The best Hindi-language movies on Netflix usually come from Bollywood’s biggest studios, including the likes of UTV, Dharma, Viacom18, Red Chillies, Zee Studios, Reliance Entertainment, or Aamir Khan Productions. Netflix only has two titles below that bear its name, despite the crores that it’s pouring into original productions, made by some of those very studios. Aamir Khan is the most frequent personality on the list below, with nearly one in nine films involving him in some capacity. Other recurring stars include Naseeruddin Shah (5), Kalki Koechlin (5), Vidya Balan (4), Vishal Bhardwaj (4), and Kareena Kapoor (4). To help you find something that fits your mood, we’ve divided the list by genres.
The Best Movies on Netflix in India
Before we dive in, a tiny explainer of our methodology. To pick the best Hindi-language movies on Netflix, we relied on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings, and other critics reviews, to create a shortlist. The latter two were preferred for Indian films because RT doesn’t provide a complete representation of reviews for Indian films. Additionally, we used our own editorial judgement to add or remove a few. This list will be updated once every few months, if there are any worthy additions or if some movies are removed from the service, so bookmark this page and keep checking in. Here are the best films currently available on Netflix in India, sorted alphabetically and categorised by genre.
The Best TV Series on Netflix in India
Pick your genre —
- Kaminey (2009)
Oft described as Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pulp Fiction, Shahid Kapoor plays estranged twins — one with a lisp and the other who stutters — with an opposite work ethic, whose lives impossibly converge as they are dragged into Mumbai’s underworld nexus of mobsters and politicians. Priyanka Chopra co-stars. Much praised for its style, smarts, and complex characters.
- Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (2018)
Born with a rare condition that doesn’t allow him to feel physical pain, a boy who grew up watching martial arts films trains to protect the vulnerable and longs to meet the one-legged man who won a 100-men fight. Praised for being a fun ride that trades on film nostalgia, though it doesn’t aspire to be more than a crowd-pleaser.
- Budhia Singh: Born to Run (2016)
Before he directed Jamtara for Netflix, writer-director Soumendra Padhi gave us this based-on-a-true-story tale of the world’s youngest marathon runner, the titular 5-year-old (Mayur Patole), who ran nearly 50 marathons under the tutelage of his coach (Manoj Bajpayee). Padhi auditioned over 1,200 kids before picking Patole.
- Dangal (2016)
The extraordinary true story of amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) who trains his two daughters to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers, who went on to win gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. Though entertaining, inspiring, and boasting of fine performances, it reinforces patriarchy and is overlong with bloat and repetition.
- Guru (2007)
Mani Ratnam wrote and directed this rags-to-riches story of a ruthless and ambitious businessman (Abhishek Bachchan) who doesn’t let anything stand in his way as he turns into India’s biggest tycoon. Loosely inspired by the life of Dhirubhai Ambani. Bachchan was praised for his performance. Aishwarya Rai co-stars, but she had a much lesser role.
- Manto (2018)
The life of Pakistani author Saadat Hasan Manto (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) — one of the finest Urdu writers of the 20th century — before and after the Partition of British India, whose acclaimed life in then-Bombay is uprooted and finds his work being challenged in Lahore. Nandita Das directs.
- No One Killed Jessica (2011)
Based on the 1999 Jessica Lal murder case, an activist-journalist (Rani Mukerji) teams up with the victim’s sister (Vidya Balan) to bring the entitled son of a prominent politician to justice. Praised by most critics, though some took issue with its heavy-handedness.
- Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
A true story of the eponymous soldier and athlete (Irrfan Khan) who won gold at the National Games, and later turned into a dacoit to resolve a land dispute. Won top honours for film and actor (Khan) at National Awards.
- Talvar (2015)
Meghna Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj combine forces to tell the story of the 2008 Noida double murder case, in which a teenage girl and the family’s hired servant were killed, and the inept police bungled the investigation. Uses the Rashomon effect for a three-pronged take.
- Delhi Belly (2011)
Three struggling friends and flatmates (Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, and Vir Das) are unwillingly caught in the trap of a deadly crime syndicate in India’s capital. Praised for its comedy, pacing, imagination, and goofiness, though some took issue with its overreliance on scatological humour. It’s largely in English, and though a Hindi dub exists, it’s not on Netflix.
- Ishqiya (2010)
Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan, and Arshad Warsi star in this rural Uttar Pradesh-set black comedy that follows two goons (Shah and Warsi) who decide to seek refuge with a local gangster after botching up a job, but encounter his widow (Balan) instead, who seduces them for her own machinations. Abhishek Chaubey (Udta Punjab) writes and directs.
