[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]here have been many gems, many movies that have struck a chord with the Indian audience. But sometimes, we face the age old question: Which are the greatest Indian movies of all time? Crizic has tried to answer that question. Remember not to expect some masala movies like ‘Dabangg’ or ‘Happy New Year’ from us. These movies, are purely the 20 greatest Bollywood movies of all time.

20. Garam Hawa

garam hawa


The movie that pioneered a new wave of art cinema movement in india, Garam Hawa opens up the list. There has been no movie till date that shows so poignantly the most devastating incident in India-Pakistan history, the 1947 partition.

19. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge



The movie that taught India how to romance is on number 19 on this list. DDLJ wasn’t merely a super mainstream movie. It was a beautiful art peace on the 70 mm.

18. Do Bigha Zamin



The first indian movie to win an international prize at the Cannes film festival. Do Bigha Zameen was a milestone in parallel cinema movement.

17. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron


So, here’s the greatest comedy movie in India. But Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron isn’t only a comedy movie. It is a true social satire. With legendary cast and genius script writing to its name, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron arrives at number 15 on this list.

16. Sholay


There isn’t any need to explain why this movie is in the list of greatest movie of all time. Keep scrolling.

 15. Devdas (Dilip Kumar)


One of my finest films from the Indian cinema, the story of Devdas was beautifully adapted and assembled by Bimal Roy and his expert studio. It hasn’t got the colour, scope and audio/visual technical panache of the 2002 version, but more importantly to me has better framing, acting, music and above all else, atmosphere. Today’s highly paid film critics in all media would probably ignore Devdas and other similar musical films as being populist and therefore unworthy of their high-brow attention. Well, it’s their loss. What we have is an extremely well crafted film, complemented with S.D. Burman’s scintillating music woven perfectly into the plot.

14. Salaam Bombay!


This Mira Nair’s film is a wonderful counterpoint to traditional Bollywood cinema, depicting issues that many in India would like conveniently swept under the carpet. Filled with humanity and compassion, the film does have a parallel with Bollywood dramas as it too is about escapism.

13. Shatranj ke Khiladi


There are various reviews that have stated that this is one of the first films to break away from the commercial traditions of Bollywood. In fact, it belongs to a different tradition altogether, art cinema reflecting social themes; which has been going on since at least the early 1950s in India (where it was initially strongly influenced by Italian neo-realism) in the work of Ray, Mrinal Sen, and Ritwik Ghatak.

 12. Aamir


The most underrated movie in Indian history finds its place on number 10.

11. Guide


‘Tum Ahankaar ho, tum ko marna hoga.’

10. Black


Black cannot be described in sheer words. It has been handled with extreme kindliness and it does boast of a plot that’s rarely attempted on the Indian screen. Along with the great direction , watch black for Rani and Amitabh Bacchan. A film like BLACK relies heavily on performances and Bhansali has extracted award-worthy work from practically the entire cast. When you talk of BLACK, it’s not just Bachchan or Rani’s work you would like to extol, but Shernaz Patel, Nandana Sen, Dhritiman Chaterji and Ayesha Kapur’s contribution as well.

9. Lagaan


In India there are two things that touch people the most one, Cricket; two, Revenge .What Lagaan gives us is the best of both worlds.

8. Boot Polish

boot polish

Raj Kapoor’s presentation of the humble lifestyle of two children who wish to overcome the obstacles of abject poverty shows the importance of the spirit of endurance and dedication in the face of adversity.

7. Anand


This movie taught that a linear story line can work with Indian audience if the work put in is really powerful. A masterpiece by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

6. Jaagte Raho


Raj Kapoor brought to the silver screen the naked Indian society through Jaagte Raho. This exceptionally beautiful movie finds its place at number 6.

5. Mother India

mother india

We at Crizic think some movies such as Mother India should be an exception when it comes to making a list of greatest movies of all time. Because movies like this one up here are obviously legendary.

 4. Mera naam Joker


Raj Kapoor’s three part flick proves what’s wrong with Indian cinema today: It doesn’t have soul. In those four hours, Raj Kapoor made us laugh, made us cry, made us happy, and made us sad. Truly a legend.

 3. Do Aankhen Barah Haath


Do Aankhen Barah Haath isn’t just a movie; its a cinematic achievement. The treatment of the story of a warden reforming six jail inmates was so, so amazing that no movie has able to replicate that, till date.

2. Awaara



The movie that shifted global attention to Bollywood, Awaara is a stunning example of full tilt filmmaking. Featuring superb musical interludes by the Shankar-Jaikashan team, this film effortlessly blends a wide range of influences: noir, gothic horror, neo-realism, and the surrealism of Jean Cocteau all come into play. This legendary movie is second only to;

1. Rang De Basanti



Nothing comes close, nothing. And probably nothing will ever come close to this masterpiece. Why is this movie up here, ahead of all the legends? Because this movie is above every single flick ever made in Bollywood history. It is flawless, it is perfect. Every scene, every scene of this movie is a full story in itself. Here’s a salute to Mr. Rakesh Omprakash Mehra. Thank you sir, thank you.