Bollywood Movies

20 Best Shah Rukh Khan Movies

November 9, 202317 Mins Read


  • Shah Rukh Khan’s movies have reached global audiences, making him a household name and one of the richest actors in the world.
  • Main Hoon Na, Don 2,
    Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
    are considered some of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, blending genres and showcasing his versatility as an actor.
  • Khan’s performances in movies like V
    eer-Zaara, Dear Zindagi,
    Dil Se..
    have been highly praised, earning critical acclaim and recognition for his acting skills.

Shah Rukh Khan, or Shahrukh Khan, is a Bollywood name that is famous not just within the national borders of India, but far and wide, globally, with some of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies being known internationally. It is Khan who took commercial Bollywood cinema to audiences worldwide in the early 1990s and became a household name with his boy-next-door image and innate charisma and flamboyance.

Although typecast as the quintessential romantic hero, Khan started his career as an anti-hero, and a few of his earlier movies that gained him acclaim were those where he played a protagonist. It was the movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge that kicked off his journey as a romantic hero, earning the Bollywood star tags such as “The King of Romance,” making him one of the richest actors in the world, bigger than some of his Hollywood counterparts, and undoubtedly the biggest Indian superstar of his generation. Here are the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, ranked from worst to best.

20 Main Hoon Na (2004)

Shah Rukh Khan in Main Hoon Na.

Main Hoon Na is a Masala film starring Shah Rukh Khan as Major Ram Sharma, a man sent on an undercover mission as a university student to protect a general’s daughter from a rogue soldier. What makes this movie stand out is that it has a little bit of everything, from a high-octane thriller to a high school comedy of errors, to a Bollywood musical.

Amazingly, despite the intense genre-bending throughout, 2004’s Main Hoon Na ended up as another success story for Khan. It was nominated for several awards in 2004, sweeping all six of its nominations at the Global Indian Film Awards. While it’s not the most well-known of his films outside of India, it is still considered by many to be one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies.

19 Don 2 (2011)

Shah Rukh Khan in Don 2

  • Stream now on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Don 2 is a sequel to the 2006 movie Don, where Shah Rukh Khan played both the ruthless drug lord Don and his lookalike Vijay Pal, a man convinced by the DCP to pretend to be Don after the drug lord died in a battle with the police. However, that movie ended with the twist that Don was pretending to be Vijay the entire time and ended up more powerful than ever by the end.

The second movie in the Don franchise has Priyanka Chopra starring as Roma Bhagat, returning from the first movie by joining Interpol to hunt Don down. The movie was a monster success, making over $2 billion at the box office.

18 Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)

Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

  • Stream now on Amazon Prime Video

Shah Rukh Khan starred in the romantic comedy Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in 2008. In the movie, he plays Surinder Sahni, an office employee who marries Taani (Anushka Sharma). Taani and Surinder are nothing alike, but he agrees to the marriage after his former professor — Taani’s father — makes that his last wish on his deathbed.

The two marry, but never fall in love — her being carefree and quite rude, and him being shy and reserved. However, when Surinder creates an alter-ego named Raj Kapoor and cuts loose, they both start to see a new side of each other. The Bollywood comedy Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was a critical success, with praise going to Khan’s ability to transform himself on screen with an amazing performance.

17 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001)

Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

  • Stream now on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham has a wide ensemble cast, and is one of several Shah Rukh Khan movies that don’t solely focus on the Bollywood star. It is a family drama that follows a wealthy family who face troubles when their adopted son marries a woman from a lower economic class. Khan plays Rahul, the adopted son who falls in love with Anjali (Kajol), and the couple has to deal with the fact his family does not accept her thanks to their rigid traditional belief system.

The movie made over $1 billion at the box office and won eight awards at the International Indian Film Academy Awards. Its budget of almost $8.5 million dollars made it the most expensive Bollywood movie at that point. Its success ran outside of India too, and it remains one of the highest-grossing Indian movies today as well as one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies.

16 Jawan (2023)

Shah Rukh Khan starred in the action thriller Jawan in 2023, and like most of the actor’s movies, it was a huge success. It grossed over $140 million as the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 and received positive critical reviews. Khan has two roles in the movie — as father and son doppelgängers. The son, Azad, teams up to tackle corruption by becoming a vigilante and trying to clear his father’s name while also bringing justice to the oppressed by targeting corrupt bureaucrats.

