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?

  • Hrithik in KMG? Seriously?

    My list of Top 5 Best performances

    1. Amitabh Bachchan – Black
    2. Hrithik Roshan – Guzaarish
    3. SRK – Chak De
    4. Ranbir Kapoor – Rockstar
    5. Naseeruddin Shah – A Wednesday

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

    • ??really are u comapring MNIK and dabangg…
      MNIK was million tyms better bro pls work on ur mental health..

  • 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

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

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

  • 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

  • @indicine:make a list of top 5 vesatile actor of bollywood…no doubts among recent actors, hrithik,amir,srk,ranbir are versatile..among actress, vidya,pc,bebo are versatile

  • In my opinion, the top 10 best performances since 2003 are :-

    1. Amitabh Bachchan in Black
    2. Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi
    3. Shahrukh Khan in Chak De India
    4. Naseeruddin Shah in A Wednesday
    5. Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish
    6. Hrithik Roshan Jodha Akbar
    7. Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar
    8. Aamir Khan in Ghajini
    9. Saif Ali Khan in Omkara
    10. Sanjay Dutt in Lage Raho MunnaBhai

    Also a special mention to Pankaj Kapur for Maqbool & Aamir Khan for Rang De Basanti

  • @ahemad:salman didnt deserve for tere naam.hrithik was better in koi mil gaya as he had to play the role of not a simple child,but an mentally abnormal child which he played very nicely.same in 2010,salman didnt deserve for dabbang.other than srk,if aoy1 deserved is hrithik for guzaaris…thnq

  • ok 1 more list by me, in which i give my “all-time favorite performances” of the top 10 stars :-

    1. Amitabh Bachchan:- Black, Deewar & Agneepath
    2. Aamir Khan:- Lagaan, Andaaz Apna Apna & Rangeela
    3. Salman Khan:- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Tere Naam & Dabangg
    4. Shahrukh Khan:- Chak De India, DDLJ & Darr
    5. Ajay Devgn:- Company, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam & Gangajal
    6. Akshay Kumar:- Hera Pheri & Welcome
    7. Saif Ali Khan:- Omkara, Love Aaj Kal & Parineeta
    8. Hrithik Roshan:- Guzaarish, Jodha Akbar & Agneepath
    9. Ranbir Kapoor:- Barfi, Rockstar & Rocket Singh
    10. Imran Khan:- Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola & Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na..

    P.S.- These are my only favorite performaces of these stars & my Fav Films might NOT be the same.
    Also the stars are numbered according to seniority only.

  • Completely agree with the list. Those who are saying aamir for gajini should watch tamil version. Surya was far better. Vikram got national award for tere naam tamil version. Hrithik was superb in KMG, he deserved to be in the list. But i prefer swadesh over chak de india for sharukh. Out of these 5 top actors, amitabh bachan was awesome. No words to describe his performance. Sanjay dutt was excellent but munna bhai is a role meant for him like dabaang for salman.

  • Almost perfet list.
    But to be honest…
    In MBBS it was not the complexity of the role but the script which won the millions of heart.
    Rest all the roles in the list were too complex and needed real talent to portray it on screen.
    Sanjay dutt’s name could be replaced by Aamir Khan from Laggan.

  • @Ahmed You should either subscribe to the fact that awards are bought or earned. You cant have it both ways. Just because you dont think someone deserved it doesnt mean they bought the award. By your regard then Ranbir outbid the others to win his award

    My best 5 in no particular order
    SRK – Chak de
    Aamir – RDB
    Salman – Veer
    Baba – Munnabhai MBBS
    Saif – Omkara

  • 1. SRK – Swades/ChakDe/My Name Is Khan
    2. Amitabh – Black/Paa
    3. Hrithik – Koi Mil Gaya/Guzarish
    4. Ranbir – Rockstar/Barfi
    5. Aamir – Laggan
    6. Shahid – Kaminay
    7. Saif – Omkara

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