Hello Bollywood Lovers!!
Presenting you the best Bollywood thriller movies…
When people think of Bollywood, a mental image immediately forms in their minds: cliche love stories, unnecessary family drama, science-defying action scenes, and gorgeous actors and actresses suddenly breaking out in perfectly synchronized dance steps in the middle of streets.
Well, the perception isn’t entirely based on false assumptions, but people also give Bollywood less credit than it deserves. They refuse to look past the curtain of these superficial elements, but once you have pulled back the flimsy curtains, you will discover many hidden gems there.
In this article, we will be talking about those gems in the genre of- everyone’s favourite- thriller. The thrill of watching thriller movies is undoubtedly different.
Who doesn’t like to watch a film that keeps us on our toes the whole time, eyes glued to the screen, and nails biting in anticipation of what will happen next?
Here is a list of all the best jaw-dropping, mind-boggling Hindi thriller movies.
1. A Wednesday (2008)
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Deepal Shaw, Aamir Bashir
A man contacts a police department and informs them that five explosives have been planted in five separate locations around Mumbai, threatening to detonate them if his demands are not met.
What are his demands? He wants the release of four terrorists in exchange for Mumbai’s safety.
The film starts with the narration of Prakash Rathod, played by the brilliant Anupam Kher, a retired police commissioner who retells the events that unfolded that particular Wednesday. The plot is very simple yet powerful.
Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, the two leads of the film, are also exceptionally remarkable in their performances. Jimmy Shergill is only a supporting character, but he stands out well. Devoid any dancing and singing; the film will make you appreciate Hindi films.
With a captivating story, brilliant performances, and the message behind it, A Wednesday certainly deserves to be at the top of the list of the best Hindi thriller movies.
A Wednesday is available on Netflix.
2. Kahaani (2012)
Directed by: Sujoy Ghosh
Starring: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Indraneil Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee
The plot revolves around Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman who travels from London to Kolkata searching for her missing husband. She enlists the assistance of a local police officer, and the two of them work together to solve the mystery.
The story might seem simple at first glance. A typical Indian woman searching for her missing husband, Kahaani is anything but simple. The plot twist is so well thought out and executed that you will never see it coming.
It is one of those films which captures the viewer’s attention till the end. Vidya Balan gives a stellar performance in this, portraying every single emotion. She solely carried the two-hour-long movie on her shoulders.
Moreover, the cinematography is brilliant. Sujoy Ghosh captures the essence of Kolkata and the auspicious celebration of Durga Puja beautifully. A must-watch!
Kahaani is available on JioCinema.
3. Special 26 (2013)
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill, Kajal Aggrawal, Divya Dutta, Kishore Kadam
A team of con artists poses as CBI or Income Tax inspectors and robs several politicians and business owners under the guise of conducting raids. They intend to carry off their largest robbery yet, even though the official CBI is after them.
Based on the real-life con artists who robbed politicians and business people in the 1980s, Special 26 is a gripping tale that will keep you at the edge of your seat till the very end. The cast is well selected, and they all play their characters brilliantly.
Special 26 is a crime caper that is all smart and serious, with a light touch of humour when the situation calls for one. Overall, Special 26 is special in every sense.
Special 26 is available on JioCinema and Netflix.
4. Kaun? (1999)
Directed by: Ram Gopal Verma
Starring: Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee, Sushant Singh
On a gloomy and dark evening, a young woman hears the news of a serial killer on the loose. Home alone, she hears the doorbell go off and finds a man outside the door, pleading with her to let him in.
The whole movie is shot inside a house and with only three characters. The storyline might seem scratchy and straightforward at first, but it gets intense and dark as the story progresses.
What’s scary about this psychological horror thriller is how natural it all seems. Everything seems so real, from acting to dialogues, that you forget that you are watching a film at one point. Kaun? is an underrated thriller.
5. Gulal (2009)
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Starring: KK Menon, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Piyush Mishra, Abhimanyu Singh
A gang led by Jadhwal assaults and abuses Dilip, a law student from Rajpur. In his quest for vengeance, he becomes entangled in the shady world of politics.
The story revolves around the President of the Rajputana community, uniting his people against the government’s injustices inflicted on them over the years.
Gulaal has many twists and turns that make this movie even more interesting; though there is liberal use of profanities, Anurag Kashyap has undoubtedly made an incredible film.
6. Talvar (2015)
Directed by: Meghna Gulzar
Starring: Irfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi
When a 14-year-old girl Shruti Tandon is found dead in her home, the prime suspect is the missing domestic helper named Khempal, who worked at her home. But, when Khempal’s partially decomposed body is found on the terrace, the case truly gets complicated.
