The 10 best Hindi movies go hand-in-hand with Bollywood and other Indian film centers. Although India is not the only producer of Hindi movies, Mumbai and many other predominantly Hindi-speaking areas of India are the biggest entrepreneurs in that area of media. Many people often confuse Bollywood as encompassing all of Hindi movies in India, but "Bollywood" is actually limited to the industry in and around the city of Mumbai. Nonetheless, it is one of the biggest producers of the best Hindi movies.

  1. "Awaraa" (1951). Produced during the golden age of Hindi cinema, "Awaraa" is highly regarded by critics around the globe. It presented the city of Mumbai not only as dreamy, but also as a living nightmare.

  2. "Pyaasa" (1957). Directed by Guru Dott, "Pyaasa" was also apart of the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema that occured from the late 1940's to the 1960's. The movie was an excellent social critique and examined the unreality of life within the city.

  3. "Bobby" (1973). Setting the pace for later romantic films, this tale was very "Romeo and Juliet"-esque. Due to a highly stratified social class system in India (not too different from that in contemporary America, either), the two lovers in "Bobby" battle society to stay together.

  4. "Dhoom" (2004). This film was, in essence, a direct take on action/adventure in Western cinema. Coming out in 2004, "Dhoom" surprised audiences by showing that Bollywood (and Hindi movies in general) can produce more than just musicals. As far as plots go, though, it's not too intelligent.

  5. "Satya" (1998). A 1998 Bollywood crime-flick, "Satya" lead to a genre of Hindi movies based in noir. It's uprising also lead to the diversification of Bollywood. The English translation of "Satya" is "Truth."

  6. "Mother India" (1957). Another piece of the Golden Age was "Mother India," a 1957 that comments on poverty and greed in the modernizing country. It has won numerous awards to include the Filmfare Best Movie Award. Many, such as us, list it as one of the best Hindi moves ever produced.

  7. "Sangam" (1964). Considered a classic by many, yet fully seen by few. "Sangam," the complex story about a love triangle between three childhood friends, comes in at 238 minutes. It is also an example of how Bollywood prefers to use general themes that appeal to all segments of the audience, rather than alienating or specifying a certain group of the population.

  8. "Sholay" (1975). BBC India declared this initial box office failure to be the "Film of the Millenium." Why? Word of mouth and a cult following built up this film so much that it became one of the biggest financial hits in Bollywood's history.

  9. "Salaam Bombay!" (1988). Many think highly of "Salaam Bombay!" among the best Hindi movies. It chronicles the lives of children living in Mumbai (former Bombay), which is yet another way to show appeal to most everyone in the audience. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

  10. "Lagaan" (2001). A dramatic pick from Hindi movies, "Lagaan" tells the tale of a poor Indian community that is being oppressed by taxes set by the British Raj. A deal is then made, if the Indians can beat the British officers at a game of cricket (which they have never played) their taxes will be canceled for 3 years.

It is inadequate to say that there are numerous beautiful Hindi movies out there. Many Westerners do not know that Bollywood, and the Hindi-film industry, has been flourishing since the very early 1900's. Go ahead, rent one of these local flicks (if you can locate a few), and have a taste of Indian culture through the best Hindi movies.