What are some Indian movies which every Indian must watch?

Swades – Hands down!

Swades is a story of an NRI, Mohan Bhargav, played by Shahrukh Khan, who works at NASA and belongs to the horde of people chasing the ‘American Dream’. He comes to India in search of his godmother Kaveri amma, who raised him, so that he may now take care of her at US.

He meets feisty Geeta played by Gayatri Joshi and her chubby brother Chiku who stay with Kaveri amma. Initial encounters eventually leads to blossoming of love between the two protagonists. Here lies the catch; Mohan though loves his motherland, he can't stand hypocrisy within the new arrived India. He believes that keeping on harping about the Indian culture and values etc will not take us anywhere. He insists on removing these shackles and improving our lives further.

While the viewers are engaged in the drama, there is subtle humour interspersed everywhere. Rural India has been shown like never before; poor yet confident; dark yet shining with dreams.

The contrast has been shown very well. Mohan comes as an amiable but restrained guy. How his stay changes his views forms the rest of the story. The best part being, absence of patriotic dialogues at the end. The director saved us from any over the top melodrama. Gayatri Joshi suits her role. She plays the educated village girl wanting to change the village for better and overcome the obstacles in people’s minds with poise. She represents the educated Indian youth, wanting to make a difference at the grassroots level.

Nowhere has the director overdone. The movie comes as a whiff of fresh air amid the same old rut. No wonder it has imbued rating 8.3

Go watch it today.

19 Replies to “What are some Indian movies which every Indian must watch?”

  1. The question can be interpreted in many ways there are hundreds of great films made in India every year but, as it's mentioned in the question every indian must watch I'm mentioning the names of thr movies which has something to do with Indian history or any relationship about life in India

    1. Jodhaa Akbar

    Jodhaa Akbar is a big Bollywood blockbuster of a film; it swept all the awards the year it was released. It’s about the relationship between India’s Mughal Emperor Akbar, who was of course Muslim, and his Rajput-Hindu wife Jodhaaa. It stars the impossibly good looking on-screen couple Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan. Jodhaa Akbar, set in the 16th century, is a sweeping historical saga dripping with romance, intrigue and absolutely fabulous REAL jewelry. A very satisfying film experience

    2. Oh My God

    More such movies that target the religious sentiments of the audience shall be made. One side where the country is trying to move towards development, religious grounds are somewhere and somehow holding it. One great takeaway from KanjiMehta's character is his belief in the God and not His Godmen.

    3. Swades

    No matter where you go, No matter how rich one gets, one will never forget the fragrance of their own nation. Mohan, who works in NASA decides to return to india for his nanny where he finds problems faced by villages in india. The story develops as he drops his post in NASA for the welfare of villages. The movie will grow a seed in you, of social change you can bring.

    4. Rang de basanti

    Jump ahead to modern India. A British woman whose grandfather was a police officer in India in the 1920s travels to Delhi to make a film based on his diaries and about his involvement with the famous freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad (played by Aamir Khan) and their contemporaries. She meets a group of young people with no political convictions, but after she casts them in the documentary to play the freedom fighters, and one of their circle dies because of political corruption, they become activists. When I was in India the first time, in 2006, Rang de Basantiwas a huge hit, and it galvanized a lot of young people to take action. In fact, they copied the candle-lit, India Gate sit-in from the film. With this film, you’ll learn a lot about both the early days of the freedom struggle and modern-day India.

    5. GANDHI

    Can’t have a list of films about India without the epic Gandhi figuring prominently. Directed by David Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, it swept the Oscars in 1982. It’s a historical, biographical, cultural epic and an acting tour de force. There’s really no point in reviewing it; everyone has seen it; it’s about the greatest figure of the 20th century (in my opinion) and one of the most incredible stories in history — and Ben Kingsley pulled it off. I love that scene when John Gielgud as Lord Irwin says, “You mean he wants us to just walk out of India?” Yes. Yes he does. And they did. Freeing 350 million people. Incredible.

    6. Lagaan

    Lagaan means “tax” — the tax paid by Indian subjects to their British overlords; and the film Lagaan, set during the Victorian era, is about a tax revolt by overburdened villagers. The tax revolt crisis leads to a cricket match challenge between the villagers, who have never played the game before — led by Aamir Khan, in the role that propelled him to stardom — and the British. It’s a feel-good movie on a grand scale about national pride. Made by the same director as Jodhaa Akbar, Ashutosh Gowariker, but earlier in his career. It’s great to watch post-colonial people taking pride in their culture and history, even if it means playing up stereotypes and formulaic plot lines. Aamir Khan is awesome. As usual.

    7. Black

    Trapped in her inability to see, hear and express, Michelle Mcnally, triumphs over all her challenges and fulfils all her dreams. The film draws inspiration from Helen Keller's life and struggle. This is a must see movie which definitely will motivate you to follow your dreams.

  2. Since most of the answers are based on the movies which were released somewhat after 2000s, I would like to take the viewers to the Golden Period of Hindi Cinema when we had the likes of directors including Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Gulzar.

    1. Satyakam

    This movie is considered as one of the finest in the history of Hindi Cinema. Added to this, Satyakam is considered as Dharmendra’s finest acting performance of his career and Hrishikesh Mukherjee names this film as his favourite film. This speaks volumes of the film considering that the renowned director has made several memorable movies like Anand, Bawarchi, Guddi, Anupama, Chupke Chupke and Golmaal.

    Dharmendra was so delighted with the surge in his reputation after Anupama that he brought Hrishikesh, Sharmila Tagore and himself together again for his first home production, Satyakam. And Hrishida proved willing to go experimental and showcase a staunchly principled hero who refuses all bribes, temptations and compromises but eventually loses his life when pitted against the corrupt forces ranged against him. Satyakam did not win Dharamendra any major award, but it remains his self-avowed best performance till date. He is palpably earnest in this biographical sketch of a man committed to the truth — even when he has to pay a heavy price for it. The death scene of Satyapriya Acharya (Dharmendra) still gives me goosebumps.

    Just look at the expressions of Dharmendra!!!

    The two eternal superstars of Bollywood!

    The death scene………

    If I will write more about the film, it would take away from the pleasure of you viewing it. Such is the sweetness of this family drama, much unlike some of the fake films that would follow.

    This movie didn’t work well at the box office since Satyakam is considered as way ahead of it’s time. HrishiDa was so upset after it’s failure that he turned down from making such classic movies in the future.

    2. Anupama

    Hindi films have almost mythologised the mother-son bond. Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anupama is that rare film about a hopelessly fractured father-daughter relationship. Mukherjee's cinema appeals to me primarily because of its genteel, literate aura. Nowhere is it more apparent than Anupama, about the emotionally complicated lives of the rich, without brash colour or superficial gloss.

    Anupama concentrates on making delicate observations on human pain and channelising them into a satisfyingly complex vision, lined with gentle mocking humour, courtesy David and Rajinder Singh Bedi's noteworthy dialogue.

    Sharmila Tagore plays Uma, a painfully shy girl leading a hermetically sealed existence with her rich and imperious father, Sharma (Tarun Bose). Uma has a troubled relationship with Sharma who can't disentangle the strands of love (implicit and unexpressed) and resentment (expressed and manifest) that bind him to his daughter.

    Guilt-laden Uma too blames herself for her mother's death and grows up with self-repression as her only defence against her father's transference of his anger on her. He can bear to look at her only when he's drunk. This drinking takes its toll on his health. Just when Uma's match is being fixed up with Arun (Deven Varma), he has to move to Mahableshwar for his health.

    Arun also follows them to Mahableshwar. Along with Arun comes his poor-and-principled school teacher friend Ashok (Dharmendra) and his family. Sharma's friend's easygoing relationship with his full-of-beans daughter Annie (Shashikala) marks a stark contrast to Sharma's knotty relationship with his daughter.

    Ashok who understands Uma perfectly has finished his novel Anupama, an eloquent word portrait of Uma's soul. Through Annie's matchmaking abilities, he finally tells her "Meri Anupama aap hain."

    Swinging between self-effacement and self-assertion, Uma has to make the most important decision of her life. But reading Ashok's novel gives her the courage. The film marks a coming to terms for not only Uma; but also for her father. The heartbreaking last shot of the film shows him at the station tearfully watching her leave from behind a pillar, finally having made peace with his demons.

