best bollywood crime movies based on true stories

Watching movies is therapeutic but watching true story crime movies is on a completely different level. The constant nerve-wracking feeling of what’s about to happen and what the climax would make you sit on the edge of the seat throughout. With so many movies that have been released in the Bollywood industry, there is a fair share or true crime stories that have been made into Bollywood movies.

And, while you watch it thinking it’s just a movie, some people have experienced the same thing in their life. Just thinking about it is enough to make a shiver run down our spine.

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To familiarise you better, we have sorted out 20+ Bollywood crime movies that are based on true stories.

20+ Best Bollywood Crime Movies Of All Time

1. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Amazon Prime/Youtube/MX Player/Kanopy

Plot: If you have heard about the coal mafia of Dhanbad, you will likely know what the movie is about. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, Gangs of Wasseypur is a two-part movie that has been centered around the structure of the coal mafia of Dhanbad and the underlying power struggles, infiltrated politics and the constant vengeance between the three crime families who drag it on through the generations from the early 1940s to the 1990s.

The movie does have a very extensive star cast but stars Manoj Bajpayee, Satyam Kumar Rai, Naman Jain, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Pankaj Tripathi, and several others. The movie has also been screened at the 2012 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

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2. Black Friday (2007)

  • Genre: Crime/Docudrama
  • IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
  • Available On: Disney+ Hotstar/Bigflix

Plot: If there is one movie that marks the impacts of its title, it is Black Friday. The movie is based on one of the darkest days in Indian history, the Bombay blasts that happened in 1993 and the police investigation that rolled out after. Watching the movie is nothing short of nerve-wracking.

Realizing that something of this grandeur and this tragic level happened and affected India to its core gives you shivers. The movie took quite a several years to be made and then released. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the movie was released in 2007 in India, 3 years after it was released internationally.

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3. Raees (2017)

  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Youtube/Zee 5/Apple TV/Google Play

Plot: Even though the filmmakers have denied that the movie has got anything to do with the famous Gujarat gangster Abdul Latif, watching the movie, the filmmakers received a legal notice from the Latif family. So, it is likely that the storyline does match up. The story is narrated through the character of Raees who gets into the world of alcohol smuggling in Gujarat from a very young age.

But, with the teachings, he grows into his person and starts working independently, especially with the political support that he has gained over time. In the meantime, Raees marries Aasiya and then has a son named Faizan. But, soon after, communal riots start breaking out in the state with the implications of the situation, Raees finds himself broke. With the scenes leading to an end, Raees surrenders in front of the press but Majmudar, who was going to kill Raees anyhow, takes him somewhere dark and shoots him. Raees is directed by Rahul Dholakia.

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4. Madras Cafe (2013)

  • Genre: Thriller/Action
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Youtube/Amazon Prime/Jio Cinema

Plot: Another underrated Bollywood crime movie that is based on true stories is Madras Cafe. If you have kept up with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and watched the broadcast, you likely want to go down. But, not everyone knows the process that followed through to the final planning and possible execution of the plans.

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the movie also discusses the Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war during the early 90s and the assassination that nobody could even think of. The narration of the story has been done through the character of Major Vikram Singh, who said the rundown of the happening through his own experiences. It stars John Abraham in the lead role. Because of the controversial topic, the movie also experienced a lot of backlashes.

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5. Special 26 (2013)

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 8/10
  • Available On: Amazon Prime/Netflix/Youtube/Jio Cinema

Plot: For all the true-crime fanatics, you most likely have watched Special 26. The movie is based on the 1987 Opera House heist that created a rave among the public. The story narrates the story of a group of conmen who posed as CBI officers and executed an income tax raid on a jeweler in Mumbai.

The story of the movie leaves everyone questioning by the end of who the real officer is and who isn’t. It does get pretty confusing at times, but keep your eyes hooked and you are going to experience the best movie in this genre. The movie was directed by Neeraj Pandey and stars Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Sheirgill, Divya Dutta and Kajal Agarwal in the main roles.