Based on the real incident of the controversial 2008 Noida Double murder case that shocked the entire country, Talvar tells the detailed story of what happened on the night of the murder with different people offering three different narratives of what happened.
It is frightening, disturbing, and powerful, showing the real, flawed side of the Indian judiciary and the lethargy of law upholders. There is no better “whodunit” film in Bollywood.
Talvar is available on Hotstar.
7. Baby (2015)
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubati, Madhurima Tuli, Tapsee Pannu, Danny Denzongpa
An Indian elite squad force sets out to stop a terrorist mastermind from terrorizing and destroying the country.
Set after the 26/11 attacks that made the whole country weep tears of blood, Baby is an action-packed espionage thriller to wake the perfect amount of patriotism in you and give you goosebumps.
Baby is available on Hotstar.
8. Manorama: Six feet under (2007)
Directed by: Navdeep Singh
Starring: Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Gul Panag
In Lahkot, Rajasthan, a former government employee and aspiring writer, lives with his wife and children when one night he is approached by the Irrigation Minister’s wife to catch her cheating husband red-handed.
Inspired by Roman Polanski’s china Town, Manorama is a fascinating film with a complex storyline that gradually but steadily unfolds to a surprising but satisfactory climax. Manorama is violent, dark, and thrilling.
It is like an exciting puzzle where all the missing pieces come together at the end. Definitely, a treat to watch!
Manorama is available on JioCinema.
9. Talaash (2012)
Directed by: Reema Kagti
Starring: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Rajkumar Rao
When Srijan Singh Shekhawat loses his son in an accident, his entire world comes crashing down around him. A depressed Shekhawat, dealing with the death of his son and a rift with his wife, is assigned a high-profile case involving the death of a celebrity.
As Shekhawat gets closer to the bottom of the case, he notices a lot of screws.
Reema Kagti has brilliantly blended four parallel storylines happening at the same time to converge ideally near the end. Talaash: The Mystery continues one of those rare films that holds you into its mesmerizing grip.
Talash is available on Netflix.
10. Ek Hasina Thi (2004)
Directed by: Sriram Raghvan
Starring: Urmila Matondkar, Saif Ali Khan, Aditya Srivastava, Seema Biswas
Sarika falls for a young man who is not who he claims to be. When Sarika is found to possess illegal firearms and is sent behind bars, she must do anything to exact revenge.
This is not your typical Bollywood movie, it does not have unnecessary scenes, avoids melodrama, has no songs, and all of this adds to the intensity and the suspense of the film.
Ek Hasina Thi is a great dramatic Bollywood thriller that is enjoyable, unconventional, and thoroughly fascinating with the most unusual ending.
Ek Hasina Thi is available on Amazon Prime Video.
11. The Stoneman Murders (2009)
Directed by: Manish Gupta
Starring: KK Menon, Rukhsar, Vikram Gokhale
His superiors give suspended police officer Sanjay Shelar the last chance to show his worth. He decides to investigate a serial killer on the loose, going by “Stoneman,” who murders homeless street dwellers.
Based on real-life serial killings in Mumbai in the 1980s, the film perfectly captures the feel of the period and the eerie late-night ambience.
With careful research, the filmmakers made the film look era-appropriate, from the clothing to the posters on the walls to the cars on the streets. If you enjoy dark murder mysteries, this is a must-watch.
The Stoneman Murders is available on Amazon Prime Video.
12. Aamir (2008)
Directed by: Raj Kumar Gupta
Starring: Rajeev Khandelwal, Jhilmil Hazrika, Gajraj Rao
Aamir, an NRI doctor, is forced to take part in a terrorist plan while on his vacation to India.
Aamir is a compelling drama from start to finish. Rajiv Khandelwal is phenomenal; his acting and expressions are top-notch without seeming too much.
Despite having multiple characters, Khandelwal managed to carry the film solely on his shoulders. The climax will leave you gasping, which is something that no filmmaker would dare to do.
Aamir is available on Netflix.
13. Drishyam (2015)
Directed by: Nishikant Kamat
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Tabu, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Mrunal Jadhav, Risabh Chadha
A middle-class man will stop at nothing to protect his family when they are accused of the murder of a young man coming from an influential family.
The remake of a Malayalam film of the same name, Drishyam, is a polished version of the original, though it doesn’t take away the tension and suspense. It is a gripping thriller with outstanding performances by Ajay Devgan and Tabbu.
The film easily and completely engulfs you with its tale, script, screenplay, dialogues, and direction.
Drishyam (2015) is available on Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and Netflix.
