10 Best Shah Rukh Khan Movies, Ranked


Shah Rukh Khan, sometimes dubbed as the « King of Bollywood, » is a true cinematic legend whose charm, talent, and infectious energy have won the hearts of millions around the globe. Throughout his illustrious career that has span over three decades, Khan has become known for his charismatic performances and addictive dance moves that transcend boundaries of language and culture. From his romantic escapades in the legendary Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to his latest hit, Dunki, Khan’s movies have not only entertained but also inspired generations of fans and Indian actors with their noteworthy stories and unforgettable characters.

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What sets Khan apart is not just his acting prowess but also his unparalleled connection with his fans. His fans would camp out outside his house to see the actor greet them. From India to the farthest corners of the world, Khan’s fanbase knows no bounds, united by their shared admiration for his talent, kindness, and unwavering passion for both his craft and his fans. After a four-year hiatus, Khan released three movies in 2023, which all turned out to be the top grossing movies of his career. In the following article, check out some of Shah Rukh Khan’s best films, each showcasing his versatility and impact as an actor.

10 ‘Pathaan’ (2023)

Directed by Siddharth Anand

Image via Yash Raj Films

Directed by Siddharth Anand (War, Fighter), Pathaan is an action-packed espionage thriller featuring Shah Rukh Khan as the titular hero. The movie follows the super spy as he was presumed dead but was called into action as a new threat that would trigger a conflict between India and Pakistan emerges. With its star-studded cast that includes Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Dimple Kapadia, the movie features bombastic, globe-trotting action sequences that envy Hollywood productions.

Pathaan is Khan’s first film after his four-year break, and it was highly anticipated by fans worldwide. It did not disappoint, as critics and fans raved at the movie. The movie was praised for Khan’s performance, the ensemble cast, and over-the-top action. As part of the budding Spy Universe, Pathaan joins two existing spies, Tiger and Kabir, played by Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan respectively. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan made a special appearance as Pathaan in the record-breaking movie Tiger 3.

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9 ‘My Name is Khan’ (2010)

Directed by Karan Johar

Shah Rukh Khan in My Name is Khan
Image via 20th Century Studios

In My Name is Khan, Rizwan Khan, a Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome, embarks on a journey across America to convey a message of peace and tolerance after his wife was subjected to Islamophobic discrimination following 9/11. Reunited with Kajol and director Karan Johar, Khan moved away from his usual romantic roles and focused on his dramatic chops in this moving and thought-provoking film.

My Name is Khan received widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences alike, with Khan being praised for his role. The movie itself broke box office records in various countries and was once India’s top grossing movie in overseas markets. Shah Rukh Khan was awarded several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Unfortunately, reflecting the Islamophobia in the film, Khan himself was briefly questioned due to his surname in New Jersey when arriving in the US to promote the film.

My Name Is Khan
Release Date
February 11, 2010

Director
Karan Johar

Cast
Shahrukh Khan , Kajol , Christopher B. Duncan , Carl Marino , Steffany Huckaby , Jennifer Echols

Runtime
145

Main Genre
Drama

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8 ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ (2012)

Directed by Yash Chopra

Shah Rukh Khan playing guitar with a woman in Jab tak hai jaan
Image via Yash Raj Films

Jab Tak Hai Jaan is a romantic drama that follows the journey of Samar (Shah Rukh Khan) who falls in love with Meera (Katrina Kaif). However, their love was put to a stop as they have different religions, which enraged Samar, and he went out to challenge God by facing death every day as a bomb disposal expert. Jab Tak Hai Jaan is legendary director Yash Chopra‘s last film, and as expected, it left a lasting impact on audiences because of its engaging story and timeless romance.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan was a hit during its release, as it was the third highest grossing Bollywood film of the year and was popular even outside of Indian markets, thanks to Khan’s appeal. The movie was well-received by critics, who praised its cast, dramatic love story, beautiful visuals, and music composed by Oscar-winning A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire). The movie was also cited for further launching actress Anushka Sharma to stardom.

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7 ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001)

Directed by Karan Johar

Shah Rhuh Khan and a woman in kabhi-khushi-kabhie-gham
Image via Yash Raj Films

Directed by Karan Johar, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is a family drama that revolves around the wealthy Raichand family and their complex relationships. Shah Rukh Khan plays Rahul, a step-child brought into the family. However, he was disowned by his stern father because he fell for a girl of a lower social status. With a star-studded cast that includes Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, K3G is a beloved classic in Indian cinema.

Clocking at three and a half hours, the movie spared no expense in fleshing out the characters to its maximum effect. The movie was praised for its great ensemble cast and for hitting the emotional moments. Having collaborated several times, Khan and Kajol’s chemistry is unquestionable, but it was the relationship between Khan and Amitabh Bachchan’s character that became a highlight. The musical numbers were also memorable and grand, making the movie a full package of entertainment.

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6 ‘Veer Zaara’ (2004)

Directed by Yash Chopra

Shah Rukh Khan laying in a field with a girl
Image via Yash Raj Films

Directed by Yash Chopra, who returned to directing after seven years, Veer Zaara is a cross-border romance between an Indian Air Force pilot, Veer, and a Pakistani woman, Zaara, that spans decades and faces political obstacles. Told in flashback to a Pakistani lawyer who leads him to resolving unsolved cases of Indian prisoners, Veer recounts his story that led him to the current moment. With Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta in the lead roles, Veer Zaara is a timeless tale of love and sacrifice guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings.

