Bollywood is among the biggest film producing industry in the world. If we talk about the number, Bollywood produces around roughly 2000 films per year which is second to Hollywood. There are films with big budgets and big stars that are bound to earn crores at the box office and there are some hidden gems that remain unnoticed. Today we have put together a list of some of the best-underrated Bollywood films every cinema fan must watch.
As mentioned earlier, every year thousands of masala films are made with big-budget and the majority of the budget is spent on the promotion. However, there are some true artists that are contributing to the cinema and creating praiseworthy stories that are worth talking about. So let’s take a look at some of the most underrated Hindi films.
Most Underrated Bollywood Films for True Cinema Fans.
1. Rahasya (2015)
In the list of underrated Bollywood films, Rahasya is an amazing pick. It is the story of a doctor who is accused of killing her daughter. Despite his protest, all the evidence is pointing towards him. With a cast like Kay Kay Menon, Ashish Vidyarthi, and Tisca Chopra this is bound to be an interesting film.
Rahasya is among the best suspense thriller Bollywood films you can watch. This movie was released in 2015 but very few people noticed it. Truly an underrated gem.
2. I am Kalam (2010)
I am Kalam is the story of a poor boy named Chotu. APJ Abdul Kalam is his inspiration so he changes his name to Kalam in honor of his hero.
He has one dream that is to meet his idol. This isn’t like any masala Hindi movie. Writing, plot, actors, and the direction of this film is really amazing. This movie was released in 2010 and was directed by Nila Madhab Panda. I Am Kalam is available on Prime if you want to watch it.
3. CityLights (2014)
Raj Kumar Rao is known for choosing some of the best and content-driven scripts. CityLights is the story of Deepak Singh who is a farmer from Rajasthan. Due to a tragedy, he had to migrate to Mumbai with his family to lead a better life. But everything changes when he reaches Mumbai. This is among the most underrated movies of Raj Kumar Rao. However, songs from this movie became an instant hit. Citylights is based on the film Metro Manila directed by Sean Ellis.
4. Nil Battey Sannata (2015)
This is yet another inspiring and original movie produced in India. Nil Battey Sannata is the story of a single mother and her daughter.
Her daughter doesn’t like school due to the financial condition her mother is in. To motivate her she joins the same school. This movie was directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and was released in 2015. This movie is simple and innocent and makes for a good family entertainer.
5. Haasil (2003)
I am a big fan of Tigmanshu Dhulia. He is a good writer and directed who has made some of the best cinema this country has seen. Movies like Pan Singh Tomar, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, Shagird and many more. Haasil is one of those movies, which put him on the map. It is among the most underrated movies produced in India. It is the story of college politics and drama.
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6. Chittagong (2012)
Directed by Bedabrata Pain and released in 2012 Chittagong is yet another well deserved Hindi movie that received little to no recognition at the box office and with the audience. Chittagong is the story of school kids who plan an armed revolt against the British in the 1930s. With lead actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkumar Rao, Nawazuddin and Jaideep Ahlawat I am sure you can appreciate the movie.
7. Titli (2014)
Titli is an amazing Hindi movie release back in 2014. It is the story of a family that is involved in carjacking business and the younger brother wants to do something else. He was forced to marry at early age but his wife comes as the savior. Tatili is such an important and impactful Indian film.
8. Sehar (2005)
If you are familiar with Uttar Pradesh you must how UP is famous for it’s crime and infamous criminals. Sehar is an action crime drama set in the 1990s UP. This amazing movie was directed by Kabeer Kaushik and you must consider watching this.
9. Page 3 (2005)
Madhur Bhandarkar has always made impactful cinema and Page 3 is no exception. It is the story of Mumbai celebrities and how they lead dual lives. You will enjoy the different light our beloved film stars and celebrities are portrayed in.
10. No Smoking (2007)
John Abraham is known for making the content driver movies and often hailed as a dependable star. No Smoking is a masterpiece when it comes to writing, directing and acting. It is the story of a person named K. He goes to a rehabilitation center to quit smoking. K is released and he signs a check for 21 lakh rupees. There is another condition, if he ever smokes again, his entire family will be killed. You need to see this movie to understand the brilliance behind it. No Smoking is one of the best-underrated Bollywood films.
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11. Satya (1998)
Satya is a revenge crime drama movie released in 1998. The story of the film was written by Anurag Kashyap and was directed by Ram Gopal Verma. It is the story of an innocent man who is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned for it. He is all set to take revenge. This movie never has any dull moment. Satya is also among the top-rated Indian movies on IMDB.
