The Best Hindi Movies on Netflix in India
In the past year, Netflix has made big strides on the movie front in India: it signed a long-term deal with Karan Johar, and it has a bunch of upcoming projects from the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Ajay Devgn, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, and Dibakar Banerjee. But those are still to come, and so far, apart from Soni, none has been a clear winner. For now, the best Hindi movies on Netflix belong to other studios. And thankfully, the world’s biggest streaming service has some great partnerships in place, even if it’s still too reliant on stuff from the present century.
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 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 Hindi films currently available on Netflix in India, sorted alphabetically.
- 3 Idiots (2009)
In this satire of the Indian education system’s social pressures, two friends recount their college days and how their third long-lost musketeer (Aamir Khan) inspired them to think creatively and independently in a heavily-conformist world. Co-written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
- Aamir (2008)
Adapted from the 2006 Filipino film Cavite, a young Muslim NRI doctor (Rajeev Khandelwal) returning from the UK to India is forced to comply with terrorists’ demands to carry out a bombing in Mumbai after they threaten his family.
- Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Two slackers (Aamir Khan and Salman Khan) who belong to middle-class families vie for the affections of an heiress, and inadvertently become her protectors from a local gangster in Rajkumar Santoshi’s cult comedy favourite.
- 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, Radhika Apte star alongside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bawarchi (1972)
This remake of the 1966 Bengali film Galpa Holeo Satyi reunited the Anand trio of Rajesh Khanna, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and Amitabh Bachchan, though the latter has a voice-only role. It’s about a cook (Khanna) who offers to work in a household known for its ill-treatment of domestic help, only to become the apple of everyone’s eye before disappearing with the family jewels.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Dhanak (2016)
This National Award-winning film from writer-director Nagesh Kukunoor is the story of two siblings — a 10-year-old girl and her visually-impaired, eight-year-old brother — who set out on a 300-km journey across the desert of Rajasthan to find actor and goodwill ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, believing he can help with a cornea transplant.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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 Hotstar — if you’re okay with subtitles.
- Gol Maal (1979)
A chartered accountant (Amol Palekar), with a knack for singing and acting, falls deep down the rabbit hole after lying to his boss that he has a twin, in this Hrishikesh Mukherjee comedy.
- 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.
- 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.
News Credit: NDTV.com