From Sherni (2021) to Saraansh (1984), here are some of the best Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime.
The Indian film industry, one of the largest in the world, is currently valued at a whopping $183 billion. We churn out close to 800 films in a year. That’s 2 films a day! An overwhelming number compared to Hollywood, which produces 475 films in a year. So, it can be hard to keep track of all the films that are released. And now with the advent of OTTs, a competitive alternative to the good old theaters, there’s a staggering volume of content out there. And with originals, web shows, limited series dropping every month, it can be hard to keep up with it all.
With 3000 plus hindi films streaming on Amazon Prime alone, picking your next binge can be a tedious task. Keeping this in mind, we’ve drafted an exhaustive list of all the Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime Video in India. We bring you the best Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime — old and new, mainstream and indie — sorted chronologically. Bookmark the page to keep up with the latest Hindi movies, moving in and out of Prime. These films were playing as of October 2022.
1. Sherni (2021)
Made with brilliant sensitivity, Amit V. Masurkar’s Sherni raises poignant questions about man-animal conflict and doesn’t provide easy answers. It leaves you with a disturbing truth about the systemic corruption and indifference. There are a few good men and women in the system who are trying to do the right thing. To let animals be, to let them reclaim their right to exist. This is a story of one such officer and her humanity and empathy for other living beings. Vidya Balan excels in an unglamorous role of a conscientious forest officer. In a world of timorous and predatory men, she is a Sherni!
2. Shakuntala Devi (2020)
Anu Menon’s Shakuntala Devi is an emotional, bittersweet ride, which is at times operatic but mostly spirited; one that holds its verve while enthralling you throughout. It is based on the life of gifted mathematician Shakuntala Devi, who was also revered as ‘The Human Computer’. In fact, the film’s uniqueness and strength lies in its unconventional protagonist. Vidya Balan shines throughout the film, in moments of hope and despair alike, in fleets of success and fame, and in deep-seated instances of damage and hurt. Performances are delivered with conviction and emotionality sans any contrivances.
3. Gully Boy (2019)
Zoya Akhthar’s Gully Boy is the 8 Mile of Bollywood. It celebrates the true essence of rap. The film is a bare, raw and fierce portrayal of life for the less fortunate. It functions as a bildungsroman, weaving a heart-touching tale of an ordinary man who rises up to be clad in the vestiture of stardom. Ranveer Singh plays Murad Ahmad, a budding street rapper, who overcomes oppression in the personal as well as social spaces. One up for Zoya Akhtar who takes the reins and steers Gully Boy to incredible perfection.
4. Raazi (2018)
Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi is a taut thriller that is helped by an edge-of-the-seat narrative and a fine ensemble of actors. The film is set during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. The narrative chronicles the true story of a young Kashmiri girl trained as a spy and sent behind enemy lines ahead of the Indo-Pak war. Alia Bhatt as Sehmat renders some fine, jaw-dropping moments. She brings out the innocence and brazenness with equal conviction. Watch Raazi for Meghna Gulzar’s compelling storytelling, supported by brilliant performances — Jaideep Ahlawat, Vicky Kaushal, Shishir Sharma, Rajit Kapur, Amruta Khanvilkar.
5. Tumbbad (2018)
A parable on greed and how it devours its children, this is such a visual extravaganza that you begin to marvel at the audacity of the filmmakers. Their audacity to dream beyond the obvious and to go where most Hindi films are afraid to go — a dark, stylised, surrealistic netherworld! The film needs to be seen on the large screen to internalize the intensity of its cinematic expanse. Do rope down the womb of Mother Earth to experience an eternal human conflict. Beautifully shot, it ain’t really a horror show. Beyond horror lies the forever struggle between man’s need and his greed. One of the most important movies to have come out of India in 2018, Tumbbad deserves deep appreciation for its ambition and craft.
6. Shreelancer (2017)
Life is mundane for 20-something Bangalore-based freelancer Shreepad Naik (aka Shree) until a trip to Chandigarh for a friend’s wedding shifts his perception of life and the world around him. Writer-director Sandeep Mohan’s film is a story of self-discovery, a journey inward and outward. A well-written film that’s equally visually spectacular with some breathtaking scenery and cinematography (courtesy Subhash Maskara).