    The movie not only explores the soft corner of “he-man” Dharmendra but also shows the “glamorous girl”Sharmila Tagore in rather simple but heart touching way.

    Dharmendra makes you wish he had done more such roles. His portrayal of sincerity does not strike a single false note and helps the film retain an emotional authenticity.

    3. Teesri Kasam

    Simplicity seldom flowed so poetically on the celluloid. “Teesri Kasam” continues to behold for its sensitive portrayal of human relations. Based on Phanishwar Nath Renu’s short story “Mare Gaye Gulfam”, it is also one of the tragic ironies of Indian cinema that a film like “Teesri Kasam” sank without a trace at the box office indirectly leading to the demise of its producer, lyricist Shailendra because of the financial mess caused by the failure of the film.

    One of the products of IPTA, Shankardas Kesrilal Shailendra was well aware of the problems of the common man in rural India. His songs were a rare combination of sense and simplicity. He had a song for every occasion. Perhaps that’s why Gulzar rates him as the best lyricist of his times. He understood that cinema is not the ground to show your literary genius.

    Here you have to adapt to the demands of the scripts and then experiment with what you have got. “Sajan Re Jhooth Mat Bolo, Khuda Ke Paas Jaana Hai, Na Haathi Hai Na Ghoda Hai, Wahan Paidal Hi Jaana Hai” is an example of how understated a melody with message could be. And a few reels later he comes with a coquettish composition “Paan Khaye Saiyan Hamar, Saanwali Surat Pe Honth Lal Lal” that effortlessly explain the nautanki culture prevalent in the cow belt. The film is an extraordinary example of the much clichéd expression – songs taking the narrative forward.

    It is said that Raj Kapoor charged only one rupee from his close friend and advised him to bring in some commercial element to the heart breaking story. However, Shailendra didn’t budge and went on to make the film the way he wanted – a far cry from the colourful melodramas that were prevalent in the ‘60s. He wanted to shoot the film in Terai area of Bihar but the stories of dacoits and robberies in the region forced him to shoot the film at Igatpuri near Nasik. He brought in Basu Bhattacharya to helm the project. Bhattacharya, who had assisted Bimal Roy (here Basu Chatterjee was an assistant director), filled the film with emotional realism, something he exploited with élan later in films like “Anubhav” and “Avishkar”. But none could match the freshness of “Teesri Kasam”.

    4. Bandini

    Bandini is a 1963 Hindi film directed by Bimal Roy. It is based on a Bengali novel Tamasi written by Charu Chandra Chakraborty. A female centric film, a rarity then and even now, Bandini tells the story of a female prisoner, her suffering and sacrifice. Bandini is considered the best film made by Bimal Roy and one of the crowning achievements of the Indian Cinema.

    Bandini has been called Bimal Roy’s ode to purity, the most striking aspect of the film being its simplicity. It also stands apart in being a woman-centric film an industry which has traditionally been the playground of heroes (and anti-heroes). It does so without putting women on a higher pedestal, Kalyani (Nutan) is not just condemned guilty but she is an actual convict and the film make no effort to clear her of her crime. Roy’s love for realism is reflected in the characterization of the protagonists. Be it the gentle and innocent Kalyani, serving her term in the jail, or the two men in her life; they are real people and not caricatures of how they should be.

    Bimal Roy has been known to use symbolism powerfully in his films and Bandini is no exception. The strongest of the symbols used in the film are bars of the jail. They represent everything, the seclusion of the prisoners, separating them from others and imprisoning them within their hold. These bars represent the state of Kalyani, the fact that she forever remains prisoner of her circumstances and love. They are so omnipresent that even Spring is seen from behind the bars. Another example of symbolism is the scene where Kalyani is about to commit the crime, represented by an iron-smith’s hammer striking the metal, depicting the state of her mind.

    Performance wise, Nutan shines in the role of a lifetime. Her beauty, grace, humility and seriousness with which she plays the somber role of Kalyani is of the stuff legends are made of. Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra are both good in their roles. The supporting cast is effective.

    One of the prominent features of the film is its music. Composed by S.D. Burman with lyrics by Shailendra, the songs are hauntingly beautiful, the most striking of them being Mere sajan hain us paar and O janewale ho sake to”.

    A must watch family drama movie.

    5. Koshish

    One of Gulzar's finest works is Sanjeev kumar and Jaya Bhaduri starrer Koshish. This is a realistic tale of a deaf couple, played to perfection by Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri. The film shows how handicapped and limited people learn to live life to the fullest despite and against their difficulties and defects. They suffer but they love life and try to see their cup as half full. The film follows their life experiences during a period of 25 years or so, presenting their fears, their love, their ups and downs, and their struggle with the tough reality, always overcoming the obstacles with a smile.

    Only two hours long, this cinematic piece is thoroughly beautiful and moving. Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri bring two accomplished performances much ahead of those years, played with impressive simplicity and ease. Kumar leads the show, and Bhaduri provides great support. Dina Pathak is also very compelling as Jaya's mother. The film has several heart-breaking moments, which I won't reveal here. It may seem too dark at points. It is naturally devoid of songs or comedy and is very focused, which makes it a tad too serious, but it's artistic and brilliant and should appeal to any sensitive cine-goer.

    Honourable Mentions-

    • Ardh Satya

    • Masoom

    • Anand

    • Do Aankhen Barah Haath

    • Do bigha Zameen

    • Chupke Chupke

    • Gol Maal

    And finally, all time favourite……..

    • Sholay

    I know there are many movies to be included in the list, as the list is never going to be complete……. I only added the movies which are considered to be the landmarks in the history of Indian Cinema.

    I would appreciate if someone points out the mistakes in the above answer by posting in the comment section.

    Source- Wikipedia, The Hindu, Rediff and Filmfare.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. These are some movies i consider one of the best movies ever made in India. Though the opinion may differ from person to person.

    1. MASAAN:-(2015,IMDB-8.2)

    2. 3 Idiots:-(2009,IMDB-8.4)

    3.MOTHER INDIA:-(1957,IMDB-8.1)

    First movie to be nominated for Academy award.Till now it has the highest score among all nominations from Bollywood.

    4. GUIDE(1965,IMDB-8.6):

    A tourist guide meets an unhappy married woman who wants to take up dancing. With his motivation, she becomes a successful dancer but success corrupts the man's mind

    5.DIL APNA PREET PARAYI:(1960,IMDB-7.2)

    A rich girl marries a doctor. Differences crop up between the two and starts to snowball wherein she returns to her father's house. Months later she returns only to find he is in love with a nurse.

    6.KUDRAT:(1981,IMDB-7.2)

    Chandramukhi visits Shimla and learns that she is a reincarnation of Paro, a girl who was raped and murdered. Plagued by her dark past, she attempts to bring the culprits to justice

    7.BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG:(2013,IMDB-8.3)

    8.UDAAN:(2010,IMDB-8.4)

    After being expelled from school, Rohan returns home to a strict father as well as a half-brother he was unaware of. He is forced to work at his father's factory even though he wants to write.

    9.I M KALAM :(2010,IMDB-8)

    A poor boy derives inspiration from the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. He then decides to change his name to Kalam and harbours a dream of meeting the visionary.

    10.PUSHPAK VIMAAN: This is a silent movie made in 1987 .One of the best movies ever made in Bollywood with a new concept. Though this is a silent movie yet it will make u laugh your heart out.Kamal Hasan’s performance is phenomenal.(IMDB -8.7/10)MUST WATCH…

    11. BARFI:(2012,IMDB-8.2)

    12.THE LUNCHBOX:(2013,IMDB-7.8)

    This is an epic movie with amazing script and i loved it.I watch it again and again and every time i watch it i fall in love with Irfan khan’s acting…

    13.QUEEN:(2013,IMDB-8.4)

    14.MUGAL-E-AZAM:(1960,IMDB-8.4)

    This is another retro movie with amazing dialogues,superb performance and a great script. Though i din’t like the ending of this movie ,i loved the movie as a whole. Dilip kumar’s acting skill is fabulous as always.

    15 .DEVDAS:(2002,IMDB-7.6)

    Nobody doubts Sanjay leela bhansali’s movie.This movie is another example where he proves his prowess.A must watch.

