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Best Crime Films of Indian Cinema

Updated on August 25, 2013

Crime films in Bollywood

Indian Film Industry has gifted desi audiences with many great crime films. Indian Film Industry, also a part of which is referred to as Bollywood (derived from Hollywood), is the second best film industry worldwide in terms of revenue, and number one in terms of movie tickets sold per year. Here's a list of some of the best crime films of the Hindi-film industry of Mumbai. These movies are all my favorites. Enjoy.


I am not including the Dhoom series despite the fact that they brought great business to the film industry of India. If I had to select films for this page based on how many millions a film made being one of the top criteria Dhoom would definitely be mentioned, but being an honest critic, I don't see anything besides plain Bollywood spice in the films.

Satya - best crime films of bollywood
Satya - best crime films of bollywood

Satya - 1998

Satya is the tale of a new man in town who gets caught in the tide of the underworld of Mumbai. Where on one side he's humiliated by an important gang member, an angry Satya ends up killing the man to find support by another gang. Satya now works in and for the underworld. What happens next is what the great film is all about..

On the soundtrack front, the exceptionally 'wet' mood of the film's romantic songs support the overall effect of the story. Satya is undoubtedly one of the best crime films of Bollywood.

A Romantic Song from Satya

Best Crime Films of Bollywood

Satya is worth keeping in your Bollywood library

I love it and I proudly have a copy at home :)

Just Watch!! A Bit of Modern Day Crime Exploitation in Bollywood

Amazingly raw..

All These Films Arranged in Chronogical Order..

Just for reference.. :)

Don - 1978 About | Buy

Satya - 1998 About | Buy

Company - 2002 About | Buy

Kaante - 2002 About | Buy

Ankhen - 2002 About | Buy

Yuva - 2004 About | Buy

Bunty aur Babli - 2005 About | Buy

Don - 2006 About | Buy

Johnny Gaddaar - 2007 About | Buy

A Wednesday! - 2007 About

Mithya - 2008 About | Buy

Kaminey - 2009 About | Buy

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai - 2010 About | Buy

Don 2 - 2011 About | Buy

Shaitan - 2011 About | Video

Gangs of Wasseypur - 2012 About | Buy

Yuva - best crime films of bollywood
Yuva - best crime films of bollywood

Yuva - 2004

Three kings of youth played by Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgan and Vivek Oberoi are seen living and struggling with their individual everyday goals in life. Do their stories have links? That's what this film is about. A complete thriller that will keep you stuck to the screen till end credits roll up.

This page isn't ranking the films mentioned yet, but if some day I have to assign ranks, Yuva will be secured in top 5 best crime films of Bollywood along Satya and all new Gangs of Wasseypur.

Company - best crime films of bollywood
Company - best crime films of bollywood

Company - 2002

When the question of best crime films of Bollywood is raised among my movie loving pals, there are a few names they don't let be ignored. Company is such a movie name. It's a very spontaneously done job by each actor involved in the film. One of Ajay Devgan's best for sure.

Catch Ajay Devgan & Vivek Oberoi in Company

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai - 2010

Ajay Devgan has always been the best actor for making a great crime film, but if we talk about the side actor Imran Hashmi in the film, this film contains the best of him on the acting front. As Mr. Hashmi is better known for romancing around with glamorous women, the guy precisely referred to as a 'lucky one' among youngsters, the film Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai finally brings forward the man's talent as an actor. The film has some really nice depiction as well as music, then backed up by Mr. Devgan at the top, the film understandably goes a hit among the best crime films of Bollywood.

Ankhen - best crime films of bollywood
Ankhen - best crime films of bollywood

Aankhen - 2002

I personally do not like the film a lot but if you're talking about the topic I am talking about, surprisingly enough, you can't skip this one. Aankhen is about a bunch of visually challenged men trained into robbing a bank. If you've got a long weekend (or say, you're struggling with the negativity attacks on your relationship with a loved one [For which you can find help here by the way]) you can sit back with this movie on television and lots of noodles and popcorn. It's an entertaining watch.

Gangs of Wasseypur - best crime films of bollywood
Gangs of Wasseypur - best crime films of bollywood

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Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II - Best Crime Films of Bollywood
Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II - Best Crime Films of Bollywood

Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II (2012)

If Gangs of Wasseypur Part I (with Manoj Bajpai in lead role) had the history of Sardar Khan's family- Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II contains shooting, shooting and shooting.. In GoW part I Sardar Khan's cunning urges have been processed and channelized to be Faizal Khan's (Sardar's son) chaotic extreme by the character of Nagma Khatoon (the mother of Faizal Khan). Faizal Khan, who have come out to be one of the most memorable crime film characters of Bollywood, postpones all the shooting till the last hour when Nagma 'wakes' him up to the world of crime.

Faizal Khan, then, kisses his mother's forehead each time before going for a kill, making his killing debut by brutally killing his best friend with a knife.