The movie is based on a real-life event where a pediatrician was imprisoned after 60 children died, despite the government being to blame (via India Times). The 2023 Bollywood action movie was released in September 2023, and it’s unknown where and when it will be available for streaming in the US. Shah Rukh Khan’s performance has been a notable highlight among many critical reviews for his performances as both Captain Vikram Rathore and his son Azad.

15 Veer-Zaara (2004)

two characters embracing in Veer Zaara

  • Available To Stream On Amazon Prime Video

Shah Rukh plays Major Veer Pratap Singh, an Indian Air Force officer who falls for a Pakistani girl, Zaara, in this epic romance, and one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, that does its bit to bridge the gulf between the two neighboring countries. Veer and Zaara agree to sacrifice their love, but then Veer is falsely detained as an Indian spy by the machinations of Zaara’s fianceé, which ends in him spending the next 22 years in a Pakistani jail.

Then along comes a young Pakistani lawyer, Samiya, the Amazon Prime Hindi drama, who is assigned Veer’s case and fights tooth and nail for his freedom, in the process uniting him with Zaara who, it turns out, was never married after all. This is probably the only movie that saw Khan playing a young man, as well as an elderly one. The Hindi film was a commercial success, topping the week’s highest-grossing films in India upon its release at the box office.

14 Dear Zindagi (2016)

Two characters riding bikes in Dear Zindagi

  • Available To Stream On Netflix

Dear Zindagi is a drama film, and one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies. It focuses on Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a cinematographer who spirals out after finding that her ex has gotten engaged with another woman. Because of that, she moves back with her parents and lives an unhappy life.

Shah Rukh Khan plays Dr. Jehangir “Jug” Khan in the film, a psychologist who tries to help Kaira. While the actors in the film were received positively by critics, Shah Rukh’s performance as the soft-spoken and controlled psychologist stood out. All in all, the movie was nominated for 14 awards, and though it didn’t win any it still stands out as one of the highlights of Shah Rukh Khan’s extensive filmography.

13 Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na (1994)

Two characters sitting together in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na

  • Available To Stream On Netflix

One of the earlier best Shah Rukh Khan movies, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, sees a good-for-nothing young man, Sunil, in love with Anna (Suchitra Krishnamurthy), who performs with him in a musical band. However, Anna is in love with another friend of theirs, Chris (Deepak Tijori). When Sunil finds out, he leaves no stone unturned to draw Anna away from Chris, which ultimately puts him in Anna’s bad books.

A romantic comedy in which Khan plays a boy with slightly questionable morals who wouldn’t shy away from lying through his teeth if it suited his purpose. The ’90s coming-of-age filmKabhi Haan Kabhi Na isn’t as well known as some of Khan’s other movies, but it remains a fan favorite nonetheless. In addition, the movie won Best Film and Best Actor at the 39th Filmfare Awards.

12 Darr (1993)

Darr movie poster featuring Shah Rukh Khan

  • Available to Rent on Apple TV+

The movie that was Khan’s big break was Darr, and it remains one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies. In the film, he plays an unstable and dangerous young man, Rahul, who becomes obsessed with a young woman, Kiran (Juhi Chawla), going to the extent of stalking her and trying to eliminate her fianceé so that he can have her for himself.

Khan earned a lot of praise for his portrayal of the deplorable character, with some of his mannerisms as Rahul becoming as famous as the star himself. The Amazon Prime Hindi movie was nominated for nine awards, winning three at the National Film Awards and the Filmfare Awards.

11 Dil Se.. (1998)

Two characters embracing in Dil se

  • Available To Stream On Netflix

By far one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, the romantic thriller film Dil Se.. features the tragic love story of Amar, a news radio producer, and Meghna (Manisha Koirala), a mysterious woman he meets at a train station. After being left and rejected by Meghna, Amar meets and considers marrying another girl named Preeti (Preity Zinta).

Dil Se.. has received international acclaim for touching on political events and featuring a sad ending. Shah Rukh’s performance in the film has also been praised, as he was able to excellently portray a torn, but heroic, character. The movie was celebrated among critics, winning accolades at the 49th Berlinale, 46th National Film Awards, 44th Filmfare Awards, and Screen Awards.