    16.HIGHWAY:(2014,IMDB-7.6) Randeep hooda’s one of the best performances.

    17. GUZAARISH:(2010.IMDB-7.5)

    Ethan, once a renowned magician and now a quadriplegic, petitions the court for euthanasia. When the law fails to help him, Ethan decides to garner public support through a radio show.(DIRECTORSANJAY LEELA BHANSALI)

    18. CITYLIGHTS:(2014,IMDB-7.2) This movie will tell you why Rajkumar rao is one of the underrated actors in Bollywood.

    Deepak Singh, an ex-army person from Rajasthan, moves to Mumbai with his family hoping for a better lifestyle. However, upon arrival, he realizes that everything is not as easy as it seems.

    19.MUNNA BHAI MBBS:(2003,IMDB-8.4)

    Amazing movie,after all this is a Rajkumar hirani’s film.I vividly remember that my whole family was watching this movie and our eyes were welled up with tears during the climax.

    20.SANGHARSH(1999,IMDB-1999)

    Reet, a police officer, learns about a religious fanatic, Pandey, who abducts children. She then joins forces with a prisoner in order to punish Pandey.

    21. ZINDAAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA:(2011, IMDB-8.1/10)

    Kudos to Joya Akhtar for this film.

    22.ENGLISH VINGLISH:(2012,IMDB-7.9)

    23.PARCHED:(2016,IMDB-7.7)

    Four women in Gujarat talk about men, sex and life as they struggle with their individual demons.

    24. WAKE UP SID:(2009,IMDB-7.6)

    A spoiled, selfish college student, Siddharth Mehra, learns the meaning of life from Aisha, an aspiring writer from Kolkata.

    After watching this film u will say- Yes,the Kapoor’s family is bestowed with special acting skill.

    25. DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE:(1995.IMDB-8.2/10)

    25.piku(2015,IMDB-7.6)

    Without any masala and item song ,this movie is very simple and very well directed.

    26. TAARE ZAMEEN PAR(2007,IMDB-8.5)

    This movie is a cult movie.This movie was very popular and it was even shown to every students of my school by our school authority.

    Edit: adding few more

    27.RAANJHANAA:(2013,IMDB-7.6)

    • who can forget the famous dialogue "Tumhara pyaar na ho gaya..UPSC ka exam ho gaya. 10 saal se paas hi nai ho raha".
    • "Hum khoon bahaein tum aanson bahao..saala aashiqui na ho gaya lathicharge ho gaya",

    Admit it before watching Ranjhanna we underestimated the extremely talented DHANUSH

    28.DOSTI:(1964,IMDB-8.4)

    A series of unfortunate events cause a young boy to lose his parents and his legs. He is befriended by a blind boy and together they set out to use their talents to earn money.

    29.SARFAROSH:(1999,IMDB-8.2)

    30.ROCK ON:(2008,IMDB-7.9)

    31.Gangs of wasseypur(1&2)(2012,IMDB-8.3)

    No word for this movie.U r very much familiar with each and every dialogues of this movie…

    32.PREM ROG:(1982,IMDB-7.2)

    33.ROCKSTAR:(2011,IMDB-7.6)

    34.VEER ZARA:(2004,IMDB-7.9,Rotten tomatoes-100%)

    Do not miss this love story!!

    35.ANAND(1971,IMDB-8.9)

    10/10 for this movie from my side. The ending part where the voice of the Anand(rajesh khanna) comes out of the voice recorder is very heart touching…For once i thought Rajesh khanna is alive again.But no!! he was no more!

    The film won several awards including the Filmfare award for best film in 1972. In 2013, it was listed in Anupama Chopra's book "100 Films To See before You die”.

    36. NEEL BATE SANNATA:(2015,IMDB-8.5)

    This movie motivates and gives a message that we should dream big and strive to fulfill our dream.

    37. Madaari:(2016,IMDB-7.6)

    38.Hindi medium:(2017, IMDB-8)

    Watch all the movies at least once…

    (thanks Sunil Maheshkumar Adhyaru for suggesting edit)

    Check my other answer: Dheeraj Kumar Sharma's answer to What are some rare pictures of Indian celebraties?

    EDIT:-Many of u have suggested a few movies.But i haven’t seen them,i will add them after watching it.Feel free to suggest movies u liked.thanks!!

  4. Black Friday

    IMDB rating: 8.6/10

    Stars: Kay Kay Menon, Pavan Malhotra, Aditya Srivastava

    Background:

    Black Friday was shot with hidden cameras is a film based on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.

    The film was not released in Indian theatres for two years as, on the eve of its release, a petition seeking a stay was filed by the people named in the film, the alleged perpetrators of the crime.

    It was released in the UK in 2006 and was finally given the go ahead by the Supreme Court for release in India on 9 February 2007, after the accused had been charged with TADA , which carries a maximum sentence of death.

    Source: wikipedia | Black_Friday_


    Masaan

    IMDB rating: 8.1/10

    Stars: Richa Chadda ,Sanjay Mishra,Shweta Tripathi ,Vicky Kaushal

    Director: Neeraj Ghaywan

    Story:

    One of the few films that dared to take oppressive societal mores that restrict personal independence.

    Two stories running parallel , A young, spirited woman, Devi (played by Richa Chadha), grapples with tragedy and blackmail. A young boy, Deepak (played by Vicky Kaushal), falls in love but the sweet, giddy encounters between him and his girlfriend are shadowed by his caste. Deepak’s father is the Dom Raja of the burning ghats. When Deepak is not in college, he is burning corpses, sweeping ash and helping weeping strangers to split skulls.

    Source: Connecting People Through News


    Edit: 25 February 2017

    A Quora user reminded me to add the movie “My brother Nikhil” in list. So here I am providing few details about this movie.

    My brother Nikhil

    IMDB rating: 7.5/10

    Star: Sanjay suri, Juhi chawla, Purab kohli

    This story is based on life of Dominic d'Souza(Dominic d'Souza), an AIDS activist from Goa.

  5. My list is a bit unique but I bet people who like critically acclaimed movies or people who watch movies for the sake of seeing good acting, will like them all.

    1. Filmistaan – The two leads were invited for a lunch/dinner by the legendary Amitabh Bachchan after watching that movie.
    2. Bombay Talkies – Made by four great directors on the occasion of completion of 100 years of Hindi Cinema. A must watch!
    3. Gulaal – Anurag kashyap didn’t pay anything to the actors and nailed it with good direction.
    4. Lakshmi – Made on a very serious and common issues in Indian villages where people have some silly superstitions they believe.
    5. Maqbool – My favorite and Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor, Piyush Mishra ji, Naseeruddin Shah and Om puri sir nailed it. A must watch!
    6. Mardaani – Rani Mukherjee did a tremendous job along with a new comer Tahir Raj Bhasin who did a great job. People who support women empowerment should watch this, but that’s what I was thinking while writing the answer.
    7. Mohalla Assi – A banned movie on Benaras which is hard to find on internet. Sunny Deol did a good job. I have it in my laptop but I don’t know how to send it to all. Find it and watch it!
    8. Saada Adda – A cool movie, lot of humor. Just chill and watch it with your best friends.
    9. Shahid – A great movie, again one of my favorites and Rajkumar Rao did justify the role. He even got a National Award, so you can imagine the level of acting he did in this movie.
    10. The Girl in Yellow Boots – Marvelous, I liked it. Kalki did a role which suits her I think but that’s not all. Other actors were also awesome.
    11. Titli – No words, just watch it.
    12. Udaan – A father who forces things on his children, he drinks, he is very strict. A must watch!
    13. Paan Singh Tomar – Jai ho Irrfan Khan _/\_
    14. Both parts of Saheb, Bibi aur Gangster, Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya.

    There are many more and I’ll update the list from time to time, till then, watch these and get to know that how much talent is present in our country.

    Thanks!

  6. Here is the list of some exceptional movies. It is just that we don't get to hear much about them because of the marketing gimmicks of mainstream commercial movies, which these underrated ones can't generally afford.

    1. Masaan (2015)

    Masaan follows two separate story arcs in the town of Varanasi that eventually converge. One follows the journey of Devi (Richa Chadha), who has to deal with the loss of her boyfriend and overcome the guilt she feels for his death. The second follows the journey of Deepak (Vicky Kaushal), who comes from a family that burns funeral pyres at the Varanasi ghats. The film was highly appreciated by critics and won a few awards at Cannes Film Festival as well.