12. Manorma Six Feet Under (2007)
Manorma Six Feet Under is a fascinating movie starring Abhay Deol, Gul Panag and Raima Sen. This movie was directed by Navdeep Singh and was released back in 2007. It is among the best-underrated movies produced in India. It is the story of Satyaveer who accepts money from Manorama who is the minister’s wife. She wants to gather evidence against her husband. But Manorama not only plotting against her husband but also betraying Satyaveer.
13. Fraaq (2008)
This movie was released in 2008 and was based on the Gujrat riot that happened in 2002. Firaaq follows the story of various individuals that were affected by this tragic event. This film was directed by Nandita Das who won two national film awards. Firaaq was also banned in some states in India.
14. Hotel Salvation (2016)
Hotel Salvation is the latest addition in the underrated Bollywood films. This movie was released in 2016 and I am pretty sure you might have not heard about this movie. The story of this film is also very unique. A man is faced with a difficult situation when his father wants to die in the holy city of Varanasi. He is left with no choice but to take this journey and fulfill his father’s wish. Hotel Salvation was directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani.
15. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003)
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi is another brilliant movie that slipped between flashy commercial cinema produced every year in Bollywood. Starring brilliant performers like Kay Kay Menon, Shiney Ahuja, and Chitrangda Singh, this movie is brilliant. The story is set during the time of the emergency and story of three friends and how their life changes.
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16. Bheja Fry (2007)
Bheja Fry is an amazing comedy-drama film produced in Bollywood back in 2007. This movie has a cult following for its amazing story, plot, and acting. As the name suggests this 95-minute movie will make you laugh. It is a story of a man named Ranjit who is easily annoyed. He invites a tax inspector and a singer to his house and everything changes. If you are a fan of comedy movies, you must consider watching this one.
18. Aligarh (2015)
Aligarh was a very important film that was released in 2015 but sadly went unnoticed. It is the story of A gay professor of AMU Aligarh who is living in an orthodox city. Everything changes when his sexual orientation is made public via sting operation. This movie was based on the real story. People didn’t appreciate this movie in India but it was widely praised abroad. Aligarh also made it to the Top rated Indian movies on IMDB.
19. Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008)
Mumbai Meri Jaan is another great movie that went unnoticed by the masses. This movie was released in 2008 and it was based on the 2006 Mumbai Train Blast. Story of five individuals and how their life changed after the tragic event. This movie was directed by NIshikant Kamat and this movie also won the best screenplay awards at the Filmfare.
20. Maqbool (2003)
Maqbool is a crime drama starring Irrfan Khan and Tabu. It is the story of a henchman who galls in love with his boss’s mistress. Her mistress convinces him to kill the don and become the new boss. This movie was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj who is known for making awesome movies.
21. Talvar (2015)
Another great gen starring Irrfan Khan is 2015 released Talvar. This movie was based on the infamous 2008 Noida double murder case. All the cast members played exceptional roles and did justice to the story.
22. Ugly (2013)
If you are a fan of psychological thriller movies you will love our next pick, Ugly. It was released in 2013 and was directed by Anurag Kashyap. When a 10-year old daughter of an aspiring actor disappears things started to unfold. The story of this movie is very interesting and you will enjoy the thriller.
23. Earth (1998)
It is hard to believe that Amir Khan’s movie went unnoticed but this 1998 movie Earth is a great example of the good movie gone unnoticed. The plot is set in 1947 and is the story of a young girl. Her Nanny is caught between the love of two men. This movie was written and directed by Deepa Mehta who is known for making impactful cinema.
24. Black Friday (2007)
Black Friday was another great movie that was banned by the censor board and didn’t screen in many states. This movie was based on the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. It is among the best-underrated movies produced in India and one you should not miss.
25. Udaan (2010)
Udaan was a really amazing movie that came in 2010. Since it was a low budget movie, it didn’t create a lot of buzzes and very few people watched it at that time. Later it gained some popularity for its amazing story and became a somewhat cult classic. Story of a boy named Rohan, who is expelled from school. Rohan wants to become a writer but his father is very strict and he forces him to work in his factory.
26. Parched (2015)
Parched is the story of four women and the problem they are facing. They are left to fight their demons. It is a dark story of women from Rajasthan. This movie was directed by Leena Yadav and was released in 2016.
