Bollywood Movies

20 Best Bollywood Movies on Netflix

February 4, 202415 Mins Read

Since its inception in the early-20th Century, Bollywood has gradually evolved into one of the world’s largest film industries. The 1990s marked a surge in the global reach of Bollywood films, with movies such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and Lagaan (2000) receiving widespread acclaim. In this present era, Bollywood sustains its universal appeal by delivering entertaining movies, all made accessible through popular streaming platforms like Prime Video, Max, and especially Netflix.

There are hundreds of Bollywood movies on Netflix, ranging from horror to drama and, of course, comedy to romance, all of which cater to different tastes. While this list may not capture everyone’s favorite Bollywood movies on the platform, it inherently serves as a solid starting point for enthusiasts and for Bollywood beginners alike to explore both timeless classic and recent releases of exceptional quality. Here are 20 of the finest Bollywood movies on Netflix that you definitely shouldn’t miss.

20 Qala (2022)

Qala is a 2022 Netflix original psychological drama about the fraught relationship between a mother and daughter. Written and directed by Anvita Dutt, the story follows the titular Qala (Tripti Dimri), who’s a singer rising up the ranks in the music industry. However, she suffers from crippling self-doubt, spurred by the pressures of the industry and, more than anything, her domineering mother, Urmila (Swastika Mukherjee).

What Makes It Great

Qala is easily one of the most visually striking films on this list, which is saying something considering Bollywood’s reputation for spectacle. And yet, there’s an interesting contrast to how poignant and painful it is to watch Qala push through her inner demons in order to fulfill her dreams. Dimri and Mukherjee turn in fantastic performances, and the film as a whole is lifted by its phenomenal soundtrack.

19 Mimi (2021)

Directed by Laxman Utekar, this Bollywood comedy features Kriti Sanon in the titular role, as a young aspiring actress who reluctantly becomes a surrogate mother for an American couple. The plot takes a twist when they decide against proceeding with the pregnancy, leaving Mimi in a challenging situation.

What Makes It Great

Mimi goes beyond mere humor to serve social commentary about issues of surrogacy, adding emotional depth for ultimate resonance. For its engaging storyline, relevant themes, superb dialogues, and strong performances, the film has received positive reviews, with many commending Sanon for her compelling performance. Aside from its noteworthy performances and deep messages, it also delivers melodious and soulful music to enhance the overall viewing experience.

18 Asoka (2001)

Celebrated as a legendary 2000s Bollywood movie, Asoka draws inspiration from the history of Emperor Asoka, the heir to the throne of the Maurya Empire. The plot traces the journey of this ambitious young prince, from a fierce conqueror to a peaceful monarch, and chronicles his love story with Princess Kalinga.

What Makes It Great

Asoka stands as a perfect example of a Bollywood movie that offers more than song and dance. Boasting elaborate costumes, captivating visuals, powerful performances, and a romantic story steeped in historical richness, the film encompasses all the elements of an engaging historical spectacle. Director Santosh Sivan’s vivid vision plays a pivotal role in crafting a well-layered and visually stunning movie. Through its cinematography, the movie breathes life into 3rd-Century India, capturing its beauty and essence. The impeccable performances of the actors contribute significantly to the film’s legendary status.

17 OMG 2 (2023)

Similarly to other film industries, Bollywood is evolving to address contemporary issues. In OMG 2, issues of sex education and societal hypocrisy are explored through the story of Kanti, a civilian who takes his son’s school to court after his son is expelled for engaging in self-gratifying sexual activity that went viral.

What Makes It Great

On the surface, OMG 2 may seem like any other light-hearted Netflix court drama, but, underneath, it’s all about highlighting the importance of sex education and the roles parents and social institutions must play in facilitating it. Thanks to the exceptional performances of Pankaj Tripathi, Akshay Kumar, and the rest of the cast, the movie manages to get its message across while keeping things entertaining. With a mix of emotional, thoughtful, and humorous scenes, anchored by powerful dialogue, this film will leave many in awe, in tears, and, of course, in fits of laughter.

16 Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue (2023)

With Akshay Kumar in the lead role as Jaswant Sing Gill, Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue presents a captivating portrayal of the 1989 Raniganj coal mine disaster. Filled with suspense and emotional resonance, this film chronicles Jaswan’s heroic mission of rescuing 65 trapped miners.

What Makes It Great

This Bollywood movie’s greatness lies in its inspirational tale about the indomitable spirit of humanity, with stellar performances by Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, and Ravi Kishan enhancing its entertainment value. The film maintains a tense atmosphere and intriguing plot throughout as characters race against time to save lives. The blend of action, history, tension, and drama ensures an engaging viewing experience, making it a must-watch on Netflix, particularly for lovers of thriller stories based on true events.

Related: Best Bollywood Movies to Watch in the Summer

15 Barfi (2012)

Set in the 1970s picturesque town of Darjeeling, this heartwarming story revolves around Barfi, a carefree and spirited young man, who leads a joyful life despite being deaf and mute. His life takes an interesting turn when he forms a close bond with the beautiful Shruti, even though she’s engaged.