- Jhankaar Beats (2003)
The directorial debut for Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh focused on two R.D. Burman fans and copywriters in an advertising agency, played by Sanjay Suri (My Brother… Nikhil) and Rahul Bose (Shaurya), who team up with their boss’ guitarist son (Shayan Munshi) to win a music contest they have lost twice.
- Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008)
Dibakar Banerjee’s second directorial venture is about the charismatic eponymous thief (Abhay Deol), who after being arrested, recounts his life that began in a poor, suburban West Delhi household and how he became a media sensation with a spree of burglaries.
- Ankhon Dekhi (2014)
After an eye-opening experience involving his daughter’s marriage, a man in his late 50s (Sanjay Mishra) resolves that he won’t believe anything he can’t see, which naturally leads to some dramatic complications. Directed by Rajat Kapoor, who admitted to multiple sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct allegations levelled against him during the #MeToo movement.
- Axone (2020)
Through the lens of the titular aromatic fermented product — pronounced aa-khoo-nee, it translates as “strong smell” — writer-director Nicholas Kharkongor explores the stereotypes held by, the racism of, and the insular nature of Indians towards their counterparts from the Northeast in a light-hearted fashion. Sayani Gupta and Vinay Pathak star.
- The Blue Umbrella (2005)
Based on Ruskin Bond’s 1980 eponymous novella, the story of a young girl in rural Himachal Pradesh whose blue umbrella becomes the object of fascination for the entire village, driving a shopkeeper (Pankaj Kapur) to desperation. A National Award winner directed by Vishal Bhardwaj.
- OMG: Oh My God! (2012)
A remake of the 2001 Australian film The Man Who Sued God, and also based on the Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji, this satirical comedy-drama follows a small-time shopkeeper (Paresh Rawal) who files a lawsuit against God after a low-intensity earthquake — legally dubbed as an “act of God” — leads to financial ruin. Akshay Kumar also stars.
- PK (2014)
A satirical comedy-drama that probes religious dogmas and superstitions, through the lens of an alien (Aamir Khan) who is stranded on Earth after he loses his personal communicator and befriends a TV journalist (Anushka Sharma) as he attempts to retrieve it.
- Tu Hai Mera Sunday (2016)
Five thirty-something friends struggle to find a place in Mumbai where they can play football in peace in this light-hearted rom-com tale, which explores gender divides and social mores along the way.
- Wake Up Sid (2009)
A wealthy Mumbai businessman’s carefree, spoiled son (Ranbir Kapoor) experiences a rude awakening after he fails his college final exams, and then begins to take on more responsibility and be more independent with the help of an aspiring writer friend (Konkona Sen Sharma) who moved from Kolkata. Ayan Mukerji’s directorial debut.
- 3 Deewarein (2003)
A documentarian (Juhi Chawla) befriends three death row inmates — a lawyer and a poet (Jackie Shroff), a happy-go-lucky elder fellow (Naseeruddin Shah), and a bad-tempered man (Nagesh Kukunoor) — but her motives aren’t as plain as they seem. Kukunoor also writes and directs. The film is noted for its realism, though some found the ending to be nonsensical.
- Article 15 (2019)
Ayushmann Khurrana plays a cop in this exploration of casteism, religious discrimination, and the current socio-political situation in India, which tracks a missing persons’ case involving three teenage girls of a small village. A hard-hitting, well-made movie, though ironically, it was criticised for being casteist itself, and providing an outsider’s perspective.
- Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
Inspired by the 2008 Tamil film Subramaniapuram, Anurag Kashyap concocts a gangster epic — divided into two parts owing to its five-hour-plus runtime — that blends politics, vengeance, and romance as it looks at the power struggles between three crime families in and around the Jharkhand city of Dhanbad, the epicentre of the coal mafia. Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi star.
- Haider (2014)
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy concluded with this modern-day adaptation of Hamlet, that is also based on Basharat Peer’s 1990s-Kashmir memoir Curfewed Night. Follows a young man (Shahid Kapoor) who returns home to investigate his father’s disappearance and finds himself embroiled in the ongoing violent insurgency.
- Soni (2019)
A short-tempered young policewoman and her cool-headed female boss must contend with ingrained misogyny in their daily lives and even at work, where it impacts their coordinated attempts to tackle the rise of crimes against women in Delhi. A Netflix Original.
- Udta Punjab (2016)
With the eponymous Indian state’s drug crisis as the backdrop, this black comedy crime film depicts the interwoven lives of a junior policeman (Diljit Dosanjh), an activist doctor (Kareena Kapoor), a migrant worker (Alia Bhatt), and a rock star (Shahid Kapoor). Abhishek Chaubey directs.