    Source: cupick

    2. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

    Ankhon Dekhi, directed by Rajat Kapoor, is a bittersweet tale of a man who has an epiphany and decides that he will only believe what he sees with his own eyes. Sanjay Mishra has given a flawless performance in this one as the patriarch of a middle class family living in Old Delhi.

    Source: filmibeat

    3. Titli (2015)

    In the badlands of Delhi's underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, plots a desperate bid to escape the 'family' business which is shady as hell. His schemes are thwarted by his unruly brothers, who marry him off against his will. But Titli finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, Neelu, who nurtures her own frustrated dreams. What happens next will suck you into Titli's life!

    Source: YouTube

    4. Filmistaan (2014)

    Filmistaan is the story of a filmy man from India who is mistakenly kidnapped and made to cross the border while shooting a film. Even when he's being held hostage in Pakistan, his only hope for survival is Hindi films. This film received a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

    Source: bookmyshow

    5. Chittagong (2012)

    Chittagong, directed by Bedabrata Pain, is based on British India's Chittagong uprising. The film stars Manoj Bajpai in the lead role. It garnered positive reviews from critics and won the National Film Award for the Best Debut Film by a Director.

    Source: moifightclub

    6. Shahid (2013)

    Shahid is a biographical film based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist, Shahid Azmi. The film focuses primarily on the lawyer's two major cases: the 2006 Mumbai train bombings and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. This film won the National Film Award for Best Actor (Rajkummar Rao) and Best Director (Hansal Mehta) at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony.

    Source: mybikemyworld

    7. Margarita, with a Straw (2015)

    This film starring Kalki Koechlin is the story of a bi-sexual woman who has cerebral palsy.Laila, played by Kalki, discovers her own self through the course of this film. This film is a must watch for those who are looking for good cinema and coming of age stories.

    Source: tonguesonfire

    8. Gour Hari Dastaan (2015)

    This film directed by Anant Mahadevan is the story of an Indian freedom fighter from Odisha, Sri Gour Hari Das. Gour Hari Das fought for a certificate recognizing his work as a freedom fighter which took three full decades to arrive. Vinay Pathak plays the lead role in this film and stands out for his outstanding approach towards such a sensitive character.

    Source: bollywoodbash

    9. Antardwand (2010)

    This film is based on the cases of groom kidnapping in Bihar. It won a National Film Award for Best Film on social issues and was highly appreciated by critics as well as commercial filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali and Rajkumar Hirani.

    Source: seekred

    10. Ugly (2014)

    Ugly is a neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film tells a terrible tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence which starts to unfold when the 10-year-old daughter of an aspiring actor disappears.

    Source: bookmyshow

    11. Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women (2003)

    This film talks about the imbalance of gender in society and presents a fictional account of the near future when there will be very few women left in the country. This film is a wake up call for society that discriminates based on gender.

    Source: whatisfatmagulsfault

    12. I Am Kalam – 2010

    A boy derives inspiration from late former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and decides to change his name to Kalam. On the inside, the rural boy also harbours the dream of meeting the visionary once in his lifetime. The child actor, Harsh Mayar, got the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for this film.

    Source: signhom

    13. Dasvidaniya (2008)

    The film starring Vinay Pathak is the story of a man who discovers that he only has three months to live and thus makes a list of 10 things and sets out to do that. This film was highly appreciated by critics.

    Source: checkmymovie

    14. 15 Park Avenue (2005)

    This film is the story of Meethi, played by Konkona Sen Sharma, who suffers from schizophrenia. The film traces Meethi's relationship with her older sister Anjali, played by Shabana Azmi. This film, directed by Aparna Sen, won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English.

    Source: balconyrow

    15. Rockford (1999)

    Rockford is the story of a 13-year-old boy, Rajesh, who is sent to the Rockford Boys' High School. He experiences the joy and agony of living in an all male boarding school, learning to fend for himself without the safety net of his parents. This film was directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and carries the trademark subtle brilliance of the filmmaker.

    Source: Deccan Chronicle

    16. Raincoat (2004)

    On a rainy afternoon, a lonely wife meets a man she was once engaged with. Both have their set of difficulties but try to help each other out. This film by Rituparno Ghosh won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

    Source: aishwarya-spice

    17. The Blue Umbrella (2005)

    This film by Vishal Bhardwaj is based on Ruskin Bond's novel by the same name. It is a story of a girl who finds a blue coloured Japanese umbrella and is enamored by its beauty. The umbrella then goes missing and she is left heartbroken, thereby ensuing her search for the thief.

    Source: alchetron

    18. The Last Lear (2007)

    The Last Lear, directed by Rituparno Ghosh, is the story of an ageing Shakespearean theatre actor, Harish, played by Amitabh Bachchan. The film is based on Utpal Dutt's semi-autobiographical play Aajker Shahjahan.

    Source: ravepad

    19. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)

    This film is the story of an amateur detective (Abhay Deol), in a small, sleepy town in Rajasthan, who finds himself caught in a web of lies, deceit and murder. The film didn't do well commercially but critics appreciated the film's brilliantly-written dialogues.

    Source: wordpress

    20. Sankat City (2009)

    This film is the story of a bunch of petty car thieves who unknowingly get in the bad books of a ruthless gangster. This film was directed by Pankaj Advani and has shades of dark humor.

    Source: torrentbutler

    21. Monsoon Wedding (2001)

    This film, directed by Mira Nair, has gained a cult status over the years. Set in the backdrop of a wedding, this film highlights different characters and their stories. Issues like child abuse are also dealt with in the film. The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

    Source: urdunewspakistan

    22. Astitva (2000)

    Astitva is the story of a woman whose past comes back to her after her music teacher's demise. The film deals with the chauvinism that is deeply embedded in our society. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, this was a bi-lingual film made in Marathi and Hindi.

    Source: topyaps

    23. My Brother… Nikhil (2005)

    My Brother… Nikhil is the story of a man who is found to be HIV positive. The story is set in Goa in the late '80s when HIV was a big taboo in our society. Nikhil, played by Sanjay Suri, receives support only from his sister (Juhi Chawla) and his boyfriend (Purab Kohli). This film created quite a stir when it released and is one of the best films made on the subject.

    Source: santabanta

    24. Mirch (2010)

    The film, made by Vinay Shukla, is a compilation of four short stories set in the main narrative. The stories are inspired from the the tales of Panchtantra and are imagined in different contemporary settings.

    Source: blogspot

    25. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

    Konkona Sen Sharma plays a Tamil Iyer Brahmin and Rahul Bose plays a Bengali Muslim in this Aparna Sen film. The story revolves around these two lead characters during a fateful bus journey amidst riots in the country. This film won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration in India.

    Source: city

    26. Hey Ram (2000)

    This semi-fictional film centers on India's partition and the murder of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. The film was written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan and he also starred as the protagonist in the film. This film was made in Tamil and Hindi simultaneously.

    Source: plumeriamovies

    27. Mastram (2014)

    Mastram was a fictional biography of a reluctant pornographic writer who aspires to be a litterateur and is only known popularly by his pen name, Mastram. The film garnered positive reviews from critics and managed to create just enough curiosity.

    Source: blogspot

    28. Ship of Theseus (2013)

    This film by Anand Gandhi explores the questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death. The title of the film refers to Theseus’ paradox, i.e whether a ship that has been restored by replacing all its parts remains the same old ship. The film won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film of the year.

    Source: Indian Express

    29. Firaaq (2008)

    Firaaq follows the lives of various individuals who were victims in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The film is the directorial debut of actress Nandita Das and won two National Film Awards.

    Source: YouTube

    30. Miss Lovely (2014)

    This film follows the story of Duggal brothers who produce sleazy sex-horror films in the mid-1980s. The younger brother, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, gets attracted to a mysterious young woman which leads to his downfall. The film won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award.

    Source: YouTube

    31. Samay: When Time Strikes (2003)

    This film is the story of a cop, played by Sushmita Sen, who is on the hunt for a serial killer. This underrated film won a National Film Award for best editing.

    Source: YouTube

    32. Haasil (2003)

    This film is based in Allahabad where the student politics in the university takes a dirty turn. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, this movie has achieved cult status over the years. Watch this movie for Irrfan Khan's stellar performance.