NOTE: If shooting disturbs you I must warn you this film has lots of it. Lots of it..

But speaking of crime films, GoW part I and GoW part II are a must watch..

If you liked Omkara, you ought to collect Gangs of Wasseypur, I mean ever word of it

Can you believe I hadn't watched the trailer or any bit of promotion, not a song either when a friend took me for this movie. I discussed quickly when the movie had already started-

'So what should I expect? Drama, comedy or crime ? Or it's just a Bollywood thing and I should expect just that?'

'Yes, a mix of crime and drama maybe.'

'Hope it's good, or else I'd kill you for convincing me.'

'It'll be good..'

And I didn't enjoy a crime film this much after the classic Satya (given at the top of this page).


Gangs Of Wasseypur
Gangs Of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur is worth spotlighting because if a Bollywood film could go realistic, informative and yet humorous all at the same time, then this has happened for once and for all in this film. Whenever you watch new films of 2000s like Company, Yuva or Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, the balance between the equations of realism, entertainment(/masala) and humor is somehow unsuccessful. I am not saying that the three great Bollywood films mentioned here are not up to the mark, but Gangs of Wasseypur is a bit more on the next level stuff. The best part of the film is that while you're laughing softly throughout the film with bursting loud ones every 10 minutes, you don't realize a story being narrated which is backed up strongly by real history. Additionally, it's based on Bihar, one of the most interesting states of India with many a bitter reality and the strangest of people. The film is extremely realistic, so much that it seems like everyday drama on the big screen. A must watch for the lovers of this genre.


Buy Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II

Sorry fellas, GoW part II DVD isn't out yet apparently.. Instead, here's GoW part II's music CD link. I'll keep you updated on this.

Gangs Of Wasseypur 2
Gangs Of Wasseypur 2

GoW part II music only. This isn't the film DVD.


"Kaala Rey" - GoW part II

A must watch..

Kaminey - best crime films of Bollywood
Kaminey - best crime films of Bollywood

Kaminey - 2009

This is a fast, witty, humorous crime film with a great job by Shahid Kapoor (to begin with) and the entire crew. Priyanka Chopra, the better half of the film, supports the dramatic edge of the film. Additionally, you get to see some great dance in the film as well. An odd one out among the other films given on this page, but a total entertainer.

Grab Kaminey here on Amazon

Mithya - best crime films of bollywood
Mithya - best crime films of bollywood

Mithya - 2008

This film was originally meant for Cannes 2007 but it got delayed. It's a Rajat Kapoor and party's film so you can guess the pro quality situational humor. Acted hilariously by Ranvir Shorey, a great weekend-film.

Mithya on Amazon

Johnny Gaddaar - 2007

This one is a great noir film belonging to the Indian cinema. Though it hasn't gained much popularity among public but has established a dedicated space among known critics. Johnny Gaddaar is full of flashbacks (and also flashbacks within flashbacks!!) but once you get used to the format used in the film, you'll love it for sure.. A complete best crime film of Bollywood...

Kaante - best crime films of bollywood
Kaante - best crime films of bollywood

Kaante - 2002

I hate Bollywood film-makers when they redo Hollywood films scene-by-scene in the name of 'inspiration' but this one manages to somehow float itself above as an exception. Kaante is such a Bollywood film inspired by Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. A must watch for a crime film maniac!

Buy Kaante at a Cheap Price on Amazon

Bunty aur Babli - best crime films of bollywood
Bunty aur Babli - best crime films of bollywood

Bunty aur Babli - 2005

More of a family drama rather than a crime film, Bunty and Babli form a couple full of wit, brains and greed. They fool anyone from a jewelry storekeeper to a car dealer in order to attain a good lifestyle. In the end they decide to retire and get married. But can they settle down without paying back? Find out in this different crime film Bunty aur Babli.

Bunty aur Babli on Amazon

Don - 1978

don 1978 - best crime films of bollywood
don 1978 - best crime films of bollywood

The classic Don with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The film is just from an older time and that's it. It's equally entertaining and even though it's understandably uncompetitive on the technological end but is yet complete justice to the character that Don is. Amitabh Bachchan known as the "angry young man" of his time in the Indian cinema has a rather 'angry' touch to the character whereas Shahrukh Khan, on the other end, portrays a much more sorted and wicked don- not honest at all. So in the two Dons you see the slightly different flavor given to the protagonist, and yet the films of both the eras are simply delicious.

Grab Amitabh Bachan's Don here

Don - best crime films of bollywood
Don - best crime films of bollywood

Don - 2006

Though originally the character of Don was portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan, the newer Don series by the King Khan is much more known and appreciated. Watch Don outsmart any and every trap that comes his way.

Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai..

= Not only it is hard to catch the Don, but impossible..

Buy Don and Don 2 at Amazon

Don 2 - 2011

Don 2 - 2011
Don 2 - 2011

Basic difference between the film Don of 1976 and the newer Don of 2006 is that the former one didn't have a sequel. In Don 2, the Don awaits in a prison of Malaysia for an old rival to use him for good cleverly for the second time. Don 2 has a much Mission Impossible tone to it. So if you like binging a bucket of popcorn over a case of figuring out who does what how to who, you'll love the second Don even more.

Watch the Official Trailer of Don 2 Here!

Shootout at Lokhandwala - best crime films of bollywood
Shootout at Lokhandwala - best crime films of bollywood

Shootout at Lokhandwala - 2007

This *bloody* film is a strong narration of characters and happenings leading to quite a dirty encounter of these joyous gangsters by the police. Shootout at Lokhandwala is a must for boys who like movies of a raw kind. The film consists of a violent form of storytelling, which is kind of unique in Bollywood.

Criminal - best crime films of bollywood
Criminal - best crime films of bollywood

Criminal - 1995

Criminal was one of the biggest hits of the Bollywood 90s of India. If the face of Bollywood's classic crime cinema in the film Satya is not enough for you, Criminal captures more Indian spice in this '95 blockbuster. Additionally, Criminal has some of the most memorable music to date as well. Completely a cinema collector's material..

Gangster - best crime films of bollywood
Gangster - best crime films of bollywood

Gangster - 2006

Well, do you like love triangles? The plot and characters of Gangster are often related to an actual underworld don Abu Salem and Bollywood actress Monika Bedi though the director has denied this. The film anyway leads a cult among Indian audiences. With a few hit numbers as Bheegi Bheegi, Ya Ali and Tuhi Meri Shab Hai, though Bheegi Bheegi is an exact musical remake of Moheener Ghoraguli's Prithibita Naki.. with no depth in lyrics comparatively, the film Gangster gained popularity in music industry of India as well.

A must watch for a masala lover..

Black Friday - best crime films of bollywood
Black Friday - best crime films of bollywood

Black Friday - 2004

A great film based on '93 Bombay blasts written and directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film is renowned internationally and has gained popularity among film critics in India and abroad.

Click here to test Black Friday on RottenTomatoes!!

Bandit Queen - best crime films of bollywood
Bandit Queen - best crime films of bollywood

Bandit Queen - 1994

A shocking real tale of an Indian woman told in a merciless, straight depiction.

Buy Bandit Queen here; This is another film you must collect being a lover of shocking true stories

Bawandar - best crime films of bollywood
Bawandar - best crime films of bollywood

Bawandar - 2000

Another shocking tale of an Indian woman after Bandit Queen.

Both Bandit Queen and Bawandar get a bit disturbing during a few parts in the films but are indeed strong, straight depictions of dreadful stories of these two women.

Paan Singh Tomar - best crime films of bollywood
Paan Singh Tomar - best crime films of bollywood

Real story of an army-man-cum- national-level-athlete who turns into a bandit..

How and because of what?!

Well, watch..

Image from Wikipedia

A group of youngsters do whatever it takes in search of fun and nightlife but tonight it would really backfire. Quite a basic plot but the film has its *great* moments! Take this particular part of the film, for example, backed by a Ska remake of Hindi classic number "Khoya Khoya Chand" by Mohd. Rafi from film Kaala Bazaar. And in the film, there are more like this.

A Wednesday! - best crime films of bollywood
A Wednesday! - best crime films of bollywood

A Wednesday! - 2007

An amazing thriller-drama that twists you around by the end. Guesses?

Well, watch it and figure out yourself! It's a great film so no money wasted, I assure you. :)

Poll: Which one you like more?

Which of these Bollywood crime films do you like the most?

See results

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All the images used in this lens are either the films' official covers/posters or screenshots. They do not belong to the author but their respective authorities.

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    • indianreel profile image

      HK 3 years ago from London

      Very good list. Satya and company are true masterpieces. A little surprised to see criminal in this list.

    • neotony profile image

      neotony 5 years ago

      i did see one bollywood film a while ago and it was really good but i can't remember the name of it. thanks for reminding me of this great art

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I haven't seen any Bollywood crime films, so thanks for the suggestions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Your comments and liking my lenses

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 5 years ago

      @anooptu: You're right, thank you for reading :)

    • profile image

      anooptu 5 years ago

      Bollywood is always on the top of Indian CInema especially in the case technical skills

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I haven't seen any of these, but several look quite good.

    • MatijaB LM profile image

      MatijaB LM 5 years ago

      I choose very good movies.

    • profile image

      Aileen1 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, I haven't watch any, but looking forward to see one...I have to search these films, though...

    • profile image

      Ajeet 5 years ago

      Make sure to add Gangs of Wasseypur - 2012 Part II in a couple of days :)

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      I have seen all these movies but I love these three: Satya, Kante and Don (1978).