Emraan initially had no intentions of becoming an actor and was launched on the silver screen by the noted director and producer, Vikram Bhatt in his 2003 movie Footpath. In his very first movie, Emraan received appreciation by the critics for portraying the role of Raghu Shrivastav, a gangster. The movie got average reviews and was a moderate hit at the box-office. The following year, the actor starred in the erotic thriller film, Murder directed by Anurag Basu. The movie co-starring Mallika Sherawat and Ashmit Patel was a head turner with its bold kissing and love-making scenes. The actor was praised by the critics for portraying the role of an obsessive lover with Taran Adarsh, a noted film critic, citing ‘Emraan Hashmi is fantastic in a role that seems tailor-made for him.’ The movie was a huge commercial hit; its box-office collections totaled to 25 crores INR.
In his second release of 2004, the actor once again collaborated with Anurag Basu for Tumsa Nahin Dekha, a romantic film alongside Dia Mirza and Anupam Kher. Although, the movie bombed at the box-office Emraan’s performance as a young millionaire who falls in love with a bar girl was well received. The following year, the actor appeared in his cousin, Mohit Suri’sdirectorial venture, Zeher opposite Shamita Shetty and Udita Goswami. The film garnered generally positive reviews and was a moderate box-office hit. The actor’s other two releases of the year Chocolate directed by Vivek Agnihotri and Aashiq Banaya Aapne directed by Aditya Datt were both flops.
Emraan Hashmi had generally a bad year at the office in 2006. Whilst his first film of year Aksar directed by Anant Mahadevan bombed at the box-office, his next movie Gangster, a romantic thriller directed by Anurag Basu emerged to be a box-office hit. His other releases of the year The Killer and Dil Diya Hai were both commercial and critical failures.
In 2007, the actor had three releases viz. ‘Good Boy, Bad Boy,’ Awarapan, and The Train. While Awarapan, which also featured Shriya Saran, Mrinallini Sharma, and Ashutosh Ranawas a commercial and critical hit, his other two movies received poor reviews and were a commercial failure. Emraan had a single release in 2008, which was titled Jannat. The movie set against the backdrop of match fixing also featured the debutante Sonal Chauhan, Javed Sheikh, and Sameer Kochhar in prominent roles. Emraan’s role as Arjun Dixit, a bookmaker was much appreciated by the critics and the audiences alike and the movie was a hit too, garnering 42 crores INR at the box-office.
By 2010, Emraan had already established himself as one of the most talented actors in the industry and he cemented that reputation with another stellar performance in Milan Luthria’sOnce Upon a Time in Mumbai. The movie had an ensemble cast including Ajay Devgn, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai and Randeep Hooda and it depicted the rise of organized crime in Mumbai city during the 80’s. The movie was critically acclaimed and emerged as a commercial hit. For his role as Shoaib Khan, a character loosely based on the life of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, won Emraan a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 56th Filmfare Awards. The following year, the actor appeared in a romantic comedy, Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. The movie also starring Ajay Devgn, Shruti Haasan, Tisca Chopra, Shazahn Padamsee and Omi Vaidya got mixed reviews and was an average earner.
The actor’s other notable performance in 2011 came in Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picturefeaturing Vidya Balan as the controversial former Tamil actress, Silk Smitha. The film opened to rave critical reviews and Emraan was lauded for his performance. The movie garnered more than 100 crores INR worldwide. The following year, Emraan Hashmi starred in Kunal Deshmukh’s Jannat 2, the sequel to the 2008 movie of the same name. The film also starring Esha Gupta and Randeep Hooda got mixed reviews but was a box-office hit. In his second release of the year, Emraan was cast alongside Abhay Deol, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Kalki Koechlin in Shanghai directed by Dibakar Banerjee. The film opened to rave critical reviews and Emraan’s performance won him unanimous praise from the critics.
Emraan Hashmi started off the year 2013 on a high note as he starred in Ek Thi Daayan, alongside Huma Qureshi, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Kalki Koechlin. The film mostly got positive reviews and Emraan also drew appreciation for his performance. His other release of the year, Ghanchakkar, a suspense comedy directed by Rajkumar Gupta received mostly negative reviews and failed at the box-office. Over the next couple of years, the actor had four releases Raja Natwarlal (2014), Ungli (2014), Mr. X (2015) and Humari Adhuri Kahani (2015) out of which only Humari Adhuri Kahani was an average hit and the rest were commercial and critical failures.
The actor ended his streak of flops with his 2016 movie, Azhar, a biopic based on the life of the former Indian cricket team captain, Mohammad Azharuddin. The movie directed by Tony D’Souza co-stars Nargis Fakhri, Prachi Desai, and Lara Dutta. The film mostly received positive reviews and emerged a commercial hit. His other release of 2016 includes Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz Reboot, the fourth installment of Raaz film series.