    Source: indiatimes

    33. Ek Hasina Thi (2004)

    This neo-noir film, directed by Sriram Raghavan, is the story of a woman (Urmila Matondkar) who gets involved with a man (Saif Ali Khan) who sets her up for a crime she has not committed. She then sets out for revenge by setting him up.

    Source: YouTube

    34. Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid (2012)

    This film, directed by Nila Madhab Panda, stars Harsh Mayar (of I am Kalam fame). This movie is centered on the issue of female foeticide. The film also won MIP Junior Kids Jury Award at Cannes in October 2012.

    Source: Blogspot

    35. Mithya (2008)

    This film directed by Rajat Kapoor stars Ranvir Shorey, Neha Dhupia, Naseeruddin Shah and Vinay Pathak in pivotal roles. The story is about a small time actor who is asked to impersonate a gangster by the police and how he gets out of the mess.

    Source: tanejamainhoon

    36. Hulla (2008)

    This film starring Sushant Singh & Rajat Kapoor in major roles is the story of a stockbroker who finds himself a new home. However, the real deal starts when he finds that he cannot sleep because of the loud whistle blown by the night-watchman. This leads him into a conflict with the building's secretary who insists on the use of the whistle.

    Source: apunkachoice

    37. Liar's Dice (2013)

    This is a road film starring Geetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles. The film deals with the issue of the human cost of migration to cities and the issue of migrant labourers and their exploitation. The film received two National Film Awards.

    Source: mathrubhuminews

    38. Sulemani Keeda (2014)

    Directed by Amit V Masurkar, this is a comedy about two struggling writers who peddle their screenplay, "Sulemani Keeda" in Bollywood and embark on a journey you just can't miss.

    Source: longlivecinema

    39. Raghu Romeo (2003)

    This film, directed by Rajat Kapoor, stars Vijay Raaz in the lead role. Raghu Romeo is the story of an employee at a strip club who kidnaps his favorite actress to protect her from the mob hit men. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

    Source: YouTube

    40. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore (2014)

    The film marks the directorial debut of actor Vijay Raaz. The first look of the movie, which is a war drama set in the post-Independence period of 1948, was released at the historic Wagah Border itself. The movie is a light hearted take on the painful Indo-Pak partition.

    Source: lyricsted

    41. Dil Dosti Etc. (2007)

    This film directed by Manish Tiwary explored the ambiguities of college years. The film’s premise is when you’re young, you believe the possibilities are endless. Exactly why this movie should be on every youngster's list!

    Source: sulekha

    42. Lahore (2010)

    Lahore, directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, is essentially a sports film set on the Indo-Pak backdrop. The story is of a cricketer who turns kickboxer in order to avenge the death of his brother.

    Source: glamsham

    43. Salaam Bombay! (1988)

    The film, directed by Mira Nair, chronicles the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Mumbai. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. The film was even nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

    Source: pastposters

    44. B.A. Pass (2012)

    This neo-noir film, directed by Ajay Bahl is based on a short story, The Railway Auntyby Mohan Sikka. It is a story looking at the fatal promise of a new life. When Mukesh meets Sarika at a kitty party, little does he know of the city and its ways and means to survive. What follows is a twist of destiny, a kind of story that appears in the tabloids as 'heinous acts of crime'.

    Source: moviesdrop

    45. Black Friday (2007)

    This Anurag Kashyap film based on the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts was so controversial that it did not get the certification from the Censor Board for 3 years. It was finally released in 2007 after Supreme Court allowed it following the verdict in the '93 Bombay blast case was finally delivered by TADA court.

    Source: moviefisher

    46. Shor in the City (2011)

    The film, directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., revolves around five central characters who face challenges in the crime-laden Mumbai depicted in the movie.

    Source: apunkachoice

    47. Shaurya (2008)

    Shaurya is a 2008 Indian courtroom drama film directed by Samar Khan, starring Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Bose, Javed Jaffrey and Minissha Lamba. The film revolves around the court-martial of a Muslim officer in the Indian army for shooting his commanding officer and is set against the backdrop of the Kashmir conflict.

    Source: YouTube

    48. Sehar (2005)

    Sehar is an action crime drama film directed by Kabeer Kaushik. The film depicts organized crime in the late 1990s in the state of Uttar Pradesh and how the state police worked to tackle it.

    Source: YouTube

    49. Do Dooni Chaar (2010)

    Directed by Habib Faisal, this film is set in Delhi following the life of a middle class family whose dream is to buy a car. The film won the National Film Award for Best Hindi Feature film.

    Source: cinemachaat

    50. Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010)

    This satire directed by Subhash Kapoor stars Rajat Kapoor and Sanjay Mishra. The film is about a near-bankrupt American who is kidnapped by desperate gangsters in India.

    Source: thew14

  7. Movies every Indian must watch

    • Paan Singh Tomar

    A biopic on the tragic life of a largely forgotten Indian sportsman turned dreaded dacoit, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ paints the picture of an India that few today can claim to know or understand. Following the life of Pan Singh from his days of glory as an international athlete to his life as a fearsome criminal, ‘Pan Singh Tomar’ relays the tragedy of his life and existence.

    • The Lunchbox

    The story of a cranky middle-aged man’s unconventional romance with a lonely housewife, it is probably the only great romance that Bollywood has produced in ages.

    • Kahaani

    Starring the luminous Vidya Balan as a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband who uncovers a massive government conspiracy, Kahaani gives us what most Indian thrillers fail to provide – a cinematic atmosphere that slowly builds up the tension.

    • Airlift

    Based on the inspiring tale of Ranjit Katyal, an influential Indian businessman in Kuwait who orchestrates a rescue mission to save Indians trapped in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion.

    • Gangs of Wasseypur

    Based on a true story of corruption, murder and revenge in the rural Indian town of Wasseypur over decades, Kashyap conceived one of the most stylish and enlivening cinematic experiences of the century.

    • Manjhi: The Mountain Man

    Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal while Dashrath Manjhi carved a path through a hill with just a hammer and a chisel. ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ tells a story of a man who achieves an unimaginable feat fueled by love, anger and desperation.

    • Darr

    Shahruk Khan plays Rahul, an obsessive stalker in love with the beautiful Kiran who is in love with an upstanding Navy Officer named Sunil. Rahul will not stop at anything, even abduction and murder, to unite with his ‘K-K-K-Kiran’.

    • A Wednesday

    The film recounts the tale of just another Wednesday in Mumbai when a lone criminal calls the Commissioner, threatening to bomb multiple locations in the city unless his accomplices, who are convicted criminals belonging to an extremist organisation, are released.

    • Udaan

    The film shows the journey of a boy into a man with a little help from his abusive father, his curious half-brother and the constant surprises that life throws at us regularly. ‘Udaan’ teach us that life sucks but it goes on anyway.

    • My Name is Khan

    Khan plays a man with autism whose personal life comes crumbling down post the 9/11 attacks on America and being a Muslim man in America things got much worse than he had anticipated. But as the saying goes – when the going gets tough, the tough gets going – Shah Rukh’s character Rizwan pulls himself up and faces life everyday with renewed enthusiasm and a hope for a better future.

    • Swades

    A well educated Mohan Bhargava, played by Shah Rukh Khan, works at NASA and leads a materialistically content life. But his heart is in India and he desires to be among those people who shaped him to be what he is today.

    • Pink (2016)

    ‘Pink’ deals with the issue of entitlement amongst men and society’s sickening judgmental behaviour.

    • Anand

    Rajesh Khanna shines in the titular role of a cancer patient whose end is not very far away. He is someone who doesn’t need a reason to smile and even his imminent death can’t dent his high spirits. He spreads joy wherever he goes and even in his death bed he gives life lessons worth cherishing forever.