- Chameli (2003)
The titular street-smart prostitute (Kareena Kapoor) befriends an investment banker (Rahul Bose) after his car breaks down on the way back home in the red-light district. Kicked off by the late director Anant Balani, and then completed by Sudhir Mishra after his death.
- Hamid (2019)
Set amidst the most militarised zone in the world, a young Kashmiri boy tries to contact his father, who he’s told is with Allah, by dialling a number that he somehow learns. Based on Mohd. Amin Bhat’s play “Phone No. 786”. Won a National Award, though some critics found it to be slightly simplistic.
- I Am Kalam (2010)
Nila Madhab Panda’s feature directorial debut is the story of an intelligent and impoverished boy (Harsh Mayar), who befriends the son of a once noble family, and is inspired by the life of India’s late President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam — whose family was also poor in his childhood — to pursue an education. Mayar won a National Award.
- Kaamyaab (2020)
National Award-winning director Hardik Mehta concocts a tribute to Bollywood’s character actors with this tale of a washed-up actor (Sanjay Mishra) who comes out of retirement after realising that he’s one film away from the magic number of 500, hoping to end on a memorable high.
- Kapoor & Sons (2016)
After their grandfather (Rishi Kapoor) suffers a cardiac arrest, two estranged brothers return to their childhood home where they must deal with several more family problems. Alia Bhatt, Ratna Pathak Shah also star. Noted for being a modern-age family drama and a step forward for LGBTQ representation, though it’s melodramatic at the end and relies too much on exposition.
- Margarita with a Straw (2014)
Kalki Koechlin plays a cerebral palsy-afflicted teenager in this coming-of-age drama from Shonali Bose, who falls in love with a blind girl of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent after she moves to New York for her undergraduate degree. Koechlin’s work and Bose’s sensitive handling of the movement disorder were highlighted.
- Masaan (2015)
Neeraj Ghaywan ventures into the heartland of India to explore the life of four people in his directorial debut, all of whom must battle issues of caste, culture and norms. Winner of a National Award and the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes.
- Masoom (1983)
Shekhar Kapur’s directorial debut was an uncredited adaptation of Erich Segal’s 1983 novel “Man, Woman and Child”, in which the blissful life of a family is disrupted after an orphan boy — born of the husband’s (Naseeruddin Shah) affair with another woman — comes to live with them. It’s a real tear-jerker, mind you, and problematic in a few places.
- Rang De Basanti (2006)
Aamir Khan leads the ensemble cast of this award-winning film that focuses on four young New Delhi men who turn into revolutionary heroes themselves while playacting as five Indian freedom fighters from the 1920s for a docudrama.
- Secret Superstar (2017)
Though frequently melodramatic, this coming-of-age story — produced by Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao — of a Muslim girl from Vadodara who dreams of being a singer dealt with important social issues and broke several box office records during its theatrical run.
- Swades (2004)
Shah Rukh Khan stars a successful NASA scientist in this based on a true story drama, who returns home to India to take his nanny to the US, rediscovers his roots and connects with the local village community in the process. Khan and director Ashutosh Gowariker, who also co-wrote, were praised for their work, though it’s definitely overlong with a runtime of over 200 minutes.
- Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Sent to boarding school against his will, a dyslexic eight-year-old is helped by an unconventional art teacher (Aamir Khan) to overcome his disability and discover his true potential. Feature directorial debut for Khan, only one since. Noted for its sensitive depiction of disability; although the script was called weak, devoid of real drama, and its treatment of said disability simplistic.
- Udaan (2010)
Vikramaditya Motwane made his directorial debut with this coming-of-age story of a teenager who is expelled from boarding school and returns home to the industrial town of Jamshedpur, where he must work at his oppressive father’s factory.
- Waiting (2016)
An elderly psychology professor (Naseeruddin Shah) and a young advertising agent (Kalki Koechlin) befriend and comfort each other after they find themselves in similar situations at a hospital: waiting on their respective comatose partners.
- Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003)
Set against the politically-charged backdrop of the Emergency in the 1970s, writer-director Sudhir Mishra’s film revolves around three friends (Kay Kay Menon, Chitrangada Singh, and Shiney Ahuja) whose lives are transformed in the wake of the turbulent period. Ahuja was convicted for rape in 2011, and an appeal is pending as of 2016.
- Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Definitely overlong at three and a half hours, this 16th-century epic is the story of the eponymous Mughal emperor (Hrithik Roshan) and the Rajput princess (Aishwarya Rai), whose political marriage turns into true love, as he realises she’s every bit his equal. Simply told yet effective, its message is increasingly important in an increasingly intolerant India. Ashutosh Gowariker directs.
