Bollywood Movies

10 Best Bollywood Movies Of 2023

January 4, 20248 Mins Read


  • 2023 was a standout year for Bollywood films, offering a diverse range of genres and themes to cater to all viewers.
  • Bollywood movies are gaining popularity among Western audiences due to their ability to tackle social issues while providing entertainment.
  • Each film discussed in the article brings something unique and valuable to the table, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

2023 was a standout year for Bollywood films with a broad range of genres and themes represented in the field, and many that rose to the top as the best of the year. From movies on grand scales with sweeping set pieces and enormous dance numbers, to smaller family dramas with a quieter tone, each movie brings something unique and valuable to the viewer. As with many successful Bollywood films, popular actors provide familiar faces in these films along with newcomers just making their name in the film scene.

In recent years, Bollywood cinema has been getting more popular with Western audiences, and these viewers are coming to appreciate all the films have to offer. Bollywood movies have long been known to deal with issues of class, race, and politics, all while providing fun visuals and compelling interpersonal plots. No matter the film’s story, Bollywood movies always move the audience and leave them with an impactful message by the end of the film.


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10 Dhak Dhak (2023)

Directed by Tarun Dudeja

Sanghi, Shaikh, Lali, and Uzma is Dhak Dhak

An uplifting tale that follows four women in the style of a classic road trip adventure, Dhak Dhak is a film that focuses on the bright spots of life and provides much-needed positivity to the world. Based on a true story, these women attempted to scale the tallest mountain in Ladakh via motorcycle, but it’s the journey to get there that’s the most compelling. It’s easy to spend time with these women as they all give insight into different aspects of life.

Each comes from a different generation and background, but they all share the desire to get a new lease on life with this trip. Initially, the roadblocks they face in trying to set off on the journey are frustrating, but it’s smooth sailing for the narrative once they’ve embarked. Although the film doesn’t delve much deeper than championing feminism and empowerment, it’s still a message that’s worth remembering today.

9 Khufiya (2023)

Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj

Khufiya is a fun and thrilling take on the espionage genre starring Tabu as Krishna Mehra, a spy on the hunt for a double agent. While on this journey, Mehra becomes obsessed with a married couple she suspects of having a hand in illegal activity, and it begins to push her over the edge. It takes some patience to be fully engrossed in Khufiya as the film is paced slowly for the first third, and is over two hours total in length. The full depth and consequences of each character’s actions are not revealed until later in the film, but once everything becomes clear, the payoff and movie are satisfying.

8 Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery (2023)

Directed by Yashowardhan Mishra & Inderjeet Singh

Shashi Ranjan, Govid Pandey, Neha Saraf, and Sanya Malhotra in Kathal

Though satirical, Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery has no trouble providing genuine depth and emotional payoff in the end. When two jackfruit are stolen, Inspector Mahima Basor (Sanya Malhotra) is charged with finding them, but her priorities shift when she discovers that there is also a missing girl who needs to be found. Though a lighthearted premise on paper, Kathal is asking deeper questions about the treatment of women in positions of political power, and the correct use of political power in general. Through the high jinks and sight gags throughout the film, there is a lesson about the importance of fairness within a community.

7 Goldfish (2023)

Directed by Pushan Kripalani

Kalki Koechlin and Deepti Naval in Goldfish

Goldfish is an understated film that focuses on the relationship between a daughter and her mother who has dementia. Anamika (Kalki Koechlin) ran from her mother and her life in their small town many years ago, but she must return to take care of her and come to terms with her feelings about her past. Slow, steady, and poignant, the film doesn’t place blame on either one of them and merely tries to understand where the other is coming from with empathy and understanding. Both actresses shine in the film and make it equal parts heart-warming and heart-wrenching.

6 Mast Mein Rehne Ka (2023)

Directed by Vijay Maurya

Neena Gupta and Jackie Shroff in Mast Mein Rehne Ka

In a delightful story about finding a connection later in life, Mast Mein Rehne Ka follows two older people living on their own who are brought together when both of their homes get robbed. Despite the stolen goods, the robberies are the best thing that could happen to them, as both are lonely and seeking companionship. The film stands out because it doesn’t center on romance as much as it does friendship and finding strength through independence in the process of growing older. Combining both comedy and realism, Mast Mein Rehne Ka makes for a touching film.

5 Farrey (2023)

Directed by Soumendra Padhi

An amazing combination of high school dramatics and high-stakes thrills, Farrey showcases the next generation of up-and-coming Bollywood stars within a compelling story. Niyati (Alizeh Agnihotri) is admitted to an elite school, but coming from a different socio-economic background, she comes into conflict with her rich and popular schoolmates and soon gets embroiled in a scheme of cheating and lies. Although high school antics are at the root of the film, Farrey only uses it as a jumping-off point to explore the rich lives of teenagers and proposes bigger critiques of the unfairness of elite education, and how admissions are rarely a meritocracy.

4 Bheed (2023)

Directed by Anubhav Sinha

Surya and Renu walking in Bheed

Set in the present day, Bheed takes on the issues that emerged during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rajkummar Rao plays Inspector Surya Kumar Singh Tikas, an officer working at a border checkpoint who grapples with the moral implications of keeping people from crossing the border. The film has a broad scope, and introduces the stories of many other characters, making significant points about the fate of people who are kept from their homes during global tragedy. Though the tale is fictional, it draws inspiration from real life, and the lessons can easily be applied to the treatment of people around the world today.

3 12th Fail (2023)

Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Shraddha and Manoj in 12th Fail

12th Fail is a biographical drama and romance about the life of Manoj Kumar Sharma who is played by Vikrant Massey. After being caught cheating on an exam, Manoj turns his life around and studies hard to become an IPS officer. His path is difficult, but he comes to realize that, through perseverance and strength of character, he can achieve anything. All of this is helped by the fact that he falls in love with Shraddha Joshi (Medha Shankar) who is a guiding force in his life as she is a high achiever as well. The film is a compelling portrait of a man’s life and journey to honest success.


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2 Ghoomer (2023)

Directed by R. Balki

Anina and Padam in Ghoomer

Ghoomer is a sports film on paper, with cricket being the driving force behind many of the main character’s decisions, but in reality, the film is about the emotional and personal growth of the people in the film. When Anina (Saiyami Kher) loses her arm in an accident, it cuts short her dreams of being a professional cricket player. However, she finds solace in Padam Singh Sodi (Abhishek Bachchan), who sets her on the path to becoming a great bowler.

Though both characters have tough exteriors and claim to only care about the game, it’s soon obvious that the film is a love letter to the healing powers of sports and the kindness of a mentor figure. Additionally, centering the story of a character with a difference in physical ability, and showing how it makes her stronger in other aspects of her life is a beautiful part of the narrative. Ghoomer shines not only through this story but also through the stirring performances of the two leads.

1 Jawan (2023)

Directed by Atlee

Jawan broke worldwide box office records for Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan’s performance had a lot to do with that. One of the greatest and most popular actors in Bollywood, Khan plays both father and son in the film, allowing him to be in both parts of the dual narrative. With an enormous cast and even bigger set pieces, the scale of the film reflects the star power of Khan, but this does not overshadow the deeper story of political corruption that the film tells. Overall, Jawan is easily the best and most memorable Bollywood film of the year and will stand the test of time within the canon.

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