Although the structure and content of Bollywood movies have always kept on changing with time, there’s one thing that Bollywood has managed to do consistently. It is the ability to evoke emotions and make the viewer empathize with the characters. The best example of this can be seen in the Patriotic Movies Bollywood has produced over the years. These movies have not been remembered for the numbers they raked in, but for the sheer feeling of love and nationalism, they managed to instill in the Indians. From Manoj Kumar’s classics in the post-independence period to the very recent Raazi and Uri, the form and structure of the Patriotic Movies have changed. But they have all managed to lure in audiences into the theatres with their impeccable storytelling and made them fall in love with our motherland over and over again.
Here is a list of the Best Patriotic Movies Bollywood has produced that are sure to instill a sense of pride and leave a lasting impression on you.
Best Patriotic Movies of Bollywood
Border ( 1997 )
Border is a war-drama based on the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Produced and directed by J P Dutta, the film showcases the bravery shown by Indian soldiers in the Battle of Longewala. The film boasts of a stellar star cast that includes Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Tabu and many other prominent actors. The film not only instilled patriotism in the minds of Indians but also gave an anti-war message which it is still remembered for.
Director – JP Dutta, IMDb Rating – 7.9/10
The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Bollywood has produced several movies based on Bhagat Singh. But ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, with its impressive screenplay and writing, clearly stands apart from the rest. Ajay Devgn portrayed the role of Bhagat Singh with great care and conviction. The film eventually won the National Award for the best feature film in Hindi while Devgn won the National Award for Best Actor. This movie is definitely one of the Best Patriotic Movies of Bollywood of modern times.
Director – Rajkumar Santoshi, IMDb Rating – 8.1/10
This film by Ashutosh Gowarikar, starring Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh, managed to generate strong patriotic sentiments amongst the Indians. The film is set in the period of India under the rule of British Raj. The story showcases the lives of people of a small village, who are offered to play a Cricket Match by a British officer to waive off their taxes. With such an interesting storyline, the movie was sure to connect with the Indian masses. But it went a step ahead as it became the third Indian film to be nominated for the prestigious Oscar Awards.
Director – Ashutosh Gowariker, IMDb Rating – 8.1/10
Purab Aur Paschim (1970)
Manoj Kumar had carved out a niche for himself as a brilliant creator of patriotic movies. He made a number of patriotic movies that were critically acclaimed as well as loved by Indians. ‘Purab aur Paschim’ was probably the most well-received amongst those movies. Written and directed by Manoj Kumar, the film also starred Ashok Kumar, Saira Banu, Pran and Nirupa Roy in prominent roles.
Director – Manoj Kumar, IMDb Rating – 7.4/10
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Rang De Basanti is one of the best Indian patriotic movies of modern times. The movie did a brilliant job of carving out a script retelling the story of Bhagat Singh in today’s era. It also managed to instill a sense of love for our country in the young generation and made them introspect. The film featured an ensemble cast consisting of Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, and many others. Written and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, this film went on to win a National Award in the Popular Film category.
Director – Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, IMDb Rating – 8.2/10
Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)
Uri: The Surgical Strike was one of the most-loved and popular movies of 2019. It gives an account of the Indian Army’s response to the gruesome and ghastly attacks on Indian security forces by terrorists in Uri in 2016. The film features Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam and Paresh Rawal in pivotal roles. The film was written and directed by debutant Aditya Dhar, who managed to provide an extremely satisfying movie-going performance. Both Dhar, as well as Kaushal, were rewarded for their earnest performances with a National Award.
Director – Aditya Dhar, IMDb Rating – 8.4/10
The Ghazi Attack (2017)
There are many Bollywood movies that exhibit the bravery and valor of Indian Armed forces. But there have been very few movies that have managed to showcase the gritty and valiant nature of the Indian Naval Officers. The Ghazi Attack is amongst those few Best Patriotic Movies of Bollywood that successfully manage to do that. Starring Rana Daggubati, Taapsee, Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni in prominent roles, this film is inspired by true events from the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. With a riveting story and impressive performances, this is definitely one of the best war patriotic movies produced in Bollywood.
Director – Sankalp Reddy, IMDb Rating – 7.6/10
Parmanu is a historical drama movie based on the Indian Army’s successful nuclear bomb test explosions at Pokhran in 1998. These tests were carried out under the leadership of the legend Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as India’s Prime Minister. The film tells the story of how the Indian Army managed to cleverly conduct the nuclear tests right under the nose of American satellites. This film starring John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani is one of the Best Patriotic movies in Hindi in recent times that make us very proud of our Armed forces.
Director – Abhishek Sharma, IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
This movie is set in the tumultuous 1930’s British India and is based on the revolt of a group of schoolboys lead by their teacher, against the British Army. The revolutionary teacher Surya Sen was played by Manoj Bajpayee while the film also consisted of other brilliant actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkumar Rao as well as Jaideep Ahlawat. This film, showcasing the story of one the bravest Indian freedom fighters, is undoubtedly one of the Best Patriotic Movies in Bollywood.