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6. Talvar (2015)

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
  • Available On: Disney+ Hotstar/Amazon Prime

Plot: Crimes in India are abundant but if there’s one movie that stands out in terms of murder mystery, it is the Irrfan Khan starring The Talvar. The movie is based on the 2008 Noida double murder case that left the entire nation in a state of shock. The storyline of the movie follows the murder of a teenage girl and the family servant. The twist to the movie comes when the parents are convicted of the murder.

Apart from Irrfan, the movie stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi in the lead roles. Once you start watching the movie, you’ll not want to stop anywhere. And, the most astonishing part is the climax because it is that unexpected.

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7. Rahasya (2015)

  • Genre: Thriller/Mystery
  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Zee 5

Plot: Aarushi murder case was the talk of every town when it hit the news. So, it was a given that the true-crime event would once be made into a movie and that is what Rahasya is all about. The movie packs in every last element of mystery that came with the Aarushi murder case. It is considered one of the toughest cases of the Indian judicial system.

Because of protecting people’s identity, the names of the characters have been changed. But, if you have kept up with the case in real life, you will be able to connect the dots and know who is who. Directed by Manish Gupta, the movie stars Kay Kay Menon, Tisca Chopra, Mita Vashisht, Ashish Vidyarthi, and Ashwini Karleshkar in the lead roles. Even though the case is based on this high profile murder case, there have been some changes made to accommodate the integrity of the movie.

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8. No One Killed Jessica (2011)

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Available On: Amazon Prime/Netflix/Youtube

Plot: Another murder mystery that was turned into a Bollywood movie was No One Killed Jessica. The story narrates the Jessica Lal murder case that was the most high profile case when it happened. The movie was a biographical narration and unlike the Aarushi murder case, which, still to this day is a mystery, this movie didn’t have complications because the culprit was known right from the start.

Directed by Rajkumar Gupta, the movie gives you a complete rundown of the case, everything that happened, and the kind of plight that Jessica’s sister, Sabrina Lal had to undergo to get justice for her sister’s death. The movie stars Rani Mukherji as Meera Gaity, who plays a crucial role in the case.

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9. Rakht Charitra

  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Available On: Amazon Prime/MX Player/Zee 5

Plot: This two-part movie directed by Ram Gopal Varma is a movie based on the life of Paritala Ravindra. The story walks you through the political Gunda raj and the constant crimes that stem from a similar situation in Andhra Pradesh. If you are into real-life crime thrillers, this is a movie worth watching. It stars Vivek Oberoi in the lead role.

Aside from Vivek, some of the other notable stars in the movie include Suriya, Shatrughan Sinha, Kota Srinivas Rao, Sudeep, Radhika Apte to name a few.

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10. Border (1997)

  • Genre: War/Action
  • IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
  • Available On: Amazon.com

Plot: As old as this gets, Border is that one Bollywood movie that is nothing but evergreen. The movie narrates the events that took place in the Indo Pakistan war that happened in 1971. The movie has been directed by J.P Dutta and is one of those patriotic movies that you just can’t brush aside every time it comes on the television.

Aside from the storyline and the real-life plot of the movie, another attribute of the film that made this a worthy watch is the amazing range of songs that have been penned down by Javed Akhtar and composed by Anu Malik. The movie stars Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Akshay Khanna, Pooja Bhatt, Tabu, and a lot more talented actors.

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11. The Attack of 26/11 (2013)

  • Genre: Bollywood/Docudrama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
  • Available On: Amazon Prime/Airtel XStream/Jio Cinema/Youtube

Plot: The terrorist attack of 26/11 is a black day of tragedy for India. The 2008 Mumbai attacks are nothing short of a terror for the country and are considered one of the most ruthless acts of terrorism in India. The terrorist attacks led to open firing on the innocent people in Mumbai, in some of the most crowded and public places in the state.

Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the movie is a narration of the entire rundown of the event that happened on that dreadful day. The movie did receive amazing critic responses but failed to do well in the box office because of people’s reluctance to rewatch such a tragic history of India.