27. Masaan (2015)
Masaan was one of the best movies that was released in India back in 2015 but due to a low marketing budget didn’t make any splash. The story is set in the Varanasi group of people who are struggling to break the stigmas that they are attached to. Masaan is one of those films that you must watch once if your life. Richa Chadha, Sanjay Mishra, and Vicky Kaushal are playing the leading roles in this movie.
28. Shahid (2012)
Raj Kumar Rao doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his choice of script and movies he does. Shahid is the story of Shahid Azmi a former militant. He went on to become a criminal lawyer. His main purpose in life to fight for injustice but his story is sad at the end.
29. Ship of Theseus (2012)
I am sure you might have not heard the name of this movie before. If you have then you are a true cinema buff. Ship of Theseus is the story of an experimental photographer, an ailing monk, and a young stockbroker. They are searching for the meaning of life and death. Directed by Annand Gandhi and this movie has also won the national award for the best feature film. You must consider watching when you get the chance.
30. Salaam Bombay (1988)
Salaam Bombay is an exceptional movie made by director Mira Nair. Krishna who destroys his brother’s motorbike is asked to earn INR 500 and then only come back home. He finds himself in the slums of Mumbai. The plot of this movie is very impactful. This movie has won several national awards for acting and various aspects. This is among the best underrated Bollywood films.
31. Parzania (2005)
Parzania is a movie based on a true story. A Parsi couple is searching for their son who went missing in Gujrat Riots. This film was directed by Rahul Dholakia. Though the movie never gained is due popularity but it was widely claimed to be one of the finest films produced in Bollywood.
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32. Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010)
Phas Gaye Re Obama is a satire directed by Subhash Kapoor. The plot of the movie is really interesting. A guy named Om decides to sell his property to clear his debt but he was kidnapped by a gang. This movie is among the most hilarious films that have been produced in India.
33. Shaurya (2008)
Shaurya is a 2008 movie starring Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Bose, Javed Jafri, and Minissha Lamba. Captain Javed Khan is accused of killing his CO, Major Rathod. This movie was the remake Tom Cruise starrer A Few Good Man.
34. B.A. pass (2012)
B.A. Pass is a drama Bollywood movie of 2012. It is a story of a boy named Mukesh who moved to Delhi to pursue graduation and also save his and his sister’s future. He gets involved in a high society lifestyle that might feel like a taboo. This movie was directed by Ajay Bahl, who is also responsible for an outstanding movie Section 375.
35. Shor in the City (2010)
Shor in the City is the best film of actor Tushar Kapoor. During the time of Ganesh Chaturthi, the whole Mumbai undergoes a chaotic change. An NRI businessman, crook and aspiring cricketer face challenges during the Ganesh Chaturthi. Shor in the City was directed by the Krishna D.K. and was released in 2010.
36. Mithya (2008)
Mithya is a comedy-drama movie released in 2008. The plot of the movie revolves around a struggling actor who is asked by the police to impersonate a gangster. Things get out of control when there was a plan to kill the said gangster. Mithya was directed by Rajat Kapoor and it was certainly one of the best-underrated Bollywood films.
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37. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)
A man is faced with a difficult choice. His daughter wants to marry a man he loves but Bauji is not convinced. But after meeting him, Bauji is convinced and decided to marry her daughter. He comes to an epiphany that he will only believe what he sees with his own eyes. Aankhon Dekhi is directed by Rajat Kapoor, who is really an underrated director of Indian cinema. If you are looking for something light and funny to watch with your family, you must add this to your watch list.
38. Dil Dosti Etc. (2007)
Story of two college students who are set to prove their dominance. Starring actors like Shreyas Talpade and Immauddin Shah this movie truly portrays the college life in a Delhi University. Dil Dosti Etc. was directed by Manish Tiwary and is a must-watch.
39. Lahore (2010)
Lahore is an amazing movie and it was released in 2010. It is the story of a cricketer and everything changes when his brother dies in the ring. He decided to become a wrestler to avenge his brother’s death. A hard-hitting movie that will keep on the seat of the edge.
40. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore (2014)
One of a kind movie that didn’t get the attention it deserved. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is among the best underrated Hindi movie ever produced. The plot revolves around two soldiers, one from India and the other one from Pakistan. They are fighting over a file that has strategic importance. This movie was directed by Vijay Raaz and was released in 2014.
41. Do Dooni Chaar (2010)
A middle-class family tries to buy a car. This amazing movie was directed by Habib Faisal. Do Dooni Chaar also won the national award for the best feature film.