10 Baazigar (1993)

A bloody Khan in Baazigar

  • Available To Rent On Amazon Prime Video

A powerful revenge drama movie and one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, Baazigar tells the story of Ajay Sharma, whose father (Anant Mahadevan) had been betrayed by Madan Chopra (Dalip Tahil), a lowly employee who ousted Sharma’s dad and took possession of his burgeoning empire, eventually becoming a wealthy business tycoon. Ajay’s dad passed away from the shock, and he and his widowed mother were forced into poverty thereafter. Ajay grows close to Chopra’s older daughter, Seema (Shilpa Shetty), who he ends up killing to set the ball rolling for his elaborate charade.

He then changes his name and seduces Chopra’s younger daughter, Priya (Kajol), who immediately falls for him and he with her. However, he continues to win over Madan Chopra, who remains blissfully unaware of his real identity, his endgame being to take back everything his father had lost all those years ago. Khan plays a cold-blooded killer in the horror movie, in another anti-hero role after the film, Darr. All in all, Baazigar ended up garnering critical acclaim and won four awards, including Best Actor for Khan, at the 39th Filmfare awards.

9 Fan (2016)

Shah Rukh Khan screaming in Fan (2016)

  • Available To Stream On Amazon Prime Video

The 2016 Hindi action/thriller Fan is definitively one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies. Khan himself actually plays two parts in the film, that of the Bollywood star Aryan Khanna and an overly obsessed fan, Gaurav Chandna, who ironically looks exactly like him. Gaurav wins a lookalike contest and wants to bring his award to impress Aryan, but gets sidetracked when a rival actor makes disparaging comments about Aryan to the press. Gaurav ends up beating the actor and making him apologize on camera to Aryan.

Understandably horrified, Aryan has Guarav arrested and even visits him in jail to tell him he was behind the arrest in a scene where his double casting (Mia Goth-style) works insanely well. From that point on, Guarav seeks revenge against Aryan, using his uncanny appearance to ruin the Bollywood star’s life. To say that Khan carries the movie is an understatement, and his performance has been lauded by critics and audiences alike. The harrowing tale was nominated for a staggering 20 awards.

8 Hey Ram (2000)

Hey Ram poster featuring Shah Rukh Khan

  • Available To Stream On Eros Now

Hey Ram is one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies and his first foray into Tamil cinema. While he didn’t snag the main role, Shah Rukh still stole the scenes he was in. The movie is about Ram, an archaeologist who loses his wife after being trapped in the riots in Calcutta. Driven by revenge, Ram decides that Mahatma Gandhi is responsible for the crises faced by his country and makes it his mission to kill the religious figure.

The movie received rave reviews from critics thanks to its magnificent costumes, stellar performances, and highly choreographed scenes, and won six awards. It also marks one of the most serious roles of Shah Rukh Khan’s earlier career, and is definitely a world away from the romantic Bollywood comedies he eventually became mostly known for.

7 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Two characters in a meadow in DDLJ

  • Available To Stream On Amazon Prime Video

Phenomenally popular and possibly the most beloved of Shah Rukh’s movies is this simple love story of two second-generation Indians born and brought up in England. One of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, the ’90s romance film was released globally and became one of the first to sweep worldwide audiences off their feet. The movie won a whopping 14 awards, including two Best Actor awards for Khan.

The story of Raj and Simran (Kajol) continues to enthrall viewers even today, and it has the added distinction of being the longest-running movie in India, having run for over 25 years with a single show in a specific theatre in Mumbai. The ’90s romance film DDLJ (as it is known by fans all over the world) came as a breath of fresh air, for the first time focusing on non-resident Indians as the central protagonists.

6 Swades (2004)

The cast of Swades sitting on a boat

  • Available To Stream On Netflix

One of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, Swades tells the story of a young NASA scientist named Mohan Bhargav, who pays his elderly nanny a visit in a tiny village in India, and whose life changes when he realizes that his talents are needed much more in his homeland than abroad.

Mohan is deeply moved by the way of life in the rural community and comes up with the idea of building a hydroelectric power plant, so the village can have its own supply of electricity. A Bollywood film that deserves a Hollywood adaptation, the movie earned tremendous critical acclaim and remains the crowning glory of Shah Rukh’s career, even today. Khan got three Best Actor awards out of Swades, and the film itself won 14 awards in total.