- Lagaan (2001)
Set in a small drought-wrecked Indian town during the height of the British Raj, a village farmer (Aamir Khan) stakes everyone’s future on a game of cricket with the well-equipped colonisers, in exchange for a tax reprieve for three years. From director Ashutosh Gowariker, it was nominated at the Oscars.
- Stree (2018)
Based on a Karnataka urban legend — though transported to small-town Madhya Pradesh in the film — this Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.-written comedy horror follows a women’s clothing tailor (Rajkummar Rao) who falls for a mysterious woman (Shraddha Kapoor), who frequently disappears.
- Ittefaq (2017)
Inspired by the 1969 Yash Chopra film of the same name, which itself was a remake of the 1965 film Signpost to Murder, an acclaimed writer (Sidharth Malhotra) and a young homemaker (Sonakshi Sinha), the only witnesses and suspects in a double murder, present different versions of events to the investigating officer (Akshaye Khanna).
- Kahaani (2012)
A pregnant woman (Vidya Balan) travels from London to Kolkata to search for her missing husband in writer-director Sujoy Ghosh’s National Award-winning mystery thriller, battling sexism and a cover-up along the way. The film loves to outwit its audience, but proves to be quite dumb with computers and intelligence agencies, as a critic noted. It was also criticised for its spoon-fed, lacklustre end.
- Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)
After a free-spirited, young woman (Kriti Sanon) in small-town Uttar Pradesh chances upon an eponymous book whose protagonist reads exactly like her, she sets out about trying to find the author (Rajkummar Rao) with the help of the printing-press owner and novel publisher (Ayushmann Khurrana). Many critics loved Rao’s work, while some found issue with its unsubtle script.
- Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Imran Khan made his acting debut — in writer Abbas Tyrewala’s directorial debut — as Jai, a mild-mannered, peace-loving young man, who’s the opposite of his best friend Aditi (Genelia D’Souza). The two begin to search for a partner post-college, oblivious and ignorant of how perfect they are for each other, as their friends and family know very well.
- Jab We Met (2007)
Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor (unrelated) star in this romantic drama from writer-director Imtiaz Ali — arguably his best work yet — in which a wealthy and depressed Mumbai industrialist (Shahid) aimlessly boards a train and meets a bubbly, talkative woman (Kareena), who forces him to accompany her back home to Punjab.
- Barfi! (2012)
Set in the 1970s amidst the hills of Darjeeling, writer-director Anurag Basu tells the tale of three people (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Ileana D’Cruz) as they learn to love while battling the notions held by society. It has been praised for its heartwarming nature, but also criticised for its narrative handling and forced prettiness, with one critic going so far to call it “facile and plastic”.
- Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut about three inseparable childhood friends whose wildly different approach to relationships creates a strain on their friendship remains a cult favourite. Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta star.
- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol star as three childhood friends who set off on a bachelor trip across Spain, which becomes an opportunity to heal past wounds, combat their worst fears, and fall in love with life. Zoya Akhtar directs, as Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin co-star. Called fresh, delightful, and aesthetically pleasing — it feels like an advert for Spain at times; faulted for its pacing, runtime, and contrived nature.
- Dev.D (2009)
Anurag Kashyap offers a modern-day reimagining of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Bengali romance classic Devdas, in which a man (Abhay Deol), having broken up with his childhood sweetheart, finds refuge in alcohol and drugs, before falling for a prostitute (Kalki Koechlin).
- Dil Se.. (1998)
Shah Rukh Khan plays a radio journalist who falls for a mysterious revolutionary (Manisha Koirala) in this third and final instalment of writer-director Mani Ratnam’s thematic trilogy that depicted a love story against a political backdrop. Here, it’s the insurgency of Northeast India. Also known for A.R. Rahman’s work, especially the title track and “Chaiyya Chaiyya”.
- Lakshya (2004)
Farhan Akhtar followed Dil Chahta Hai with this (overlong) coming-of-age romantic war drama about an aimless and irresponsible young Delhi man (Hrithik Roshan) who joins the Indian Army — the film was set against a fictionalised version of the 1999 Kargil War — to make his family and close ones proud of him. Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta co-star.
- Lootera (2013)
Set in early 1950s West Bengal as the zamindari system is abolished, an aspiring writer and daughter of a zamindar (Sonakshi Sinha) falls for a conman posing as an archaeologist (Ranveer Singh). Vikramaditya Motwane directs this drama inspired by O. Henry’s 1907 short story “The Last Leaf”. Heavily praised for its visuals, but the love story wobbles.
