Monsoon special: Lootera, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and more

It's the seasons of rain and more rain, which means a relatively dry season in the cinemas. Bollywood is going to cool its heels till Diwali for the really big releases, but over the next few months, there are a few good films to look forward to. Here is our list of the best of Bollywood for July and August.

1. Lootera: Vintage romance enters the spotlight with this new film by Vikramaditya Motwane, who made Udaan. Media reports claim the film is based on O'Henry's popular short story "The Last Leaf". Set in 1953, the film is about a young man named Varun (Ranveer Singh), a conman who comes to a village to steal an idol but falls in love with a local zamindar's daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha). Lootera's music composer, Amit Trivedi said that the album is his tribute to RD Burman.

A screengrab from the film, Lootera.

A screengrab from the film, Lootera.

Release date: 5 July, 2013.

2. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: Sports and underdogs have usually spelled blockbuster hits for Bollywood. This time, to add to the masala, there's the additional angle of a national hero. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is inspired by the real life story of athlete Milkha Singh, who was known as "the flying Sikh". Plus, rumour has it that the earnings from the film will go towards needy athletes. And as if that wasn't enough, Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh has no qualms showing off his seriously toned body, so ladies, rejoice. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is about the Olympian's professional struggles and his personal life. Did you know Singh had a teenage love? Well, he did and she's being portrayed by Sonam Kapoor.

Release date: 12 July 2013.

3. D-Day: Here's why D-Day makes it into our list. One, it has Irrfan Khan in a meaty role. Two, the action sequences have been filmed by Tom Struthers, whose credits include the Dark Knight and Lara Croft series. Three, Nikhil Advani of Kal Ho Na Ho fame is the director.

D-Day is about a mission to capture the most wanted terrorist of India, which is probably meant to be Dawood Ibrahim but of course no one will say that outright. Irrfan Khan plays an Indian spy who has been living in Pakistan. He is joined by a RAW agent (Arjun Rampal) sent to Karachi to execute a final mission. Rishi Kapoor plays the character modelled upon Dawood Ibrahim.

Release date: 19 July 2013.

4. Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara: Akshay Kumar as Dawood Ibrahim, Imran Khan's handlebar moustache, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonali Bendre  — ok, so these aren't necessarily reasons to flock to a theatre, but director Milan Luthria knows how to deliver tight, pulpy action. It's the first time Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha have been paired together and they look surprisingly good, which is one reason to see OUATIMD. Having seen them full of infectious joie de vivre at the launch of the song, "Tayyab Ali" (from OUATIMD), we're looking forward to seeing the two of them get their chemistry on in the film. For Akshay Kumar fans, his nautanki as a gangster seems to be a touch campy, but he can be menacing and it'll be interesting to see if Khan can really compete with Kumar in terms of brawn and aggression.

Release date: 15 August 2013