Sunny is mainly known for movies in the action genre. Sunny Deol had a superhit debut in his home production Betaab (1983). He went through a lean phase for a couple of years until Arjun (1985). What followed were a bunch of hits in Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Tridev (1989), Chaalbaaz (1989), Vishwatma, Vardi, Ghayal etc. His defining moment as an actor came with another home production Ghayal, a film that won him the National award for the Best actor along with the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor. Apart from that he has also appeared in some above average movies like Joshiley, Sultnaut, Sohni Mahiwal, Samundar, He was critically acclaimed for his hit movie Dacait which was directed by Rahul Rawail. Yateem is another movie which shows his capability as an actor.
Sunny Deol delivered huge hits through the nineties in Narsimha (1991), Lootere (1993), Damini (1993), Darr (1993). His supporting actor role of a drunk lawyer in Damini (1993) fetched him all the awards & accolades in Bollywood. However his performance in Darr (1993) was not well received by critics and audiences alike leaving Shah Rukh Khan to win overwhelming praise for his performance as the psychotic villain of the film. In the mid nineties he delivered five big hits in a row - Jeet (1996), Ghatak (1996), Ajay (1996), Ziddi (1997) & Border (1997).
Sunny Deol's biggest blockbuster till date came in the year 2001, with the all time blockbuster Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. The film shattered all records at the Indian box-office. Sunny continued his streak with Indian and Farz (2001) & The Hero (2003). Among his last few movies Apne (2007) & Heroes (2008) have done well in box office.