Shreelancer is an honest attempt at portraying a freelancer’s life while leaving us with some intriguing questions to ponder over how we go through our everyday lives and the choices we make. Arjun Radhakrishnan, the biggest find of 2017, overwhelms and endears in his effortless, refreshing portrayal of Shree.
7. Newton (2017)
Amit Masurkar’s Newton is a darkly comic examination of a frail democratic process. Rajkummar Rao spectacularly plays the titular character, a young idealist who does things by the book. His disciplinarian attitude lands him the duty of election officer in the conflict-torn region of the Maoists. Airlifted to the middle of a jungle, Newton is tasked to register the votes of 76 locals. Armed with rules and ideals, he finds himself at odds with the chaotic reality.
Director Amit Masurkar strikes a perfect balance between satirical humor and tense interplay. Masurkar subtly renders how there’s a lot to democracy than symbolic gestures of the polling booth and voting machine. While Rao offers a standout performance, Pankaj Tripathi’s pragmatic and weary military officer character was equally good.
8. Kapoor and Sons (2016)
There’s an understated ease in how the characters play out and the screenplay unfolds in Shakun Batra’s ‘Kapoor and Sons’. This isn’t your staple Bollywood family drama. The characters are unerringly drawn, real and relatable. The director doesn’t start defining them as soon as he introduces them to us. He lets them be. They mold along the way through the circumstances and situations they find themselves in. And the situations don’t seem contrived. Every scene fluidly ties into the next. And the whole is a well-knit coming together of these parts. This is a mainstream family drama done right!
9. Trapped (2016)
After the success of Lootera and Udaan, director Vikramaditya Motwane gave us another winner in Trapped, a taut survival thriller starring the talented Rajkummar Rao. It revolves around a man who unintentionally locks himself on the top floor of an uninhabited Mumbai high-rise building. Furthermore, it explores his ordeal and attempts at escape and survival. Whilst providing plenty of edge-of-your-seat thrills, Trapped makes for an intriguingly interactive experience as you hope for the protagonist’s physical and mental wellbeing. Motwane does a fine job in making the central character so relatable to us.
10. Parched (2016)
This is a cinema that provokes. It can shatter one’s cozy beguiling numbness and shakes and rattles the feudal, patriarchal mindset. Leena Yadav’s ‘Parched’ is a celebration of the sisterhood of oppressed women, united by their empathy, their deep caring for each other and the desire to reword the grammar of their lives. Set in a dusty rural village in the Northwestern India, the film introduces into the harsh atmosphere of forced child marraiges, spousal rape, poverty, etc. Leena attempts to showcase how women continue to live and survive in such a tightly controlled world.
11. Shanghai (2012)
Vassilis Vassilikos’ Z talked of a different time, a different political situation in Greece. Costa-Gavras turned the novel into a film in 1969, and it spoke of the radical politics of that era. Similarly, Dibakar Banerjee has managed to craft his political thriller based on the Vassilikos’ book. The talented script writer and director transplants the story to reflect the sorrowful state of Indian politics. He truly understands the craft. With some incredible performances by Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin, the movie manages to stun, thrill and amuse, as Dibakar’s attention to detail is evident here, in a mature, serious thriller, which also ranks as one of the best in his filmography.
12. Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)
Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a stereotype-breaking film that helps cement a new concept of love. Or rather a new way of looking at it — one that is rarely explored on the silver screen. This original story is rather unassuming that manages to entertain as well as make you ponder over. It’s a romantic drama which possesses some of the familiar cinematic beats. Both Bhumi Pednekar and Ayushmann Khurana turn in stellar performances that radiate the sincerity, seriousness and honesty with which the film is written and staged.
13. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
By this point, Zoya Akhtar had firmly established herself as one of the leading directorial talents of her generation. Featuring an all-star cast of Anil Kapoor, Shefail Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar, Zoya takes the problems of upper-class Indian society and turns it into a touching, heart-warming and every bit entertaining family drama about love and relationships. Dil Dhadakne Do revolves around the wealthy Mehra family who arranges a get together with family and friends through a European cruise trip. The dysfunctionality in the Mehra family creates plenty of conflicts during the trip.
