If you're looking for something different, something that adds spice to your life, Indian movies are as savory as they can get! India is a land of diversity and culture, and there are as many cultures as there are spices in the subcontinent. The same is reflected in their movies, full of drama, romance, action, and of course, the iconic dance numbers. Indian films are some of the most entertaining movies you’ll ever watch, and some of them are quite good and highly underrated.
If you have a taste for learning about different cultures and looking for an outlandish adventure, we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected an ensemble of the best Hindi movies available on U.S. Netflix that will entail all of your needs – romance, drama, over-the-top action, and much more. So grab some pakoras and get ready to take a dive into the kaleidoscopic world of Hindi cinema!
Editor's note: This article was updated June 2022 to include RRR.
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3 Idiots (2009)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Writer: Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi
Cast: Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor
Run Time: 2 hr 43 min
3 Idiots is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that focuses on the pressure faced by youths freshly out of school and points out the flaws in the educational system. It raises a major question about the purpose of higher studies, is it for knowledge or just to secure jobs? Loosely adapted from the novel Five Point Someone, written by one of the most famous Indian novelists, Chetan Bhagat, the film talks about the story of three young engineering students, who, after qualifying for one of the toughest entrance exams held in India, are admitted to a prestigious engineering college called the ICE (Imperial College of Engineering).
The three ‘idiots’ go through an arduous and comical journey trying to survive the intense pressure of college, balancing their personal life, and forming a strong bond at the same time. The film ends with a sweet note to the viewers, urging them to pursue a career they are passionate about instead of following the herd because it is your happiness that counts at the end of the day. 3 Idiots is one of those films that is sure to lift your spirits, and deserves a spot on your watchlist.
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Writer: Vijayendra Prasad, Sai Madhav Burra, Madhan Karky
Cast: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn
Run Time: 3 hr 7 min
Set in 1920s India, RRRis a drama featuring jaw-dropping action sequences proving its value as India’s largest budget film released and securing award nominations it will surely receive. RRR follows a couple of real-life legendary revolutionaries in a fictional story chronicling an adventure during their uprising against the tyrannical British government ruling over India. After the sadistic Governor Scott Buxton and his equally evil wife Catherine kidnap a young girl with a beautiful voice, Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) and Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) launch into action to find and rescue the missing girl. RRR is a beautifully shot specimen of cinema with, of course, a magnificent musical number. – Yael Tygiel
Director: Vikas Bahl
Writer: Vikas Bahl, Chaitally Parmar, Parveez Shaikh
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Lisa Haydon, Rajkummar Rao
Run Time: 2 hr 26 min
Queen is a woman-centric film set in a conservative society. It is all about women's empowerment, showcasing the kind of changes that are needed in the mindset of the Indian community, that has traditionally followed patriarchy. Yes, India is changing, it is developing, but most Indian women still don’t feel as free as women from more developed parts of the world. The protagonist of the story named Rani (Queen) gets dumped by her fiancé because she’s too “conservative” for him. She embarks on a solo trip of her own, traveling to Paris and Amsterdam, learns what it means to be independent. She experiences something she had never truly felt before: freedom. Towards the end of the film, she visualizes how she wants to live her life, and decides to live it like a Queen.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Sometimes There is Joy, Sometimes There is Sorrow…) (2001)
Director: Karan Johar
Writer: Karan Johar
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor
Run Time: 3 hr 30 min
One of the best movies directed and written by Karan Johar, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Sometimes there is joy, sometimes there is sorrow) is set in a traditional Indian patriarchal society. Bejeweled with some of the finest and most famous actors from India’s Bollywood industry, the film shows how and why some traditional Indian perspectives need to be changed.
