Best Inspirational Bollywood Movies of All Time

Yes, we all agree that Bollywood has delivered the cliché movies for ages now. But that doesn’t erase the fact that once in a while, the B-Town has been graced with marvelous creations. These movies have had a long lasting effect on the people’s heart. Sadly, for an industry which produces an average of 200 movies per year has only managed to deliver very few inspiring movies. Dating back to the inception of the Hindi Film Industry, we decided to make a list of Top 20 inspirational movies of all time. Surprisingly, most films in the list are a very low budget films which couldn’t fare well at the Indian Box Offices due to the lack of entertainment value or as we people call it, Masala.

Top 20 Inspirational Bollywood Movies of All Time

  1. Guru (2007)

IMDB Ratings: 7.8

Abhishek Bachchan will only be remembered for two reasons. Firstly, because he is the son of one of the greatest actors to grace the Hindi Film Industry, Amitabh Bachchan and secondly, for his performance in the movie, Guru. Guru is said to be inspired by the real life character of Dhirubhai Ambani and is twisted and framed to make a decent entertainer film. It exhibits the journey of a street-driven kid to become the biggest business tycoon in India. Mani Ratnam shows his directorial prowess with the strong depiction of a decent script.

  1. Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

The tradition of excellent films without big superstars being drastic flops at the Box Office has persisted in the country for years now. Manjhi was yet another film which faced the wrath of the poor choices and preferences of the audiences. Directed by Karan Mehta, the film featured Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead who was supported by the prodigy, Radhika Apte.

The movie depicted the real story of a poor laborer, Dashrath Manjhi, who carved an 110 meter long and 25 feet deep road by cutting down a mountain with the help of a hammer and a chisel. The motive behind his tremendous feat was his wife’s death who got seriously injured while crossing the mountain. The screenplay along with the performances of the actors is top-notch. It is a visual delight to the say the least.

  1. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

If there is an actor who has found the right balance between the entertainment and a good script is Aamir Khan. Long before he became the formula for the record breaking box office cinemas, he featured in the movie titled Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. It was a cult movie after it had released which was based on the story of a rich boy and a poor chap trying to fight it out in the most prestigious college events, aka the cycle marathon.

  1. Mera Naam Joker (1970)

IMDB Ratings: 8.0

The Show Must Go On, this inspiring dialogue arrives at an integral part of the movie. Just like the words in the dialogue, the movie is nothing short of an inspiration. The story circulates around the lead, the Joker, who takes up the profession of a joke to follow his father’s footsteps. Regardless of the conditions of his personal mood, he has to laugh and grin at the stage, and that what sums the life on an entertainer is the basic plot of the movie. Raj Kapoor’s prolific acting takes this movie to another level.

  1. I am Kalam (2010)

IMDB Ratings: 7.9

The plot of the movie revolves around a small town toddler who believes in karma as his only virtue of life. Therefore, he doesn’t believe in fate turning out things with the prayers or anything as such. His quest to abide by karma regardless of the conditions is what the movie is all about. It transpires its energy from the screens to the audiences and leaves them with tears of joy.

  1. Mary Kom (2014)

IMDB Ratings: 6.8

Priyanka Chopra is seen in the movie depicting the real life character of the first Indian women’s boxer, Mary Kom. The movie focuses on the hardships faced by the boxer in her quest to become the best women’s boxer in the world. Her compelling story has been recreated fantastically by the director, Omung Kumar with PeeCee in the lead. It performed decently at the Box Office and was highly acclaimed by the critics and audiences alike.

  1. Black (2005)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

Sanjay Leela Bhansali collaborated with the finest of all, Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji to create a masterpiece of its kind. Black is a story based on the fictional character of a woman who is deaf, dumb, and blind at the same time. The woman then finds a teacher who gives a new ray of hope to the colorless life of the character played by Rani. The film was a huge Box Office hit, and critics were full of praises for this wonderful creation.

  1. Iqbal (2005)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

Iqbal is a wonderful film directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and featuring Shreyas Talpade in the lead. Iqbal is a muted boy who is very good at cricket. However, held back by the lack resources and family background, he has to train harder to fulfill his childhood dream of representing the nation. After which he is taught by one of the failed cricketers in the past who is an alcoholic. Iqbal’s journey from being a poor farmer’s son to become on the finest ballers to wear the Indian badge is shown with sheer conviction and flair.

  1. Lakshya (2004)

IMDB Ratings: 7.9

Farhaan Akhtar’s second movie as a director was as good as his debut, Dil Chahta Hain. Hrithik Roshan playing the lead of being a goalless guy to become one of the most dedicated and celebrated people in the Indian Army is the main plot of the movie. The director does well to showcase the happenings of the Kargil War with the help of a fictional character, played by Roshan. Also, Akhtar is successful in blending real life characters into the filmy ones in the entire course of the film.

  1. Taare Zameen Par (2007)

IMDB Ratings: 8.5

Yet another Aamir Khan movie makes the list of the top 20 inspiring films of all time. Aamir Khan directed the movie and there wasn’t a single foot wrong put forward by the director. A fantastic topic covered in the simplest way possible made it a huge success at the Box Office. The story revolves around the dyslexic boy, Ishaan Awasthi who is gifted with the talent of painting. However, his father wants him to be a part of the rat race, and do well in academics. He is guided by the art teacher played by Khan who then adds a lot of belief into the child to become a prodigy in the future. Khan proves once again that why he is called the Mr. Perfectionist with the all-round performance in the movie.

