Best Male Performances in the last 10 years: Top 5

Considering the number of movies Bollywood churns out every year, it is an uphill task to select 5 best performances of one particular year. But hold your breath; here we are with the list of 5 Best male leading performances in the last 10 years (2003-2012).

It is possible that many of you would not appreciate the exclusion of today’s most popular superstars, but the fact is, we have compiled the list giving equal weight-age to two most important factors – the magnitude of acting skills as a particular character and the commercial acceptance of the movie.

It goes without saying that 3 Idiots, Om Shanti Om, Dabangg, Krrish, Dhoom 2 and Ghajini are amongst the most successful movies in the last 10 years with rock solid performances by the leading male stars. Also there have been some path breaking and critically acclaimed performances like Guzarish, Swades, A Wednesday, Paa, My Name is Khan, Tere Naam, Guru and Jodha Akbar. But the performances which have surpassed all these and emerged as the Top 5 Best Male performances of Bollywood in the last decade are:

Shahrukh Khan - Hrithik Roshan

Shahrukh Khan – Hrithik Roshan

Chak De! India (2007, Shah Rukh Khan as Kabir Khan): Directed by Shimit Amin and produced by Yash Raj Films, Chak De is the story of captain Kabir Khan who is accused of deliberately losing a game of hockey to Pakistan, which controversially ends his promising career. Hidden behind a scruffy beard, SRK delivers his most intense performance ever. Out of all the different characters that Shahrukh has portrayed on-screen, Kabir Khan is arguably his most realistic. He is a man that you could possibly meet in real life, and Shahrukh’s performance in the film reflects this. Along with Swades, it’s one of those rare films where SRK the superstar gave way to SRK the actor.

Koi Mil Gaya (2003, Hrithik Roshan as Rohit): Who would have thought that an actor who looks like a Greek God could successfully play a mentally challenged adult? That too at the absolute lowest point of his career? KMG, without doubt one of the best sci-fi movies to come out of Bollywood, is roughly along the same lines as Hollywood classic E.T. But it was Hrithik’s outstanding performance that provided the knockout punch as the film went on to be the year’s highest grosser. KMG’s success converted it to a successful franchise as it has now spawned into 2 sequels (Krrish and Krrish 3).

Sanjay Dutt - Ranbir Kapoor - Amitabh Bachchan

Sanjay Dutt – Ranbir Kapoor – Amitabh Bachchan

Munnabhai MBBS (2003, Sanjay Dutt as Munna Bhai): Easy! Sanjay Dutt will forever be remembered for his epic portrayal of Munna, one of the most loved characters in Bollywood history. Such is the sheer impact of his performance, that it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the iconic role of Munnabhai. Dutt excelled in comedy, emotion, action, romance in both the films including the second part in the series – Lage Raho Munnabhai.

Barfi! (2012, Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi): Playing a deaf and mute character, Ranbir proved once again why his climb to the top was just a matter of time. The actor successfully managed to convey a diversity of moods without uttering a single word. His act was heart-touching and shattered the myth that people with disability have a gloomy and grief stricken life. After Rockstar in 2011, Ranbir won his second back-to-back Filmfare Best Actor award.

Black (2005, Amitabh Bachchan as Debraj Sahai): After ruling the 80s and 90s with memorable performances, Amitabh Bachchan makes it to this list too. This speaks of his greatness as an actor, who is competing with actors half his age. In this Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s classic, the character of Debraj Sahai demanded eccentricity and he delivered. Bachchan’s portrayal of a stubborn teacher complimented the character of Rani perfectely and proved to be a pillar of support for her. The gradual dominance of Alzheimer’s disease is most natural and the scenes in which Debraj is taken over by the disease show the real talent within Big B. To be honest, we are short of superlatives for this great man. It’s an enriching experience to watch him perform with utmost dedication.

That’s our list, do post your views on the Best male leading performances of the last decade in the comments section below.