The film tells the story of a rich Indian family that is highly patriarchal and strictly follows traditions. The family consists of a very conservative father, a meek but loving mother, and two sons, the elder one being adopted. The adopted son falls in love with a girl from a low-income background, which is forbidden according to the traditional family rules, and is thus disowned by the father after he refuses to give up on her. 10 years later, the younger son schemes to bring them all together after seeing the pain hidden behind the pride of his parents. The well-timed comedy and the emotional scenes from the film will make your heart melt and is definitely worth a watch.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Something Happens) (1998)
Director: Karan Johar
Writer: Karan Johar
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukherji
Run Time: 3 hr 5 min
One of the most famous rom-com Indian films of all time, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was Karan Johar's directorial debut and a massive hit. The plot combines two love triangles set almost a decade apart. The first one involves two best friends at a college, Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol), Anjali falls for Rahul but he falls in love with someone else and is oblivious to Anjali feelings. Fast forward, ten years later, the guy is a widower, with a little daughter who comes to know of her dad's best friend, and she sets out on a quest to get them back together in a more romantic way. However, the second half also consists of another love triangle, this time involving the duo and Anjali's fiancé. The sweet and emotional ending of the film leaves you with a strange sense of content and delight, and is definitely worth a watch.
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Writer: Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi
Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjay Dutt, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla
Run Time: 2 hr 25 min
PK is a sci-fi satirical comedy that questions moral values and their intangibility to religion. It stresses the fact that humanity is greater than any religion. The film begins with an innocent humanoid alien arriving on planet earth, landing in India. He is left behind by his peers with a communication device to research about earth’s people and culture. However, his device is stolen and he has to go through several hilarious and often dangerous ordeals to get it back. His quests get him into trouble with various religious preachers, one of whom possesses the device he is after and refuses to give it back to him, claiming it was “a gift from god”. The film is sure to make you laugh till your tummy hurts, and the emotional finale will remind you what it really means to be a human. Definitely one of the most rewatchable movies on this list.
Director: S. S. Rajamouli
Writer: K. V. Vijayendra Prasad
Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishna, Sathyaraj, Nassar
Run Time: 2 hr 39 min
Baahubali is one of the most successful Indian movies that is actually not from Bollywood. Originally filmed in Telugu and Tamil languages, it was dubbed into Hindi and broke the Indian box office. Taking inspiration from the Indian epic Mahabharata, the story is divided into two films: Bahubali: The Beginning and Bahubali: The Conclusion, both of them equally enjoyable and satisfying. It tells the story of an ancient kingdom of Mahishmati, where the rightful heir to the throne is forced to live in exile after his uncle tries to kill him as a baby to capture the throne. He is rescued by some villagers, who adopt him and raise him as their own son.
Two decades later, he accidentally stumbles upon the story of his past while trying to help his crush, who happens to be a member of a rebel group that is trying to rescue the queen, his mom, from captivity. The unbelievable twists and mesmerizing VFX keep you hooked till the end of the second movie, and will make you feel like you are reading directly from the pages of an ancient manuscript.
Khoobsurat (Beautiful) (2014)
Director: Shashanka Ghosh
Writer: Indira Bisht, Juhi Chaturvedi
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Kirron Kher, Ratna Pathak, Aamir Raza Hussain
Run Time: 2 hr 1 min
Khoobsurat is the Indian version of a Disney princess story. Yes, you heard it right! Produced under the Walt Disney banners, Khoobsurat is loosely based on the 1980 film of the same name. The film narrates the story of a young and lively physiotherapist, who gets a job offer to work for an Indian royal family, but the dull and strict environment at the palace depresses her. She tries to breathe life into their sad lives with her hard work and cheerful demeanor, but things don’t always go her way. While working at the palace, she falls in love with the young prince but gets rejected. However, her efforts begin to bear fruit as the family slowly gets back together in a fairy-tale fashion and brings a smile to everyone’s face.
