Khan) and Paro (Aishwarya Rai), who are childhood friends and later turn  lovers. The film in its essence captures love that remains between two people who can’t be together anymore.Also, it was the most expensive film of its time.

13. Dil Chahta Hai

Dil Chahta  Hai makes us want to grow young and stay young, as  we see college friends Aakash, Samir and Sid venture out into real world, risk doing what  they want and not succumb to the societal norms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. And thereby, gain their insights on  familial relationships, love and career. Dil Chahta hai makes you believe that  following your heart for once, even if you fail is worth far more than accepting  choices that other people impose.

14. Drishyam 

Once in a lifetime comes a film which makes you question your sense of right or wrong. Drishyam is just that!  After a  series of  unfortunate  events lead to Vijay’s family  facing the wrath of the law, he is left with no option but to save them by what ever means.  How far would he go to save his family?  And how? A suspense thriller, the film is an endearing tale of a father going against all odds to save his daughter’s dignity and his family.

15. Gangs Of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur is based on the coal mafia of Dhanbad, and the local gang wars over power struggles and vengeance. Through its punchlines, powerful dialogues and dialects the film captures the local flavour very well. Compelling storyline, intense dialogues, intricately carved characters and the overall performance makes this film one of the best film of the Crime genre.

16. Jab We Met

Jab We Met is the  story of two strangers meeting on a train journey and the story thereafter.   Geet is a happy, fun loving girl whereas Aditya is a serious and responsible businessman. A simple film, with  a fresh storyline is just one of a kind in the rom-com genre.

17. Kahaani

Kahaani is a suspense thriller set in Kolkata by Sujoy Ghosh. The film celebrates the fact  that  Durga resides in every woman. An epitome of love, when irked she unleashes her wrath  to curtail the evil.   We see a pregnant, helpless women  go about searching for her husband. With a touch of Kolkata,   magic of profound characters and an intricately woven narrative, Kahaani is one of the best films of the recent past that you must watch.

18. Lagaan

Lagaan  is one of the best films set in pre- independence era. The USP of the film is that it talks about the prejudices and  atrocities of the British Raj but in context of cricket. Drawing a huge audience this film was a massive box office hit.

19. Lakshya

Lakshya is a coming of age film of the protagonist, Karan Veer Singh, from an aimless boy to an army officer.   It captures the pressure that society puts on an individual to succeed and the angst of a youngster fresh out of college. The film is one of the finest work of filmmaker Farhan Akhtar and is complimented by Hritik  Roshan’s stellar performance.

20. Omkara

Omkara based on Shakespeare’s Othello is a masterpiece by Vishal Bhardwaj. It  makes you wonder about how even an iota of doubt in relationships can have devastating effects. The film is a cinematic  personification of the word ‘perfection’. It keeps the audience spell bound throughout. Stellar performances by the leading cast, carefully carved characters and a brilliant  script  only add up to make it an interesting watching the recent times!

21. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai is  a film about the time when underworld controlled Mumbai. It shows how Mumbai transitioned between rise and fall of  underworld dons – Sohaib Khan and Sultan Mirza. Watch the action packed thriller to acquaint with history of Mumbai. The city which has witnessed people come and go, as they try to establish a reign over it.

22. Paan Singh Tomar

Paan Singh Tomar is a  biographical film  based on the life Paan Singh Tomar: an Indian soldier, athlete and outlaw. We see an effortless Irrfan in the guise of Paan Singh Tomar and are led into his glory and gore. The film  questions our judgement of right and wrong, leaving behind some uncomfortable questions.

23. Raazi

Raazi produced by Meghna Gulzar, is  a film based on the life of an Indian spy, Sehmat Khan. Set in Kashmir of  1970s, the film is a thing of beauty. We see Sehmat  hesitantly enter the spy-world and transform into  fearless spy, ready to sacrifice everything for her nation.  Stellar cinematography, enthralling performances and the magic of Kashmir makes this film outstanding.

24. Rang De Basanti

Rang De Basanti connects modern day youth with India’s past. The film is a narrative of a bunch of youngster who decide to work in a documentary. The documentary is based on India’s freedom struggle and focusses on the selflessness of freedom fighters. As the story progresses the characters are completely enveloped with the spirit of freedom fighters. They do not bat an eyelid before they decide to kill a corrupt minister.

25. Special 26

Special 26 is a heist film based on a robbery that took place in Opera House Mumbai, 1987. The peculiar thing was that robbers posed as Income Tax Officers to raid a jewellery shop. Watch the intense drama unfold like a game of chess, one wrong move and you’re out of the picture.

26. Swades

Swades was a widely acclaimed film of its time.  A lot of the films of this period have protagonists migrate from rural to urban, from India to abroad. But, Swades with all its desi tadka was different.It was rather a ‘U-turn’ film.  A highly successful NRI working for NASA wants to visit his country on the pretext of meeting his nanny. But, upon visiting her village and living with the people there; he decides to come back. This movie is special in the manner it connects the audiences to the real India – residing in villages and hence makes it to this list of the best Bollywood movies of recent past.

27. Taare Zameen Par

Taare Zameen Par is a film about  8 year old dyslexic Ishaan Awasthi. We see an extremely creative Ishaan struggling with academics. When he is sent to a boarding  school, his art teacher Ram Shankar comes to his rescue. A phenomenal film, it makes us wonder as a society where are we going? Many fans remember this movie as one which brought tears to their eyes. Definitely a must-watch and amongst the best Bollywood Bollywood movies of recent times!

28. Veer Zaara

Veer Zaara is a period romantic drama. Despite being head over heels, Captain Veer Pratap Sing and Zaara Hayat Khan,are bound by familial, religious and national ties. They must decide their fate.Unlike other films in this genre; it is about a timeless love, a love which demands sacrifices.

29. Tamasha

Tamasha by Imtiaz Ali  is one of the most relatable films of our generation. It inspires us to chase our dreams despite the rat race. As we see Dev juggle his work life balance, we can’t but help find ourself in his struggles, sorrows and desperate attempts to succeed.The film beautifully captures  intricate human emotions trapped in emulating others. The monotony of life and the void that makes you seek your inner voice to chasing your dreams and finally freedom. This movie is different, makes you think and definitely deserves a place in the list of the best bollywood movies of the past two decades.

30. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Some films are inspired by life; this one isn’t, rather the film inspires life. As Kabir, Imran and Arjun go on exploring Spain and facing their worst fears; they  end up  mending broken friendship, create meaningful relationships and fall in love with life.

This list of the best Bollywood movies lists several movies that dared to be different, tried to experiment, stood out with their plot as well as some who defined this new millennia and carried the trademark of the decade.

Did we miss any other good movie that deserved a place in this list? Which are the best Bollywood movies from the recent past according to you? Do let us know in the comments below!

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