Best Hindi Films of the Decade


This is our continuing retrospective series to look at the Best of the Decade, and today we will revisit the Best Hindi Films of the Decade. We have already looked at the Best Performances in Hindi Films by Female Actors and Male Actors respectively, and we also revisited what were the Best Hindi Film Music Albums during this period, all the listings triggering good discussions and healthy debates. As we sit down to list the Best Hindi Films of the decade, the task begins to go tougher.

In a sense, this will stand as a break out decade for what we now often call the content driven films. More and more filmmakers wanted to tell stories that could trigger thinking, more and more filmmakers experimented with topics that were earlier unthinkable within the Hindi Film paradigm. There was also a stronger influence on both international as well as regional cinema on Hindi films, and some well made remakes and inspirations emerged in the process. Also while the masala commercial blockbusters continued to get made and lapped in by the mass movie going audience, there was also a better acceptance for cinema that broke boundaries, challenged taboos and went into the grey zones. The decade also clearly emerged out as one where mega star movies were no longer failure proof, and where an occasional small film could also become a big commercial success. The multiplex culture and audience altered the movie watching experience and opened up conversations about good and bad films, rather than commercial and parallel cinema. The lines were blurring, and the audience was only feeling happier with the change.

So when we list the 30 Best Hindi Films of the Decade, we ended up with a pretty good mix of small niche films, well made commercial films, films across several genres and filmmakers, and films addressing a multitude of topics. We also saw to it that the overall film was strong enough and was not getting influenced by a very strong performance in an average film, or did not go over indulgent in filmmaking to eventually turn out to be a missed opportunity even with an interesting concept. Of course as always, there are always certain personal experiences and perspectives that drive the kind of films that we like – so a cult film may not be as appealing to me, while an unlikely film may have spoken a whole lot more at the overall level. The reverse was also true in certain cases. As with the performances listing, we have only considered films that got a theatrical release, and also considered films that had multiple languages including Hindi, or was a dual language film. This is not a ranked list and we go chronologically by the year of release and then alphabetically, based in the film names. Here goes the listing then:

Honorable Mentions:

Dhobi Ghaat (2010), Do Dooni Chaar (2010), Paan Singh Tomar (2010), I Am Kalam (2011), Vicky Donor (2012), Inkaar (2013), Shahid (2013), Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani (2013), Kya Dilli Kya Lahore (2014), Lakshmi (2014), Margarita With A Straw (2014), Miss Lovely (2014), Badlapur (2015), Tamasha (2015), Dangal (2016), Pink (2016), Udta Punjab (2016), Gurgaon (2017), Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017), Article 15 (2019)


Top 30 Hindi Films of 2010 – 2019 (in order of year of release)

I Am (2010) | Onir



Peepli Live (2010) | Anusha Rizvi, Mahmood Farooqui



Udaan (2010) | Vikramaditya Motwane



Barfi! (2012) | Anurag Basu



English Vinglish (2012) | Gauri Shinde



Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) | Anurag Kashyap



Kahaani (2012) | Sujoy Ghosh



Talaash : The Answer Lies Within (2012) | Reema Kagti



Aankhon Dekhi (2012) | Rajat Kapoor



Lootera (2013) | Vikramaditya Motwane



The Lunchbox (2013) | Ritesh Batra



Finding Fanny (2014) | Homi Adjania



Highway (2014) | Imtiaz Ali



Queen (2014) | Vikas Bahl



Titli (2014) | Kanu Behl



Aligarh (2015) | Hansal Mehta



Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) | Zoya Akhtar



Masaan (2015) | Neeraj Ghaywan



NH10 (2015) | Navdeep Singh



Nil Battey Sannata (2015) | Ashwini Iyer Tiwari



Piku (2015) | Shoojit Sircar



Kapoor & Sons (2016) | Shakun Batra



A Death In The Gunj (2017) | Konkona Sen Sharma



Jagga Jasoos (2017) | Anurag Basu



Mukti Bhawan (2017) | Shubhashish Bhutiani



Newton (2017) | Amit V Masurkar



Andhadhun (2018) | Sriram Raghavan



Manmarziyaan (2018) | Anurag Kashyap



October (2018) | Shoojit Sircar



Gully Boy (2019) | Zoya Akhtar 



So that was the chronological listing of 30 Best Hindi Films of the Decade – A Third Vantage Point Perspective! There is strictly based on my personal sensibilities, and there could be cases where more commercially popular films or iconic films based on prevalent pop culture notions are not part of this. But these are the ones that stayed on with me for the longest and I keep going back to them time and again, including the ones that were honorably mentioned. The list was intentionally not made too long to maintain some exclusivity.

What are your thoughts on the list? What else would you add if you were to list down your favorites? Here’s hoping that decade to come is even bigger and better in terms of great films, and our experience at the movies becomes richer.

We have more to add to this series of Best of the Decade. Next, we will look at Bengali Films in particular. Keep following all discussions on Best of the Decade here. And keep having fun at the movies!


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Copyright ©2019 Jayashree Chakravarti. This article cannot be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL can be used instead.

One thought on “Best Hindi Films of the Decade

  1. A really well made list. Delighted to see Jagga Jasoos on the list, which I felt was a supremely brave and creative film, but unfortunately went over the heads of most of our audiences.


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