Well, there can never be a definitive list for something like this, but I can say with some confidence these are some movies which you should not miss. Each and every movie has its own different genre including comedy, action, horror, suspense, thriller, romantic, film noir, fantasy, sports, supernatural, and so on. It was very hard to pick 20 out of countless movies. After finishing the list, another movie stuck into my mind and I had to insert that movie in the list. So after devoting a lot of time to it, Movienasha compiled a list of “Top 20 Indian thriller movies which you shouldn’t miss”. The movies which are mentioned below were personally watched by me and all are really good to watch. This list is purely based on my opinion so no offense, please. I hope this will entice you to watch some. Please leave comments or feedback if you think differently and have something in mind which you want me to notice. Your comments and feedback are most welcome!
Top 20 Indian Thriller Movies That You Should Definitely Watch
1. Aamir (2008)
Aamir is one of my favorite Indian thriller movies which was directed by Raj Kumar Gupta and produced by Ronnie Screwvala. The movie was released on 6 June 2008 starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Gajraj Rao in a lead role. The story revolves around a young Muslim man, Dr. Aamir Ali (Rajeev Khandelwal), who has returned to Mumbai from the United Kingdom and finds himself at the mercy of Islamic extremists who want to carry out a bombing in the city. Its plot is similar to the 2005 Filipino film Cavite. The movie got a positive response from critics as well as from the audiences. Raj Kumar Gupta was commended for his fine directorial work.
2. A Wednesday! (2008)
A Wednesday! It is an Indian suspense+ drama+ thriller movie which was written and directed by Neeraj Pandey and produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Anjum Rizvi, and Shital Bhatia. The movie was released on 5 September 2008 starring Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Bashir, and Deepal Shaw in the lead role. It is the official remake of ” A Common Man” in English starring Ben Cross and Ben Kingsley. It was the inspiration for Telugu movie Eeenadu and Tamil movie Unnaipol Oruvan.
The movie is all about a common man. The movie depicts that there is nothing more dangerous than an innocent common man when gets pissed off. The movie gave me goosebumps at the end of the movie. The movie generally received positive reviews from critics comparing it to the movies of the Die Hard Series. It’s perfect in every aspect as it meets the entertainment quota and also delivers a great message all at the same time. It is an excellent movie and the superb acting by Naseeruddin Shah. This is a reminder to the authorities to NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A COMMON MAN!
3. Kaun (1999)
Kaun? (English: Who’s There?) is one of the best Indian thriller movies i have ever seen. The movie was released on 26 February 1999 starring Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee, and Sushant Singh in the lead role. The movie was directed by Ram Gopal Verma and produced by Mukesh Udeshi. A man keeps bothering a home-alone woman asking her about a person called Mr. Malhotra. The woman is reluctant to open the door due to the fear of a serial killer on the loose in the city.
The background score, the taut, unpredictable script, and the fairly but unerringly strange characters all contribute to the film’s suspense and thriller, keeping you engaged throughout: a typical Ram Gopal Varma-Anurag Kashyap masterpiece keeping in mind the time it came out. A psychological thriller that has become a cult hit.
4. Drishyam (2015)
Drishyam is an Indian thriller movie directed by Nishikant Kamat and produced by Ajit Andhare, Abhishek Pathak, and Kumar Mangat Pathak. The movie was released on 31 July 2015 starring Ajay Devgan, Tabu, and Shriya Saran in the lead role. The movie is distributed by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. The movie is a remake of the 2013 Malayalam movie Drishyam starring Mohanlal and Meena in the lead role which was directed and written by Jeethu Joseph.
This Indian movie features Ajay Devgan as Vijay Salgaonkar, Tabu as IG Meera Deshmukh, Shriya Saran as Nandhani Vijay Salgaonkar, Ishita Dutta as Vijay’s daughter, Rajat Kapoor as Meera’s Husband, and Prathamesh Parab. The soundtrack of the movie is composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and lyrics written by Gulzar. It is one of the most-awaited, or so we can say, most anticipated movies of 2015 in Bollywood. The movie looks like an interesting plot with lots of drama and suspense. Ajay and Tabu look set to mark with their performance too. This movie always comes in the category of Suspense and Thriller movies or we can say suspense+ thriller movies.
5. Company (2002)
Campany is an Indian crime thriller movie which was directed by Ram Gopal Verma and written by Jaideep Sahni. The movie was released on 12 April 2002 starring Mohanlal, Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Manisha Koirala, and Antara Mali in the lead role. It is a fictional exposé of the Mumbai underworld, loosely based on the Indian mafia organization D-Company, known to be run by Dawood Ibrahim. It is the second film in the Indian Gangster trilogy and a sequel to the blockbuster Satya. Upon release, the film received positive reviews from critics as well as the audience, having won seven Filmfare Awards; three IIFA Awards, and went on to become one of the highest grossing Bollywood film(s) of 2002. The movie mainly depicts the economics behind running an Indian mafia organization.