Pad Man (2018)
Director: R. Balki
Writer: R. Balki and Swanand Kirkire
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte
Run Time: 2 hr 10 min
Pad Man is the story of an Indian hero, but not in the sense you might think. In several rural Indian households, menstruation is seen as a taboo subject, much like everything related to sex, and is something that is looked down upon. Due to the lack of proper sex education, women often have to face unhygienic conditions, and sometimes it goes to an extreme, where they are kept away from the house during the days when they need their families the most. Periods are seen as something impure, a woman’s fault for being a woman, and our hero sets on a journey to change those views.
The film is inspired by the life of a real-life social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, who sets out on a quest to learn how to make affordable, reliable, and hygienic sanitary pads after seeing his wife suffer due to the lack of education and a chronic case of superstition in his family and village. The story is a saga of true love and dedication set in a more realistic rural world and inspires you to take a stand against similar social issues.
Drishyam (Visual) (2015)
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Writer: Upendra Sidhaye
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Shriya Saran
Run Time: 2 hr 43 min
One of the best-written Indian films, Drishyam is one of a kind crime thriller that will keep you glued to your TV screen till the very end. A remake of the 2013 Malayalam-language film of the same name, Drishyam tells the story of a father’s ordeal to protect his family, and the lengths he is willing to go to do the same. The family is held suspect in a criminal investigation, the murder of the son of Inspector General of Goa Police. They are scrutinized and tortured by the police but to no avail. The story slowly unfolds through various gripping twists and turns, much like an episode of CSI, and will make you chow down on several helpings of popcorn in anticipation by the time you reach the end.
Dangal (A Wrestling Bout) (2016)
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Writer: Nitesh Tiwari, Saeed Aadil, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra
Cast: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Zaira Wasim, Sanya Malhotra, Suhani Bhatnagar
Run Time: 2 hr 41 min
Dangal is an honest depiction of a real-life story of a family of Indian wrestlers who broke the stereotype “women are not as strong as men”. It tells the story of an Indian amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who once was the national wrestling champion in his youth but had to abandon his dream of winning an Olympic medal for India because of a lack of financial backing. So he dedicates his life to training his daughters in the sport, under the tagline “Mhari Chhoria Chhoro se kum hai ke” (My daughters are no less talented than boys). Through years of hardwork and patience, going through various ups and downs, at times falling out, they manage to stay and work together, and his daughters fulfill his lifelong dream of securing a medal at the Olympics. The film has its emotional and comedic moments and makes you want to jump right back into the gym to make good on your new year’s resolution.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Writer: Ashutosh Gowariker, K. P. Saxena and Haidar Ali
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Sood
Run Time: 3 hr 33 min
A historical movie at its core, Jodhaa Akbar mixes elements of fiction and romance and takes you back to the medieval period when Mughals ruled over much of India. It narrates the story of the Mughal Emporer Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar and the Hindu Princess Jodhaa Bai, who are married as a result of diplomatic ties and territory expansion between Mughals and a section of the Rajputs (warrior kings of Rajasthan, an Indian state). Akbar has been portrayed as a ruthless conqueror by some and a brilliant statesman by others in history books, but here you see his romantic demeanor as he gradually falls in love with Jodha Bai. The film is filled with great action, VFX, amazing scores, and an intriguing plot line, making it one of the best Indian historical movies to date.
Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth) (2007)
Director: Aamir Khan
Writer: Amole Gupte
Cast: Amir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Tanay Chheda, Sachet Engineer, Vipin Sharma, Tisca Chopra
Run Time: 2 hr 44 min
Taare Zameen Par is a psychological drama and proved to be an educational film about dyslexia at a time when there was not much awareness about the disorder in India. The film tells the story of an 8-year-old dyslexic child, who is misunderstood by his family for failing in class, labeled as good-for-nothing by them, his teachers, and his friends. He is admitted to a boarding school as punishment, where his life changes after he makes a friend and meets a new teacher, who himself has suffered through the same problem. The teacher discovers his hidden potential in arts and brings out the best in him by working together, functioning as a guiding light. This film is an eye-opener to the struggles dyslexic individuals, especially children, face in real life.
Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Come) (2003)
Director: Karan Johar
Writer: Karan Johar and Niranjan Iyengar
Cast: Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta
Run Time: 3 hr 6 min
Kal Ho Naa Ho is a romantic drama with a tragic underlying story. It tells the story of a pessimistic young woman studying in the US, whose father killed himself when she was young and has been depressed ever since. Her life is changed with the entry of her new next-door neighbor, who teaches her the meaning of life and alters her views. They both fall in love, but he refuses to admit it because he has a fatal heart condition and does not have long to live. He tries to hook her up with the girl’s best friend, who he knows is secretly in love with her, and believes will take good care of her after he is gone. The movie goes through several transformations in its tone, from bleak to comic, hopeful to tragic, but ends on a sweet note: “Make the most of your life today, because there may not be a tomorrow”.
Writer: Sujeeth, Abbas Dalal and Hussain Dalal
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh
Run Time: 2 hr 30 min
If you are looking for an awesome action-thriller laced with a carefully concocted mix of suspense and mystery, Saaho is exactly the film you should watch. One of the most expensive Indian films ever made, Saaho was filmed simultaneously in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi languages. The movie depicts the story of Saaho, the son of an underworld boss, who carefully orchestrates a plan to avenge his father by going after the rival gangs responsible for his death. He tricks the police into helping him, fights off hoards of bad guys like a superhero, and rises to power after killing off his father’s murderer. With several unexpected twists and turns, popping item numbers, and out-of-the-world action sequences, Saaho is a wild ride and sure to keep you entertained for over two and a half hours!
Director: Ravi Udyawar
Writer: Girish Kohli
Cast: Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna, Sajal Ali, Adnan Siddiqui
Run Time: 2 hr 26 min
Mom is a crime thriller drama that focuses on an issue that has been a major concern all over the world in one way or another: the safety of women. The film shows what goes through the minds of the victims and their family, and why stricter laws are necessary to prevent crimes against women. Mom is the story of a mother’s crusade, seeking justice for her young stepdaughter after she is sexually assaulted by a group of men after a party. She is failed by the judiciary system after the criminals are set free due to the lack of evidence. She goes after them herself, exacting revenge for her daughter, with some help, and shows why a mother’s love is second to none.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (Toilet: A Love Story) (2017)
Director: Shree Narayan Singh
Writer: Siddharth Singh
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Anupam Kher, Sudhir Pandey, Divyendu Sharma
Run Time: 2 hr 35 min
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is a satirical comedy that highlights the dire situation of the lack of proper sanitation facilities in Indian rural areas. It tells the story of a young man from an Indian rural area who falls in love with a city girl, and the couple moves to the village after they marry. The village is quite under-developed and its residents are uneducated and superstitious, and the government’s negligence only makes the situation worse. The spouse is horrified by the lack of proper toilets in her house and in the village and files a divorce. The case attracts media attention which ultimately forces the government to build proper sanitization arrangements in the village. The love birds manage to reconcile and encourage you to take a stand against similar practices that we often ignore due to negligence.
Main Hoon Na (I Am Here) (2004)
Director: Farah Khan
Writer: Abbas Tyrewala, Farah Khan, Rajesh Saathi
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Sunil Shetty, Amrita Rao, Zayed Khan
Run Time: 3 hr 2 min
Bollywood is known for its masala movies, i.e. films that don’t belong to a specific genre but flaunt a mix of action, romance, comedy, drama and are lined with iconic item songs. The movie narrates the story of a young Major in the Indian Army, who is sent back to college on two missions: One, to protect the daughter of his senior officer, and Two, to reconcile with his stepmom and stepbrother after the death of his father. His journey takes him through several amusing, romantic, and Rambo-like adventures until he finds the person responsible for his father’s death. Main Hoon Na will surely make you miss your college days, or make you wish you had attended one, and the amazing dance numbers will force you to get off the couch and shake a leg with your loved ones!