14. Titli (2014)
Titli’s titular character wants to break free from his gangster family and start life afresh as a law-abiding citizen. However, things change when his family gets him married. Subsequently, the youngster gets caught up in the criminal family’s flawed, devious schemes. The film captures the gloomy essence of Eastern Delhi to full tilt. And features a solid rendering of its fairly dark subject. Debutant filmmaker Kanu Behl could have tightened the story a little bit. At the same time, each scene is filled with fantastic character details that we are immersed in their conflicts and doubts.
15. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
The 5-hour-plus magnum opus is clearly Anurag Kashyap’s best work to date. The story spans close to seven decades and chronicles the dominance between warring factions in the small, coal-rich town of Wasseypur. The narrative is based on the real gang wars that took place in the region of Dhanbad in Jharkhand. Its novel-style storytelling deals with themes like political corruption, family legacy, revenge, cultural strife, etc. The scope and ambition with which Kashyap treats this saga of betrayal and deceit are much subtler and deeper than the usual rise-and-fall arc. Kashyap’s visual acuity sets the stage for some of the best set-pieces in this gangster thriller.
16. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Zoya Akhtar skilfully marries artistic and mainstream sensibilities to create this gem. A film about friendship and travel, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a simple story with its heart in the right place. Furthermore, the poems by Javed Akhtar bolster the narrative. We find a little bit of ourselves in all the characters. These are relatable characters with simple aspirations. Characters that speak our language. The film can be seen as a spiritual sequel to Dil Chahta Hai, made by Zoya’s brother Farhan Akhthar. The filmmaker finds the perfect balance between the dramatic beats and light-hearted humor.
17. Firaaq (2008)
‘Firaaq’ examines the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots in India. It showcases the horror a society undergoes after communal harmony is broken loose. The film weaves in multiple story lines that follow the lives of a range of characters: a Muslim-hating Hindu whose wife is haunted by the ghost of the riots; a Hindu-hating Muslim who hopelessly plans revenge; a mixed marriage couple rethinking their decision to move to Delhi post riots and a Muslim child who has recently lost his parents to the riots. Nandita Das manages to put together characters of a similar mindset on both sides of the equation. It wasn’t a controversial film at all but a purely human interest story that doesn’t sympathize with a particular community. (By Amritt Rukhaiyaar)
18. Chak De India (2007)
In a Shahrukh Khan show all the way, director Shimit Amin made sure the women players had their own space to shine. Even bit players like Krishnaji (Vibha Chibber) and Sukhlal (Javed Khan) became memorable characters. The adrenaline-pumping slo-mo shots, mesmerizing cinematography and swift editing helped the audience to immerse themselves in the game. Moreover, director Shimit Amin wonderfully heightens the drama without using any histrionics. For a mainstream film, Amin keeps the goings-on very real and relatable. Most importantly, the film is devoid of any lip-sync songs and delivers a progressive storyline with technical finesse.
19. Socha Na Tha (2005)
Imtiaz Ali’s feature film debut was loved by the critics. Unfortunately, it bombed at the box-office. It was a commercial failure, probably because it had no big names to boast of in order to bring the audience to the theaters. Socha Na Tha also marks the acting debut of Abhay Deol, while Ayesha Takia had two flops behind her in the same year. It was much later when moviegoers warmed up to it. ‘Socha Na Tha’ is a mainstream romance done right. And Imtiaz is among the very few filmmakers who can bring strong emotions and liveliness to this genre.
20. Jab We Met (2007)
Dubbed as the unofficial remake of Frank Capra’s classic romantic road movie It Happened One Night (1934), ‘Jab We Met’ was the defining film of Imtiaz Ali’s career. It had everything going for itself — well-written characters, memorable performances, crackling chemistry between the lead pair, and a solid script. Above everything, it had a heart! Kareena immortalized Geet (which was at one point the title of the film) and Shahid Kapoor finally delivered his first major hit. The film spawned several remakes and clones, but nothing quite matched the success of this modern love epic.
