40 Best Pankaj Tripathi Movies and TV Shows and Where to Stream Them

From starting out as a character actor with blink-and-miss appearances to becoming a household name in his own right, Pankaj Tripathi has had quite a career in Bollywood and the Hindi OTT space. If you too are an admirer of the compelling Kaleen Bhaiya from Mirzapur, then we have you covered with a definitive list of the best Pankaj Tripathi movies and TV shows to watch.

Where can you stream Pankaj Tripathi’s movies and shows?

You can watch most of Pankaj Tripathi’s early works on popular OTT services like Netflix, Prime Video, Jio Cinema, Eros Now and so on. To watch most of his recent titles, Tripathi has been dabbling in many platform exclusives like Netflix (Sacred Games, Ludo), Prime Video (Mirzapur), Hotstar (Criminal Justice) and ZEE5 (Kadak Singh).

But how did Pankaj Tripathi go from acting as gangster henchmen to a suburban godfather in Mirzapur? Have a look at his versatile journey so far.

Wasseypur/Mirzapur: A Tale of Two Cities

Pankaj Tripathi struggled with early uncredited or blink-and-miss appearances in the Kannada movie Chigurida Kanasu and acclaimed Hindi titles like Omkara, Bunty Aur Babli, and Apaharan. But it was Anurag Kashyap’s two-part crime epic Gangs of Wasseypur where he truly began to be recognised in the mainstream.

Hurling a grenade and uttering obscenities in the very opening minutes of the hyper-violent period drama, Tripathi played the smart-mouthed gangster Sultan Quereshi. Appearing in a few yet crucial scenes and getting to deliver quotable dialogues, Tripathi paved the way for playing well-layered criminal characters in his future filmography.

The neo-noir Gurgaon, for instance, found him playing a criminal family patriarch while he had a more hilarious turn as a soft-hearted goon in the Netflix anthology Ludo. It’s not surprising that his Hollywood debut Extraction also featured him as a ruthless mobster.

Perhaps his best character on the other side of the law is another tough patriarch in Mirzapur, the Prime Video original crime drama that benefited greatly from Tripathi’s nonchalant dialogue delivery as the show’s overarching antagonist Akhanda Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya.

Further acclaim with Newton and beyond

Newton was a dramatic highlight in Tripathi’s career with the actor playing a cynical paramilitary official who was at ideological odds with Rajkumar Rao’s idealist government servant. Playing a morally grey character with deadpan humour and grim realism, Tripathi finally could display his full dramatic range and earned his first Filmfare nomination.

While Tripathi has had a long line of villainous roles, his performances can also evoke empathy and warmth. When it comes to playing caring and supporting fathers, Tripathi has found his niche with acclaimed performances in Bareilly Ki Barfi, Gunjan Saxena, and OMG 2.

A notable performance with Tripathi in the lead includes Kaagaz that followed him portraying a farmer and activist who fights against the Indian bureaucracy after his name is wiped off government records.

Other lead roles include a village leader-turned-tiger hunter in the Netflix adventure drama Sherdil, and an investigator with retrograde amnesia in the cerebral thriller Kadak Singh. And taking charge in an OTT series like Criminal Justice, the once-ignored actor has successfully carved his niche in numerous genres.

Why is Sacred Games Pankaj Tripathi’s best work to watch?

While Sacred Games was a trailblazer in Indian streaming from its first season itself, it’s Pankaj Tripathi’s hair-raising performance as a brainwashing godman in season 2 that made this Netflix original all the more compelling to watch.

The International Emmy-nominated series is a gritty neo-noir with career-best performances from Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. As for Tripathi, he evokes fear and awe in his villainous turn as Khanna Guruji, a character that has only been  all the more socially relevant with time.

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  1. Sacred Games

    Sacred Games

    2018

    IMDB 8.5 (92k)

    #1

    A link in their pasts leads an honest cop to a fugitive gang boss, whose cryptic warning spurs the officer on a quest to save Mumbai from cataclysm.

  2. Newton

    Newton

    2017

    IMDB 7.6 (21k)

    #2

    A government clerk on election duty in a conflict-ridden jungle of Central India tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by communist rebels.

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  3. Masaan

    Masaan

    2015

    IMDB 6.3

    #3

    Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy in hopeless love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town.

  4. Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1

    #4

    In 1970s India, Sardar Khan vows to take revenge on the man who killed his father decades earlier.

  5. Ludo

    Ludo

    2020

    IMDB 7.6 (37k)

    #5

    Ludo is about the butterfly effect and how, despite all the chaos and crowd of the world, all our lives are inextricably connected. From a resurfaced sex tape to a rogue suitcase of money, four wildly different stories overlap at the whims of fate, chance and one eccentric criminal.

  6. Bareilly Ki Barfi

    Bareilly Ki Barfi

    2017

    IMDB 7.5 (25k)

    #6

    Bitti Mishra is a bohemian Bareilly girl who falls deeply in love with Pritam Vidrohi, an author because she admires his progressive way of thinking. Finding him though proves to be as hard as looking for a needle in the haystack. So Bitti seeks the help of the local printing press-owner, Chirag Dubey on her journey of love.

