The best Bollywood movies have a little bit of everything: fairy tale-esque romance, heart-stopping action, a healthy dose of drama, and, with any luck, a soundtrack that you won’t be able to get out of your head for weeks. They’re also known for their extremely attractive casts and extra-long runtimes—all the better to fill with thrilling dance sequences and comfortingly familiar plot twists.
The Hindi-language movies that have been released so far this year have all of those qualities—and more—in spades. Here are some of the best films that have come out of Bollywood so far in 2023, plus a few more on the way that promise to be just as entertaining.
Release date: January 20
Starring: Rakul Preet Singh, Sumeet Vyas, Satish Kaushik, Dolly Ahluwalia, Rajesh Tailang
In one of multiple lighthearted films this year to promote improvements to sex education in India, Rakul Preet Singh plays a young chemist who becomes a condom tester and finds herself on a crusade to destigmatize discussions around contraception and safe sex.
Release date: January 25
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia, Ashutosh Rana
Despite being released early in the year, Pathaan has held steady as 2023’s highest-grossing Hindi film. The fourth installment in the popular YRF Spy Universe of action films, it follows the titular spy—played by Bollywood megastar SRK—as he attempts to thwart a mercenary group’s plot to set a deadly virus loose in India.
Release date: March 3
Starring: Sharmila Tagore, Manoj Bajpayee, Simran, Suraj Sharma, Amol Palekar, Kaveri Seth
This multigenerational drama depicts a family’s tumultuous last gathering in their longtime home, which is slated to be demolished to make way for a high-rise building.
Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar
Release date: March 8
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Anubhav Singh Bassi, Boney Kapoor, Hasleen Kaur
Another of the year’s Bollywood blockbusters, TJMM is a rom-com about Mickey, who works as a “breakup consultant,” and his fiancée Tinni, who contacts the consulting firm one day for help with a breakup—without realizing she’s talking to Mickey himself. Shenanigans ensue.
Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway
Release date: March 17
Starring: Rani Mukerji, Anirban Bhattacharya, Jim Sarbh, Neena Gupta, Barun Chanda
Prepare the tissues: Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway tells the powerful true story of an Indian couple living in Norway who sued the local government after authorities claimed they were unfit to have custody of their two children.
Release date: March 24
Starring: Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Dia Mirza, Ashutosh Rana, Pankaj Kapur
Nowadays, writers and directors making movies set in the modern day face a tough decision over whether they’ll include the coronavirus pandemic in any way or skirt around the issue entirely. Bheed, for one, goes all-in: It’s a fictionalized depiction of a group of migrant workers in search of a safe place to wait out the pandemic who are stopped at a checkpoint amid India’s strict lockdown policy.
Kathal - A Jackfruit Mystery
Release date: May 19
Starring: Sanya Malhotra, Anant V Joshi, Gurpal Singh, Neha Saraf, Sanjay Dadhich
This comedy satirizes India’s government system by telling the story of a small-town police force more concerned with tracking down the person who stole two jackfruit from a local official’s tree than finding a missing girl—and the one police inspector to question those priorities.
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani
Release date: July 28
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi, Tota Roy Chowdhury
A classic “opposites attract” rom-com, RARKPK follows Rocky, who hails from a wealthy Punjabi family, and Rani, the daughter of Bengali intellectuals, who fall in love and decide to get married. But it’s not all smooth sailing: In an attempt to win over their disapproving relatives, they swap places and move in with each other’s families for several months. What could go wrong?
Release date: August 11
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi, Yami Gautam, Pavan Malhotra, Govind Namdev
Another refreshingly pro-sex ed film on this list, OMG 2 revolves around a man who experiences a divine intervention after his son is thrown out of school for coming out as gay, prompting him to become a staunch advocate for accurate sex education in Indian schools.
Release date: September 7
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Deepika Padukone, Priyamani, Sanya Malhotra
This upcoming film, which also features SRK at the helm, is expected to give Pathaan a run for its chart-topping money. Not much is known about the highly anticipated action-thriller, in which Khan—sporting a broad range of looks, per the teaser—will play the titular soldier who recruits a group of women to help him right society’s wrongs.
Release date: December 7
Starring: Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Mihir Ahuja, Vedang Raina
Just in time to fill the Riverdale-shaped hole in your heart, this musical places Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead in 1960s India. As an added bonus for avid Bollywood fans, some of the iconic characters will be played by the children and grandchildren of industry legends, including SRK’s daughter, Suhana Khan, as Veronica.
Release date: TBD
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Priyamani, Rudranil Ghosh, Gajraj Rao
Another hugely anticipated film, Maidaan still doesn’t have an official release date after being rescheduled several times over the last year. Whenever it does hit theaters, it’s sure to be an instant hit: It follows iconic soccer coach Syed Abdul Rahim, who’s credited with turning India’s national team into a global powerhouse in the 1950s and ‘60s. Plus, it’ll feature a soundtrack from Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer A.R. Rahman.
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Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.
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