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12. Bhawandar (2000)

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7/10
  • Available On: Amazon.in/Amazon.com

Plot: India is regarded as one of the unsafe countries for women. Bhawandar is a biographical movie of a gang-rape victim, Bhanwari Devi who hails from Bhateri, Rajasthan. The film takes you through a ride of the constant hackles of the Indian law and judiciary system along with the political influence. It showcases the subject of lack of justice for the rape victims that happen, especially when it happens in the remote villages in the country.

The movie narrates how powerful politics is even when the culprits are pretty clear of their identity. The influence, the constant tweaking of the judiciary system is what this entire movie is all about. The victim, Bhanwari Devi was never given the justice she deserves. The movie has been directed by Jag Mundhra and stars Nandita Das in the lead role.

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13. The Stoneman Murders (2009)

  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Available On: Disney+ Hotstar/MX Player/Amazon Prime

Plot: It is common for one to come across the novels talking about serial killing but having experienced it in real life is something else. The movie is based on the real-life Stoneman killings that happened in Mumbai, leaving the people in the state in a constant state of panic. The events are all based in the 1980s, so you will get to experience that kind of a vibe throughout the movie. The entire movie takes you along a journey through the findings and the evidence and makes you realize how gruesome murderers are.

The movie has been directed by Manish Gupta and stars Kay Kay Menon and Arbaaz Khan in the lead roles. In real life, the mysteries of the Stoneman murders are still unsolved.

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14. Ankur Arora Murder Case (2014)

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
  • Available On: Amazon Prime/Netflix/Youtube/MX Player/Youtube

Plot: While the movie didn’t do very well in the box office, the Ankur Arora Murder Case tells you the story of a boy’s death on the operating table because of the sheer negligence of the medical team. The small mistake that was administered by one of the leading surgeons in the country led to taking away the life of a small boy on the operation table is what the movie is all about. The rest of the movie tackles the constant misuse of power and the demand for justice for the life of the little boy.

The movie stars Tisca Chopra, Vishakha Singh, and Paoli Dam in the lead roles.

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15. Parzania

  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Available On: Disney+ Hotstar/Amazon.com

Plot: If there is a heart-wrenching story that you need to watch, its Parzania. The story is based on the true life of a 10-year old Parsi boy, Azhar Mody who went missing after the 28th of February following the Gulbarg Society Massacre. The same happened during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The movie focuses on the journey that Azhar’s parents embark on to find their missing son.

The name of the character of Azhar Mody has been changed to Parzaan Pithawala. The movie stars Naseeruddin Shah, Sarika, and Corin Nemec in the lead roles.

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16. Once upon a time in Mumbai (2013)

  • Genre: Action/Crime/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Available On: Netflix/MX Player/Hungama/Amazon Prime

Plot: Even though the movie doesn’t follow through the exact life of the Mumbai gangsters and underworld, this is loosely based on the lifestyle led by the people in that sector. It is loosely based on the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim and their alliances and the constant uproaring life that they lead.

The movie didn’t perform well in the box office but managed to give people a glimpse into the underworld lifestyle that is so raved about. The movie has been directed by Milan Luthria and stars Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Kangana Ranaut, and several others in the lead role.

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17. Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)

  • Genre: Action/Crime
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Hungama/Airtel XStream/MX Player/Jio Cinema/Viu

Plot: The Shootout at Lokhandwala is yet another amazing Bollywood movie based on real-life events based on the 1991 Lokhandwala shootout that happened among the Mumbai police and the gangsters. The movie takes you through the events that happened throughout the entire shootout wherein A.A Khan who is the head of ATS plans a shootout at Lokhandwala Complex on November 16, 1991, with 400 policemen. The encounter was to bring the famous gangster Maya Dolas out of their hiding.

The movie has been directed by Apoorva Lakhia and stars Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi, Arbaz Khan, Tusshar Kapoor, Rohit Roy and several others in the movie.

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18. Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008)

  • Genre: Drama/Musical
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Available On: Netflix/Amazon Prime/Youtube/Google Play

Plot: Yet another popular Bollywood crime movie inspired by real-life events in Mumbai Meri Jaan. The movie is based on the real-life event of the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which claimed over 200 lives and over 700 people were injured. The story narrates the lives of the people who have been affected by the train bombings. It gives you an insight into the entire situation and how things happened the way they did.