  1. 3 Idiots (2009)

IMDB Ratings: 8.4

If there is a movie which really inspired the Indians to do whatever they wanted to do and not what their parents wanted, it has to be 3 Idiots. Without a doubt, it broke every other record created by the Indian film at the Box office. The story revolves around 3 friends, who want to make a career in their respective fields despite all the problems faced by them. The intriguing story telling of Raju Hirani was equally matched by the acting dominance of Aamir Khan and company. Songs became instant hits amongst the masses, and Ladakh tourism blossomed after the release of the film. The film has had a long lasting effect on many people.

  1. Swades (2004)

IMDB Ratings: 8.3

Indian Cinema can walk shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood movies if at all, we manage to produce more and more scripts like Swades. With King Khan, SRK in the lead the film had an intriguing storyline. It depicted the life of an Indian scientist who comes back to his village to take his granny to the United States. Once he reaches the village, he is grief stricken by the problems faced by his villagers. Also, it is then when he realizes about his roots and decides to stay back in the village to help his motherland. Ashutosh Gowariker handed the topic with utmost care only to give Shah Rukh Khan one of the best films in his long career.

  1. Rang De Basanti (2006)

IMDB Ratings: 8.3

It is safe to say now that Aamir Khan is a genius. Rang De Basanti was another blockbuster hit in the prosperous career of Khan. RDB worked around patriotism which is inherited in a group of friends when they start acting in a film documented by an English filmmaker. They learn to fight for the right and take part in a huge social movement that creates a stir in the country. The rebellious character is nailed by Aamir Khan who is convincing in the both halves of the films. Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra proves his mettle as a director with the movie.


  1. Pyaasa (1957)

IMDB Ratings: 8.6

It is the oldest films in the list and it does a whole lot of good to inspire its audience. The film features Guru Dutt who plays the role of a poet who is trying to gain some recognition and love in the ruthless world. He is supported by one of the best actresses to ever grace the industry, Waheeda Rehman. The film is directed by the actor himself. Although shot in the late 50’s, the movie is way ahead of its time. No wonder, it is watched by every other filmmaker in the country.

  1. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

I wished few Khans in the industry also had some intellectual powers like Aamir and SRK. But there can only be one Aamir who can keep us inspired with every release of his. Lagaan had a whole lot of different dimension towards it. It came to the public when people least expected it. The movie was so good that it went on to become India’s official entry to the Oscars. Aamir Khan was once again the show stopper by depicting a village boy keen to win the game of cricket to free his motherland from the English Dynasty. It was Gowariker again who stood tall to exhibit his excellent filmmaking skills.

  1. Chak De! India (2007)

IMDB ratings: 8.3

The movie changed the way of how we as Indians looked at women’s sports. Featuring Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Shimit Amin, the movie revolves around the Indian National Hockey Women’s Team which is coached by Kabir Khan (played by Shah Rukh Khan in the film). He plays the lead role of the movie with conviction and authority. The last speech by the coach is inspiring and gets goose bumps.

  1. Anand (1971)

IMDB Ratings: 8.9

It is one of the films every Indian should watch if he or she is a film enthusiast. It is inspiring to the core and can move your heart to a considerate level. The film features Rajesh Khanna in the titular role who is suffering from cancer and has a short period to survive because of his ailment. He is being treated by Bhaskar played by Amitabh Bachchan who is frustrated that he cannot cure every disease. It is a beautiful story that may have happened around you. After a point, you start feeling like you are a part of the movie and immerse in the emotions depicted by the actors. It is still loved by the film enthusiasts all around the country.

  1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

IMDB Ratings: 8.3

If at all, anyone wants to make a biography, this has to be the benchmark of the film. From the cinematography to the casting, and from direction to the characterisation, everything in the movie is perfect. Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra proves his intelligence yet again as a filmmaker and gets the whole nation going by depicting the inspiring life story of the great Flying Jatt, Milkha Singh. Farhaan Akhtar has done a commendable job as an actor and the film is well laid to the audiences with flashbacks and flash-ins. Goosebumps are guaranteed once you start watching the movie. At no point in time, you will feel like Farhaan Akhtar on the screen. It is Milkha Singh throughout the film.

  1. Udaan (2010)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2

This is also one of the most underrated movies of the decades. Had it been a superstar playing the role, it would’ve broken all the Box Office records with utmost ease. It a simple script that emphasizes on children getting their freedom. The lead is a 16-year old boy who is expelled from the school only to be beaten and harassed by an aggressive father.

  1. Masaan (2015)

IMDB Ratings: 8.1

Varun Grover nails all the factors required to make a film success with his incredible writing skills. The film depicts two different stories that eventually meet towards the end of the film. The simplicity is what inspires me as a film lover. It is a fully inspiring film that touches all the social prejudices and evils along its way. It is directed by Neeraj Ghaywan who has assisted Kashyap in his previous projects. It was Ghaywan’s first film as a director.

For most of you who don’t know about some of these movies, I kid you not, but you have missed out on exquisite pieces of art. These movies entered the theatres silently and moved out of it without troubling the ticket vendors. However, the filmmakers weren’t responsible for the bad run or a poor box office collection, but it is us who let these movies down. We took the movie for granted because it had no superstar flexing his muscles or no heroine exhibiting her well-maintained curves. It is not a rant against the cliché movies but a small plea that in future such movies should get a better response.

That’s all we got for the most inspiring Bollywood movies ever. We hope some of the movies in the list inspire our readers too.