Shaandaar (Magnificent) (2015)
Director: Vikas Bahl
Writer: Anvita Dutt Guptan
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor
Run Time: 3 hr 26 min
Shaandaar is a rom-com drama that primarily focuses on the importance of self-worth. Arranged marriages are quite common in India and the entire film circles around the concept. A young orphan girl who suffers from terrible insomnia is adopted by a rich businessman, whose wife and mother hate the idea and think she is a bad investment. She grows up to be an amazing person under the care of her adoptive father and sister, who dote on her.
However, the family goes bankrupt, and the biological daughter is asked to marry into a wealthy family in hopes of getting some financial stability. She agrees, and the marriage arrangements begin to take shape until she meets the guy she is supposed to marry. He is a condescending fitness freak, who constantly fat-shames her and is quite disrespectful towards her. With the help of her adopted sister and the event organizer, she learns to value herself and ultimately calls off the wedding.
Malang (Wanderer) (2020)
Director: Mohit Suri
Writer: Aseem Arrora
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani, Kunal Khemu
Run Time: 2 hr 11 min
Malang is a well-written crime thriller action film that keeps you glued to the screen with its unanticipated twists and realistic action. It tells the story of a man, wrongly framed and sent to prison by a corrupt policeman and his group. He goes out on a carefully orchestrated murderous rampage, targeting policemen who had wronged him, mocking the head of the police station with a phone call. But as it turns out, there is much more to the story. The vile police officer had seemingly killed his girlfriend accidentally in a violent fit, and the guy was framed and sent to jail after disposing of the girl’s body as he was the only witness present on the scene. The film’s amazing score, acting chops, and gritty tone will keep you on the edge of your seat, and leave you guessing towards the end.
What is best Hindi on Netflix? ›
- Chopsticks. Hindustan Times. Chopsticks is a feel-good Hindi movie on Netflix starring Abhay Deol and Mithila Palkar. ...
- Rajma Chawal. The Red Sparrow. ...
- Lust Stories. TOI. ...
- Soni. Netflix. ...
- Guilty. Rediffmail. ...
- Music Teacher. IMDb. ...
- Bulbul. IMDb. ...
- Ankahi Kahaniya. Netflix.
|#||Films in India||Weeks in Top 10|
|2||We Have a Ghost||2|
- The Hangover Part II (2011) 44 % 6.5/10. ...
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) 76 % ...
- The Strays (2023) 4.7/10. ...
- Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) 56 % ...
- Magic Mike XXL (2015) 60 % ...
- The Hunger Games (2012) 68 % ...
- The Hangover Part III (2013) 30 % ...
- This Is Where I Leave You (2014) 44 %
- 'Baahubali' (2015) Image via Arka Media Works. ...
- 'Beast' (2022) ...
- 'Dhamaka' (2021) ...
- 'Don' (2022) ...
- 'Haider' (2014) ...
- 'Major' (2022) ...
- 'Malang' (2020) ...
- 'RRR' (2022)
- Radhe Shyam (Hindi)
- Jodhaa Akbar.
- Hum Aapke Hain Koun.
- Hum Saath-Saath Hain.
- Rudra: The Edge Of Darkness (Disney+ Hotstar) 35.2 million.
- Aashram S3 (MX Player) 34.3 million.
- Panchayat S2 (Amazon Prime) 29.6 million.
- Criminal Justice: Adhura Sach (Disney+ Hotstar) 23 million.
- The Great Indian Murder (Disney+ Hotstar) 23 million.
- Breathe Into The Shadows S2 (Amazon Prime) 22.3 million.
- Made In Heaven (2019) ...
- Breathe (2018) ...
- Pushpavalli (2017-2020) ...
- Mirzapur (2018-2020) ...
- Paatal Lok (2020) ...
- One Mic Stand (2019-2021) ...
- Tandav (2021) ...
- The Family Man (2019-2021)
- Mighty Little Bheem.
- Akbar Birbal.
- Skater Girl.
- Gangubai Kathiawadi.