The movie has been directed by Nishikanth Kamath and stars Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Paresh Rawal, and Irrfan Khan in the lead roles.

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19. Jolly LLB (2017)

  • Genre: Comedy/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
  • Available On: Disney+ Hotstar/Eros Now/Amazon Prime

Plot: The majority of the viewers who have watched Jolly LLB have said that they didn’t know the fact that it is based on a real-life event. The movie is based on the 1999 hit and runs Sanjeev Nanda’s case with some loose strings from the Priyadarshini Mattoo case. The movie has won some prestigious accolades including the National Film Award for the Best feature film in Hindi.

The movie has been directed by Subhash Kapoor and stars Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Amrita Rao and Saurabh Shukla in the lead roles.

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20. Not a Love Story (2011)

  • Genre: Drama/Bollywood
  • IMDb Rating: 5/10
  • Available On: Zenga TV/Amazon.in

Plot: Not a Love Story is yet another amazing Bollywood movie that is inspired by the murder of Neeraj Grover that happened in 2008 that later led to the arrest of Emile Jerome Matthew and Maria Susairaj. The one attribute of the movie that stood out and shocked everyone was the fact that it was shot in 20 days and even in the same building, Dheeraj Solitaire when Neeraj was murdered.

The movie has been directed by Ram Gopal Varma and stars Mahie Gill, Deepak Dobriyal, Nitish Sharma, and Ajay Gehi in the lead roles.

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21. Main Aur Charles (2015)

  • Genre: Crime/Thriller
  • IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
  • Available On: MX Player/MSN

Plot: Another amazing true crime inspired Bollywood movies that are a must-watch is Main Aur Charles. This is one of the best inspired by real-life events Bollywood movies and is narrated from the perspective of an Indian cop, Amod Kanth. He was the one responsible for handling the case of an Indian origin French serial killer, Charles Sobhraj. He is known as the “bikini killer”. The movie didn’t do well in the box office despite the positive reviews it got from critics.

The movie has been directed by Prawaal Raman and stars Randeep Hooda, Adil Hussain, Richa Chadda, and Tisca Chopra in the lead roles.

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FAQs About the Best Bollywood Crime Movies Of All Time

1. Does Netflix or Prime Have Bollywood Crime Movies Category?

Yes, Netflix & Amazon Prime has plenty of Bollywood crime movies available from romance-crime, drama-crime, crime-thriller, and crime-action genres to watch online.

2. How to find Crime movies to watch on OTT Platforms?

Some OTT Platforms have a crime based movie category, but you can watch some crime movies on platforms like Netflix, Prime, Hulu, HBO, Youtube Etc. To find and watch the best Bollywood crime movies on platforms like Netflix, Youtube or Amazon prime simply search for the desired movie you want to watch online and click on the play button.

3. What Are Some of The Best Crime films in Bollywood?

On Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Prime you can find a wide range of Bollywood crime movies from old to the latest ones to watch online or download within the app. Some of the best Bollywood crime movies are:

  • Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
  • Talvar (2015)
  • Special 26 (2013)
  • Black Friday (2007)
  • Border (1997)

4. Can we watch these Crime movies online without paying?

No, Almost all of the crime movies listed in this article are only available to watch on their respective OTT platforms. You need to take their paid monthly/annual subscription to watch any crime movie you like online. If it is on youtube then you need to rent/buy it watch.

4. Is it possible to download Bollywood Crime movies Online?

Yes, it is possible to download Bollywood Crime movies on some of the OTT Platforms like Youtube, Netflix, Hulu. To download crime movies on Netflix or youtube follow these steps:

  • First of all, you need to take a monthly/annual subscription to any of these services.
  • Now, log in your Netflix or Youtube account and search for crime movies you want.
  • Click on the particular movie and use the “Download” or “Save Offline” option to download the movie within the app or website.

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Conclusion

If you have been meaning to watch some of the best crime thrillers based on true events, we have sorted out the best ones for you. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the real events too, in case you weren’t aware of any.

Disclaimer (Important)

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