Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

Looking back at all of the 2017 releases that I reviewed, there were more movies that I liked than those I didn’t. Here are my ten favorites from a sizable group of contenders.

I love a well-made action movie, and 2017 had two that stood out. Commando 2 took full advantage of Vidyut Jammwal’s impressive physical skills in a solid followup to 2013’s terrific Commando: A One Man Army. The slick action comedy A Gentleman had cool stunts, abundant laughs, and the perfect leading duo for such a film: Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez.

Malhotra made another appearance in the Top Ten with his murder mystery remake Ittefaq, featuring a great performance by Akshaye Khanna as a detective. The other thriller on the list, Trapped, found Rajkummar Rao carrying the weight of an entire movie by himself as his character sought to escape a locked apartment.

Secret Superstar was a touching family drama with surprising emotional depth, especially since its marketing focused heavily on Aamir Khan’s wacky (and very funny) cameo performance. Though Hindi Medium was more deliberately comedic, it likewise packed an unexpected punch, effectively illustrating the negative effects of income inequality on quality public education.

Three wonderful romantic comedies made my Top Ten list. Ayushmann Khurrana lamented the one who (he thinks) got away in the delightful Meri Pyaari Bindu, and he starred in the clever update of Cyrano de BergeracBareilly Ki Barfi — opposite Rajkummar Rao (again) and Kriti Sanon, in her best performance to date. Anushka Sharma showcased her skills as both a producer and an actress in the beautiful tearjerker Phillauri.

While I normally restrict my yearly Top Ten list to just Bollywood movies, I have to make an exception for the multi-lingual film that raised the bar for all Indian cinema on the international stage. My favorite movie of 2017 was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Everything about Baahubali 2 was epic: battles, choreography, story, sets, costumes, performances. It’s the kind of movie that reminded me why I enjoy movies in the first place. Writer-director S.S. Rajamouli deserves all the accolades he received for making a truly magnificent film.

Check my Netflix and Amazon Prime pages to see which of these movies are available for streaming in the United States.

Kathy’s Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

  1. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  2. Phillauri — Buy at Amazon
  3. Bareilly Ki Barfi — Buy at Amazon
  4. Hindi Medium — Buy at Amazon
  5. Secret Superstar
  6. A Gentleman — Buy at Amazon
  7. Meri Pyaari Bindu — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Trapped
  9. Ittefaq — Buy/rent at iTunes
  10. Commando 2 — Buy at Amazon

Previous Best Movies Lists

13 thoughts on “Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

  1. moviemavengal

    Great list!! I agree with many of your choices. Baahubali, you’ll be surprised, is actually my number two film. The best was Angamaly Diaries, a Malayalam film, which unfortunately isn’t streaming anywhere yet. It was a really good year for some off beat smaller films like Bareilly Ki Barfi. I still need to see Hindi Medium and Commando 2. A Gentleman I recently rewatched on Hotstar, and it just holds up as a really entertaining action film, and I agree that Siddarth and Jacqueline make a great pair. He’s a good straight man to her wacky humor.

    1. Kathy

      Thanks, Mel! I hope Netflix and Amazon are fighting over the streaming rights to Angamaly Diaries, because everybody who’s seen it seems to love it. Glad to hear that A Gentleman holds up, since it was so fun in the theater. P.S. I won’t tell Prabhas that he’s been replaced. 😉

      1. moviemavengal

        He hasn’t been replaced in my heart, but Angamaly Diaries is amazing filmmaking. I totally agree that Baahubali is a complete film experience – it gave me everything I want!

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    1. Kathy

      I still haven’t seen Lipstick Under My Burkha, Sanchi. As for Mom and Toilet, I liked both of them. Just ran out of room on my list! 😉

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