21 Best Indian Blockbusters

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Creating a list of the best Indian blockbusters ever made can be quite a task, considering the rich and diverse history of Indian cinema. From classic Bollywood musicals to groundbreaking regional films, Indian cinema has produced numerous iconic films that have left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. Today, we’ll look at 21 Indian blockbusters across various genres, including films from Bollywood, Tollywood, and Kollywood. With such a vast array of regional cinemas, there’s sure to be something here for everyone!

1. Sholay (1975) 

Photo Credit: NH Studioz.

Directed by Ramesh Sippy, this action-adventure film is regarded, rightfully so, as one of the greatest Indian films ever made. It is an excellent example of a masala film, which takes elements from every genre and features an ensemble cast that includes the great Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Hema Malini.

2. Mother India (1957)

Photo Credit: Mehboob Productions.

A remake of director Mehboob Khan’s 1940 film Aurat, this epic melodrama explores the struggles of a rural Indian woman, played by the iconic Hindi actress Nargis. It is also considered India’s first submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

3. Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)

Photo Credit: Arka Mediaworks.

Directed by future R.R.R. auteur S.S. Rajamouli, this Telugu-language epic fantasy film became a global phenomenon, becoming the first Indian film ever nominated for a Saturn Award. 

4. 3 Idiots (2009)

Photo Credit: Fox.

This comedy-drama follows two college friends who reunite to search for their lost friend. Starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi, the film broke box office records and became one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

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5. Lagaan (2001) 

Photo Credit: Aamir Khan Productions.

This period sports drama set during the British Raj earned critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) 

Photo Credit: Yash Raj Films.

Directed by the great Aditya Chopra, this romantic drama starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, often shortened to DDLJ, is one of the longest-running films in Indian cinema history, playing continuously in theaters for over 25 years.

7. Mughal-E-Azam (1960) 

Photo Credit: Sterling Investment Corp.

This epic historical drama follows the illicit love affair between the Mughal Prince Salim and Anarkali, his court dancer. Those who decide to watch the film will be dazzled by its opulent sets, intricate costumes, and vast scope unseen in contemporary American cinema.

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8. Gully Boy (2019) 

Photo Credit: Excel Entertainment.

A musical drama inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers, the film received widespread acclaim for its authentic portrayal of the hip-hop culture in Mumbai. It’s also directed by Zoya Akhtar, a rare case of a woman getting to direct a big Indian blockbuster.

9. Rang De Basanti (2006) 

Photo Credit: ROMP.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, this crime drama explores themes of patriotism and political activism through the lives of a group of Indian Revolutionaries. It was India’s official entry for the 2007 Academy Awards. 

10. PK (2014) 

Photo Credit: UTV Motion Pictures.

Another film from 3 Idiots director Rajkumar Hirani, this satirical comedy-drama starring Aamir Khan follows the former as an alien stranded in India after the remote to call his ship back is stolen. The film would go on to widespread acclaim for its critique of religious superstitions and rituals.

11. Drishyam (2013)

Photo Credit: Panorama Studios.

This Malayalam-language thriller film was remade in several Indian languages due to its gripping story of a family who comes under fire after the disappearance of the police inspector general’s son. 

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12. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) 

Photo Credit: Eros Worldwide.

Directed by Kabir Khan, this heartwarming drama starring Salman Khan and Harshaali Malhotra tells the story of a man who embarks on a journey to reunite a lost Pakistani girl with her family.

13. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

Photo Credit: Arka Mediaworks.

The sequel to S.S. Rajamouli’s smash, Baahubali: The Beginning, this film continues the epic saga of warring kingdoms and garnered even more acclaim and box office success than its predecessor.

14. Andaz Apna Apna (1994) 

Photo Credit: Vinay Pictures.

Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, this cult comedy starring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan follows two con artists who try to woo an heiress’s heart. Though only a modest hit upon release, the film has seen a massive resurgence in Indian pop culture. 

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15. Haider (2014)

Photo Credit: UTV Motion Pictures.

An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in the backdrop of the Kashmir conflict, the film received critical acclaim for its powerful reworking of Shakespeare’s text into a modern geo-political context.

16. Chak De! India (2007) 

Photo Credit: Docklands Studios Melbourne.

Produced by Hindi superproducer Aditya Chopra for Yash Raj Films, this sports drama starring Shah Rukh Khan follows the journey of an Indian women’s hockey team as they strive for international success.

17. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001) 

Photo Credit: Dharma Productions.

Directed by Karan Johar, this multi-starrer family drama featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Kajol follows a family of billionaires coming to terms with their son marrying a woman from a lower class. Over twenty years later, the film remains a beloved classic in the canon of Hindi cinema.

18. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) 

Photo Credit: Jar Pictures.

Think of this as India’s answer to The Godfather. An epic crime saga spanning multiple generations in the coal mafia of Dhanbad, the film set a new standard for violence in modern Indian cinema.

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19. Dhoom 2 (2006) 

Photo Credit: Utopia Films.

India’s Fast and Furious is a pulse-pounding action film from director Sanjay Gadhvi. Its racing scenes were so intense that the Mumbai police attempted to censor the film. Check it out! 

20. Kahaani (2012) 

Photo Credit: Boundscript.

Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, who is primarily known for his comedies, this thriller starring Vidya Balan follows a pregnant woman’s quest to find her missing husband in the bustling streets of Kolkata. Along the way, she unravels shocking truths.

21. Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) 

Photo Credit: Vinod Chopra Productions.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, this comedy-drama starring Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi follows a former criminal who tries to fulfill his father’s dream of becoming a doctor.

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19 Films Where the Main Character Discovers They’re Not the Good Guy in the End

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Through legitimate or illegitimate means, the main character doesn’t always end the film as a good person. Sometimes it comes through a shocking twist, sometimes we’ve known all along that this main character is not somebody we actually like.

19 Films Where the Main Character Discovers They’re Not the Good Guy in the End

20 TV Shows With the Strongest Pilot Episodes We’ve Ever Seen

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It’s common knowledge among TV show buffs that the pilot episode of any new show is just a “warm-up.” That’s why you need to commit to watching at least two or three episodes before you decide if you really love it or not. But there are some TV shows that come out of the gate with a strong pilot episode—and you just know those shows will be binge-worthy.

We’ve got the 20 TV shows with the strongest first episodes ever. Do you have a favorite? Check out this list and see if it’s here!

20 TV Shows With the Strongest Pilot Episodes We’ve Ever Seen

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