Top 10 Indian Films Of The Last Decade (2010-2019), Ranked

The 2010s have been a great decade for Indian films, as the decade marked the emergence of various innovative and unique voices, along with some greats from experienced and renowned masters, especially during the first half of the decade. The list tries to encapsulate this diversity of voices, genres, and also languages that excelled during the 2010s, remaining in the psyche for years to come. As we have already set foot into a new decade, here is a list of the top 10 Indian films from the previous decade, the 2010s, ranked.


10. Aamis (2019)

After a brilliant debut with “Kothanodi” (2015), which incorporates horrifyingly mystical folklore elements, Bhaskar Hazarika shifts his gears to the romantic genre in order to craft a shocking, delicate, and delicious love story in “Aamis” (2019), which translates to “non-veg or meat.” This Assamese film revolves around a lonely married woman, Nirmali, and a young PhD student, Sumon, who bond over their mutual interest in trying out different meat-related delicacies. This film is a totally one-of-a-kind love story that touches one’s taste buds and is intense, striking, yet at the same time quite empathetic.

9. Masaan (2015)

The film won two awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2015, giving Indian cinema a brilliant filmmaker in Neeraj Ghaywan and also marking the breakthrough performance of Vicky Kaushal. There is a lot to appreciate in this film, especially how it manages to capture the mystical city of Varanasi through the two parallel narratives, both visually and also by the soundscape (with songs like “Mann Kasturi”) created by the renowned band “Indian Ocean.” “Masaan” (2015) is brilliantly supported by its nuanced and poignant writing by Varun Grover, reflecting upon the caste and gender inequality realities that plague the country, and it is further etched out on the screen in a very pensive way, consisting of some tremendously gut-wrenching moments, through the brilliant directorial prowess of Neeraj Ghaywan.


8. Udaan (2010)

Udaan, by debutant filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane, is definitely the best coming-of-age film from the Hindi film industry and acts as an antithesis to a much more popular film related to somewhat similar themes and subject matter, Raju Hirani’s “3 Idiots” (2009). This film is a very personal and kind autobiographical take on patriarchal oppression, fighting for one’s individuality as well as one’s hope and perseverance. The film is further aided by a brilliant script with deep characterization by its writers, Anurag Kashyap and Motwane, and a brilliant soundtrack by Amit Trivedi, along with a homage to one of the greatest films of all time, “The 400 Blows” (1959) by Francois Truffaut.

7. Visaranai (2015)

The film follows four migrant laborers from Tamil Nadu who are taken into custody by the police in order to make them confess to a crime they didn’t commit. Vetrimaaran manages to make a statement through his flawless film, “Visaranai” (2015), and showcases the grim reality faced by the lower strata of our society at the hands of the so-called authority that vows to protect these very people. The film is horrifically intense and is shot brilliantly in such a way that definitely makes one feel claustrophobic, and it reflects upon the misuse of the state machineries and does not shy away from, sugar-coat, or glorify the police force or the brutality it inflicts upon the common masses. Unlike various mainstream entertainers where the police force, along with its custodial torture, are looked upon in a very glamorous light, this film will send shivers through its gritty and raw portrayal of the same, making a very bold and strong case against it. 


6. Super Deluxe (2019)

After a directorial gap of 8 years, Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s 2019 film, “Super Deluxe,” is a brilliantly eccentric and unique film with four interwoven narratives and consists of some of the best performances one can expect from its brilliant ensemble cast of actors, featuring Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Samantha, and many more. The film is a perfect blend of everything, from dark humor, romance, parental bonding, and socio-political commentary to questions regarding the vast universe. The kind of precision and detail that went into the making of this film speaks volumes and can be seen in each and every frame of it.

5. Fandry (2013)

Interestingly, the majority of the films on this list are the debut films of these respective filmmakers, as we move on to another striking and shocking debut, this time by the marvelous Nagraj Manjule. Even though he came to the mainstream limelight after the massive success of his 2016 film “Sairat,” this film is his personal best and one of the best in Indian cinema currently. The film is a hard-hitting take on caste in India through a very different and much more visceral lens in comparison to earlier films. The film follows the very conventional romantic narrative of a young schoolboy named Jabya falling in love with Shalu, his classmate, and so on. But the film brilliantly subverts these generic tropes and showcases violence, which is more of a discriminatory and humiliating form. A special mention goes to the “national anthem” scene, which is definitely among the most unsparing, uncompromising, and hard-hitting scenes ever seen in the history of Indian cinema.


