Films that are big at the box office may not necessarily be those which people will remember for years to come. But there are so many of the cult films that tank at the box office or don’t become genuinely big money spinners but even then people remember those films, for many reasons. Yet, some of them have done a decent business but never went on to become bonafide hits. There have been so many cult classics that we have seen in the past 20 years. Narrowing that list down to 20 has proved to be quite an uphill task, but nevertheless according to my opinion, have narrowed it down to the following 20 with them being in no order particular.


This Dibakar Banerjee directed did decent business at box office and took away the National Award for the best fi lm of the year in 2007. The fi lm connected with the audiences on a personal level with the way the story and the characters were etched out. One of the genuinely comic films with a brilliant cast portraying the undying spirit of the middle class slowly found its way into being a cult classic for the Indian audiences.


This movie directed by Sujoy Ghosh went on to become a sleeper hit when it opened in 2012, taking a lot of people by surprise. Not only that, but this mystery/thriller fi lm took away a lot of awards including Filmfare and the National Award. Vidya Balan epitomized her acting brilliance with this fi lm and the delicately handled thriller by Sujoy went down in the history books as one of the cult classic of the modern years.


This film came out a few years ago and was the comeback film of Sridevi. The fi lm may have not rocked at the box office, but it left a great effect in the minds of the audiences. It was a relatable story of language, culture, a real contemporary marriage, and, most of all, our mothers. This fi lm was quite relatable to the audiences and even after the film went out of the screens, people were talking about it and watch it whenever it is on television.Thus, making its entry as one of the cult classics of Bollywood.

Thus, making its entry as one of the cult classics of Bollywood.


This Vikramaditya Motwane debuts directorial made waves with the critics when it came out in 2010 but failed to make an impact at the box office. The fi lm is a very simple and a relatable story about a son wanting to follow his dreams against his father’s wishes. The story being so relatable, people slowly started appreciating it over the years and also the poems recited by Rajat Barmecha in the fi lm touched hearts and the fi lm found its way to becoming a cult classic.


Iqbal is the story of a deaf and mute boy with dreams of playing cricket with India. Like him, so many of our youngsters have that dream growing up but only a few make it. His story of victory against the odds and making it for the Indian team coming from a rural village inspired the viewers and equally entertained them. It’s a fi lm, the fans don’t get tired of watching.


This is a film which made waves all over social media when it came out and even though the fi lm was not a hit at the box office, it had many takers after it went out of the cinemas. The monologue by Kartik Aaryan is something that people still talk about today. Luv Ranjan with his debut directorial found its way into the hearts of the boys, and also a few girls who relate quite alot with the central characters of the fi lm and eventually made it as a cult classic. 


This Dibakar Banerjee film was a follow up to his critically acclaimed KHOSLA KA GHOSLA. OLLO would have gone on to become a certifi ed hit at the box office if not for the tragic event, 26/11, that took place in Mumbai 2 days prior to its release. Still, people kept watching the reruns of the fi lm on TV and showed their appreciation for the dark comedy. The fi lm will complete 10 years this year at the end of the month and definitely deserves to be called a cult classic.


This Neil Nitin Mukesh debut film didn’t really make the dough at the box office but it went down as one of the best Indian cinema crime thrillers. The writing to directing to the acting of the brilliant cast, everything worked great for the film and came together to say a thrilling story. The film completed 10 years last year and is certainly holding its fort as one of the cult classics of Bollywood.


This film marked the debut of Abhay Deol, Aayesha Takia and Imtiaz Ali. This film released in 2005 and with the kind of releases we saw that year, this film got lost in the crowd. The film gave us the glimpse into how brilliant Imtiaz Ali is and later in 2007 with JAB WE MET, he gained recognition. The unique relatable love story which the audiences connected with, stayed with them, years after the film got out of the cinema halls, making it another cult film.


This is one of those Bollywood films which will always be relevant for every Indian. the film never really picked up at the box office for some reason, but then again if the film had released in today’s time of social media, it would have been a guaranteed hit. The film which was about an ordinary man trying to make a strong statement completed 10 years in September and will always be one of the best cult films we will come across. 


This dark and edgy Anurag Kashyap fi lm was his take on the classic Devdas. His take didn’t have many takers at the box office but over the years, the fi lm has found its fan following to be ever increasing. The film starred Abhay Deol and marked the debut Kalki Koechlin and Mahie Gill. The film in a way was ahead of its time and with a good story as well as a good soundtrack would have surely run the numbers at the box office.


This film boasted of a stellar cast in Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi but unfortunately it didn’t quite make a huge dent at the ticket windows. But it still picked up and people started appreciating the film once it started screening on television. Besides a great plot and actors the fi lm proved to be a complete package with some great songs which have a great recall even now. This fi lm has definitely made its way into becoming a cult classic. 


This was, and in fact still is, one of those films that put you in a different mental state altogether. The screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello which is set in India, written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, was not only appreciated in India but also garnered appreciation internationally. 12 years after the fi lm has released, the fi lm still manages to make that impact on you. To bring Othello to a village of Meerut and executing it so well takes something and without a doubt this is one of the best cult films of the modern times.


Irrfan Khan starrer film which is based on the life of Indian¬ soldier and athlete Paan Singh Tomar, couldn’t manage to win gold at the box-office. Still nonetheless managed to win over the love of people. This story inspired people and really picked up after it aired on television and if had been released in today’s times, would have gone on to rake in quite nicely at the box-office.


So many people will remember this film vividly as majority of the youngsters back then grew up watching this fi lm on television every other day. The film which released about 17 years ago still stays with the fans and still rakes in the trp whenever it is aired on TV. Even though the story wasn’t that strong but it still relates with the youth in more ways than one and hence is always going to be one of those films which one never gets tired of watching. 


This Anurag Kashyap directed film has the plot based around gangsters. With the word of mouth the film started picking up when it released but still couldn’t manage to rake in the dough as much as the makers would have liked. But the fi lm anyway changed the dynamics of gangster films in India. The film was honest and as close to reality as possible and offered great entertainment as well and it was this film that Nawazuddin Siddiqui came to light. This would definitley be one of the biggest cult classics in Bollywood of all time.


This Anil Kapoor starrer film is not only a film to many but also an inspiration as the film is based around the political scenario of India and is ever so relevant in today’s times. The fi lm didn’t quite hit it off when it released but even today people are seeing this when it comes on television and is simply a classic. Bigger reason for it being such an appreciated film is that the things the fi lm talked about are still so relevant in today’s time and the audiences can relate to it.


So many people in India have this dream of making it into bollywood and this film talks about one such aspiring actor who finally gets his shot but in turn it also affects his relationship with his girlfriend. The story about one dream being fulfilled and the consequence of the same is something that so many people can relate to; this is something which is still so relevant and has so many shades of truth about being in this industry. All you ever need in life is just a little luck. 


Arguably one of Shah Rukh Khan’s fi nest film. Though it didn’t work its magic at the Box-Office, people all over the country started taking liking towards the film in time. This Ashutohsh Gowariker film has been nothing less than a classic. The story, the music and the acting all came together and worked for the film brilliantly. The film which released in 2004 is still talked about today and watching it another time on the television is also not enough.


Nana Patekar starrer AB TAK CHHAPPAN is about an encounter specialist, who is armed with a personal vendetta to fi nd and kill the gangsters responsible for his wife’s death. One of the best ever Nana Patekar films which didn’t work at the ticket windows but garnered crittical acclaim all over. Even to this day it remains a cult classic and people just love to see this fi lm whenever it’s on TV. Trade Magazine