  7. Criminal Justice

    Criminal Justice

    2019

    IMDB 8.1 (19k)

    #7

    Sex, drugs and a gruesome murder. An edgy one night stand turns into a nightmare for Aditya, when he wakes up with blood on his hands. The evidence is stacked against him, but he doesn't remember the grisly crime. Is he guilty or not ?

  8. Kadak Singh

    Kadak Singh

    2023

    IMDB 6.3 (5k)

    #8

    AK Srivastava an officer of the Department of Financial Crimes is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia despite which he solves the case of a Chit Fund Scam by listening to different perspectives of who he was and how he came to the hospital.

  9. Mirzapur

    Mirzapur

    2018

    IMDB 8.5 (81k)

    #9

    The iron-fisted Akhandanand Tripathi is a millionaire carpet exporter and the mafia don of Mirzapur. His son, Munna, is an unworthy, power-hungry heir who will stop at nothing to inherit his father's legacy. An incident at a wedding procession forces him to cross paths with Ramakant Pandit, an upstanding lawyer, and his sons, Guddu and Bablu. It snowballs into a game of ambition, power and greed that threatens the fabric of this lawless city.

  10. Super 30

    Super 30

    2019

    IMDB 7.9 (36k)

    #10

    Based on life of Patna-based mathematician Anand Kumar who runs the famed Super 30 program for IIT aspirants in Patna.

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  11. Omkara

    Omkara

    2006

    IMDB 8.0 (22k)

    #11

    Half-caste bandit Omkara Shukla abducts his lady love, Dolly Mishra, from her family. Thanks to his cleverness, he gets away with the kidnapping. A conspiracy, however, forms against him when he denies his right-hand man, Langda Tyagi, a promotion. Ultimately, this plot threatens not only his relationship with Dolly, but their lives and those of their associates as well.

  12. Stree

    Stree

    2018

    IMDB 7.5 (38k)

    #12

    Set in the town of Chanderi, Stree is based on the urban legend of Nale Ba that went viral in Karnataka in the 1990s, and features Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in pivotal roles.

  13. OMG 2

    OMG 2

    2023

    IMDB 7.6 (40k)

    #13

    Life is bliss until one day Kanti Sharan Mudgal’s son Vivek is blamed for immoral conduct and expelled from school. Overwhelmed, Kanti plans to leave town until a divine intervention leads him to seek justice by taking those responsible to court.

  14. Kaagaz

    Kaagaz

    2021

    IMDB 7.3 (9k)

    #14

    Kaagaz (transl. Paper) is a biographical drama about a farmer, Lal Bihari's 19-year struggle to make himself come alive again when he is declared dead in Government records by interests keen to take over his assets.

  15. Nil Battey Sannata

    Nil Battey Sannata

    2015

    IMDB 8.2 (8k)

    #15

    Behind the magnificent Taj Mahal lies a cluster of dingy homes where Chanda (35), a domestic help, lives with her 14-year-old daughter Appu. Chanda aspires and dreams that her daughter will study and embrace a better fate. When Appu tells her she wants to quit school and become a maid like her, Chanda takes a strong decision: she will herself go back to school, and even join the class of her daughter.

  16. Fukrey

    Fukrey

    2013

    IMDB 6.9 (13k)

    #16

    The paths of four dream-chasing college friends cross with an array of colourful characters, from a tough-talking Punjabi female don to a Jugaad Baaz college watchman. Mayhem ensues.

  17. Gurgaon

    Gurgaon

    2017

    IMDB 6.4 (2k)

    #17

    A real estate baron Kehri Singh manages 'Preet Real Estate' which he runs in his daughter's name whom he consider's to be his lucky mascot. A sidelined and insulted Nikki Singh is ignored by his father and is considered to be insolent, useless and unlucky. In order to pay off a huge debt to a local criminal, Nikki sets off a chilling event that forces his father to revisit his dark past and confront a brutal truth.

  18. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

    #18

    Inspired by the life of a fearless young officer who made history by becoming the first Indian female Air Force officer to fly in a combat zone during the 1999 Kargil War

  19. Fukrey Returns

    Fukrey Returns

    2017

    IMDB 6.5 (6k)

    #19

    A year after the first movie, the four friends are enjoying their lives to the fullest, get in trouble once again with Bholi, who is released from prison earlier than expected and is broke.

  20. Anaarkali of Aarah

    Anaarkali of Aarah

    2017

    IMDB 6.0 (2k)

    #20

    Hailing from Aarah in Bihar, Anarkali is an item girl, famous for her vocals, suggestive dance moves and innuendo laden lyrics. She enjoys her stardom and revels in the lusty glances. The singer acknowledges that she is no saint and even makes peace with the hatred she evokes among civilised society but what she refuses to tolerate is being exploited in public by an influential politician.

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