Since from the beginning, Bollywood movies have always been made around different socialistic themes under different genres. Unlike Hollywood films, Bollywood never experimented with the audience and always stick with these socialistic films triggering the emotions and sentiments of the movie-goers.

The drama element is always the common factor with Bollywood films no matter what the central theme of the film is. That could be the reason why Bollywood movies are still considered as dance and musical saga in the cinematic world internationally. Well, that’s the strength of Bollywood cinema and just as the Chinese or Hong Kong based films have martial arts, Bollywood relies on dance and music.

However, lately there’s a flood of some crappy yet Box Office hit films like Dhoom 3, Kick, Happy New Year, etc. starring the three Khans of Bollywood that is based on Hollywood-style heist theme. With overly included drama, unrealistic and sometimes idiotic planning, too much heavy dialogues, all these films got good Box Office collections simply for the presence of Khans.

Yet, these movies got me thinking and took me back in the history of Bollywood cinema to look for films that revolve around heist or robbery. Well, I was surprised and so will you, when you check out the amazing list of best Bollywood Heist Films of all time in its cinematic history mentioned below.

Best Bollywood Heist Movies of All the Time

Jewel Thief (1967)Jewel Thief

Well, the name itself reveals what the movie is all about. Jewel Thief is a spy thriller film starring Dev Anand in the lead role as Vinay and is believed to be the Jewel Thief after a conspiracy weaved around him. Now, he must find the real Jewel Thief with the help of Shalini, played by Vyjayantimala, who initially is the pawn of the real Jewel Thief but eventually helps Vinay discover the real truth about the robbery and catch the real mastermind behind everything.

Shalimar (1978)Shalimar 1978 film

Shalimar is one of those movies in the Bollywood history that was ahead of its time. Hence, it didn’t win the audience at the time of its release but achieved a cult status later on and is even today considered as one of the best heist films in Bollywood. The film stars Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman, Shammi Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Prem Nath, and Hollywood actors like Sir Rex Harrison, John Saxon, and Sylvia Miles. The film is about a convention, where master criminals are invited to a private island and the owner throws a challenge to all the members about stealing a ruby, known as Shalimar. The ruby is placed in a highly secured chamber with booby traps and armed guards. The one who completes the challenge would be inheriting the island and all its possessions as the ultimate prize.

Aankhen (2002)Aankhen 2002 robbery movie

Aankhen is probably the first heist thriller film in Bollywood history. Before this film, most of the films had heist theme in parts, while Aankhen was completely centred on a heist plan. The film that features an ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sushmita Sen, and Arjun Rampal in important roles basically revolves around a bank robbery. In the film, three blind men, played by Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, and Arjun Rampal, are hired by Amitabh Bachchan and trained by Sushmita Sen to rob a bank. The film is well planned and written keeping the reality factor in mind without any overdramatic scenes or sentimental approach. Throughout the film, the storyline stays on focus with the theme, that’s bank robbery.

Also Read : Best Bollywood Thriller Movies of all the Time

Dhoom 2 (2006)
Dhoom 2

The 2nd installment in the popular Dhoom series, Dhoom 2 should be credited as the first film to attract the audience for such genre. The film pairs Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai for the first time, while Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra reprise their role as the team that specializes in unravelling the famous robberies and heists. The film primarily follows the life of Aryan or Mr. A, played by Hrithik Roshan, who fancies stealing artifacts from selected museums to mark his initial A on the world map. Whether the team of Jay, played by Abhishek Bachchan, and Ali, played by Uday Chopra, is able to catch him or not forms the rest of the story.

Special 26 (2013)
Special 26 Movies on Conman Hindi film

Special 26 is actually a film based on the real Opera House heist in 1987. The film is about a group of people, who disguise as fake CBI officers and raid places to retrieve black money from the people across different cities within India. As the real CBI gets closer, the team led by Ajay Singh, played by Akshay Kumar, decides to go for one last raid that takes us to the real event and the most popular 1987 Opera House heist. The film also stars Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill, Divya Dutta, Kajal Aggarwal and others.

Also Read : Movies Based on Real Story or True Events

Kaante (2002)Kaante Multistarrer movies of Bollywood

Kaante is another multi-starrer film on our list of top Bollywood heist films. To be honest, the film is much more than a typical heist film. While entertaining the audience, the film also delivers an important lesson that the result of anything evil is always evil. The film is based on Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and the ace filmmaker has himself praised the movie as one of the best rip-offs of his film. The film revolves around six men, who unite because of an unjust detainment by LAPD and later decide to rob a bank housing the funds for the LAPD out of vengeance. With an ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Kumar Gaurav, Mahesh Manjrekar, and Lucky Ali, the film is a delight for the audience with a taste for action thriller films.

Dhoom (2004)Dhoom heist movies bollywood

The first installment of the Dhoom series, Dhoom set a new trend in Bollywood for fast paced, action thriller films. Starring John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan in the lead roles alongside Uday Chopra, Esha Deol, and Rimi Sen in supporting roles, the film follows the story of a series of robberies by a rogue bike gang. Jai Dixit, played by Abhishek Bachchan, is handling the task of uncovering the real faces behind this biker gang and in the process, he gets the aid of Ali, a small time thief, to devise a trap for these bikers at their own game. Watch the film and find out if Jai and Ali are successful on their mission.

Don 2 (2011)Don-2-gangster film

A sequel to Shah Rukh Khan Starrer Don, Don 2 came out as a much better film. While the prequel was the remake of original 1978 film Don with an ultimate twist, in the end, Don 2 is 100% original and brings back Shah Rukh Khan’s grey image that raised him to fame in the 90s. The film basically deals with Don’s life after the events of the first film and eventually focuses on a bank robbery which turns into a rescue mission. The police must rely on Don to help them rescue the hostages. In addition to King Khan, the film also stars Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Lara Dutta, and Kunal Kapoor in important roles.

Johnny Gaddaar (2007)Johnny Gaddaar Hindi movie

Well, not entirely a heist film, Johnny Gaddaar is a neo-noir thriller film about five men, who run a gambling club. The life of these five men change, when they get a lead about drugs package worth Rs. 5 crore for half the price, all five of them decide to make some good profit out of it. However, things get ugly when greed takes over and each one of them is killed by the end of the film. The film stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain, Vinay Pathak, and Dayanand Shetty in the lead roles alongside Rimi Sen and Ashwini Kalsekar in the supporting roles.

Your Turn!

Share, your favorite Bollywood Heist Movies or based on Robbery in the comment section.