Under Chopra’s direction, Khan, Zinta and Rani Mukerji, who played the lawyer, gave their all to this emotional film. It is clearly visible on screen, especially during key moments. The movie successfully made the audiences fall in love with both Veer and Zaara and were left with no choice but to root for their unconditional love. The movie was a hit critically and commercially. The acclaim was unanimous, with critics highlighting its positive treatment of the sensitive political issue, and the audiences’ reception was clearly evidenced by its box office receipts. Veer Zaara has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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5 ‘Jawan’ (2023)

Directed by Atlee Kumar

jawan-shah-rukh-khan in an army uniform
Image via Red Chillies Entertainment

In Jawan, Shah Rukh Khan emerges as Azad, a man with a mission to right the mistakes made by the government on its citizens. Helped by a group of skillful women, Azad is chased down by counterterrorism officer Narmada Rai (Nayantara) and has to face criminal boss Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi), who has ties to Azad’s past. Directed by Atlee who previously helmed Tamil movies, the movie also co-stars Deepika Padukone in a special appearance.

Jawan was the second of three movies that featured Khan as the lead in 2023, and it became his highest-grossing movie of his career, breaking the records set by Pathaan just a few months earlier. Khan pulled a double duty in this film by playing two roles, including sharing the screen with himself in a memorable action sequence. With this film, he leveraged his on-screen presence, making the mysterious character relatable and likable. The movie was well-received by critics – an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes – with many citing its timely social message and exciting music and action.

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4 ‘Chak De! India’ (2007)

Directed by Shimit Amin

Shah Rukh Khan sitting down
Image via Yash Raj Films

In Chak De! India, disgraced former hockey player Kabir Khan coaches the Indian women’s national field hockey team, aiming to overcome internal strife and societal prejudice to achieve victory. The film celebrates the triumph of teamwork, determination, and female empowerment in the face of adversity. With Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role, the movie delivers a classic, exhilarating sports drama that is guaranteed to make audiences cheer.

The movie offers something new for Khan: no musical numbers and no romantic on-screen partner. He became convinced to play this role because he used to play hockey in college. The result is one of his best roles to date. The movie was adored by critics for its sports accuracy and its feminist themes. Even some of its detractors still likened the movie to a similarly inspiring Hollywood sports drama.

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3 ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (1998)

Directed by Karan Johar

Shah Rukh Khan with a woman and girl in a field in kuch-kuch-hota-hai
Image via Yash Raj Films

Another classic Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol-Karan Johar collaboration, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a romantic comedy that follows the lives of Rahul (Khan), Anjali (Kajol), and Tina (Rani Mukerji) over two decades, filled with friendship and love. With a blend of humor, drama, and iconic musical numbers, the film is a modern classic that continues to capture the viewers’ hearts.

Khan’s portrayal of the lovable and charming Rahul resonated deeply with viewers, solidifying his status as the romantic hero of Bollywood. From its iconic dialogues to its trendsetting fashion, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai sparked a cultural phenomenon, inspiring countless imitations and cementing its status in Indian cinema. The movie achieved success both in India and internationally, emerging as the top-grossing Indian film of the year and the third highest-grossing Indian film at the time. The movie swept the Filmfare Awards by winning all nine categories that it was nominated for, including all four acting nominations, which included Salman Khan for Best Supporting Actor.

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2 ‘Swades’ (2004)

Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker

Shah Rukh Khan in a boat with other men in Swades
Image via UTV Motion Pictures

Swades follows Mohan Bhargav, an Americanized Indian NASA scientist who returns to his homeland and becomes inspired to enact positive change in a rural village. Through his journey, Mohan confronts societal issues and discovers the true meaning of belonging. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, whose film Lagaan was nominated for an Oscar, explores personal and national identity against the backdrop of social responsibility and patriotism.

Despite being a failure in its box office run, the film has earned a cult status among critics and audiences. The film is considered one of Shah Rukh Khan’s best as it featured him in a nuanced performance. The film resonated deeply with viewers for its poignant portrayal of a Non-Resident Indian journey back to his roots. Its powerful message solidifies the movie as an important entry to Indian cinema. Recently, Khan reprised Mohan in a superhero-esque movie Brahmastra Part One – Shiva.

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1 ‘Dilwale Dulhania La Jayenge’ (1995)

Directed by Aditya Chopra

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayeng 1995
Image Via Eros International/AA Films

Directed by Aditya Chopra (Yash Chopra’s son), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, or lovingly called DDLJ, is a timeless romantic drama that follows Raj and Simran who fall in love during a trip to Europe and must win Simran’s father’s heart to approve their love. Set in Europe and India, the film captivates audiences with its charming storyline and memorable music. The iconic pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol further made the movie a true classic Bollywood movie. Audiences accustomed to Hollywood films may find a familiar face in Simran’s father, played by Amrish Puri who stars in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Critics praised the film for its seamless blend of romance, drama, and humor, applauding its universal appeal and enduring relevance. Khan’s portrayal of Raj, the charming and charismatic lover, captured hearts and set the bar high for on-screen romance. The movie’s influence is unimitable, evidenced by its iconic train scene in the climactic part that has been countlessly imitated and parodied, including in Khan’s own Chennai Express in 2013. The movie holds the record as India’s longest running film, having played in cinemas for more than 25 years.

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NEXT: 7 Essential Performances from Bollywood Legend Shah Rukh Khan

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