42. Sulemani Keeda (2013)
Sulemani Keeda is a low budget brilliant film of 2013. Two struggling writers trying to get into Bollywood. They are bros, and they drink and party. Sulemani Keeda was directed and written by Amit V Masurkar. Starring Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, and Aditi Vasudev in the leading role.
43. Liar’s Dice (2013)
A young woman and her child Manya, embark on a journey in search of her missing husband. Liar’s Dice was directed by Geetu Mohandas. This movie won two national awards. One for best cinematography and one for best actress. Actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa, and Manya Gupta are playing the lead role.
44. Miss Lovely (2014)
When a filmmaker gets the idea to start its own venture with a struggling actress Niharika Singh, things take a turn for the worst. Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia this movie won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award and National Film Award for best production design. Miss Lovely deserves to be on the top of the best-underrated film produced in Bollywood in recent times.
45. Hey Ram (2000)
Although SRK’s movie does big business it was not always the case. Hey Ram is such an example fo underrated movies that went under the radar. Hey Ram is a semi-fictional film based on the assassination of Mahatama Gandhi. This amazing movie was written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan. This movie is available in both Tamil and Hindi languages.
46. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)
This movie has a very special and heart touching story. When a Tamil Brahmin woman is traveling by bus, she saves a Muslim man’s life from communal riots. She pretends that the Muslim man is a brahmin and her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer is directed by Aparna Sen for that she won National Award for the best direction.
47. Marstram (2014)
Mastram is a fictional biography of a clerk who becomes an erotic writer and gained fame. He writes many stories in Hindi and the author is known by his pseudo name, Mastram. This movie gathered some good reviews from critics but was soon forgotten.
48. My Brother Nikhil (2005)
My Brother Nikhil is the story of taboo in our society about HIV. Set in the 80s in Goa a swimmer named Nikhil found out that he is HIV +ve. Nikhil gets support from his only sister in this troubling time. If you have loved the movie Dallas Buyer Club, you will surely appreciate this one. It is among the best movie based on the subject of HIV.
49. Astitva (2000)
Astitiva is a 2000 Bollywood drama movie. Aditi is shocked to know that she is the sole heir of the estate. Things get puzzled when her husband found out the secret she was trying to hide. Astitva was directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
50. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
This movie is not only about the wedding as the title might suggest. This 2001 movie shed light on many important social topics that are often ignored. Directed by Mira Nair this movie won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Every character in the movie has a different story and how they deal with it. This is among the greatest-underrated Bollywood Films.
51. Sankat City (2009)
Pankaj Advani has written and directed this 2009 masterpiece Sankat City. When a car thief and his partner get in trouble with a ruthless gangster. Kay Kay Menon, Rimi Sen, and Anupam Kher are playing the lead role. This movie has good comic timing and will surely make you laugh.
52. Hulla (2008)
Rajat Kapoor and Sushant Singh starrer this film is a laugh riot. A stockbroker buys a new house but he is not able to sleep because of the constant whistle blown by the watchmen. This leads to the conflict with the building secretary.
53. Raghu Romeo (2003)
Raghu Romeo directed by Rajat Kapoor, starring Vijay Raaz in the lead role. It is the story of a strip club employee who kidnaps his favorite actress to save her from the hitman. This film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. This is one of the best-underrated Bollywood Films.
54. Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid (2012)
When two brothers travel to their father’s ancestral village in Rajsthan they are expecting something exciting but finds poor and dusty town. This movie was directed by Nila Madhab Panda, who has also directed the critically acclaimed movie, I Am Kalam.
55. Ek Hasina Thi (2004)
Ek Hasina Thi is a revenge thriller released in 2004 and directed by Sriram Raghavan. It is the story of a woman who is framed for a crime she did not commit. She then sets out to take revenge by setting him up.
56. Samay: When Time Strikes (2003)
Samay, starring Sushmita Sen who is playing a cop in this movie. She is hunting a serial killer. This movie is a crime drama thriller with an awesome plot, cinematography, and direction. Samay won the National Award for Best Editing. This is among the greatest-underrated Bollywood Films.
57. Mirch (2010)
Based on the Panchatantra story set in a different setting this movie is the collection of four short films. Directed by Vinay Shukla, this is among the best-underrated Bollywood film produced in 2010.
So here you have it guys, some of the best-underrated Bollywood films produced in India. We will keep on updating the list as new content will be available.