- The Lunchbox (2013)
An unlikely mistake by Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox carrier system results in an unusual friendship between a young housewife (Nimrat Kaur) and an older widower (Irrfan Khan) about to retire from his job. Feature debut for writer-director Ritesh Batra, who was heavily praised for the exploration of loneliness and the handling of the moving love story.
- Lust Stories (2018)
Four directors — Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar — helm four different parts of this anthology drama that focuses on the romantic lives of four women, delving into love, power, status, and naturally, lust. Noted for its authenticity and portraying real women on screen. A Netflix Original.
- Parineeta (2005)
Vidya Balan made her Hindi-language debut with this adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novella, about two childhood friends (Balan and Saif Ali Khan) whose blossoming love as adults begins to develop cracks due to jealousy and class differences. Sanjay Dutt, Raima Sen, Dia Mirza co-star. Noted for its visuals and performances, but criticised for its “overcooked” ending.
- Sadma (1983)
Balu Mahendra remade his own 1982 Tamil film Moondram Pirai with Kamal Haasan, Sridevi, and Silk Smitha reprising their roles from the original. It’s the story of a young woman (Sridevi) with retrograde amnesia who regresses to a child’s mental state and ends up in a brothel, where she’s rescued by a lonely school teacher (Haasan).
- Aamir (2008)
Adapted from the 2006 Filipino film
, a young Muslim non-resident Indian doctor (Rajeev Khandelwal) returning from the UK is forced to comply with terrorists’ demands to carry out a bombing in Mumbai after they threaten his family. Feature debut for Khandelwal and writer-director Raj Kumar Gupta. Noted for its realism and Alphonse Roy’s cinematography.
- Andhadhun (2018)
Inspired by the French short film L’Accordeur, this black comedy thriller is the story of a piano player (Ayushmann Khurrana) who pretends to be visually impaired and is caught in a web of twists and lies after he walks into a murder scene. Tabu and Radhika Apte star alongside. It relies a little too much on a series of coincidences, which might break the film, depending on how you view the endgame twist.
- Drishyam (2015)
Ajay Devgn and Tabu star in this remake of the 2013 critically-acclaimed Malayalam original, about a local cable operator (Devgn) who does everything he can to protect his family, suspected in the missing-persons case of a high-ranking police officer’s (Tabu) son, who had blackmailed his daughter with a nude video. It’s overlong and simplistic, watch the original — on Disney+ Hotstar — if you’re okay with subtitles.
- Gurgaon (2017)
Set in the titular Haryana city, this neo-noir thriller explores gender inequality and the dark underbelly of the suburban wastelands through a story of a real estate tycoon’s (Pankaj Tripathi) undisciplined son who kidnaps his own sister to pay off a gambling loss. Its grittiness didn’t particularly suit audiences, but critics were more appreciative.
- Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
Abhay Deol leads the cast of this neo-noir thriller that openly acknowledges its Chinatown inspiration, as it follows a public works engineer and amateur detective (Deol) who is paid by a minister’s wife to collect evidence of her husband’s affair, unaware that he’s being used as a pawn in a larger conspiracy. Praised by critics, though audiences failed to appreciate it.
- Pink (2016)
A lawyer (Amitabh Bachchan) comes out of retirement to help three women (Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tariang) clear their names in a crime involving a politician’s nephew (Angad Bedi). Won a National Award. Faulted for giving more space to the male lead, right from the poster to the dialogues, which stands in irony to the film’s empowering, feminist message.
- Shaitan (2011)
Blackmailed by a Mumbai cop after a hit-and-run, five friends (Kalki Koechlin among them) stage a fake kidnapping with a plan to collect the ransom in this black comedy. While some found it spell-binding, others were put off by its attempts to come across as ‘hip’ and ‘cool’. Produced by Anurag Kashyap.
- Special 26 (2013)
Inspired by the 1987 Opera House heist in then-Bombay, Akshay Kumar stars as one of several conmen posing as government agents working for the CBI — India’s equivalent of the FBI — who execute a fake income tax raid on a prominent jeweller. Neeraj Pandey (A Wednesday!) writes and directs.
- Talaash (2012)
Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, and Kareena Kapoor lead the cast of this psychological crime thriller, in which a police officer (Khan) must confront his past to solve a high-profile murder, which involves a sex worker (Kapoor) and his grieving wife (Mukerji). Co-written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, also director. Largely praised, though some think it tries to do too much.
- A Wednesday! (2008)
Neeraj Pandey’s film is set between 2pm and 6pm on a Wednesday, naturally, when a common man (Naseeruddin Shah) threatens to detonate five bombs in Mumbai unless four terrorists accused in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings case are released.
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