From Piku to Pathaan: Ranking the 20 Best Deepika Padukone Movies

Deepika Padukone has been a mainstay in Bollywood since 2007 and her career has only gone upwards ever since, establishing her among the industry’s highest-paid actors. From period pieces like Bajirao Masatani and Padmaavat to romantic dramas like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Tamasha, Padukone has had a diverse filmography within a little over a decade. She also redefined action heroine tropes in Bollywood with a lead role in the YRF Spy Universe entry Pathaan and an extended cameo in Jawan.

And it’s true that every once in a while a commercial and critical failure like Gehraiyaan might pop up in her track record but the vast consensus of her movies establish herself as a tour de force in Bollywood.

Deepika Padukone broke out with Om Shanti Om

Deepika Padukone’s pre-fame projects include a stint as a dancer on the music video for Himesh Reshammiya’s “Naam Hai Tera” and her film debut in the 2006 Kannada rom-com Aishwarya.

But it is her leading turn as a yesteryear Bollywood actress (and her reborn avatar) in Om Shanti Om that put her on the map with Bollywood. While just a newcomer in Hindi films back then, she stood out with a charming performance opposite an already-established megastar like Shah Rukh Khan.

Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan’s creative partnership continued in many other successful projects like Chennai Express, Happy New Year, and Jawan.

She appeared in some of the best female-led films of the 2010s

While Padukone has starred in some iconicng pairings with leading men like Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, and her co-star-turned-husband Ranveer Singh, the actress has also made her mark as a standout performer in solo-led ventures. Notable cases in point include the rousing gender rights drama Chhapak in which she played a character inspired by real-life acid attack survivor and activist Laxmi Aggarwal.

Another notable movie that primarily featured on Padukone’s performance was the hilarious road trip comedy Piku. The actress played the titular heroine, a career-driven architect who shares a turbulent relationship with her perpetually constipated father (played to perfection by Amitabh Bachchan). 

Even her collaborations with Ranveer Singh and director Sajay Leela Bhansali have offered some uplifting female performances of contemporary Bollywood. There’s Padmaavat, for instance, in which she played a self-righteous queen. While she’s doesn’t enter the battlefield herself, Padukone’s understated performance and characterisation doesn’t reduce the mythical figure into a damsel in distress either. The same can be said for her role of the warrior princess Mastani in Bajirao Mastani and an Indianised Juliet in the Romeo and Juliet adaptation Ram-Leela.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage marked Padukone’s Hollywood debut

Deepika Padukone also had a brief detour to Hollywood when she was paired opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage in 2017. Despite mixed critical reviews, the third instalment of the xXx franchise was a huge hit at the global box-office and allowed Padukone to display her star power overseas. With enough stunt scenes as the xXx Program agent Serena Unger, Padukone also got an early chance to prove her potential as an action star.

The Reasoning Behind Ranking Deepika Padukone’s Best Movies

Critical acclaim plays a major factor in ranking the best of Deepika Padukone’s work, particularly the praise that her characters generated in particular. Another aspect to keep in mind is how much Padukone’s character stands out be it as Naina in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or Shanti Priya in Om Shanti Om.

Given that she’s a household name in India, commercial performances of her movies also hold weight although not in all cases. So, while Chhapak and Tamasha didn’t mint much money, they were regardless notable career highlights for the leading lady.

Where can I watch Deepika Padukone’s filmography? 

All of Deepika Padukone’s best films are available on streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime Video while some can be streamed on exclusively Indian platforms like Eros Now and Jio Cinema.

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  1. Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om

    2007

    IMDB 6.7 (49k)

    #1

    Reincarnated 30 years after being killed in a suspicious on-set fire, a small-time actor is determined to punish the person who ignited the blaze.

  2. Bajirao Mastani

    Bajirao Mastani

    2015

    IMDB 7.2 (38k)

    #2

    Peshwa Bajirao married to Kashibai, falls in love with Mastani, a warrior princess in distress. They struggle to make their love triumph amid opposition from his conservative family.