  8. Well here are some that I remember right now, in no particular order: –

    • Masaan
    • Kya Dilli Kya Lahore
    • Lahore
    • Rang De Basanti
    • Fannah
    • Baise Shrabon
    • Chitrangada: A Crowning Wish
    • Noukadubbi
    • Devdas (the old one)
    • Saheb Biwi aur Gulam (again the old one)
    • Antony Firingee
    • Nayak(Edit – Both Uttam Kumar and Anil Kapoor starrers, but I meant the Uttam Kumar one initially.)
    • Yeh Mera India
    • Black Friday
    • Paa
    • Dil Chahta Hai
    • Black
    • Manjhi: The Mountain Man
    • Raanjhanaa
    • Lakshya
    • I am Kalaam
    • Dasvidaniya
    • Shor In The City
    • Gulaal
    • Bhooter Bhobishyot
    • Antaheen
    • Bela Sheshe
    • Mishawr Rohoshyo
    • Muktodhaara
    • English Vinglish
    • Dum Laga Haisha
    • Parineeta
    • Memories In March
    • Summer 2007
    • Taare Zameen Par
    • Maqbool
    • A River Called Titas
    • Pyaasa
    • Apu Trilogy
    • Goopi Baagha trilogy
    • Paather Panchali
    • Boys (Tamil/Telugu movie)
    • Happy Days(Tamil/Telugu movie)
    • Hey Ram
    • The Legend of Bhagat Singh
    • Swades
    • Iqbal
    • Pink
    • Queen
    • Aamir
    • Chak de India
    • A Wednesday
    • Udaan
    • Jolly LLB
    • Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
    • D-Day
    • Madras Cafe

    Well some other answers, particularly the one by Sudipta Das have influenced this list. His answer reminded me quite a few names, Jolly LLB and Aamir in particular. I'll keep adding more if and when I watch more movies. As of now, these are the movies that have touched me the most.

    1. Taare Zameen Par: Day-dreamer Ishaan just can't seem to get anything right at his boarding school. Soon, an unconventional new art teacher, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, helps the dyslexic student discover his true identity.

    2. 3 Idiots; In college, Farhan and Raju form a great bond with Rancho due to his refreshing outlook. Years later, a bet gives them a chance to look for their long-lost friend whose existence seems rather elusive.

    3. Drishyam: A school drop-out but intelligent man, Vijay runs a successful business and loves his family. When a dark incident threatens to ruin his family, he desperately tries to protect them at all costs.

    4. Rang De Basanti: When Sue selects a few students to portray various Indian freedom fighters in her film, she unwittingly awakens their patriotism. The emotional and mental process turns them into rebels for a cause.

    5. A Wednesday: A retired police commissioner recounts the most memorable case of his career wherein he was informed about a bomb scare in Mumbai.

    6. Udaan: After being expelled from school, Rohan returns home to a strict father as well as a half-brother he was unaware of. He is forced to work at his father's factory even though he wants to write.

    7. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001):A group of Champaner villagers led by a feisty young man challenge the British to a game of cricket to get their land tax waived. Their biggest hurdle is that no one knows to play the game.

    8.Kahaani: Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman, travels to Kolkata from London to search for her missing husband. When all clues lead to a dead end, she realises that there is more than what meets the eye.

    9. Swades (2004): Mohan, a project manager who is employed with NASA, travels to India to take his nanny along with him. Little does he know that this journey will change his life forever.

    10. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Friends Kabir, Imran and Arjun take a vacation in Spain before Kabir's marriage. The trip turns into an opportunity to mend fences, heal wounds, fall in love with life and combat their worst fears.

    Another akin film by same director Farhan…

    Dil Chahta Hai: Three friends who share a deep bond are separated due to their different approaches towards relationships. Akash goes to Australia, Sameer gets busy wooing a girl and Siddharth devotes himself to art.

    11. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year: Harpreet Singh Bedi, a B. Com graduate becomes an ordinary salesman. After getting ridiculed by his colleagues and his boss, he plans to operate a parallel company without the knowledge of his boss.

    Film like this are made in India very seldom.

    12. Wake Up Sid: A spoiled, selfish college student, Siddharth Mehra, learns the meaning of life from Aisha, an aspiring writer from Kolkata.

    Moving to a new location,adjustment , how life is lived all about.

    Few Psychological movie I’m sharing to watch.

    Ghajini: Hit by an iron rod, a tycoon suffers from a condition that prevents him from remembering anything beyond fifteen minutes. With notes tattooed on his body, he sets out to find his fiancee's killer.

    Karthik Calling Karthik: Karthik, an introvert, is always ridiculed by his boss and throughout his life, he has faced setbacks. However, one day, he receives a phone call from a stranger who promises to transform his life.

    One bengali movie I’m suggesting to watch. You don’t need to know bengali to watch this as It’s a Silent film.

    • Labour of Love / Asha Jaoar Majhe :

    In crumbling back lanes of modern Kolkata, a married couple can only see each other in their dreams after they work opposite shifts.

    It’s a beautiful film.

    Source: Google& IMDb.

    Upvote if you like .

  9. Mayabazar (English: Market of Illusions) is a 1957 Indian (Telugu) brilliant epic fantacy movie directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy, starring N. T. Rama Rao (Sri Krishna), Savitri (Sesirekha), Akkineni Nageswara Rao (Abhimanyu) and S. V. Ranga Rao (Ghatotkacha) in lead roles.

    The movie was based on the epic Mahabharatam. The movie is considered to be one of the greatest Indian movies ever made and biggest blockbuster movies of all time in South India.

    Regarding in depth review (Making and Techincal) of the movie you may refer : Chetan Sameer's answer to Which is the smartest Indian movie ever made?

    Considering the movie as a heritage of Indian cinema, the colour and digitalized version of the movie was again released in 2007. It was a commercial success with mostly positive reviews, with one critic only expressing a preference for the original.

    The movie was featured at the International film festival of India and Indonesian film festival in 1957. The film is considered a landmark in both Telugu and Tamil cinema, with praise for its cast and technical aspects, despite the limitations of technology at the time.

    A May 2013 CNN-IBN poll listed Mayabazar as the greatest Indian film of all time.

    CNN-IBN included Mayabazar on its February 2014 list of "12 Indian films that would make great books"

    The Times of India listed Mayabazar on the top of must watch 10 Telugu movies before dying.

    The Andhra Pradesh state government planned to introduce the film as part of the tenth standard English syllabus in 2014.

    Director S. S. Rajamouli told film critic Subhash K. Jha that Venkata Reddy's work in Mayabazar was a "huge inspiration" for him to make Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Baahubali: The Conclusion

    One can simply say that "Mayabazar" is more than "Bahubali-The beginning" is today in the Indian cinema, is definitely a must watch and greatest Indian movie of all time. One would definitely wonder if his movie was made during 1956-1957.

    Sources:

    1. Mayabazar ,

    2. 'Mayabazar' is India's greatest film ever: IBNLive poll

    3. 16 Things about Mayabazaar, The Greatest Indian Cinema Ever.

    4. 12 Indian films that would make great books 

    5. Telugu movies one must watch before dying – The Times of India 

  10. I think there are few movies that are absolutely a must watch for every Indian . And all of them very different reasons .

    1. Gangs of Wasseypur

    Well I cannot help being biased here. But there is no doubt about the fact that GOW is an absolute classic. The dialogues specially are a classic apart. It paints a clear picture of the semi-rural life of India which is entirely alien to the Indian urban mass.

    2.A wednesday

    Excellent dialogues,superb acting and an incredible story-line makes this a must watch .

    3.Manjhi the mountain man

    A story that can leave anybody inspired . This movie must appear in the list.

    5. Masaan

    Love in its truest desi andaaz . This movie has some excellent performances.

  11. Must watch movies of 2015/16

    • Drishyam :- it's plot is comparable to that of Hollywood. Suspence has all new definition.
    • Wazir :- starts as if it is going to be thriller suspense , but ends like boom SUSPENSE(with all letters in capital), it will jiggle your mind.
    • Udta Punjab :- brings out the reality of our youth as well as politicians.
    • Airlift :- you will feel patriotic after watching this movie, not only patriotism it will explain you heights of both humanity and inhumanity levels.
    • Rustom :- people call it a patriotic movie,yes it is,but also it give many social messages that are related to compassion and forgiveness.
    • Pink :- created a lot of buzz already, it explain the hypocritical mentality of Indian men.
    • M.S.Dhoni :- very motivational, teaches you about the leadership skills,passion, goals, love, friendship, sportsmanship and enthusiasm.

    Note :- views are highly personal,not general.

