Bollywood movies

From Queen to Gangubai Kathiawadi, 25 Bollywood Movies With Female Lead, Ranked Highest On IMDb

From overly dramatic mothers to repressive housewives, we’ve seen actresses sidelined in movies for a very long time. However, there have been times when our film industry has produced excellent films featuring powerful women.

Today, we’ve compiled a list of top-rated movies on IMDb that featured a strong female lead. Continue reading.

Source: NDTV

1. Nil Battey Sannata – 8.2

With a heartwarming story and a brilliant star-studded cast, this film proved that our film industry has some fine gems to offer. The film revolved around a mother’s efforts to educate her child and help him change his future. Needless to mention, this is the highest rated movie on IMDb with a female lead.

Nil Battey Sannata
Source: IMDb

2. Queen – 8.1

The film taught us an important lesson that a woman should take a chance on becoming her own prince charming, rather than expecting one. Thanks to a number of beautiful settings, great characters, and a new plot, this movie settled into the hearts of the public soon after its release.

Queen
Source: Box office collection

3. Kahaani – 8.1

Never underestimate a woman. And that’s exactly what this film taught us. With plenty of twists and suspense, the film kept us all on the edge of our seats.

Kahaani
Source: Deccan Chronicle

4. Dor – 8

In the world of over-the-top desi masala movies, this movie blew us away with its simplicity. With a powerful message of never giving up hope, this movie is still a favorite of many people including us.
Golden
Source: Chaat Cinema

5. Vinglish English – 7.8

Without a doubt, this movie was to be one of the highest rated movies featuring a powerful female lead. With a strong message that it’s never too late to learn, English Vignlish also focused on the often overlooked struggles and feelings of housewives.

English vinglish
Source: Amazon

6.Art – 7.8

This movie touched on several important topics like infidelity, the changing face of relationships, and most importantly, a woman’s ability to take charge of her own life. With a strong cast of artists and a mature script, this film was definitely ahead of its time.

Arthur
Source: Rediff

7. Mother India – 7.8

Needless to mention, this iconic film was one of the most beloved and popular films of all time. Starring Nargis as a fierce mother, this film won several accolades.

    mother india
Source: IMDb

8. Damini – 7.8

In the days of typical drama movies, where actresses were often typecast, this film gave us a female lead who held firm, even when the whole world turned against her.

Damini
Source: IMDb

9. Ra’azi – 7.7

Equally suspenseful and dramatic, this film proved that courage cannot be defined by gender. With Alia Bhatt’s powerful portrayal of Sehmat, a spy, this film is one of the best patriotic films to come out in recent times.

Raazi
Source: IMDb

10. Water – 7.7

Even though this film caused a lot of controversy for presenting the dark side of a widow’s life in India, it still remains one of the best films ever produced by our film industry. The film talks about several important issues like ostracism and misogyny that still exist in our country.

Water
Source: IMDb

11. Mirch Masala – 7.7

Considered one of the most powerful Bollywood dramas ever created, the film revolved around the abuse women face for their own safety and protection. With a powerful performance delivered by Smita Patil, the film highlights the importance and necessity of women’s empowerment.

Mirch Masala
Source: feminism india

12. Piku – 7.6

Revolving around an emotionally, financially, and sexually independent female protagonist, Piku was like a breath of fresh air.

Piku
Source: IMDb

13. Highway – 7.6

Let’s be honest, this movie was more than “just a movie”. With talented actors in mind, this movie was nothing short of art. Besides its soulful music, it was Alia Bhatt’s performance that made this film a success.

highway
Source: IMDb

14. Neerja – 7.6

The titular character, who has become synonymous with bravery, not only broke the shackles of her past, but also taught audiences that courage cannot be defined by any specific gender. Based on a real incident, Neerja is easily one of Bollywoods best biopics.

neerja
Source: IMDb

15. Bandit Queen – 7.5

Based on the real life of Phoolan Devi, a bandit who later became a women’s rights activist, Bandit Queen was one of the most beautiful and gruesome Bollywood films ever made. With powerful dialogue and captivating cinematography, this movie is definitely a must-watch for all movie buffs.

bandit queen
Source: google play

16. Bhumika – 7.4

Revolving around the search for identity and fulfillment of an individual, this film was certainly a nugget. Interestingly, Smita Patil won her first national award for her powerful performance in this film, at the age of 21.

Bhumika
Source: Mubi

17. Thapad – 7.3

With a strong, self-defending and self-respecting female lead, this film was the perfect response to the patriarchy. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best films released in recent times.

Thapad
Source: indian tv news

18. Astiva – 7.3

This film not only touched on the theme of extramarital affairs, but also talked about gender inequality, male chauvinism and self-respect. Without a doubt, Tabu’s brilliant portrayal will keep you glued to your screens.

Astiva
Source: IMDb

19. Margarita with a straw – 7.2

This film centers on a young, differently abled, free-spirited woman who has discovered and embraced her sexuality. Kalki Koechlin, portraying the role of the protagonist, did a fabulous job and nailed the role perfectly.

Daisy with a straw
Source: IMDb

20. Nobody Killed Jessica – 7.2

Based on the 1999 Jessica Lall murder case, the film revolved around a bartender who was shot by a politician’s son and his sister, who struggled to get justice for his death. Undoubtedly, Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji delivered brilliant performances as Sabrina Lall and Meera Gaity, respectively.

    No one killed Jessica
Source: NY Times

21.NH10 – 7.1

Marking her producer debut with this intriguing thriller, Anushka Sharma, playing the protagonist, kept us all on the edge of our seats with endless twists and turns.

NH10
Source: IMDb

22. 15 Park Avenue – 7.1

One of the few films to tackle the subject of mental health issues, this masterpiece starred Konkona Sen Sharma as a schizophrenic. The film also featured powerful artists like Shabana Azmi, Rahul Bose, and Waheeda Rehman.

15 Park Avenue
Source: Full2Faltu

23. Fire – 7.1

This film, which focused on a lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-law, received critical acclaim across the world. However, due to its subject matter, the film was not allowed to be released in India. In fact, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, the main actors of this film, as well as the director Deepa Mehta, received several death threats for this film.

Fire
Source: Harvard Art Museums

24. Gangubai Kathiawadi – 7

From a captivating script to a talented star cast, this film is arguably one of the most beloved films of the year. Introducing audiences to a ruthless sex worker who tore the patriarchy to shreds, this film gave us goosebumps with its sharp dialogue.

Gangubai Kathiawadi
Source: IMDb

25. Samay: When Time Strikes – 7

With the perfect concoction of suspense and drama, this movie kept everyone hooked to their screens. Portraying the character of a badass cop, this film was one of Sushmita Sen’s best films of the early 2000s.

Samay: When time strikes
Source: Amazon

Please note that all footnotes mentioned are taken from IMDb.