4. The Lunchbox (2013)

“The Lunchbox” (2013) is also another film featured on this list with a debutant director at the helm, Ritesh Batra. It was controversially not sent to the Oscars and could have been a feather in the cap of India as far as the nomination for Best International Feature Film goes. “The Lunchbox” deliciously and meticulously wields a very delicate and tender narrative mainly through two primary characters, who meet (that too not physically) after the misplacement of a lunchbox and manages to showcase a sense of warmth and love which many of the so-called romantic films fail to do. “The Lunchbox” is further enhanced through its brilliantly characterized supporting characters, especially Aslam (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui).

3. Ship Of Theseus (2012)

The decade saw some impeccable debuts, and one such example is filmmaker Anand Gandhi. The film is predominantly about three different characters from different spheres: a visually impaired photographer, a Jain monk battling with his belief system, and a young stockbroker. Through these characters, Anand Gandhi manages to raise questions within the audience, and the film manages to make one think deeply without being preachy and the film remains very engaging and captivating. “Ship of Theseus” (2012) possesses the quality of a deeply layered and meditative narrative that is equally complemented by its fantastic performance and technical aspects and marks the emergence of Anand Gandhi as a visionary in the current cinematic landscape of India.


2. Court (2014)

At the young age of 27, Chaitanya Tamhane made a film that is definitely among the greatest directorial debuts. The film primarily starts off with a folk singer who is arrested for allegedly provoking a manhole worker to commit suicide through his socially and politically charged songs. Even though the film sounds like a generic court-room drama, it’s quite the opposite, as the filmmaker looks through a different lens and goes for a much more observer-like approach through his use of static camera movements and long takes with a sense of objectivity that documents things rather than a very conventional and cinematic one. “Court” (2014) makes judges out of its viewers as it is more concerned with what happens outside the court, the daily lives of the lawyers and judges, which actually shapes their perspectives, etc. Other than playing with the conventional tropes, the film is a hard-hitting satirical take on the lives of the downtrodden and the country’s judiciary and is bestowed with an outstanding performance by Vira Sathidar, who plays the role of the folk/protest singer Narayan Kamble. 

1. Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012)

The best film and the most evergreen film of this decade, a crime saga spanning over 68 years through its mammoth runtime of over 5 hours. The film checks all the boxes that can make a film great: a fantastically written script along with its iconic dialogues, great performances from each cast member; Anurag Kashyap’s direction; the unique soundscape by Sneha Khanwalkar; Rajeev Ravi’s cinematography, and so on. Even though it was divided into two parts for its Indian release, one may find it difficult to resist watching the second half right after they have finished with the first part. “Gangs of Wasseypur” (2012) follows the age-old story of vengeance that spans through generations, and through this narrative, it manages to explore various themes of machismo and violence and also makes an important commentary both on India’s history since its independence in 1947 and on the history of Hindi films. The film is loaded with exhilarating sequences, iconic characters, and oddly funny moments, along with its meta-commentary on cinema itself that encapsulates the essence of a time and period.


Selecting just ten films from a wide range of brilliant films is a very difficult task in itself, especially from a decade that marked a massive shift in how films are viewed, with the emergence of streaming sites and direct-digital releases gaining momentum in the latter part of the decade. The list also shows a ray of hope for the future of Indian films, as quite a few of them are made by debutant directors who hopefully have a long career waiting for them. Other than the abovementioned films, here is a list of special mentions: “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” (2010), “Delhi Belly” (2011), “Paan Singh Tomar” (2012), “Ankhon Dekhi” (2014), “Chauthi Koot” (2015), “Thithi” (2015), “Sairat” (2016), “Angamaly Diaries” (2017), “Tumbadd” (2018), and “Andhadhun” (2018).

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Riddhadev Bandyopadhyay
Riddhadev Bandyopadhyay
Riddhadev has a major interest in watching various kinds of films, knowing about history, playing varied video games, and having a knack for politics. He is also a football fanatic. He is very opinionated but sometimes finds it difficult to express himself. Moreover, he has a piece of paper that people refer to as a degree in journalism and mass communication. At present, he is pursuing a Master's in Media Science while also trying out different activities to figure out which he does best.

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