  3. Padmaavat

    Padmaavat

    2018

    IMDB 7.1 (36k)

    #3

    Rajputana, India, 13th century. The tyrannical usurper Alauddin Khilji, sultan of Delhi, becomes obsessed with Queen Padmavati, wife of King Ratan Singh of Mewar, and goes to great lengths to satisfy his greed for her.

  4. Piku

    Piku

    2015

    IMDB 7.6 (33k)

    #4

    A taxi driver is caught between a dysfunctional relationship between a woman and her father as he drives them to Kolkata.

  5. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela

    #5

    Ran and Leela are passionately in love with each other. The only problem is that their respective clans have been enemies for 500 years.

  6. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

    #6

    Bunny and Naina meet when they graduate from college and again in their late 20s.

  7. Chhapaak

    Chhapaak

    2020

    IMDB 5.4 (27k)

    #7

    A true story based on acid attack survivor Malti's (Laxmi Agarwal) grueling and glorious journey from her medical treatment, court proceedings leading to her emotional healing.

  8. Tamasha

    Tamasha

    2015

    IMDB 7.3 (31k)

    #8

    Meeting while on vacation, Ved and Tara sense a connection but vow to keep their real identities a secret. Years later, their paths cross again.

  9. Pathaan

    Pathaan

    2023

    IMDB 5.8 (155k)

    #9

    A soldier caught by enemies and presumed dead comes back to complete his mission, accompanied by old companions and foes.

  10. Chennai Express

    Chennai Express

    2013

    IMDB 6.1 (63k)

    #10

    Rahul embarks on a journey to a small town in Tamil Nadu to fulfill the last wish of his grandfather: to have his ashes immersed in the Holy water of Rameshwaram. En route, he meets a woman hailing from a unique family down South. As they find love through this journey in the exuberant lands of South India, an unanticipated drive awaits them.

  11. Finding Fanny

    Finding Fanny

    2014

    IMDB 5.7 (6k)

    #11

    Five friends from Goa get lost during a journey to discover the lot of the childhood sweetheart of an old postman.

    Watch Now

  12. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey

    #12

    1930, British India: In the province of undivided Bengal lies the sleepy, peaceful port of Chittagong. In this unassuming little town a revolution is about to begin; a revolution which will forever wake all of Chittagong and inspire the entire nation.

  13. Karthik Calling Karthik

    #13

    A much abused loner achieves success, and even wins the heart of his gorgeous co-worker, after getting early morning mysterious phone calls from someone.

  14. Cocktail

    Cocktail

    2012

    IMDB 6.3 (15k)

    #14

    A shy simple traditional girl leaves her family in India for her new husband in London, where she meets a shameless flirt and a complicated party girl.

  15. '83

    '83

    2021

    IMDB 7.5 (40k)

    #15

    On the 25th of June 1983, the Lord’s Cricket Ground witnessed one of the biggest underdog stories in the history of sports. Fourteen inspired players - led by a man's self-belief and conviction - fought against all odds and orchestrated India’s greatest sporting triumph by beating the two-time World Champions West Indies.

  16. xXx: Return of Xander Cage

    #16

    Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage comes out of self-imposed exile, thought to be long dead, and is set on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora's Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

  17. Jawan

    Jawan

    2023

    IMDB 7.0 (92k)

    #17

    An emotional journey of a prison warden, driven by a personal vendetta while keeping up to a promise made years ago, recruits inmates to commit outrageous crimes that shed light on corruption and injustice, in an attempt to get even with his past, and that leads him to an unexpected reunion.

  18. Love Aaj Kal

    Love Aaj Kal

    2009

    IMDB 6.8 (16k)

    #18

    Two lovers break up after they realize that their career goals are pulling them in different directions.

  19. Break Ke Baad

    Break Ke Baad

    2010

    IMDB 5.2 (4k)

    #19

    Aaliya is not ready for commitment even after a decade-long friendship with Abhay. She remains indifferent when he follows her to Australia, but is finally shaken when he announces his marriage.

  20. Bachna Ae Haseeno

    Bachna Ae Haseeno

    2008

    IMDB 6.2 (12k)

    #20

    Raj is a heartbreaker. His love stories with Mahi, Radhika and Gayatri finally teach him about love and life in their own sweet, sexy and sassy way.