While Hotstar is better known for live sports and content from Star India’s bouquet of channels, the streaming service does have a sizeable collection of movies to offer as well. That said, you’ve to put up with a couple of problems: even after its redesign, Hotstar’s usability and design remains subpar, and all of its movies are formatted for TV viewing, and hence suffer from pan and scan, similar to what you get with in-flight entertainment. In short, not how they are meant to be seen.
To prepare this list of best movies available on Hotstar, we used aggregate ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb to draw up a shortlist, and then picked our top 70. Unlike with Netflix, Hotstar just doesn’t have enough great films to warrant a standard top-100 list. Here are the best movies on Hotstar in India, sorted alphabetically. This list will be updated once every month if there are any worthy additions or if some movies are removed from the service, so bookmark this page and keep checking in.
The 100 Best Movies on Netflix in India
The 80 Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video in India
Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi horror focuses on the crew members of a space merchant vessel – Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) one of them – as they are stalked and attacked by a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature.
Having spent 57 years in stasis, Ripley returns to the moon where she encountered the hostile creature, accompanied by heavily armed space marines, in this sequel from writer-director James Cameron that’s considered as one of the best follow-ups.
Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Two slackers (Aamir Khan and Salman Khan) who belong to middle-class families vie for the affections of an heiress, and inadvertently become her protectors from a local gangster in Rajkumar Santoshi’s cult comedy favourite.
Set in the 1970s amidst the hills of Darjeeling, writer-director Anurag Basu tells the tale of three people (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Ileana D’Cruz) as they learn to love while battling the notions held by society.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Disney turned the French fairy tale about a young woman imprisoned by a beast, who is actually a prince altered by a magical spell, into a celebrated animated musical adaptation whose soundtrack has stood the test of time.
Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman stars as a committed ballerina in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror that plays as a metaphor for artistic perfection, as she starts to lose her grip on reality after winning the lead part.
Sacha Baron Cohen took his comedic character, a Kazakh journalist, mainstream with this controversial mockumentary in which he travels to the USA to make a documentary. Features unscripted vignettes of Cohen interviewing and interacting with Americans in character.
Mel Gibson starred in and directed this epic war film about a 13th-century Scottish warrior who leads a revolt against King Edward I of England, after his wife is killed a day after their marriage.
Based on Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name, a young Irish girl (Saoirse Ronan) in the 1950s travels to Brooklyn, New York and falls in love, and must choose between the two countries when tragedy befalls her back home.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Refusing to accept a death sentence from his doctor after being diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, the true story of an electrician and hustler (Matthew McConaughey) who smuggles banned medications from abroad.
Bestowed with accelerated healing powers at the cost of heavy disfiguration thanks to an experiment, a fast-talking mercenary (Ryan Reynolds) with a fourth wall-breaking sense of humour goes on a revenge quest.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Severely injuring his hands in a career-ending car accident, a brilliant neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) travels across the world to meet a mysterious individual, and learns about a world of mystic arts in this standalone chapter that connects into the larger Marvel universe.
Finding Nemo (2003)
After his son gets abducted in the Great Barrier Reef, a meek overprotective clownfish sets out to rescue him from Sydney, learning to take risks along the way with the help of a regal blue tang named Dory.
The life of M.K. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), India’s iconic leader in its non-violent independence movement against the British, from his days in South Africa to his assassination in 1948 won eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Having announced themselves as the titular team, the central quintet discover the true meaning of family in this standalone Marvel follow-up as they come face-to-face with Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father.
Hidden Figures (2016)
The real-life story of a team of gifted and talented female African-American mathematicians at NASA who played a vital role in the early years of the Space Race while dealing with the cruelty of their co-workers.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Five years after the Vikings and dragons made peace, the son of the chief – now a young adult – meets his long-lost mother and comes up against a fearsome new foe, another dragon rider.
Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 3 (2013)
In these two entertaining chapters of the trilogy set either side of The Avengers, a wealthy industrialist and inventor (Robert Downey Jr.) constructs a high-tech suit for himself (Iron Man), and battles PTSD while investigating a series of terrorist attacks (Iron Man 3).
A pregnant woman (Vidya Balan) travels from London to Kolkata to search for her missing husband in writer-director Sujoy Ghosh’s National Award-winning mystery thriller, battling sexism and a cover-up along the way.
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
The dragon warrior’s reunion with his panda family is interrupted by the return of a spirit warrior, and he’s forced to train a bunch of awkward pandas in martial arts to have a chance at stopping him.
