10 Best Imtiaz Ali Movies and Where to Watch Them

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The man behind Jab We Met, Rockstar and Highway, loves challenging himself. Born in Jamshedpur and starting as a director of TV episodes and one-hour specials, Imtiaz Ali struggled initially with the commercial failure of his directorial debut Socha Na Tha

Continuing the movie’s failure as a screenwriter for the Fyodor Dostovoesky-inspired romance Ahista Ahista also didn’t change his fate. But his sophomore directorial venture Jab We Met made Ali a household name. The delightful rom-com starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor subverted Bollywood romance cliches with Ali’s dialogues reflecting the late 2000s-era youth of an ever-changing India. 

Jab We Met opened new avenues for Ali who went on to address modern love stories with the Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone-led drama Love Aaj Kal. As a director-writer, Ali became a true tour de force in 2011 when he helmed Rockstar, one of Ranbir Kapoor’s best movies that found the actor playing a musical genius tortured by his artistic ego and tragic love life. Oscar-winner AR Rahman’s accompanying soundtrack blends some hard rock power anthems with some soul-stirring ballads, making Rockstar an unforgettable musical journey even after a decade since its release. 

Over the years, Imtiaz Ali has been slightly criticised for repetitively exploring, or at times rehashing, his notions of romance. For instance, his collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan Jab Harry Met Sejal failed to win him any new fans while his spiritual sequel to Love Aaj Kal (also called Love Aaj Kal) earned him negative reactions among both critics and audiences. But none of the criticisms have deterred him from experimenting with the romance genre. 

Highway is a notable example with Ali penning a heartbreaking story of a girl being kidnapped and falling in love with her abductor. The movie could have played out as an ordinary case of Stockholm Syndrome but it doubles as an atmospheric road movie with some scenes addressing sexual harassment in a sensitively mature manner. 

Ali isn’t always content with just directing and has dabbled in other ventures as well, such as serving as the showrunner, producer, and writer of the Netflix thriller series She, producing the Sony LIV sex comedy series Dr. Arora, and penned the screenplay of his brother Sajid Ali’s directorial debut Laila Majnu

The latter proves how some of Ali’s works are revered years after their theatrical release. Released in 2018 to a lukewarm response, the reworking of an Indian romantic folk tale earned a cult status later. Critics have reassessed their views and the audiences are more generous to Ali’s introspective screenplay. Similarly, his coming-of-age drama Tamasha also flopped in its time but resonated emotionally with many younger viewers in the years to follow, with some relating to the struggles of Ranbir Kapoor’s protagonist to balance his professional commitments with artistic pursuits. 

Why Highway is Imtiaz Ali’s best movie?

When a wealthy girl is abducted for ransom, she embarks on a life-changing road trip that forces her to acknowledge past traumas while forging new relationships. With this expansive premise and a powerhouse lead act by Alia Bhatt, Highway is an unforgettable ride in Imtiaz Ali’s career. It has the wandering sense of adventure from Jab We Met but also evokes the brutal facets of human nature resonant in Rockstar. All in all, it mixes the best parts of Ali’s work with a narrative that continues to be fresh in contemporary Bollywood. Couple that with some of AR Rahman’s finest work in Hindi-language music and you get a modern classic in your hands. 

Where can you stream Imtiaz Ali’s filmography?

Netflix, Prime Video, ZEE5, and others.

Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV
Crunchyroll
Hotstar
Jio Cinema
Zee5
Eros Now
Google Play Movies
MUBI
Sony Liv
YouTube
GuideDoc
Netflix Kids
Tubi TV
Yupp TV
Sun Nxt
Alt Balaji
Hungama Play
Hoichoi
Curiosity Stream
EPIC ON
ShemarooMe
DOCSVILLE
Tata Play
Discovery+
ManoramaMax
MX Player
Spamflix
aha
Spuul
Plex
WOW Presents Plus
Magellan TV
BroadwayHD
Filmzie
Lionsgate Play
MovieSaints
Dekkoo
True Story
DocAlliance Films
VI movies and tv
Eventive
ShortsTV Amazon Channel
Amazon Video
Cultpix
FilmBox+
Takflix
Classix
Amazon miniTV
AD tv
Shahid VIP
Bookmyshow
Lionsgate Play Apple TV Channel
Eros Now Select Apple TV Channel
Lionsgate Play Amazon Channel
MGM Amazon Channel
Crunchyroll Amazon Channel
Hoichoi Amazon Channel
ManoramaMAX Amazon Channel
Chaupal Amazon Channel
BBC Kids Amazon Channel
Sony Pictures Amazon Channel
Vrott Amazon Channel
Anime Times Amazon Channel
MyZen TV Amazon Channel
Museum Tv Amazon Channel
BBC Player Amazon Channel
MUBI Amazon Channel
Discovery+ Amazon Channel
CuriosityStream Amazon Channel
DocuBay Amazon Channel
Stingray Amazon Channel
Iwonder Amazon Channel
NammaFlix Amazon Channel
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  1. Highway

    Highway

    2014

    IMDB 7.6 (30k)

    #1

    Right before her wedding, a young woman finds herself abducted and held for ransom. As the initial days pass, she begins to develop a strange bond with her kidnapper.

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  2. Rockstar

    Rockstar

    2011

    IMDB 7.8 (50k)

    #2

    College student Janardhan is a simpleton who desperately seeks inspiration for the musician inside him. Although heartbreak helps him reach his goal, it also leads him to self-destruction.

  3. Jab We Met

    Jab We Met

    2007

    IMDB 7.9 (59k)

    #3

    A depressed wealthy businessman and a spunky carefree young woman embark on an unexpected journey that changes their lives.

  4. Tamasha

    Tamasha

    2015

    IMDB 7.4 (32k)

    #4

    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.

  5. Laila Majnu

    Laila Majnu

    2018

    IMDB 7.7 (4k)

    #5

    Laila is a free-spirited girl from a conservative family who firmly believes in living for the present. Qais, a spoilt brat, falls head over heels in love with her. Their families, however, are warring over property, which leads to self-destruction, pain and bleeding hearts.

  6. Love Aaj Kal

    Love Aaj Kal

    2009

    IMDB 6.8 (17k)

    #6

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

  7. Cocktail

    Cocktail

    2012

    IMDB 6.3 (15k)

    #7

    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.

  8. Socha Na Tha

    Socha Na Tha

    2005

    IMDB 7.4 (8k)

    #8

    Viren and Aditi refuse an arranged marriage and that creates a rift between their families. But when their friendship turns into love, it leads to chaos!

  9. Love Aaj Kal

    #9

    When professional ambitions clash with personal feelings for a modern-day couple, a love story from a bygone era may offer some wisdom.

  10. Ahista Ahista

    Ahista Ahista

    2006

    IMDB 6.9 (1k)

    #10

    A professional witness at the marriage registrar helps a runaway girl when her boyfriend does not show up for the wedding. He falls in love with her, but then the missing groom returns.