14. A Death in the Gunj (2016)
Directed by: Konkona Sen Sharma
Starring: Vikrant Massey, Tillotama Shome, Ranvir Shorey, Tanuja
On his trip back home, introvert Shutu finds himself drifting further and further away from his family, to the point of no return.
Set in the 1980s, A Death in the Gunj follows Shutu, a 23-year-old college student, and the emotional roller-coaster he experiences throughout the film.
Shutu is emotionally troubled because he recently lost his father. Yet, despite receiving the love and care he requires, he is tormented and becomes the butt of every joke and prank due to his quiet and delicate demeanour.
This film is about empathy and kindness and how a single smile can lift someone’s spirits. A Death in the Gunj will take you on an emotional roller-coaster; the journey will not be exhilarating, but it is worthwhile to go through it.
15. Khamosh (1985)
Directed by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Starring: Amol Palekar, Shabana aazmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur
When a Bollywood actress is found dead on her movie set, an investigating officer arrives to find the murderer.
Khamosh is a classic whodunit story that makes you suspect every character introduced as the culprit.
Studded with a glamorous star cast and subtle but hilarious nods to the legendary American director Alfred Hitchcock, Khamosh is a thrilling experience with a power-packed climax.
16. Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)
Directed by: Vijay Lalwani
Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor, Vivan Bhatena
Meek and troubled Karthik seems to be going nowhere in his life when suddenly, he receives a phone call from a stranger with the same name as his, promising to change his fortune.
This psychological thriller will have you glued to your seat. This film’s chronology is immaculate from beginning to conclusion.
It keeps the audience guessing who is on the other end of the phone. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, this film should be on your list of must-sees.
Karthik Calling Karthik is available on Netflix.
17. Te3n (2016)
Directed by: Ribhu Dasgupta
Starring: Amitabh Bachhan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan, Sabhyasachi Chakraborty, Padmavati Rao
After losing his granddaughter in a kidnapping case 8 years back & unable to find the culprit, a grieving grandfather teams up with a police officer and a cop-turned priest when a similar kidnapping occurs.
Te3n, the adaptation of the award-winning Korean film Montage, tells the narrative of three individuals (creative movie title) who capture your attention from the start. The way tension is built up and played out is fantastic.
Amitabh Bachhan, Vidya Balan, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are simply outstanding- If you need another incentive to see this movie.
Te3n is available on Netflix.
18. Ugly (2013)
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Starring: Rahul Bhat, Ronit Roy, Girish Kulkarni, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Surveen Chawla
When a ten-year-old girl is kidnapped in broad daylight, her stepfather and biological father start accusing each other of kidnapping her for their gain.
Here comes another of Anurag Kashyap’s dramatic tales with a dark and grim storyline that somehow captures the harsh realities of the world we are living in today.
The story starts around the kidnapping of an innocent child soon turns into a game of greed, immorality, and apathy. Ugly shows the ugly truth of the world and is one of Kashyap’s gems.
Ugly is available on the Zee5 app.
19. Gumnaam (1965)
Directed by: Raja Nawathe
Starring: Manoj Kumar, Nanda, Pran, Helen, Mehmood
After winning a holiday package to an island, an unlikely group of people are stranded on the island where one by one, they are murdered. Is one of them a murderer, or is there someone else on the island?
Loosely inspired by Agatha Christie’s novel ‘And There Were None,’ Gumnaam is a well-executed suspense thriller with the right blend of Bollywood is notorious songs. Gumnaam is way ahead of its time.
When Bollywood was shrouded with romance, comedy, and musicals, Gumnaam diverged from the path and showed something different. Although the film has its downs, it is still an entertaining treat.
Gumnaam is available on Hostar.
20. Gupt (1997)
Directed by: Rajiv Rai
Starring: Bobby Deol, Kajol, Manisha Koirala
When Governor Jai Singh Sinha is murdered, all evidence points to his estranged son, Sahil. Aside from the unresolved murder case, there is a love triangle between Sahil, his childhood friend Isha, and Sheetal, the girl whom he was supposed to marry.
Gupt, directed by Rajiv Rai, is one of the most well-known Bollywood thrillers. It is simple but entertaining.
It contains everything that Bollywood films are known for: action, drama, romance, good songs and dance, and, of course, mystery. It’s more of a love story, but the mystery is still shocking.
Gupt is available on the Zee5 app.
So, there it is, the best of Bollywood thrillers.
What are you waiting for now? Grab your popcorn, a blanket, and a few tissue papers and binge-watch these amazing Bollywood thrillers.
Oh, wait, before you leave, here’s another interesting read for you Bollywood fans: