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



  • Frankly speaking any article of bollywood is utter crap without Aamir & Salman.They are the two trendsetting machines in raising the standards of bollywood in terms of collections to the overseas range by grossing 135 cr worldwide & the 1st Indian film in 100 cr club worldwide 1st film to open in overseas market & 3 idiots still the no.1 hindi film in overseas 4 years after its release ,producing meaningful movies for children – taare zameen par & chillar party which grabbed 2 – 3 national awards,they never accept awards nor even want to nominate them,they never believe in no.1 position or never self proclaim themselves as they are the king,queen etc..etc… of bollywood.They continuously keep changing their look,hairstyle & body language accordingly to their film’s need.They never stuck to some banners,directors or producers.They are the only superstars who took their films to the 300 cr club.The only two actors to deliver most number of all time blockbuster hits in most genres Aamir khan Love – Raja hindustani.Action -Ghajini.Comedy – 3 idiots.Salman khan is the only actor to have all time blockbusters & blockbusters in all genres Love – Maine pyaar kiya (Atbb),Family drama – Hum aapke hain koun (Atbb),Action – Dabangg (Atbb),Comedy – Ready & Partner (blockbusters).
    Does this qualities are not enough to prove who are the best performers and complete actors.The way filmfare didn’t award Aamir for 3 idiots & Salman for Dabangg itself proves how biased & crap are these awards.
    I hope everyone understands the difference between them & these dumbs who buy & attend awards excluding big b & sanju.

  • When its comes to acting Aamir khan is miles ahead of others.Aamir in “Ghajini” was the best male performance in the last 10 years and even Akshay gave his award to Aamir.also his performance in “Rang de basanti”,”Fanaa” and “3 idiots” were outstanding.

  • @ahmed:nice joke dude…if 1 can buy awards den amitabh wud ve bot awards fr his soon…nd present times sallu wud ve bot all awards…nd hrithik’s dad is not richest of men in bwood to buy…he was terrific in d movie nd kmg ws highst grossing movie of 2003 with huge margin.he earnd it….salman seriously shudnt b nominated @ all fr bst actor..he is gud at comedy and action but so weak in emotional scenes…dts y he hasnt got 1

  • if one could buy awards…saif would hav bought all awards as he is the richest in bwood…
    dont blabber…salman doesnt deserve awards…he has got nothing to gt awards…

  • Hrithik Roshan must be on Top for Koi Mil Gaya. It’s one of the best performance of his career. No one could act as Mentally Retarded as He did. Only Anil Kapoor did best act as Mentally Retarded in Ishwaar. Srk in MNIK and Ajay Devgan in Main Aisa Hi Hoon was a Joke.

    Srk must be in second position for his act in Chalte Chalte, CDI, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam.

  • i saw a guy who says akshay kumar’s best performance is in ROwdy Rathore….seriously? best in what ? copying scenes from the telugu movie Vikramarkudu… akshay was never a good actor, neither is nor will be

  • @afraz, jeeeez you really are an Ignoramus, get this through your thick empty skull, awards are bought by those who crave awards…! Aamir and Salman do not crave awards and wont wish to be nominated neither. In south, Kamal Hassan too has requested to never again be nominated for awards as he too does not care much for them.
    Everyone and their dog knows that Awards are handed out to anyone interested in buying them or willing to making an arse out of themselves through being insulted by the third grade host/s or having to perform on stage like a nautanki jackass.
    Just for the record- Salman only performs or hosts award shows so that the organisers make a donation to the ‘Being Human’ foundation who carry out charitable work. You for one should be pleased to know that ‘Being Human’ sponsor Mental Asylums where your fellow sick minded srkian comrades ‘xzone’, ‘star’, ‘king’ and that joke of a wrestler- ‘john cena fan’ receive free electrical shock treatment. If you do not wise up ‘afraz’ then you could be joining them in a nearby cell too…! :-P

  • There is no doubt about Aamir khan that he is the best actor of bollywood.But I think Laagan was his best performance not Gajhini as some are saying.I used to think the same also but after watching Tamil Gajhini I realized that it was the same performance of suriya.believe me you find a difference between them.

  • People should understand that this article is not for the best actors or best films but for best performances. And please stop saying that akshay & salman kind of actors deserve to be there.

    They are just stars NOT actors. the real star+actor of our time are Aamir, Hrithik, Shahrukh, Ranbir & Ajay.
    having said that i also accept the fact that Salman is the biggest ‘star’ of today and that too by a huge margin.

  • Somes are mentioning Lagaan and bla bla theories for the actors career. This is a perfect list, the list says from 2003 and somes r mentioning films from even 90s. I pity ur brains haters. Grow up

  • Great list… it was clear that based on performance SRK would have always been the 1st choice as his performance in Chak De and Swades was unbelievable…

  • salman can’t act, so he wont ever get awards except the golden kela awards, plain and simple, so salman fans get lost.

  • those actors who are just superstars and can’t act, their fans should not argue in vague, your stars may be most popular bt they are not the best actors, how can someone imagine non-actors like salman and akshay in top 5 list ?? are you kidding me ?? in my opinion, amitabh,shahrukh,hrithik,aamir,ajay,ranbir etc are the best actors among popular ones. akshay and salman are the entertainers

  • I cant believe aamir khan isnt included for ghajini!!
    I mean for this incredible performance akshay kumar didnt accept an award saying that he didnt deserve it! Come on indicine!

  • not completely agree with the list
    for me best performance is like
    Amitabh Bachchan– Paa
    Aamir Khan – 3 Idiots
    Sanjay Dutt- Munna Bhai MBBS
    Srk- CDI
    Hrithik- Jodha Akbar

    sry Ranbir not included because for me Irfan khan in Paan Singh Tomer and HR in Agneepath were better performance in 2012
    and if in a list of acting or performance and Aamir not included than list can’t be complete although In Ghajini Aamir was outstanding but in 3 Idiots Rancho character play by Aamir with such a perfection that it was become role of alltime
    1.Amitabh Bachchan should always be on top coz his films both Black and Paa were successful venture and he got National award for both of his performance he s such a legend that no one can dare to match BIG B.

    2.Than comes Aamir because his performance in RDB,Ghajini and 3 idiots are critically acclaimed and all were highly successful ventures i can’t understand why Aamir not included in the list it might be possible that Aamir played his all character with such perfection that no one can describe which is his best performance or which not because if that so than top 5 performance list were completed with two actor BIg b and Aamir.

    3. Munnabhai aka Sanju baba i put him ahead of srk because Munnabhai is not only a film it was the most popular character of last decade followed by Salman Chulbul Panday people can argue that it was story and Raju hirani who made this character probably in that case all the best performance can be performed only if story and direction were excellent in 2003 hr gor best actor award for KMG but that year belongs to MunnaBhai this performance was out of the world Snajay dutt career best performance came with Munna Bhai MBBS

    4.then comes srk CDI is best performance of srk ever people are saying that swades was his best performance some saying MNIK was best but Kabir Khan is only character of srk which only he can play with such perfection while in swades and mnik i even not remember his character’s name in those movies as those were not his best performance.

    5. Hrithik Roshan- Jodha Akbar i was little confused between Gujaarish,Agneepah or JA but i selected Akbar because physically disabled performance were done by many actors and Agneepath was remake and that kind of role also played by many actor with excellent performance even BIG B got national award for original Agneepath but Akbar was a epic historical character and hrithik played that character brilliantly his look, dialogue, boly language and Acting all were great and i m not remember any epic character other than Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s Akbar role in Mughal E Ajam which was only other great performance for a King character Portrayal and please for god sick not saying that Hr was best in KMG it was his one of the worst performance he was great in gujaarish,ZNMD and Agneepath all r better than his ac in KMG

    so that’s my list apart from that other performance were Amitabh for Baghban, Irfan Khan for PST, Salman for Tere Naam, Aamir for Ghajini,RDB and Srk for Veer Zaara and how can forget Ajay Devgan for Sultan Mirza and Legend of Bhagat Singh and Akshay for Namaste London, Abhishek for Guru and Shahid for Jab we met etc.etc

  • @SRK : You believe you can say anything about Salman n his fans and will keep quite, huh ? Keeping the id of your idol wont help you either, do you really believe SRK deserves an award for Dil Toh Pagal Hai ? Do you know Chak De was written for whom? but you know who did it? Salman has never cared for awards and nor his fans because his biggest awards are his fans and movies turning to be ATBBs and BBs.

  • Wo list hi kya jis list main SALMAN KHAN nai hai……. Tere naam, dabangg, wanted, hum dil de chuke sanam….. All were fantabulous……. The person who made dis list and everybody who agree to it, r #mental… Love u all……. But salman khan is the bst and will remain d best. Seriously.

  • @Rajesh: (March 13, 2013 at 8:38 am)

    exactly…they included ranbir for barfi but not shahid for kaminey. Its clear that the major criteria for selection here is only box office. Though kaminey was also a hit but not a 100cr+ hit like barfi. Thats the only reason for shahid’s exclusion coz if it was for acting, then shahid’s twin act of lisping and stuttering with such finesse in kaminey was and is way ahead of a ranbir’s mute act in barfi.

  • and even more shocking is exclusion of aamir. His perf. in ghajini, 3 idiots, rdb alone will occupy 3 of the top 5 spots. Remaining two shared between big b for black and srk for chak de.

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