Across languages, the Indian film industry has delivered some really intense and realistic gangster movies over the years. The genre has been exploited to the fullest by filmmakers. The current position of gangster movies is such that it has given way to various interesting subgenres too! Hundreds of movies pertaining to the dark corners of the crime world have been made and celebrated. Yes, this list will have its fair share of the gems of Ram Gopal Varma and Anurag Kashyap. Apart from that, we will also touch upon some classic regional gangster movies. Let’s have a look at some of the best Indian gangster movies of all time that you need to watch right now!
1. Gangs of Wasseypur
This gem of a movie by Kashyap brought about a change in the way cinema was created and perceived by the audience. An ensemble cast comprising little-known but extremely talented actors, hard-to-forget characters, a gripping plot, and dialogues that resonate in the populace even after so many years of the release of this movie. That’s the definition of brilliance that you just read.
Mumbai ka king kaun? Bhiku Matre! On the surface, this movie seems like the story of a few criminals and their reign of power in the city of Mumbai. But deep down it is the story of every person who is destroyed from within by the violence that they inflict on others. Ram Gopal Varma’s best contribution to Indian cinema, Satya, is a seminal movie of the gangster genre.
It is one of those gangster movies that revolve around love and the dilemma of choosing between what is right and what is wrong. A woman who has moved on in her life with another man finds herself in a predicament when her ex-gangster-lover returns into her life. The plot, the songs, the performances, the ending! Everything about this movie is memorable.
Yes, the 50 tola movie. A man tries to set up a small food stall business with his friends in order to have an honest living. Unfortunately one night he commits murder in the heat of the moment. One thing leads to another and he finds himself drowning in the world of crime. The only way to survive in that world is to drown further. It is one of the most popular and well-performed characters ever played by Sanjay Dutt.
The story is similar to every other gangster movie. A small towner with a depressing past comes to the big city and becomes the right hand of some goon. But what is it about Pudhupettai that sets it apart from the other movies of the genre? Well, you have to watch the movie to find that out for yourselves. All I can tell you is that it’s worth your time.
One of the most popular Shakespeare adaptations in Indian cinema, Maqbool, reprises the story of Macbeth in the ambitious rise to power and eventual downfall of a man named Maqbool. Interestingly, here Duncan is not the King of Scotland but an underworld don, and Maqbool is his trusted (ahem) henchman.
7. Aaranya Kaandam
With an 8.6 IMDb rating, this neo-noir gangster movie is one hell of a ride. If you are a fan of movies like Pulp Fiction and The Godfather, then you might like this Tamil movie which draws elements from both the classics.
When an influential leader (Sarkar) is charged with false charges of the murder of a politician, his son takes over his position to fulfill his duties. It is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of Ram Gopal Varma.
9. Ab Tak Chappan
Say yay to this Nana Patekar delight of a watch! Patekar plays the role of a no-nonsense cop, an encounter specialist, who goes around town avenging the goons responsible for his wife’s death. The movie is too damn realistic and is a must-watch.
10. Shootout at Lokhandwala
The movie is based on a real-life shootout between gangsters and the police in 1991 at Lokhandwala Complex, although the poster says that it is “based on true rumours”. Vivek Oberoi simply steals the show with his brilliant portrayal of the gangster Maya (Mahindra Dolas). The movie is action-packed and sufficiently thrilling.
This is one sad yet beautiful gangster movie. Well, yes most of the gangster movies are sad, but only a very few of them are as beautifully made as this one here. A gangster named Musthafa attempts to quit the world of crime after his wife Kavita is accidentally killed by his enemies. This highly underrated movie brings to the front a myriad of crucial philosophical ponderings.
12. Anagamaly Diaries
A gem from the Malayalam film industry, this movie is slightly similar to Vaastav in terms of the plot involving the origins of a gangster but it does take it a step forward. The movie is directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, the man behind Jallikattu, so you can expect it to be amazing. Take my word for it.
This gangster movie takes you on a heartbreaking ride involving the fatal end to a lifelong friendship, a fallout between brothers, and yeah, a rather Shakespeare tragedy ending. Well, the songs act as comforters, so don’t worry.
A Mani Ratnam masterpiece, this Tamil gangster movie is a must-watch. After its release, this movie had won 3 National Film Awards, and rightly so. The movie follows a young common man who is failed by the system and decided to turn towards the dark side of society.
15. Delhi Belly
It is difficult to imagine that you can roll on the floor laughing while watching a mainstream gangster movie. But this movie is far from what you would call mainstream. Misplaced diamonds end up making three weird roommates the target of a powerful gang. What follows is a hilarious ride!
With this, we have come to an end of this list. Which of these gangster movies are you going to watch next? Do let us know in the comments section!