What Makes It Great

Barfi distinguishes itself from other Bollywood titles on Netflix with its heartwarming narrative about friendship, love, and acceptance. It will undoubtedly resonate with any Netflix user who appreciates such soul-stirring themes. The film has received accolades for its touching story, engaging characters, and its skillful fusion of drama, humor, and romance. Even after a decade since its release, many continue to hail Barfi as a masterpiece in Indian cinema.

14 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a classic Bollywood movie about love, second chances, friendship, and the profound bond between parent and child. This romantic drama has achieved immense popularity and is considered a quintessential film for any cinephile. Even the songs on the official soundtrack have become massive hits.

What Makes It Great

Director Karan Johar employs vibrant colors, masterful storytelling, and a strong focus on emotions to create a movie that has captured the emotions of audiences across generations and remains a beloved film in cinema. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Rani Mukerj, the movie’s love triangle and electrifying chemistry between characters add to the film’s intensity and impact.

13 Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Jodhaa Akbar is a historical epic that revolves around the love story between Akbar, the Mughal Emperor, and Jodha Bai, a Rajput princess. Hithrik Roshan takes on the role of Akbhar, while Aishwarya Rai portrays the Rajput princess. Against the backdrop of political intrigues, religious clashes, and cultural differences, their love evolves into a formidable one.

What Makes It Great

With elaborate costumes, lavish set designs, powerful performances, and well-choreographed battle scenes, director Ashutosh Gowariker crafts a vivid portrayal of the 16th-Century Mugal era. At the heart of the story is the beautiful relationship between the royal couple, with Rai and Roshan delivering outstanding performances, supported by a talented ensemble cast.

12 Don 2 (2011)

Farhan Aktar’s action thriller, Don 2, serves as a contemporary remake of the 1978 movie of the same name and the sequel to the 2006 film, Don. Picking off where the first film left off, Don 2 follows as the titular character now rules the Asian drug cartel, relentlessly trying to expand his empire while the police officer, Roma, is still hot on his trail.

What Makes It Great

Don 2 is considered one of the most successful Bollywood action movies ever made. Renowned for its sleek action sequences, global locales, and well-crafted screenplay, the film showcases Shah Rukh Khan in a compelling portrayal of the intriguing antihero, Don. His performance adds a layer of excitement and depth to the storyline, while Priyanka Chopra also performs superbly.

11 The White Tiger (2021)

Adapted from Aravind Adiga’s bestselling novel of the same name, this Netflix original movie tells the story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), a poor driver from a rural village in India, who rises to become a successful entrepreneur. Through Balram’s journey, the film explores the themes of social inequality, corruption, and the ruthless pursuit of success in contemporary India.

What Makes It Great

The White Tiger‘s success lies in its one-of-a-kind and potent storytelling, bolstered by outstanding performances from a skilled cast. Addressing universal themes and pressing social issues, it earned widespread acclaim on Netflix, emerging as one of the top movies on the platform in over 60 countries. Gourav’s performance was widely praised, earning him recognitions at many award ceremonies, and director Ramin Bahrani was also commended for bringing such a compelling story to a broad audience.

10 Jaane Jaan (2023)

This suspense thriller is undeniably one of the best Indian movies on Netflix in 2023. The plot follows as a single mother and her daughter commit a crime, and their genius neighbor steps in to cover it up as the police investigation into the murder intensifies.

What Makes It Great

Jaane Jaan unfolds in a tense and suspenseful atmosphere, pulling audiences into the creepy and dark world of the characters and keeping them on the edge of their seats. Kareena Kapoor yet again showcases her acting prowess, reaffirming her status as one of the best Bollywood actresses to grace the screen. Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Verma equally deliver powerful performances, with Ahlawat being the brightest of them all.

Related: 10 Supenseful Bollywood Action Movies

9 Kahbi Khush Kabhie Gham (2001)

Known for its star-studded cast, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham revolves around the Raichand family, with Rohan trying to reunite his fractured family and restore the happiness and love that once defined their bond. Over 22 years after its release, this quintessential family drama continues to hold its place as one of the finest and most popular films of the Bollywood industry.

What Makes It Great

When it comes to stories about the enduring power of love and familial relationships, Bollywood excels in crafting narratives that linger. Kahbi Khush Kahbie Gham is a prime example. Even if the heartwarming story, funny and emotional scenes, and touching performances fade from memory, the soul-stirring, memorable songs are there to remind many of the timeless beauty of this movie produced by Yash Johar and directed by Karan Johar.

8 Mrs Chatterjee Vs. Norway (2023)

Inspired by a real-life story, Mrs. Chatterjee Vs. Norway chronicles the relentlessness of Debika to win back the custody of her children after they are taken away by Norwegian children’s welfare services, which deems her unfit to care for her kids. A riveting emotional journey, this 2023 Netflix films captured audiences from start to finish.

What Makes It Great

Rani Mukerji, a revered Bollywood actress, delivers a career-best performance here. Mrs Chatterjee Vs. Norway is a compelling and emotionally charged film about the perseverance of a mother and her unwavering love for her children. The director does a great job shedding light on stories that are often overlooked by bringing to the forefront the challenges faced by immigrant mothers and other crucial issues surrounding policies and the legal system.