  12. 1. Kabuliwal (1961)

    Directed by: Hemen Gupta, Produced by: Bimal Roy, based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala. Famous song: Ae Mere Pyare Watan

    2. Boot Polish (1954)

    Directed by: Prakash Arora, Produced by: Raj Kapoor, It won Best Film at the Filmfare Awards. Famous song: Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri Mutthi Mein Kya Hai

    3. Do Bigha Zamin (1953):

    Directed and Produced by: Bimal Roy,

    1st Filmfare Awards (1954)

    Winner – Best Film

    Winner – Best Director – Bimal Roy

    1st National Film Awards

    Winner – All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film

    7th Cannes Film Festival (1954)[5]

    Winner – Prix International (International Prize)

    Nominated – Grand Prize (Best Film)

    Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

    Winner – Prize for Social Progress

    4. Upkar (1967):

    Directed by: Manoj Kumar,

    Produced by: Harkishen R. Mirchandani,R. N. Goswami.

    Famous songs: Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle and Kasme waade pyaar wafa sab baate hain

    Awards and nominations

    Filmfare Best Movie Award–Manoj Kumar Filmfare

    Best Director Award–Manoj Kumar Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award–Pran Filmfare

    Best Story Award–Manoj Kumar Filmfare Best Dialogue Award–Manoj Kumar Filmfare Best Lyricist Award–Gulshan Bawra for the song "Mere Desh Ki Dharti"

    5. Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)

    Directed by: Raj Khoshla

    Produced by: Lekhraj Khosla

    Famous songs: Maar Diya Jaye and Sona Leja Re.

    EDIT (1)

    6. Pakeezah (1972)

    Director and Producer: Kamal Amrohi

    Music: Naushad

    Famous song: Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi Mil Gaya Tha, Chalo Dildar Chalo

    7. Anand (1972)

    Directed and Produced by: Hrishikesh Mukherjee

    Famous songs: Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli, Kahin Door Jab, Maine Tere Liye

    Famous dialogue: Babumoshai…..zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye (Sir…..Life need not be long it should be big)

    8. Deewar (1975)

    Directed by: Yash Chopra

    Produced by: Gulshan Rai

    Famous song: Kehdoon Tumhe Ya Chup Rahu

    Famous Dialogue: Main aaj bhi feke hue paise nai uthata (Even today I don't collect money that is thrown)

    Source: Google

  13. The landscape of Indian film is as diverse as the country it represents. Alice Whittemore and Deborah Sathe of Film London pick five favorites as an introduction.

    India has the biggest film industry in the world. Bollywood alone, which doesn't include all the independent films made in India, surpasses Hollywood in output. Independent productions often do not appeal to Indian audiences used to Bollywood musical extravaganzas and ‘masala’ films, but are attracting attention internationally amongst arthouse audiences and on the festival circuit. So, where to start? Here are our top five:
    1. The Lunchbox (2013)

    Forget the clichés of slums and poverty. The Lunchbox is a slice of middle-class India rarely presented to the world. It's a delicate love story between a lonely housewife whose delicious lunches are accidentally delivered to a grumpy widower instead of her neglectful husband. The film is irresistible and heartbreaking, and has some exquisite performances.
    2. Monsoon Wedding (2001)

    Monsoon Wedding is a jubilant ensemble comedy in which relatives of an extended Punjabi family return to Delhi from around the world to celebrate the wedding of a family member. The film takes on the big themes of family and love in vivid, moving and funny ways.
    A celebration of modern-day India, Monsoon Wedding was an international hit that paved the way for today's Indian cinema.
    3. Apur Sansar (1959)

    The final film of Satyajit Ray’s celebrated Apu Trilogy, Apur Sansar returns to the story of a young Bengali named Apu Roy, whose childhood was depicted in the earlier films. Having dropped out of college for lack of money, Apu hopes to find success as a writer. The film follows his journey into an unexpected marriage, his attempts to be a responsible husband, and the tragic death of his wife in childbirth.
    Inspired by the neo-realist movement in Italian cinema, this is a simple, moving chronicle of Bengali life elevated by breathtaking cinematography.
    4. Mother India (1957)

    This is the epic, devastating story of a poverty-stricken village woman named Radha, who struggles to raise her sons in the absence of her husband. Amidst considerable hardships and misfortunes, Radha provides an inspirational example of the ideal Indian woman who always sticks to her own moral code.
    Mother India is among India's most famous and successful films and one of only three Indian films to have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (the others being Salaam Bombay! and Lagaan).
    5. Pyaasa (1957)

    A classic Bollywood romance, but very much independent in ethos, Pyaasa is the vision of director, producer and star Guru Dutt. The film tells the story of Vijay, a poet who writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor; and Gulabo, a kind-hearted prostitute who finally helps him get his works published.
    In 2005, Time magazine rated Pyaasa as one of the 100 best films of all time.
    Guilty Pleasure: Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

    Dil To Pagal Hai is a hedonistic ride into contemporary Bollywood, and one of the first to pursue European locations and modern dance routines (now a Bollywood convention). Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) is another must-see movie of the 90s romance genre, as it holds the record for continuous cinema exhibition: 20 years and still playing!

  14. My answer is going to be a little different . There are already pretty good answers already mentioned.

    I would like to talk about some good movies which are based on Indians

    1. THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY

    This movie is based on none other than our own Indian prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan.

    It pains me to see that we did not even take time to consider making a good movie on him with a good budget. Had it been made in india ,it would have had an item song.

    2. GANDHI

    Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed

    3. OUTSOURCED

    it really captures the culture of India and the famous Indian jugaad

    After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman (Hamilton) heads to India to train his replacement.

  15. Some excellent names here, I will go my personal favorites keeping in mind the mass appeal, mass message or just the excellent bit of cinema:

    Do Bigha Zamin (1953)

    In the hope of earning enough money to pay off his debts and save his land, a poor farmer becomes a rickshaw puller in the Calcutta and faces many difficulties

    Pyaasa (1957)

    A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world.

    Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957)

    Progressive, reform-minded young warden gets permission to take six surly murderers from prison to dilapidated country farm, to rehabilitate it and themselves through hard work and kindly guidance.

    Guide (1965)

    A tour guide falls in love with a married woman, and helps her rediscover her love for dance.

    Jewel Thief (1967)

    A Police Commissioner's son comes under suspicion for being a jewel thief.

    Satyakam (1969)

    The tale begins in the final days of the British Raj in India. A cohort of engineering students graduate a few months before Independence. Satyapriya and Naren are among the graduate engineers. The principality of Bhawanigarh is run by a cruel and dissolute man, Vikram Singh who knows his days of absolute power are numbered. Satyapriya Acharya finds employment in Bhawanigarh, meets and marries Ranjana under peculiar circumstances. This creates huge issues in his family, in particular his grandfather who raised him. Orthodoxy of the teacher clan of the Acharyas precludes admission of Ranjana into the household. Satyapriya is the epitome of integrity, refuses to utter any untruth as a consequence of which he and his family face difficulties. It takes a death in the family to bring a reinterpretation of tradition and relationships.

    Des Pardes (1978)

    Samir Sahni is a farmer living with his mom, dad, wife, Rama, a young daughter, and his younger brother, Veer. Samir gets an offer to work in the U.K., and departs accordingly. He would like to settle there, and after doing so, would like his family to also join him. The years go by, and Samir keeps in touch with his family regularly. Then the Sahni family stop receiving any letters from him, and are anxious to know what has happened to him. Veer is asked to travel to U.K. to find out, and he does so. What he finds are tens of thousands of East Indians on fake passports, working for less than minimum wages, poor unhealthy conditions, fear of being deported, and paying half of their earnings to fellow East Indians who had got them here through the underground. Veer finds no sign of his brother, and sets out to investigate, only to find deceit, murder, and his very own life in danger.

    Anand (1971)

    The story of a terminally ill man who wishes to live life to the full before the inevitable occurs, as told by his best friend.

    Black Friday (2004)

    Black Friday is a film about the investigations following the 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts, told through the different stories of the people involved –police, conspirators, victims, middlemen.

    Parzania (2005)

    A parsi family struggles to find thier son in a genocide carried out by vested interests outfits during 2002, commonly known as Gujarat riots which broke out after the Godhra Train Burning incident. During riots more than 790 Muslim and 289 Hindus died and around 300 people missing in the Indian state of Gujarat.