Life of Pi (2012)
Yann Martel’s novel of the same name gets a big-budgeted adaptation from Ang Lee, about an Indian man recounting surviving a tragic shipwreck in his teenage years, and being adrift in the ocean with a Bengal tiger on a lifeboat.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
This funny and moving directorial debut from a husband-wife duo follows a family of four and the mother’s brother going on a cross-country trip in their VW bus, just to get the young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant.
In a near future devoid of new mutants, a weary aged Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and an extremely ill Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are forced to go on the run to escort a young mutant to a safe place, while being pursued by an evil corporation.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth is transported to the Mumbai underworld by Vishal Bhardwaj, who wrote, directed, and even composed both background score and songs. An ensemble cast of Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, and Naseeruddin Shah.
Neeraj Ghaywan ventures into the heartland of India to explore the life of four people in his directorial debut, all of whom must battle issues of caste, culture and norms. Winner of a National Award and the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
An awkward and self-loathing 18-year-old who spends his time making parodies of classic films is forced by his mother to befriend a fellow student recently diagnosed with leukaemia, and begins an undying friendship.
Mistress America (2015)
Written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbauch, the relentlessly funny story of a lonely college freshman whose life is turned upside down after she starts living with her adventurous future stepsister (Gerwig).
The strong-willed daughter of a Polynesian village chief sets sail to seek out a demigod and save her people in this Disney animated musical featuring songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda (including «How Far I’ll Go»).
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Two monsters get the fright of their lives after a human child wanders into their world, and must figure out how to get her back without telling anyone, so as to keep their jobs.
A 16th-century Mughal prince clashes with his father, Emperor Akbar, after he falls in love with a court dancer in this epic drama, which stands as a milestone in Indian cinema and is called by some as the best Hindi film ever made.
Mukti Bhawan (2016)
This National Award-winning film follows a son forced to set aside his job and accompany his elderly father to the ghats of Varanasi, where the latter hopes to attain salvation.
To save her weak father from conscription and death in a war, a young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a man in this Disney animated musical, with comedic relief provided by a small dragon.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
The courtroom-drama genre gets a comedy spin with an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer stepping in to defend his cousin and his friend after they are put on trial for a murder they didn’t commit in rural Alabama.
The true story of the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime honour Ashok Chakra, 22-year-old Neerja Bhanot who thwarted the hijacking of a Pan Am flight in 1986, and died trying to get passengers to safety.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
In the first instalment of this swashbuckling high-seas adventure, a blacksmith joins forces with an off-kilter pirate captain (Johnny Depp) currently without a ship thanks to a mutiny, in order to free the love of his life.
Planet of the Apes: Rise, Dawn, and War (2011-2017)
Andy Serkis plays an ape named Caesar in this gripping origin story that takes place years before the 1968 original. The three films – Rise, Dawn, and War – cover his life from becoming more intelligent thanks to a new drug that killed humans, to being involved in armed conflict with what’s left of mankind.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
The true story of a Ugandan girl living in a slum who learns to play chess and goes on to win at World Chess Olympiads. Starring Lupita Nyong’o and directed by Mira Nair.
An anthropomorphic rat (Patton Oswalt) who longs to be a chef tries to achieve his dream by making an alliance with a young garbage boy at a Parisian restaurant. From Pixar.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Set before 1977’s Star Wars, the rebellious daughter of a scientist working for an evil empire joins a group of rebel fighters to steal the blueprints for a superweapon that can destroy planets.
Having been born in captivity, a five-year-old boy gets to experience the outside world after a miraculous escape thanks to his mother, who must deal with her own monsters after getting out.
Salaam Bombay! (1988)
Mira Nair’s feature-length directorial debut, which won National Award for best Hindi film and two awards at Cannes, focuses on the day-to-day life of children living in the slums of Mumbai (then Bombay).
Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)
On the eve of the Indian rebellion of 1857, writer-director Satyajit Ray presents two stories in parallel: two noblemen obsessed with an ancient form of chess, against the background of scheming enemy officials and an inept ruler.
A principled FBI agent (Emily Blunt) must face and accept some harsh realities after she is made part of a government task force that’s trying to bring down the leader of a powerful drug cartel, operating via the US and Mexico border.
Two men heading towards mid-life crises embark on a week-long road trip across California wine country just as one of them is about to get married. Alexander Payne directs.
