While millenials would argue that 2000-2010 was pretty much the golden age for Hindi cinema and superior to the last decade by all means, 2010-2020 brought us some pretty intense stuff too. While the early years in the decade followed the same trends as 2000s, the later years brought new ones – biopics became a rage, parallel cinema began to slowly become mainstream, streaming became an actual viable option, and filmmakers made bolder, more experimental choices in general. Which is why we have been blessed with these 25 Bollywood movies from the last decade we hope you do not miss!
Also read: The 10 Best Bollywood Movies Of 2021 So Far!
Based on the wildly popular Shakespearen play Hamlet, Haider follows the story of its eponymous protagonist who returns to Jammu during a violent insurgency after his father goes missing. When home, he is surprised to find his mother behaving as if nothing has happened.
Janardhan is a simpleton who studies at DU. A budding musician, he is looking for inspiration in life. When he meets and falls in love with Heer and is eventually left heartbroken, he finds the inspiration he was looking for. But at what cost?
Shahid briefly joins a terror training camp in Kashmir after suffering through the Bombay riots in the 90s. However, he returns promptly after witnessing an execution. However, he is caught by the police who falsely accuse him of hatching an assasination. After spending 7 years in jail, Shahid studies to become a lawyer to help those falsely accused of terrorism like he was. The movie is based on the real life story of human rights activist Shahid Azmi.
After getting caught watching porn, Rohan, a seventeen year old boy, is expelled from his school. He returns to Jamshedpur to his father, where he discovers his seven year old half brother he did not know about. Rohan’s father is verbally and physically abusive, and wants Rohan to become an engineer. Rohan, however, wishes to write.
5. Paan Singh Tomar
Based on the real life story of Paan Singh Tomar, an Indian athlete, the movie follows its eponymous protagonist, who wins several gold medals for India. However, when his mother is brutally murdered, the police do not pay heed to his complaints and he is forced to become a dacoit. With one of the finest performances from an extraordinarily talented actor like Irrfan Khan, Paan Singh Tomar is one of the best Bollywood movies from the last decade.
6. Gully Boy
Inspired by the real life stories of Indian rappers DIVINE and Naezy, the movie follows Murad, an aspiring rapper who likes to express his views about social issues through his music.
Four different stories concerning separate sets of characters ultimately converge into one wild goose chase that’d leave you howling with laughter while tugging at your heart.
8. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
A trio of friends: Kabir, Arjun, and Imran, decides to take a vacation in Spain before Kabir gets married to his fiance, Natasha. While on the trip, the three friends face their worst fears while also resolving deep seated issues they had with each other. With some extremely memorable moments and unforgettable songs, ZNMD is one of the most unmissable Bollywood movies from the last decade.
Based on the real life story of the Phogat sisters, Dangal follows Mahavir Phogat, an erstwhile wrestler who decides to train his daughters to represent the country in the commonwealth games as wrestlers.
When Nutan “Newton” Singh, a diligent government clerk, is sent to a Naxal-controlled area for polling duties, he is hell-bent on conducting a free and fair election despite many forces stopping him from doing so.
11. Dear Zindagi
After her life takes a few unsavory turns, Kaira begins to experience insomnia. To address her mental health issues, she consults a psychologist named Dr. Jehangir who uses various unorthodox ways to help her. Dear Zindagi may not be without its flaws, but it was nonetheless a step in the right direction that sought to begin a conversation about mental health in India.
Barfi is a deaf and mute but smart man who falls in love with Shruti, who leaves him for a rich man she doesn’t love. Barfi eventually forms a bond with an autistic girl named Jhilmil, but when Shruti meets him again a few months later, feelings resurface.
13. English Vinglish
Shashi is a housewife and caterer who is often mocked by her husband and kids for not knowing English. When her niece invites her to her wedding in the US, she joins a conversational English class. The movie was the perfect comeback for Sridevi, who delivered one of the finest performances of her life. The movie is easily one of the best Bollywood movies from the last decade.
Veera is about to be married in no time when she gets kidnapped by Mahavir, a local gangster. However, while being kidnapped, she begins to feel sympathy for Mahavir, and they share their stories with each other, eventually causing Veera to feel more liberated than ever.
Aligarh follows the real life story of Ramchandra Siras, a homosexual professor who worked at Aligarh University. When word gets out about his sexuality, he is forced off of his job and he takes legal recourse. A journalist named Deepu decides to help the professor.
Piku is a young architect who is the primary caregiver for her aging father, Bhashkor Chatterjee. The two embark upon a road trip to Kolkata along with Rana, a man who owns a taxi business who offers to drive the two to Kolkata because none of his drivers want to do the job.
Based on real life events, Raazi follows the story of Sehmat, a young Indian woman who is asked by her father to marry into a politically affluent Pakistani family so she can work as a RAW agent and work for India. Once in Pakistan, things become difficult when Sehmat falls in love with her husband, but must put her country before everything else.
Amrita and Vikram seem to be spending a blissfully married life until one day Vikram slaps Amrita in a moment of heat in front of everyone. While her family expects her to move on from the incident, Amrita cannot, and decides to separate from her husband.
Ashwin is a US return young man who comes back to India because of his ailing brother. Ratna begins to work for Ashwin as a live-in maid, and the two eventually fall in love despite their class difference. However, their relationship is deemed forbidden by society.
Based on the real life story of Independence era writer Saadat Hasan Manto, the movie explores the author’s life through his stories.
A pregnant woman named Vidya Bagchi travels all the way from London to Kolkata to look for her missing husband. When every lead closes in on a dead end, Vidya is convinced there’s more to her husband’s disappearance.
22. My Name is Khan
Rizwan, a muslim man with autism, moves to San Fransisco to live with his brother when his mother dies. Once in the US, Rizwan falls in love with and marries a Hindu woman named Mandira, who has a son named Sam from a previous marriage. The three share a perfect life until everything changes after 9/11 attacks. Despite being a mainstream Bollywood movie, MNIK handled some very delicate issues with much grace, and was a huge success even overseas. It’s a culturally important film, and must be remembered as one of the best Bollywood movies from the last decade.
Rani is a meek, sheltered, good natured girl who is left devastated when her Fiance leaves her just before their wedding. To take back control over her life, Rani decides to go on her pre-booked honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam all on her own.
24. Margarita With a Straw
A feisty young Indian woman, Laila, suffers from cerebral palsy, and despite her family’s reservations, moves to New York for a semester. In the US, Laila falls in love with Khanum, a student activist of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent.
An innocent humanoid alien lands on Earth where his communication device, his “remote”, is stolen. He is helped by Jaggu, an Indian journalist who is heartbroken after her Pakistani boyfriend seemingly leaves her at the altar.
Did you like our list of the best Bollywood movies from the last decade? Comment below to tell us if we missed out your favourite one by any chance!