Director – Bedabrata Pain, IMDb Rating – 7.2/10
One of the most loved and critically acclaimed movies that also managed to instill a sense of pride in the Indians, was the 2018 spy-thriller film ‘Raazi’. The film is based on the true story of an Indian RAW agent, who married a Pakistani military officer before the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, to spy on the military officials of Pakistan and relay information back to India. Meghna Gulzar was highly praised and appreciated for her writing and direction. However, Alia Bhatt was the star of this movie, exhibiting one of the finest performances of her career. With all these elements, this patriotic movie also went on to become one of the highest-grossing Indian films of 2018.
Director – Meghna Gulzar, IMDb Rating – 7.8/10
This war-drama by Farhan Akhtar is the story of a clueless young man who has no dreams and aspirations. He joins the Indian Military Academy on a whim but soon runs away and returns back home. However, this does not go very well with his family and friends who are quite disappointed with him. The story traces the transformation of the clueless guy into a brave and brilliant Army Officer. The film is shot beautifully and it manages to perfectly portray the lives of Army Officers. Starring Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta in lead roles, this is certainly one of the best Indian Patriotic Movies.
Director – Farhan Akhtar, IMDb Rating – 7.9/10
Unlike the rest of the films on this list, this film had no spies, no soldiers, no war and no revolutionaries. Yet, its amazing storyline manages to make you fall in love with our motherland and leaves you introspecting. It traces the story of an NRI, working in NASA, who is back in India to track down his childhood nanny. He does manage to find her but also ends up rediscovering his roots as he falls in love with his country all over again. Shahrukh Khan shines, in what is one of his finest performances ever. Ashutosh Gowariker impresses yet again with his subtle yet impactful storytelling and evokes very strong sentiments of nationalism. Although the movie didn’t perform well financially, it became a cult classic and is still regarded as one of the best Patriotic movies Bollywood has ever produced.
Director – Ashutosh Gowariker, IMDb Rating – 8.2/10
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005)
This movie by Shyam Benegal dived deep into the life of the Indian Independence Leader, Subhash Chandra Bose. Especially, it showcased his life in Nazi Germany between 1941-1943 and in Japan occupied Asia during 1943-1945. Sachin Khedekar was praised and appreciated for his portrayal of the great leader. The film went on to win the National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Director – Shyam Benegal, IMDb Rating – 7.5/10
Another impressive movie set against the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, ‘1971’ is amongst the Best Patriotic Movies Bollywood has made based on the 1971 War. The film showcases how 6 Indian soldiers, who are held captive as prisoners of war, manage to escape through the clutches of the Pakistani Army. Written by Piyush Mishra and directed by Amrit Sagar, this movie features an ensemble cast of Manoj Bajpayee, Ravi Kishan, Deepak Dobriyal and Manav Kaul. The film managed to connect with the Indian masses and garnered a lot of love and appreciation. It also went on to win the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Director – Amrit Sagar, IMDb Rating – 7.9/10
This movie starring Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra in lead roles gives an account of the Battle of Saragarhi where 21 soldiers of the British Indian Army fought against about 1000-1500 Orakzai tribesmen. Akshay Kumar played the role of Havildar Ishar Singh, who was the leader of the 21 soldiers who chose to fight to their deaths for the nation. The movie was widely appreciated for its writing as well as its technical brilliance. With the film managing to evoke feelings of nationalism and patriotism, it is certainly one of the best Bollywood Patriotic films of 2019.
Director – Anurag Singh, IMDb Rating – 7.4/10
This political thriller starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur is based on the evacuation of Indians from Kuwait while Kuwait was being invaded by Iraq in 1990. Akshay Kumar plays the role of a businessman, who played an important role in the safe and secure evacuation of over 170000 Indians. Directed by Raja Krishna Menon, this film managed to evoke strong patriotic feelings and performed very well at the box office.
Director – Raja Krishna Menon, IMDb Rating – 8/10
Another movie and probably the first that was based on Bhagat Singh’s life, ‘Shaheed’ is one of the Best Patriotic Movies Bollywood has ever made. The role of Bhagat Singh was played by Manoj Kumar, who later went on to act in many brilliant Patriotic movies. The film presents the role of Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Jaygopal and many other revolutionaries in the Indian Freedom struggle. The film was extremely loved by Indians and it also earned the National Awards for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Best Feature Film on National Integration and Best Screenplay.
Director – S. Ram Sharma, IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
So, this was the list of Best Patriotic films of Bollywood that you can see with your friends and family this Republic Day. These movies will present to you the struggles and sacrifices of Indian soldiers and revolutionaries, which ensured the freedom and safety of our country. Do let us know what you think of our list and also let us know if we missed out on any films, in the comments section below.