Based on the 2008 unsolved Noida double murder case, an experienced cop deals with several conflicting theories that point to and away from the parents of the murdered girl as prime suspects.
Locked up by her overly protective mother, a young long-haired girl finally gets her wish to escape into the world outside thanks to a good-hearted thief, and discovers her true self.
The Avengers (2012)
Earth’s mightiest heroes – including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk – come together in this groundbreaking Marvel team-up from writer-director Joss Whedon to stop Thor’s adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his alien army from subjugating mankind.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
In a mythical mountain kingdom, a young, arrogant emperor is turned into a llama by his power-hungry advisor, and has to seek the help of a good-hearted peasant and herder to reclaim the throne.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Based on John Green’s novel of the same name, the story of a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who’s forced to attend a support group, falls in love with another cancer patient, and the life-changing journey they embark on.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
A concierge (Ralph Fiennes) at a famous European hotel between the first and second World Wars strikes up a friendship with a lobby boy to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. Wes Anderson directs.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Based on Giles Foden’s novel of the same name, which weaves in a fictitious young Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) as a personal physician to depict life under brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) during the 1970s.
The Lion King (1994)
Tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, a lion cub runs away from home and grows up with a pair of carefree wastrels, only to be reminded of his rightful place later in life and why he must return.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century tale about a young mermaid Ariel who makes a bargain with the sea witch Ursula and gives up her life in the sea to meet a human prince got the Disney animation treatment, which signalled the studio’s return.
The Lobster (2015)
This absurdist black comedy is set in a dystopian future where single people are taken to a hotel and forced to find a partner in 45 days, failing which they are turned into animals.
The Lunchbox (2013)
An unlikely mistake by Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox carrier system results in an unusual friendship between a young housewife and an older widower (Irrfan Khan) about to retire from his job.
The Martian (2015)
Stranded on Mars with his crew assuming him to be dead, an astronaut and botanist (Matt Damon) must rely on his ingenuity to signal to Earth he is alive, and then struggle to survive while they figure out how to rescue him.
The Namesake (2006)
Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut novel about the son of Indian immigrants and his search for identity against the backdrop of his parents adjusting to life in the US comes to life from Mira Nair.
The Sound of Music (1965)
A young aspiring nun (Julie Andrews) in an Austrian convent is sent as a governess to the house of a Naval officer widower, and wins over the hearts of seven motherless children and the father.
A poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a rich aristocrat (Kate Winslet) fall in love in this fictionalised account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic from writer-director James Cameron.
Toy Story trilogy (1995-2010)
Some of Pixar’s best work is set in a world where anthropomorphic toys pretend to be lifeless around humans, and follows a group of toys as they are faced by challenges on their unexpected adventures. Gave birth to «To infinity and beyond!»
Expelled from school, a sixteen-year-old boy who dreams of being a writer returns home to a small town, where his abusive and oppressive father forces him to live by his rules.
To keep a promise to his late wife, an elderly widower ties thousands of balloons to his house to carry him to the wilds of South America, unknowingly taking a young and earnest stowaway. From Pixar.
In a far-off future where humans have long abandoned Earth and reside on starliners, a small trash compactor robot living on the surface falls in love with a visiting probe, and embarks on a space journey that will determine the fate of mankind.
An ambitious young drummer (Miles Teller) is pushed to his limits and beyond by an abusive instructor (J.K. Simmons) in what became writer-director Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough.
Winter Sleep (2014)
This Turkish winner of the Palme d’Or examines the divide between the rich and the poor and the powerful and the powerless, through the eyes of a hotel owner and landlord who deals with family conflicts and a tenant behind on rent.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
This Disney animated film tells the story of a video game villain who sets out to fulfil his dream of becoming a hero, but ends up bringing havoc to the entire arcade where he lives.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Aware of a catastrophic event that leads to doom for humans and mutants, the X-Men send Wolverine to the past in this sequel set mostly in the 1970s, in a desperate attempt to alter the course of history.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The mutant saga jumps back to the Cold War to explore the origins of X-Men, focusing on a central brotherly relationship (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), as they try to stop a dictator from starting World War III.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
The decade-long international manhunt for Osama bin Laden is the focus of this thriller from Kathryn Bigelow, dramatised as and when needed to keep a CIA intelligence analyst (Jessica Chastain) at the centre of the story.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol star as three childhood friends who set off on a bachelor trip across Spain, which becomes an opportunity to heal past wounds, combat their worst fears, and fall in love with life.
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