Bollywood Movies

10 Best Bollywood movies based on true stories: From No One Killed Jessica, Airlift, Neerja to Super 30

November 25, 20236 Mins Read

Few things tug at the audience’s emotions as effectively as real-life stories. The cinematic depiction of actual events has proven to be a winning formula in the film industry. Whether it’s biopics, historical dramas, or tales of crime and war, Bollywood boasts a plethora of outstanding movies catering to diverse tastes. Below is a compilation of some of the finest Bollywood movies based on true stories that deserve a spot on your must-watch list.

10 Hindi movies based on true stories that you must watch

1. The Sky Is Pink (2019)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 33 min
  • IMDB Rating:  7.6/10
  • Movie Genre: Melodrama / Romance
  • Movie Star Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Suresh Saraf
  • Director: Shonali Bose
  • Writer: Juhi Chaturvedi, Shonali Bose
  • Year of release: 2015
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Netflix

The Sky Is Pink is a remarkable real-life story movie that captures the essence of Aisha Chaudhary’s journey, portraying the challenges of severe combined immunodeficiency and pulmonary fibrosis. As one of the best Bollywood movies, it skillfully navigates the intricacies of Aisha’s short yet impactful life, depicting the resilience of her parents and the complexities of their relationship.

2. No One Killed Jessica (2011) 

  • Running Time: 2 hours 16 min
  • IMDB Rating:  7.2 / 10
  • Movie Genre: Thriller/ Crime
  • Movie Star Cast: Vidya Balan, Rani Mukerji, Neil Bhoopalam
  • Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
  • Writer: Rajat Aroraa
  • Year of release: 2011
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Netflix

No movie captures tension and suspense quite like No One Killed Jessica. The challenge of proving that a girl has been shot intensifies when faced with a dozen eyewitnesses, particularly when the perpetrator is the son of an influential politician. The film skillfully conveys the family’s overwhelming helplessness, immersing the audience in the palpable struggle for justice. Starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan, this cinematic masterpiece delves into the real-life tragedy of Jessica Lal’s murder. A powerful and iconic Bollywood movie, it leaves an enduring impact, showcasing the profound storytelling that defines the best in the genre.

3. Gully Boy (2019)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 28 min
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9 /10
  • Movie Genre: Musical / Romance
  • Movie Star Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Varma, Kalki Koechlin
  • Director: Zoya Akhtar
  • Writer: Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar
  • Year of release: 2019
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Amazon Prime

Gully Boy stands as one of the high-rated Bollywood movies, portraying the lives of Naezy and Divine. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, the film, featuring Ranveer Singh as Murad Sheikh, a young talent from Dharavi, received both critical acclaim and commercial success, making it a noteworthy entry in our list of the best movies based on true stories. 

4. Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 18 min
  • IMDB Rating:  8.2 /10
  • Movie Genre: Action / War
  • Movie Star Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam, Paresh Rawal, Mohit Raina, Kirti Kulhari
  • Director: Aditya Dhar
  • Writer: Aditya Dhar
  • Year of release: 2019
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Zee5 

Uri: The Surgical Strike presents a dramatized retelling of the actual events surrounding India’s response to the 2016 Uri attacks. The film, recognized with multiple National Film Awards, received acclaim for the exceptional performances of its cast, including Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam. Definitely one of the best Hindi movies based on true stories!

5. Neerja (2016)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 2 min
  • IMDB Rating:  7.6/10
  • Movie Genre: Thriller / Drama
  • Movie Star Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shekhar Ravjiani, Jim Sarbh
  • Director:  Ram Madhvani
  • Writer: Saiwyn Quadras
  • Year of release: 2016
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Disney+Hotstar

Neerja is one of the best biopic movies in Hindi. It narrates the courageous tale of Neerja Bhanot, a fearless flight attendant who sacrificed her life to safeguard passengers during the 1986 Pan American flight hijacking. This gripping and emotionally charged movie showcases one of actress Sonam Kapoor‘s most outstanding performances in the lead role.

6. Super 30 (2019)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 42 min
  • IMDB Rating:  7.9/10
  • Movie Genre: Drama
  • Movie Star Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi, Amit Sadh
  • Director: Vikas Bahl
  • Writer: Sanjeev Dutta
  • Year of release: 2019
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Disney+Hotstar

The film Super 30 recounts the inspiring story of tutor Anand Kumar, who, through his Super 30 program, successfully guided underprivileged students to clear the JEE exams. Starring Hrithik Roshan, the movie presents Anand Kumar’s journey in a Bollywood-style narrative, adding a touch of drama to the compelling tale of educational empowerment. Undoubtedly, it stands as one of those popular Bollywood movies that can be enjoyed on any given day.

7. Airlift (2016)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 5 min
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Movie Genre: War / Thriller
  • Movie Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli
  • Director: Raja Krishna Menon
  • Writer: Raja Krishna Menon, Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah, Rahul Nangia
  • Year of release: 2014
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: YouTube

Airlift stands out as one of the most compelling true movies brought to life on the silver screen, depicting the 1990 evacuation of Indians residing in Kuwait following Iraq’s invasion. In this gripping film, Akshay Kumar takes on the role of a prosperous businessman whose life takes an unexpected turn in the wake of the invasion. The story unfolds as he endeavors to safeguard his family and fellow countrymen until they successfully reach the safety of India.

8. Chhapaak (2020)

  • Running Time: 2 hours
  • IMDB Rating: 5.4 /10
  • Movie Genre: Drama / Biography
  • Movie Star Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey
  • Director: Meghna Gulzar
  • Writer: Atika Chohan, Meghna Gulzar
  • Year of release: 2020
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Disney+Hotstar

Chhapaak is one of those impactful based-on-real-story movies. This biographical film unfolds the narrative of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, and her determined mission to rehabilitate and seek justice for countless others who have endured similar brutal attacks. Deepika Padukone’s compelling performance in this emotional movie brings to light the harsh realities faced by acid attack survivors in society.

9. Talvar (2015)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 12 min
  • IMDB Rating: 8.1 /10
  • Movie Genre: Thriller / Crime
  • Movie Star Cast: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tabu, Neeraj Kabi, Gajraj Rao
  • Director: Meghna Gulzar
  • Writer: Vishal Bhardwaj
  • Year of release: 2015
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Netflix / Disney+Hotstar

In 2008, the nation was profoundly affected by the shocking double murder case of a teenage girl named Arushi and her domestic help. The accused? Arushi’s parents! However, the question lingers: were they truly guilty? Talvar adeptly captures the tension enveloping the case, skillfully portraying the emotions of every person involved and keeping the audience in suspense with its narrative twists. Undoubtedly, it stands out as one of the finest real-life-based movies in Bollywood.

10. Kesari (2019)

  • Running Time: 2 hours 30 min
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4 /10
  • Movie Genre: Action / War
  • Movie Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra
  • Director: Anurag Singh
  • Writer: Anurag Singh, Girish Kohli
  • Year of release: 2019
  • Where to Watch / OTT Platform: Amazon Prime

Kesari secures its place among the top ten Bollywood movies based on true stories, centering on the legendary Battle of Saragarhi in 1897. This epic tale unfolds as 21 Sikh warriors, led by Akshay Kumar’s character, display extraordinary valor in the face of a massive Pashtun invasion numbering 10,000. The film received widespread acclaim for its compelling narrative and stellar performances, striking a chord with audiences’ patriotic sentiments.

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