    Rang De Basanti (2006)

    This story is about six friends who help an English filmmaker create a documentary about Indian freedom struggle. During filming, this group of friends learn about those before them and the importance of fighting for their rights.

    Bommarillu (2006)

    A young man realizes that he has to push back against his domineering father if he wants to find true happiness and love

    Like Stars on Earth (2007)

    An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.

    Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008)

    Five people whose lives are affected by the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.

    Gulaal (2009)

    A law student witnesses deception, homicide, and crime after being elected as General Secretary of his college.

    Udaan (2010)

    Expelled from his school, a 16-year old boy returns home to his abusive and oppressive father.

    Sairat (2016)

    In interior Maharashtra, a fisherman's son and a local politician's daughter fall in love against the restrictions of caste hierarchy.

    There are loads more but right now i can think of these, may edit later on. Thanks for reading.

  16. There are so many Indian movies that are worth watching . But I will answer with respect to the recent movies I watched and definitely would recommend to watch :

    1. Drishyam (English: Visual/The Sight) is a 2015 Indian thriller drama film directed by Nishikant Kamat. It features Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran and Tabu in the lead …Its a remake of the Malayalam movie by the same name. The plot of the movie is so fascinating it will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end. I guarantee you. The story is centered on Ajay Devgan and his family, and what a man can do to protect his family at all costs. I won't reveal the plot,in case you want to watch it. I would definitely recommend watching this movie atleast once.
    2. Manjhi-The Mountain Man – is a 2015 Indian Biographical film based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi, widely known as the "Mountain Man", was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft) long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft) using only a hammer and chisel. The role of Dashrath Manjhi is enacted by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and may I say, brilliantly. He is one of the most talented actors in Bollywood. This movie is worth watching for Dashrath's determination,love and faith.

    Do let me know when you see them and also about your views

    Cheers

  17. 1. Pyaasa: The best bollywood movie ever, it introduced the concept of using a song as part of the storytelling to take the story forward. The lyrics by Sahir alone demands attention to the movie. Amazing acting, screenplay. And the best part is, the movie stands the test of time, anybody can connect with the movie even today.

    2. Chaudvi Ka Chand: Guru Dutt's yet another masterpiece, its such a beautiful love story, and Waheeda Rehman just steals the show all the way.

    3. Jaagte Raho: Raj Kapoor was a master in his black and white days. And this is one of his gem. No much of a story, just following and exploring the world with the protagonist.

    4. Do aankhey baarah Hath: This movie was nominated for the Oscars and it truly deserved it. V Shantaram is a very technical story teller. And he uses visual techniques to express, like in a scene where the thieves come to kill the inspector, there is not much light focussing them, but when they realize what wrong they were going to do, when they change, light is brightly focussed in them to potray the change in them. Beautiful movie.

    5. Rang de Basanti: This movie was a match made in heaven. This is a movie which has no flaws, but all great. From music, to acting to lyrics to dialogues to every aspect, and everythng blended so perfectly with each aspect of movie. Rakesh Mehra, the man.

    6. Hum Aapke Hai Kaun: This movie captures the best of the 90's. The best part of the movie i like is all the characters, bollywood chararcters, all dramatised, but yet, all seem like real people.

    7. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: A lot of people might disagree with me, Including a Kjo film, but this was a great movie. A romantic movie, which is the core of bollywood, it stands out in it.Even the camera movement is romantic.

    8. Dil Chahta Hai: This movie I thought marked a breakthrough in storytelling in bollywood when it came out. it was so offbeat from the mainstream. but bollywood didn't change, neither did this movie. its still a great movie.

    9.Queen: KANGNA RANAUT. nuff said.

    10.Bees Saal Baad: Horror meets Black and White in a Bimal Roy classic.

  18. Most people have listed just the Bollywood movies. Please understand that Indian cinema is not just Bollywood. Bollywood is just a small part of Indian cinema. FYI, 70% of the revenue generated through cinema is actually from the Southern film industries ie Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam industries. I'll list some of these movies along with good Bollywood movies as well because some of them are just masterpieces.

    1)3 idiots
    One of the best movies ever made. Rajkumar Hirani, Boman Irani, Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Omi Vaidya, Sharman Joshi and the remaining team members make it one of the most memorable movies of all time. It made you cry and laugh.

    2)Lagaan
    Another one of Aamir's brilliant movies. Brilliant direction of Ashutosh Gowariker and AR Rehman's powerful music make it one of the best ever! It is a pity that it couldn't win an Oscar.

    3)A Wednesday
    One of the most thrilling movies of all time and it didn't have any of the so called stars in it. Nasseruddin Shah and Anupam Kher along with Neeraj Pandey's direction made it a movie that any Indian would love to watch.

    4)Lucia(Kannada)
    It is one of the best movies ever made. You can call it as an Indian answer for inception. Purely original with a brilliant story and excellent direction by Pawan Kumar.
    One more interesting thing about the movie is that it was completely crowd funded. You didn't have big producers and all. It was made by the people and for the people! Some of the top directors in India like Anurag Kashyap publicly praised the movie. It's a must watch for any movie lover. One more thing to be proud about is that other people are remaking this class movie.

    5)Nayagan(Tamil)
    One of the movies that was listed in the TIME magazine's list of greatest ever 100 movies. Kamal Hassan is just brilliant in it! This movie was even remade into Hindi as Dayavan but original is always more awesome

    6)Swades
    Another Ashutosh Gowariker masterpiece. This was a simple movie with a beautiful message. One of SRK's best ever movies. Everytime I listen to the song "Yeh Jo Des He Tera", I get goosebumps.

    7)OM(Kannada)

    I watched it recently and was completely blown away by it. Upendra has shown his class by directing such a brilliant film! The movie was on rowdyism and featured real life rowdies. Despite this, the film managed to get an U certficate because if you notice clearly, they have added a tinge of yellow to the film, thereby masking the blood and gore to some extent. Prema and Shivanna were both brilliant in it! Whenever I listen to the "Brahmananda Omkara" by Annavaru, I get goosebumps. What a song! Many people don't know that Om has been released more than 550 times in Karnataka and everytime it is released, people just rush to the theaters! This was remade into Telugu as Omkara and as Arjun Pandit in Hindi.

    8)Drishyam(Malayalam)

    This movie was remade into Telugu and Kannada. I watched the Kannada version and was blown away by it. One of the most brilliant movies. I hope that I can watch the Malayalam version as well because once again, originality is priceless.

    9)Sholay

    Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Satyen Kappu, AK Hangal and so many more along with RD Burman's music make this a truly epic movie

    10)Deewar

    One movie which established Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of India. A truly flawless movie with powerful dialogues. Salim-Javed's incredible story, Yash Chopra's brilliant direction and an exceptional performance from the supporting cast make this a brilliant movie!

    11)Manichitrathazhu(Malayalam)

    Stop trying to read it or understand it. Just watch the movie! This movie was actually remade into Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali as well! In Kannada, it was Apthamitra, in Tamil, Chandramukhi and Hindi, Bhool Bhulaiyya. Bhool Bhulaiyya is utter trash when compared to this movie.

    12)Ulidavru Kandante(Kannada)

    India's answer to Pulp Fiction, this was listed among the best movies of 2014. A truly exceptional movie showcasing the coastal side of Karnataka.

    13)Vishwaroopam(Tamil)

    There are good actors. Then great actors. Then, there's Kamal Hassan.

    14)Pushpak Vimana(Kannada)

    This is actually a silent movie but considered to be a Kannada movie because the script was written in Kannada. It even won the Best Kannada feature film National award.

    15)Lakshya

    One of the most underrated movies of all time. Showed the Kargil war with a realistic approach.

    16)Taare Zameen Par

    A movie that made all of us cry. Taught us a very important life lesson that every child is special 🙂

    17)Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge

    No list can be complete without it. A movie running for close to 20 years is just remarkable. A simple movie but great performances and music make it really memorable 🙂

    18)Shwaas(Marathi)

    This was also a very good movie. The relationship between a grandfather and his grandson was so beautifully shown. It was also the official  entry to Oscars in 2004

    19)Trishul

    Another of Amitabh Bachchan's angry young man movies.

    20)Parichay

    A sweet movie with a simple story. Pran was brilliant in this!

    It was very difficult to list 20 movies from all possible languages that I can understand or have watched. There are so many, many movies apart from these that are worth watching 🙂

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