21. Salaam Namaste (2005)
From Dil Chahta Hai (2001) to Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Hum Tum (2004) to Salaam Namaste (2005) and later Love Aj Kal (2009), Saif was on a roll in the 2000s. He turned in one (romcom) hit after another. Somewhere around the early 2000s, Hindi cinema’s poster boy for romance Shah Rukh Khan passed on the baton to the newer, younger crop. Bollywood found its new-age, urban loverboy in Saif. A lover who wasn’t a ‘hero’ in the real sense of the word. A lover who was far from perfect. He made mistakes. He was one of us. And Saif neatly fitted the definition. Or was it also a reflection of the events that parallel-y transpired in his real life?
22. My Brother Nikhil (2005)
In what was considered as a rare subject for its time in Indian cinema, My Brother Nikhil delves deep into sensitive themes like HIV and homosexuality. It is an open appeal to the government to amend a law that allows to isolate people diagnosed HIV positive. A successful swimmer loses everything he had because of this. Not only is his name dragged through the mud, he’s abandoned by family and friends at this crucial juncture of his life. The film captures, with gritty realism, the predicament of those diagnosed with a disease and considered a taboo by society.
23. Saathiya (2002)
Mani Ratnam‘s protege Shaad Ali delivered a winner in this Tamil film remake of AlaiPayuthey (2000). The film smoothly transitions from mostly a light, zippy first half to a dark, grim latter half. The non-linear narrative tightly edited (except the last few minutes) kept up the pace and attention.
Rani Mukerji held the film with an impressive performance. Vivek Oberoi came off his dark avatar and took on the loverboy mantle charming his way through to Suhani’s (Rani Mukerji) and our hearts. From Yaar Milade Saiyya to Chupke Se, A.R. Rahman’s soulful music adds extra layers to this poignant romance drama.
24. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)
The ultimate rulebook of romance, DDLJ became the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema (surpassing Ramesh Sippy’s action classic ‘Sholay’). Aditya Chopra’s debut film gave us memorable screen characters in Raj and Simran (played by Shahrukh Khan and Kajol), who epitomized love. The record-breaking cult film set benchmarks for romantic dramas to come. In fact, the film set off the whole trend of NRI romances. As usual the Yash Raj Films banner did a phenomenal job in packaging the drama, music, and songs. No Bollywood list is quite complete without this one.
25. Roja (1992)
Mani Ratnam loves to do a contemporary redesign of Hindu mythological stories. In Roja, he takes the Satyavan and Savitri story, mixing it with real-life incidents. For good or bad, Roja was an important film in Ratnam’s filmmaking career. It led to the pan-India success of his later films like Bombay (1995), Dil se (1998), and Guru (2007). The superbly realized individual conflicts in his previous films were now replaced with ‘individual vs the giant political system’ conflicts. Roja is an emotional film with a mass appeal. Yet, its portrayal of Kashmir Muslims and a blunt showcase of patriotism still remain as the problematic aspects.
26. Lamhe (1991)
Yash Chopra’s film was well ahead of its time, especially in its portrayal of female characters. A man falls head-over-heels in love for a woman, who however marries another man. The couple dies and leaves behind a daughter who falls in love with the same man who loved her mother. Awkward much? But there’s a ‘but’ in between. Yash Chopra’s direction gives the premise a playful and innocent spin. It’s a simple film and the plotline of it could be hard to stomach for some, but it has its heart in the right place. It’s a brave idea for its times amd you can watch it for its execution.
27. Saraansh (1984)
In what is known as Anupam Kher’s career-best performance, Mahesh Bhatt’s classic Saraansh is a story of a mother and father adjusting to life after their son is killed in a mugging accident in America. With the loss of their son, the elderly couple feels like they have lost the purpose of their life. They rent a part of their home to an emerging actress named Sujata (Soni Razdan). The turbulent political landscape of the era brings more troubles and despair to the old couple. Saraansh is one of the most understated Hindi cinema which intimately delves into themes of despair, existential crisis, and above all hope.
28. Masoom (1983)
Masoom chronicles the heart-wrenching journey of an illegitimate child. It brilliantly explores the complexities of child psychology and implications of irresponsible childbirth. Based on Erich Segal’s ‘Man Woman And Child’, this was Shekhar Kapur’s directorial debut and one of his finest, featuring heavyweight actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi. The film tells the story of DK, a caring husband and father to his two daughters. The family’s blissful existence is overturned when DK learns that he has a little son from an affair. Since the boy’s mother has passed away, DK becomes his guardian.