Abhishek Sharma tweets @abhu_sharma



  • I dont agree with the list. Where is Irrfan Khan for Paan Singh Tomar? Saif Ali Khan for Omkara? Nana Patekar for Ab Tak Chappan? Salman Khan for Tere Naam?

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  • Hrithik has given better performances than Koi Mil Gaya… even though at that time it was pretty big because he won both Filmfare Critics and Popular.

    IMO his top performances are Agneepath, Jodha Akbar and Guzaarish.

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  • I am from the US, so haven’t watched all movies. SRK in Chak De India and Sanju in Munnabhai are my most favorite acts in Bollywood movies.

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  • Ranbir’s performance in Rockstar was better than Barfi! and Hrithik’s performance in Guzaarish was better than KMG.

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  • Rockstar was not better than Barfi.. Ranbir was awesome in Barfi. Very difficult character.

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  • totally agree with the list but it should also have aamir khan in ghajini

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  • Not in any order, but best of every actor in last 10 years

    Aamir Khan – Ghajini
    Hrithik Roshan – Agneepath / Guzaarish
    Ranbir Kapoor – Barfi / Rockstar
    Shahrukh Khan – Swades / Chak De India
    Amitabh Bachchan – Black / Paa
    Salman Khan – Dabangg
    Akshay Kumar – Rowdy Rathore
    Saif Ali Khan – Omkara
    Abhishek Bachchan – Guru
    Shahid Kapoor – Kaminey

    Please also do the list of best female performances. Thanks

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  • KMG was unfair award for hrithik. that year salman’s tere naam was one of the best performances of the decade hrithik’s koi mil gaya’s performance was nothing compared to salman’s tere naam, but roshans at early stage of their career had the same habit of srk of buying filmfares.

    Just like salman got robbed in 2003 for filmfare, the same he got robbed in 2010 for dabangg and instead srk won for MNIK was he biggest joke.

    but as a salman fan i dont care. I am happy to see young talent like ranbir is giving tough time to both awards buyer, roshan and srk, by winning two consecutive awards and from now it going to be a ranbir’s show.

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  • How anyone can think this list is appropriate is beyond me. Ok so both commercial and critical weightage is important, I get but how come Aamir or Ajay performances missed out is beyond me. What a joke this is and considering that Bhagat Singh, Rang De Basanti, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, Ghajini, 3 idiots, Raajneeti were all both commercial and critical successes, then one would think that Aamir or Ajay would be on that list ahead of Ranbir, Sanjay and Big B atleast. It May sound harsh to exempt one of them but if Indicine insist on having their favourites SRK and Hrithik as permanent irremoveable objects on their list then its hard to dislodge their names so the other three names are fair game to make way.
    Salman bhai is my favourite actor but I respect Aamir and Ajay and believe in the last ten years they have given numerous stellar performances to be in a Top 5 list but clearly the article writers has a soft spot for Ranbir, Sanjay and Big B so have excluded Aamir and Ajay.
    Just for the record my top 5 would be:
    Hrithik – Jodhaa Akbar
    Aamir – Ghajini
    Ajay – OUATIM
    Salman – Dabangg 1
    SRK – mnik

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  • Amazing list .. Totally Agree… All 5 are great acts in their own way.. Kudos to Abhishek yet again !!!!

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  • why Ajay and Salman not included in above list? 1) Ajay Devgan for – OUATIM / Gangaajal / Khakee and Salman for Tere Naam.

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  • AMIR KHAN D BEST,he is proving it everytime n he isn’t in this list!!!!! Amazed!

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  • Well,some people are telling that hrithik didnt deserve for koi mil gaya…they should know that hrithik performance was excellent.he started proving his versatility from that movie …for me the best performance are 1hrithik-guzarish,jodha akbar,koi mil gaya,dhoom2 2bigb-paa,black, 3srk-mnik,cdi 4′-amir khan-ghazini,3 idiots,5.ranbir-barfi’rockstar

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  • What?????
    He is just publicizing himself by taking the names of big actors?
    Totally unfair.

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