When I think of love, in terms of films, Imtiaz Ali is the first name that pops into my mind. He has explored the idea with each story but he still considers that no character written by him completely understood love. This makes his work more raw and his characters more open, as people. In doing so, he also tries to write women who are not put on a pedestal – they are flawed and hence, real.

As a director, he brings out performances that are layered and gets closer to the audience with each watch. 

Here’s a list of the highest rated Imtiaz Ali films, according to IMDb:

1. Jab We Met – 7.9

We fell in love with the songs, the characters and the story. We most definitely fell in love with Geet. And, why wouldn’t we? The entire plot was fun yet it managed to deeply focus on finding oneself. Jab We Met has stayed relevant after all this time, since its release in 2007. Written and directed by Imtiaz Ali, the film gave us some very iconic dialogues.

Hindustan Times

2. Laila Majnu – 7.8

The 2018 film was a modern twist to the legendary love story. Co-written by Imtiaz Ali, the film served us the idea of unrequited love in all its beauty. It focused on social differences while keeping intact the theme of young love and the essence of Laila-Majnu. It was directed by Sajid Ali and starred Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri.


3. Rockstar – 7.7

You can cry, laugh, question and go through a rollercoaster of emotions with this 2011 film. It’s about finding love and not finding it at the same time. Rockstar knew how to get under our skin and make the character a part of our lives, so much so, that we could feel the uneasiness of Jordan. The film gave us incredible music, with a story that was flawed yet beautiful. 


4. Highway – 7.6 

Highway was something very different for the audience that follow Imtiaz Ali. Unlike his other work – the locations weren’t extraordinary or pretty. They were real, just like the plot. The 2014 film starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, put light on sensitive topics like sexual abuse and child abuse. It was powerful to the point that some scenes manage to haunt us, still.


5. Socha Na Tha – 7.4

Starring Abhay Deol, Ayesha Takia and Apoorva Jha, the film marked the directorial debut of Imtiaz Ali. It released in 2005 and was considered one of the most relatable and well-written films at that time. Socha Na Tha had some really nice moments, the kind that stay and it still manages to create the same impact.

Amazon Prime Video

6. Tamasha – 7.3 

This is another Imtiaz Ali film that we could relate to. He talks about love and you cannot still call it a romantic film, because it’s layered with something deeper than that. Tamasha explores love, like it is – not selfless and not all pretty. The story focuses on choices that lead us to people, we might belong with or if not – but we want to be with. It’s also about dreams and relationships, other than romance.


7. Ahista Ahista – 7.0 

Written by Imtiaz Ali, this film is a different take on love. The 2006 film starred Abhay Deol, Soha Ali Khan and Shayan Munshi. It is not an extraordinary love story that dissociates from life, but something that works in sync with it. Ahista Ahista is considered one of the best written works of Imtiaz Ali.


8. Love Aaj Kal – 6.8

Love Aaj Kal is about time and love – where old school ideas meet new generations. The film is about generation gap and everything that happens in between. It’s sweet, mature and probably among the very few films with a non-toxic breakup sequence. The 2019 film, featured Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rishi Kapoor and Giselli Monteiro as the primary cast.

First Post

9. Cocktail – 6.3 

From locations and costumes to songs and scenes, this film was definitely considered ahead of its time. It was young and fresh. The theme that revolved majorly around love and friendship still manages to create a sense of nostalgia for us. Written by Imtiaz Ali, Cocktail starred Deepika Padukone, Saif Ali Khan and Diana Penty in the lead roles. 

India Today

10. Jab Harry Met Sejal – 5.3 

Written and directed by Imtiaz Ali, the film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. It was released in 2017 and gave us some good songs.


Looks like I’m doing a rerun of these films today – for the umpteenth time.