7 Haider (2014)

Haider stands tall amongst the top Bollywood films on Netflix, offering a treat for those who appreciate crime dramas and masterful international adaptations of William Shakespeare’s works. Against the backdrop of the Kashmir conflict during the mid-1990s, this story revolves around a young man who returns home to discover that his father is missing. His quest to find his father leads him into a web of political intrigue and tragedy.

What Makes It Great

Haider is undeniably a finely crafted adaptation that cleverly weaves Hamlet’s story into a human tragedy within the Kashmir conflict, creating an unforgettable and impactful movie. Its gripping and intense drama, set in a volatile and conflicted setting of Kashmir, holds viewers captive until the end. The film has garnered praise for great performances by Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, and others, along with its atmospheric cinematography and strong screenplay.

6 PK (2014)

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Aamir Khan in the lead role, PK is a satirical comedy that follows the story of an alien called PK, who lands on earth and embarks on a quest to understand human beliefs in hopes of finding answers surrounding God’s existence.

What Makes It Great

PK cleverly employs humor to deliver strong messages about blind faith, superstition, and religious practices, resulting in a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Khan’s outstanding portrayal of PK, characterized by childlike innocence and profound curiosity, has a way of making viewers empathize with his perspective. Emotion, drama, and comedy, PK has everything to make for a brilliant and entertaining watch. Thus, it’s no surprise it is often hailed as a definitive Bollywood classic.

5 Guru (2007)

In Guru, Abhishek Bachchan plays an ambitious young man who hails from a modest family and works tirelessly to establish his own business in India. Aishwarya Rai plays his doting wife, who steadfastly stands by him through the hurdles and financial setbacks he encounters. Loosely based on a real-life success story, this movie will resonate with anyone who enjoys watching biographical dramas on Netflix.

What Makes It Great

Guru is a typical rags-to-riches storyline, made exceptional by great directing, a great screenplay, striking cinematography, and impeccable characterization. The central themes of determination, resilience, and the power of the human spirit make Guru such an inspirational film. It’s just the perfect choice for anyone looking for motivation in their lives.

4 Like Stars on Earth (2007)

Also known as Taare Zameen Par, Like Stars on Earth is a heartwarming and inspirational tale that emphasizes the transformative power of a caring teacher-student relationship. It follows Ishaan, a creative young boy misunderstood by his parents and teachers, who perceive him as lazy and disobedient. However, with the help of an unconventional art teacher, his talents are unlocked gradually.

What Makes It Great

Like Stars on Earth is an emotionally powerful film that distinguishes itself from other Bollywood movies with a poignant story that sheds light on dyslexia. It ranks among the highest-rated Bollywood movies, both on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, alongside movies like Three Idiots and Slumdog Millionaire. It partly owes its success to the outstanding performances of Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary. Their nuanced portrayals elevate the movie, making it not just a brilliant cinematic piece, but a captivating roller coaster of emotions.

3 Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022)

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansaali and produced by Bhansaali Saab, this biographical crime drama stars Alia Bahatt in the titular role as Kathiawadi, a young girl sold into sex slavery, tracing her eventual rise into one of the most powerful figures in a world where she was once a pawn.

What Makes It Great

In Gangubai Kathiawadi, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali weaves a powerful and poignant narrative elevated by the magnificent performance of Bhatt as the titular character. As viewers witness Kathiawadi’s evolution into a powerful woman, it becomes impossible not to root for her. The cinematography and music enhance the film’s beauty and essence, solidifying its status as one of the best Indian films on Netflix.

2 Bulbbul (2020)

With its story set in 1881, in a fictional village of Bengal where men are mysteriously killed, Bulbbul plunges viewers into a tale of horror, mystery, and so much more than the mind can imagine. The story is told through the titular Bulbbul’s perspective, delving into her journey from childhood to adulthood and the traumatic events that have shaped her along the way.

What Makes it Great

Bulbbul weaves a dark and atmospheric tale, using horror as a tool to highlight the oppression faced by women, as well as their resilient spirit in the face of it. The Bollywood films earned acclaim for its fresh approach to the horror genre. The film will be loved by anyone who appreciates horror tales rooted in folklore and enriched by cultural and societal context.

1 Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zahn, and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles, Kal Ho Naa Ho tells the story of Aman, a terminally ill man, who spreads joy and happiness despite his grim circumstances. The plot brings tears to the eyes as Aman befriends his neighbors, introducing the transformative effect of his infectious kindness to their lives and the pain of losing him.

What Makes It Great

This Bollywood film isn’t just a romantic drama, it is an exciting yet heartbreaking movie that profoundly affects anyone watching. Timeless yet sentimental, it stands as one of those movies that can be watched anytime without losing its charm. With a combination of powerful performances, memorable music, an emotional storyline, and Nikhil Advani’s expert direction, Kal Ho Naa Ho is an unforgettable Indian movie that shouldn’t be missed by Netflix subscribers. The inclusion of an iconic soundtrack further enhances its lasting appeal.

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