5 My Name Is Khan (2010)

Shah Rukh Khan staring in MNIK

  • Available To Rent On Apple TV

Another critically acclaimed movie and one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, My Name Is Khan narrated the tale of an autistic man, Rizwan Khan, caught in the aftereffects of the horrific tragedy of the Twin Towers. Rizwan is married to a Hindu woman, Mandira (Kajol), whose son from her previous marriage gets brutally beaten in a football field for having a Muslim father.

The young boy dies from his internal injuries and Mandira is devastated, even blaming her husband for being indirectly responsible for her son’s shocking death. Rizwan then sets off to meet the President of the United States to inform him that he might be a Muslim, but that doesn’t make him a terrorist. The movie stands as one of Shah Rukh’s best performances, deviating from his popular “lover boy” image, and caught the attention of critics after Khan won four Best Actor awards, with the film receiving 25 awards in total.

4 Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)

Shah Rukh Khan with his arms out in Kal Ho Na Ho

  • Available To Stream On Netflix And Amazon Prime Video

Kal Ho Na Ho is one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies not because of the actor’s comedy performance, but because he gets to show his talents at tragic drama. In the film, the sprightly Aman falls in love with a young woman, Naina (Preity Zinta), but he cannot tell her how he feels, knowing well that he might die soon, as he suffers from a severe heart condition. He then puts all his energy into bringing Naina together with Rohit (Saif Ali Khan), a friend of hers who is also in love with her.

In the heavily emotional movie, Naina eventually gets married to Rohit, and Aman passes away, at peace that Naina is with someone who will care for her and make her happy. The movie didn’t leave any dry eyes when it was released in theaters almost two decades ago. Khan was praised for his heart-wrenching performance, and while he was nominated for a litany of Best Actor awards, he didn’t win any. However, the Hindi romance film won 35 awards in total, and it was a different sort of role for Khan.

3 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Shah Rukh Khan and the cast of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

  • Available To Stream On Netflix And Amazon Prime Video

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is the fourth film that features the popular on-screen couple Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. One of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, the Bollywood musical romance is about Rahul and Anjali, a pair of college best friends who part ways after Rahul falls in love and gets married to another woman (Tin Malhotra, played by Rani Mukherji).

Rahul’s wife dies in the film and leaves him with their daughter, Anjali (Sana Saeed). Anjali learns that she’s named after her father’s college best friend, and makes it her mission to bring them together. The film was adored by critics for its choreography and good on-screen chemistry and won three Best Actor accolades for Khan and 35 awards overall.

2 Chak De! India (2007)

Shah Rukh Khan coaching hockey in Chak de India

  • Available To Stream On Prime Video

In one of the best Shah Rukh Khan movies, Kabir Khan — the former captain of the Indian National Men’s Hockey Team — joins the National Women’s team as a coach. The latter had been neglected over the years in favor of the men’s team, and it is Kabir’s intention to build the team from the ground up, in the process also winning back his lost glory. He is a harsh taskmaster and soon turns the girls against him.

However, his tough ways also sowed the seeds of motivation in a team that had been experiencing a slump. Eventually, coaching with an iron fist pays off, as the rag-tag team makes the Women’s Hockey World Cup, and goes on to win it after starting out as the underdogs. Kabir is also finally able to restore his tarnished reputation and stays quietly in the background, his job done. A sort of Hindi A League of Their Own, Chak De! India was heavily praised by critics, receiving 72 award nominations and winning 43, including six Best Actor accolades for Khan’s impressive performance.

1 Devdas (2002)

Two characters smiling in Devdas

  • Available To Stream On Kanopy

Devdas is a timeless love story based on the work of an Indian author, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Devdas follows the titular character who becomes dependent on alcohol after he experiences heartbreak when his childhood friend and the woman he loves, Paro (Aishwarya Rai), is married to another because of major class differences between their two families.

Devdas finds solace in alcohol, but he also regularly visits Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit), a professional dancer who begins to fall in love with him. Ultimately, Devdas meets a tragic end, making for a romantic movie with a tragic ending that is nonetheless worthy of a watch. The film was the highest-grossing Indian movie of the year thanks to Shah Rukh Khan‘s devastating performance, the film’s complex characters, and received international acclaim. All in all, Devdas garnered 106 award nominations and 69 wins, including six Best Actor accolades for Shah Rukh Khan.

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