The year is mercifully almost behind us. Here are the Hindi films that hold out the promise of entertainment, excitement, and some edification while we are at it. Are we being hopelessly naive, or will we be pleasantly surprised? Keep checking the reviews section to find out.

The movies have been arranged according to their scheduled appearances on the calendar. Release dates are likely to change. Completed films without distribution deals or confirmed streaming platform releases include Atul Sabharwal’s Berlin, Karan Tejpal’s Stolen, Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy, Varun Grover’s All India Rank, Kanu Behl’s Agra, Arati Kadav’s The Great Indian Kitchen remake Mrs and Ajay Devgn’s Syed Abdul Rahim biopic Maidaan.

Merry Christmas (January 12) Un Film De Sriram Raghavan, starring Tamil star Vijay Sethupathi in his latest attempt to win over Hindi audiences and Katrina Kaif in makeover mode. Two strangers meet on Christmas Eve in 1980s Mumbai. Things happen.

Also read: Sriram Raghavan on ‘Merry Christmas’ movie: ‘A slow-burning wild ride’

Merry Christmas (2024).

Fighter (January 25) Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone play Indian Air Force pilots in Pathaan director Siddharth Anand’s new movie. Cue slo-mo walking towards the camera and Roshan’s time-tested ability to set dance floors on fire.

Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 (February 16): Netflix is rumoured to have backed out of Dibakar Banerjee’s Tees, about three generations of an Indian family. Banerjee is back with a follow-up to his 2010 anthology film Love Sex Aur Dhoka. The new production’s subtitle “A Riveting Tale of Love and Betrayal in the Digital Era” should pique the interest.

Fighter (2024).

Laapataa Ladies (March 1) Kiran Rao’s comeback after Dhobi Ghat (2012) is a comedy about two brides who get swapped during a train journey. Laapataa Ladies was premiered to a warm response at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022.

The Crew (March 22) Lootcase director Rajesh Krishnan brings together Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon for a film that is said to have the airline industry as the backdrop. Kapil Sharma has a cameo. Kapoor Khan also has Hansal Mehta’s The Buckingham Murders on her plate for 2024.

Metro… in Dino (March 29) Anurag Basu’s follow-up to Life in a Metro stars Konkona Sensharma, Aditya Roy Kapur, Pankaj Tripathi, Sara Ali Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Ali Fazal, Neena Gupta and Anupam Kher.

SRI (May 10): Tushar Hiranandani’s biopic of Srikanth Bolla, apart from promising to reveal the inspiring story of how 32-year-old Bolla overcame visual impairment to enrol in Massachusetts Institute of Technology and set up a recycling business, has Rajkummar Rao in the lead role.

Laapataa Ladies (2024).

Pushpa – The Rule (August 15): It’s no exaggeration that Sukumar’s sequel to Pushpa – The Rise (2021) is one of 2024’s most eagerly awaited films. By the end of part one, Pushpa (Allu Arjun) has been set on a collision course with the corrupt police officer Bhanwar (Fahadh Faasil). There is also a long line of gangsters whom Pushpa has trampled on his ascent. Rashmika Mandanna plays Pushpa’s wife Srivalli.

Also read: Behind the rise of the Hindi dub of Telugu film ‘Pushpa’, a long journey of hits and misses

Stree 2 Amar Kaushik directs the sequel to his 2018 hit Stree. Rajkummar Rao returns as the tailor who got involved with a ghost, played by Shraddha Kapoor, in the first movie. Part 2 also sees the return of Aparshakti Khurrana, Abhishek Banerjee and Pankaj Tripathi.

Jigra (September 27): Vasan Bala (Monica, O My Darling) directs Alia Bhatt as an action heroine. Her experience on the Gal Gadot-led Heart of Stone should be helpful.

Chhava (December 6) Rahul Jadhav’s historical film about Sambhaji, the son of the Maratha ruler Shivaji, stars Vicky Kaushal and Rashmika Mandanna. Meanwhile, Shivrayancha Chhava, Marathi director Digpal Lanjekar’s latest film about episodes in Shivaji’s reign, is scheduled for a February 16 release.

Pushpa – The Rule (2024).