29. Silsila (1981)
Another film that bombed at the box office during the time of its release, Silsila today has acquired a cult status. A classic Yash Chopra film, Silsila set the standards for Bollywood romance melodramas The film dealt with an extra-marital affair, which was considered controversial for its time.
The ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar, and Shashi Kapoor and their remarkable performances prove to be the biggest strength of the film. The other important aspect that still remains a testament to Silsila’s brilliance is the spectacular musical compositions of Shiv-Hari. All the songs and its picturizations are revered to this day.
30. Anand (1971)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee Anand is a timeless classic, one that refuses to age. It is a story about the celebration of life and friendship. The narrative revolves around a terminally ill man, whose selflessness and optimism deeply impacts a cynical doctor. Anand was one of Amitabh Bachchan’s early films, also one responsible for his enduring stardom. Starring alongside the legendary actor Rajesh Khanna and managing to grab the spotlight is no mean feat. The heart-breaking emotions that Bachchan displays are almost unbecoming of his ‘angry young man’ image. Hislow-key, emotionally restrained performance is perfectly complemented by Rajesh Khanna’s flamboyant screen presence.
31. Pyaasa (1957)
Pyaasa was one of the most acclaimed films of Hindi cinema and the most famous work of the legendary Indian filmmaker Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt was championed for stylizing the look of popular Indian cinema, which deeply influenced the cinema made in the subcontinent. On the outset, Pyaasa is an old-school romance drama. But deep down, offers a tragic and timeless take on how the world punishes the true artists.
While the narrative unfolds like a familiar melodrama, the film is best known for its moody compositions and shadow-laden monochrome cinematography. Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman’s soulful performance and the profound songs are other great strengths of Pyaasa.
32. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool aka Paper Flowers was a commercial failure unlike the director’s previous film Pyaasa. The deeply introspective take on a filmmaker’s self-destruction and disintegration didn’t work well with the masses. However, the tragic narrative arc of Suresh Sinha in Kaagaz Ke Phool has been revered in the subsequent decades. Some critics consider this first Indian CinemaScope film to be Dutt’s best work.
The narrative structure and imagery of the film was inspired by Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. The story was inspired by the 1932 Hollywood feature What Price Hollywood? Overall, this is a beautifully crafted portrait of a filmmaker’s joys and sufferings.
33. 3 Idiots (2009)
Rajkumar Hirani’s college campus comedy-drama 3 Idiots was loosely based on the immensely popular 2004 novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat. It features a compelling performance from Aamir Khan whose character questions the societal pressures surrounding the educational institutions in India. The narrative revolves around three students whose ambitious parents send them to study engineering in a prestigious university.
3 Idiots uses comedy and melodrama in an effective manner to tackle deep social issues. The juvenile humor and unnecessary subplots do overstay their welcome. At the same time, Hirani’s blockbuster film initiates a debate on the simple methods taken by educational institutions to impart knowledge.
34. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut explored friendship and love with a subtle, indie sensibility. It was a generational shift in our style of storytelling. Recounting his insecurities as a filmmaker in his biography, An Unsuitable Boy, Karan Johar says, “there was a part of me that got a little afraid,” post the release of Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai. “I felt that in that year, the syntax of cinema had changed… What was really, intrinsically, authentically cool was Farhan Akhtar’s depiction of urban youth, the way they dressed, spoke, the mannerisms. My sensibilities were mixed up with those of the filmmakers of yore – Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Raj Kapoor.”
There you go! These are some of the best Bollywood movies streaming on Amazon Prime Video. This is a limited list and there are many more interesting titles — canons like Sholay (1975), Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). If you’ve ticked all these off your list, check out Veer Zaara (2004), Parinda (1989), Saath Saath (1982), Ardh Satya (1983), Andaz Apna Apna (1994), Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), Rock On (2008), Rocket Singh (2009), Karwaan (2018), October (2018).
What are your favorites and what did we miss? Let’s talk in the comments below.
This was much needed… Amazon has a lot of options… Netflix relatively has few options but a better quality of movies.
Lots to catch up on! Thanks for the list. I’m going to bookmark ❤️
Exhaustive list. Good effort putting them all together.