6. Kahaani (2012)
Kahaani is a mystery+ suspense movie directed by Sujoy Ghosh and produced by Kushal Kantilal Gada and Sujoy Ghosh. The movie was released on 9 March 2012 starring Vidya Balan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee and Indraneil Sengupta in the lead role. Kahaani takes Kolkata beyond its cliches. The city has not only been brilliantly captured but has also been featured as a protagonist itself! I would say that “Kahaani” is one of the best Indian thrillers on celluloid.
The cinematography of the movie was mind blowing. I have never purchased a single original DVD in my life… But Kahaani will be my first one.. Wonderful movie I have ever seen in Hindi cinema. Kahaani is a well-made film with an attention-grabbing script, marvelous performances, and above all Vidya Balan’s well-delivered and award-winning act as a pregnant woman.
7. Baazigar (1993)
Baazigar (English: Gambler) is an Indian crime thriller movie directed by Abbas-Mustan and produced by Ganesh Jain. The movie was released on 12 November 1993 starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, Raakhee, and Siddharth Roy in the lead role. This movie is a contemporary thriller about a young man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. This was Shah Rukh Khan’s breakthrough role as the sole lead and Kajol’s first commercial success. Actress Shilpa Shetty was supposed to debut with film Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, however, the film remained unreleased and this was her debut movie.
Baazigar was the first film in which Shah Rukh Khan played the role of an anti-hero and also the first film which earned Khan a Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Initially, Salman Khan was the first choice to play the lead in the film. The film was remade in Tamil as Samrat with Ramki, in Telugu as Vetagadu with Rajasekhar, and in Kannada as Nagarahavu with Upendra. The film brought actors Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, and composer Anu Malik into the limelight. It is a remake of the 1991 Hollywood film A Kiss Before Dying.
8. Satya (1998)
Satya (English: Truth) is one of the best Indian crime thriller movies which was directed and story by Ram Gopal Verma. The movie was released on 3 July 1998 starring J.D. Chakravarthy, Urmila Matondkar, Govind Namdev, Manoj Bajpayee, Paresh Rawal, and many others in the lead role. The movie tells the story of Satya, an immigrant who comes to Mumbai seeking his fortune but instead gets sucked into the Mumbai underworld. The movie was listed among CNN-IBN’s 100 greatest Indian films of all time. In 2005,Indiatimes Movies included Satya in its list of 25 Must See Bollywood Movies. The movie became a surprise hit at the box office in 1988 and went on to win six Filmfare Awards. Satya has been referred to as a modern masterpiece and it was considered one of the best films of the 1990s. It is also considered one of the best gangster films of all time.
9. Sangharsh (1999)
Sangharsh (Translation: Struggle) is a Hindi crime thriller movie directed by Tanuja Chandra and produced by Mukesh Bhatt. The movie was released on 3 September 1999 starring Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, Alia Bhatt and Ashutosh Rana. A police officer discovers that the culprit of a series of child abduction cases is a religious fanatic, who believes in child sacrifice. She seeks the help of a convict to track him down. The climax was gripping and featured little Alia as one of the villain’s targets.
As The Indian Express Wrote: “This crime thriller is value for money,” noting the performances: “Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta have done an impressive job as a criminal and a CBI officer”. Every character has done a brilliant job. The treatment of the characters is first-rate and the build-up to the impending scare is brilliant. The performance by Rana was outstanding and thanks to Chandra for bringing the best of Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta.
10. Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)
Gupt: The Hidden Truth (English: Secret) is an Indian suspense thriller movie directed by Rajiv Rai and produced by Gulshan Rai and Rajiv Rai. The movie was released on 4 July 1997 starring Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala, and Kajol in the lead role. The movie received positive reviews from critics. It is a slickly made movie with stylish cinematography, beautiful locales, and pretty good performances. The day after a heavy debate between Sahil and his father, the father is found dead, and Sahil is given a life sentence. He breaks out of prison and is on a mission to uncover the truth.
11. Aankhen (2002)
Aankhen (English: Eyes) is an Indian heist thriller movie directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and produced by Gaurang Doshi. The movie was released on 5 April 2002 starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Sushmita Sen, Arjun Rampal, and Paresh Rawal in the lead role. This is one of my favorite Indian thriller movies and I really liked it a lot. The movie is an adaptation of Shah’s own Gujarati play Andhalo Pato (Blindman’s Buff).
The film tells the story of Vijay Singh Rajput (Amitabh Bachchan), a hard-working but temperamental man, who has spent all his life working for one bank and even achieving them International recognition. When Vijay loses his mind and goes on a violent rampage beating up another employee, he is subsequently fired. He decides to take vengeance by organizing a full-on heist, and having the same bank robbed by three blind men, as no one will suspect them.
12. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
Woh Kaun Thi? (Translation: Who Was She?) is a black and white mystery thriller movie directed by Raj Khosla and written by Dhruva Chatterjee. The movie was released in 1964 and stars Sadhana Shivdasani, Manoj Kumar, K.N. Singh, Helen, and Prem Chopra in a lead role. The film became a hit at the box office. Its success had Khosla directing Sadhana in two more suspense thrillers: Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967 film). You may also check out these two movies for Indian thriller movies.
13. Khamosh (1985)
Khamosh is one of the amazing Indian thriller movies which was directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The movie was released in 1985 starring Amol Palekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Pankaj Kapoor, and many others. The film became notable for actors Amol Palekar, Soni Razdan, and Shabana Azmi portraying fictional versions of themselves. When mysterious murders begin to take place on the sets of a Bollywood movie, nobody knows who is doing it, until the end. Mysterious murders on a Bollywood film set make the plot of this film. This one will keep you guessing till the very end.
14. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
Manorama Six Feet Under is an Indian thriller movie directed by Navdeep Singh and produced by Ketan Maroo. The movie was released on 21 September 2007 starring Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Sarika and Gul Panag in a lead role. The movie is a neo-noir with an amateur detective in a small sleepy town from Rajasthan who finds himself caught in a web of lies, deceit, and murder. This movie is based on Chinatown (1974) by Roman Polanski, with the basic premise being similar to the original, despite changes in the representation of characters and some key plot points. The film didn’t work well commercially but critics appreciated the film and especially excellent written dialogues. You must give at least one chance to watch this movie. After watching, share your views with us.
15. 404: Error Not Found (2011)
404 is a Hindi psychological thriller movie directed by Prawal Raman and produced by Nameeta Nair. The movie was released on 20 May 2011 starring Imaad Shah, Nishikant Kamat, Tisca Chopra, and Satish Kaushik in the lead role. Taran Adarsh, the film critic, comments that it is a new age thriller with a taut screenplay, riveting direction and applaud-worthy performances. He gave it 5/5 saying, “We don’t know if Indians like these type of movie or not but America will love this, even though it will not gross good in America (because of being a movie not from their country.) then also if any American would see it will think that the Hollywood is nothing in front of Bollywood.” Dainik Bhaskar gave it a 4.5/5 star saying (actually in Hindi) that, “If you’re not a fool….you will not miss the movie.”
16. Teesri Manzil (1966)
Teesri Manzil (English: “Third Floor”) is a 1966 Bollywood musical thriller directed by Vijay Anand and produced by Nasir Hussain. It starred his regular actors Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, along with Laxmi Chhaya, Premnath, Prem Chopra, Iftekhar, Helen, K.N Singh, and Salim Khan. The film became a bumper hit at the box office. With music and song-setting records, this movie was arguably the best offering of his career by the late RD Burman. Although it is a murder mystery, it continues to draw repeat audiences even though the identity of the murderer is no longer a secret. Teesri Manzil was the last time Shammi starred in a Nasir Hussain film. Asha would go on to do four more, three of which she starred in. Teesri Manzil was also the last Hussain film in which Mohammed Rafi sang all the songs.
17. Jewel Thief (1967)
Jewel Thief is a 1967 spy thriller Hindi film directed by Vijay Anand. The film stars Dev Anand, Vyjayantimala, and Ashok Kumar in the lead roles. It also features four bond girl-like actresses portrayed by Tanuja, Helen, Faryal, and Anju Mahendru and other actors appearing in supporting roles. A sequel for this film was released in 1996, named Return of Jewel Thief with only two actors reappearing and reprising their original roles; Dev Anand reprising the role of Vinay Kumar and Ashok Kumar reprising the role of Arjun. It was one of the movies in which Dev Anand acted outside his own banner, Navketan.
18. Anita (1967)
Anita is a 1967 Indian suspense+thriller film, directed and written by Raj Khosla, and starring Manoj Kumar and Sadhana. The film is the last of the suspense-thriller trilogy of the Khosla-Sadhana partnership. Woh kaun thi? (1964) and Mera Saaya (1966) were the two previous films in the series. You may also watch these two movies.
19. 100 Days (1991)
100 Day is an Indian psychological thriller movie released in 1991 starring Jackie Shroff, Madhuri Dixit, Moon Moon Sen, and Javed Jaffrey. The movie is a mystery thriller that follows the events in the life of a woman with extrasensory perception. At the beginning of the film, she gets flashes of her sister’s death and that is what makes the plot of the movie. The film was a superhit. It was a remake of the Tamil movie Nooravathu Naal.
20. Hamraaz (1967)
Hamraaz (English: Confidant) is a 1967 Hindi musical and suspense thriller film produced and directed by B. R. Chopra. The film stars Sunil Dutt, Raj Kumar, Mumtaz, Sarika, Madan Puri, Iftekhar, Balraj Sahni, Jeevan, Helen and Vimi. The film’s music is by Ravi, while the lyrics were penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. Mahendra Kapoor won the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer for the song “Hey Neele Gagan Ke Tale”.
Here is the list that does not end. You may also check out some more Indian thriller+ suspense movies here. Just click on the blue link and enjoy it: