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Jawan, 12th Fail to Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani – 10 best Hindi films of 2023 (theatrical)

As 2023 comes to an end, let’s list down the 10 best films in the Hindi film industry that released theatrically 

Jawan, 12th Fail to Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani – 10 best Hindi films of 2023 (theatrical)
Best Hindi Films Of 2023

Last Updated: 07.18 PM, Dec 23, 2023


Bollywood, aka the Hindi film industry, was suffering a dark phase. With constant scrutiny about being at the end of its game, the whole industry was being called a rehash vehicle. Then came 2023, which changed the entire Bollywood landscape and re-established the trust of the audience. Where Shah Rukh Khan, with his abs at 58, had a place, Karan Johar, with his evolved material, was also appreciated. Rani Mukerji played a mother and took the audience by storm. Vikrant Massey, with his stellar act, made us all root for him, not just as the character but even as an actor.

So technically, it wasn’t a year of one specific genre but a mixed platter. It felt like we had travelled back in time when everything had takers and the audience was less critical. However, that doesn’t mean these films didn’t deserve the accolade. The films indeed walk on merit, even with some flaws. Box Office rained strong and so did appreciation in 2023, and this year will go down in history as one of the most successful ones in the history of Bollywood.

Now, as we are a week away from entering 2024 and are curious to know what it holds, let’s list down the 10 best theatrical Hindi films of the year. This includes films starring Ranveer Singh, Rani Mukerji, and even Shefali Shah, and that is the real victory of 2023 and the industry as a whole.

Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani


Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi, and Ensemble.
Director: Karan Johar.
Available On: Amazon Prime Video.
It is a filmmaker evolving and accepting the problematic things he was promoting until now. It was him saying, hey, I know it wasn’t the right thing to do then, but I will try to correct it best to my capabilities. Karan Johar’s "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani" is a movie that has come out of a pen seeking validation and redemption with love. Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt with a stellar cast understood the assignment, and it was the return of Johar in the most grand way.


Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Deepika Padukone, Sanya Malhotra, and ensemble.
Director: Atlee.
Available On: Netflix.
2023 belonged to Shah Rukh Khan who had three releases after a five-year hiatus. "Jawan," directed by Atlee, and starring Nayanthara, Sanya Malhotra, Deepika Padukone, and others could be called one of the most political films in the commercial space this year and in a very long time. Here is the biggest superstar telling his audience to be mindful about whom they vote for. He is trying to show them how change begins with one person and how the power is with everyone. "Jawan" was marinated well in the masala space, and that also enabled big box office.

Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Jim Sarbh, and ensemble.
Director: Ashima Chibber.
Available On: Netflix.
Nothing can go wrong if Rani Mukerji decides to bring her A game. Which is almost every time. The actor decided to play a mother who has to fight to prove that she is no danger to her own kids. The aching hearts of "Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway" are evident from frame one, and Mukerji makes sure you feel everything she is as the character and that is why the film works the most.

Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha, and ensemble.
Director: Apoorv Singh Karki.
Available On: ZEE5.
Yet again a movie that talks of change and how it begins with Sirf Ek Bandaa. Manoj Bajpayee is a force of nature and nothing can stop him ever. The actor with his subtle acting chops and a very calm voice decides to play a lawyer saving a young girl from the claws of a predator Godman. The film is so well structured to lead a moment where blind faith and belief stand eye to eye the audience is alarmed and the crescendo is felt.


Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham.
Director: Siddharth Anand.
Available On: Amazon Prime Video.
It took Shah Rukh Khan to come back from his 5-year break to re-establish the audience’s trust in Hindi films and "Pathaan," even with the flaws and too tall order storytelling worked and the audience surrendered to the idea of suspending their disbelief. The movie was high on adrenaline and one that brought back the superstar on the big screen. It was an event in itself and the massive reception was the proof.

12th Fail

Cast: Vikrant Massey, Medha Shankar, Anant Joshi, Anshumaan Pushkar, and ensemble.
Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
Available On: ZEE5.
Vikrant Massey easily serves the best acting performance of the year in "12th Fail." Based on the real-life story of IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma, is directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and is not your average biopic. It is a movie that subtly finds its voice amid the real-life story and very much becomes a unique story. It is about rising much higher than your surroundings and after many attempts without losing hope in the process. A film that must be seen by everyone.

Satyaprem Ki Katha

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Supriya Pathak, Gajraj Rao, and ensemble.
Director: Sameer Vidwans
Available On: Amazon Prime Video.
Who could have thought a Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani movie would welcome you for a rom-com but in turn taught us a thing or two about consent? "Satyaprem Ki Katha" is one of the most surprising packages this year and the movie spoke to the masses. No one was prepared for what was to come. Kiara Advani gave her career-best performance in this one.

Three Of Us

Cast: Shefali Shah, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Swanand Kirkire.
Director: Avinash Arun.
Available On: TBA.
Avinash Arun is a filmmaker who finds his voice in the silence. It is the silence that speaks more than words in his world and "Three Of Us" is no exception. Not a Box Office success or a very widely watched movie, but it is a film that needs to reach a wider audience. Maybe this list will help it reach and it must. It is about tracing your roots, seeking redemption, and making peace with things you were running from for a long time. A must-watch.


Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and ensemble.
Director: Nandita Das.
Director: Devashish Makhija.
Available On: TBA.
Every single time Manoj Bajpayee and Devashish Makhija meet, they make something that will make us, as the audience, feel fascinated about their craft. After "Tandav" (a short film) and "Bhonsle," they came together for "Joram," a movie about immigrants and what it means to be one in the maximum city. A man who works on a daily wage is being hunted because he is accused of murder. Makhija uses the thriller genre to make you visit the parts he wants to tell and tell a story of the have-nots in the process. Yet again, a must-watch.


Cast: Kapil Sharma and Shahana Goswami.
Director: Nandita Das.
Available On: Netflix.
The thought of Kapil Sharma and Nandita Das in the same line is so unlikely, and they managed to make an entire film together. "Zwigato" was a moving tale about a delivery person who delivers happiness to everyone. But what about their happiness? "Zwigato" explores the life of the delivery folks so well that it connects with the audience.

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