Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar has shown no interest in producing original films of its own. Instead, it's been content in serving a licensed library from its parent companies Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney Company, in addition to tie-ups with WarnerMedia, A24, Sony Pictures, and several Indian studios from across the country, which distribute films in languages such as Hindi and Malayalam. But its film catalogue is still the smallest of the big three. For what it's worth, with its app improvements over the past year, Hotstar is a much better place to watch movies than it used to be. There's still a fair bit to go though, starting with improved audio and subtitle support.
To pick the best Hotstar movies, we relied on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings to create a shortlist, preferring the latter for Indian films given RT has a shortfall of critics' reviews in that department. Additionally, we exercised our own editorial judgement to insert or remove certain films. This list will be updated once every few months if there are any worthy additions or if some movies are removed from the service, so bookmark this page and keep checking in. Here are the best movies currently available on Hotstar in India, sorted alphabetically.
12 Years A Slave (2013)
Duped into slavery on the account of a job, Steve McQueen's adaptation of a free New York black man's (Chiwetel Ejiofor) 19th-century memoir is an incredible true story, and an important watch.
Disney puts its animation flavour onto the famous folk tale of a street urchin who disguises himself as a wealthy prince after finding a genie in a magic lamp, in an attempt to impress the Sultan's daughter.
American Hustle (2013)
In the late 1970s, two con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) are forced to work for an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) and set up a sting operation that plans to bring down several corrupt politicians and members of the Mafia. Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner star alongside.
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.
Writer-director Gulzar's Shakespearean comedy, loosely based on the latter's famous play The Comedy of Errors, was also a remake of the 1968 film Do Dooni Char, itself a remake of the 1963 Bengali film Bhranti Bilas, penned by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Ankhon Dekhi (2014)
After an eye-opening experience involving his daughter's marriage, a man in his late 50s (Sanjay Mishra) resolves that he won't believe anything he can't see, which naturally leads to some dramatic complications.
Ben Affleck directs and stars as a CIA agent posing as a Hollywood producer scouting for location in Iran, in order to rescue six Americans during the US hostage crisis of 1979.
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.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
In this mega get-together, all Marvel superheroes introduced across over a dozen movies — from Guardians of the Galaxy to Doctor Strange — come together to thwart the mighty Thanos, who is on a quest to collect all-powerful elements that would make him unstoppable.
Badhaai Ho (2018)
Upon learning that his middle-aged mother (Neena Gupta) is pregnant, a twenty-something man (Ayushmann Khurrana) struggles to come to terms with the new development, which also affects his relationship with his girlfriend (Sanya Malhotra).
Bangalore Days (2014)
National Award-winning writer-director Anjali Menon continues her exploration of family relationships with this lengthy — running at 172 minutes — Malayalam-language look at three cousins who fulfill their childhood dream of moving to Bangalore, but face challenges as they adapt to the new city.
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.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Inspired by the autobiography of the renowned athlete Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar), a look at his life from the Partition of India in 1947 to the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directs.
Black Panther (2018)
The first Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film featuring a largely African-American cast is set in the fictional, technologically-advanced African kingdom of Wakanda, where a new king (Chadwick Boseman) must deal with a complicated legacy and a new adversary (Michael B. Jordan).
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.
A young Mexican boy's pursuit of music, in defiance of a family ban, transports him to the literal Land of the Dead, where he seeks his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer, to return home to the living. A Pixar film.
The Dark Knight (2008)
In the second part of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, regarded as the greatest comic book movie ever, Batman (Christian Bale) faces a villain, the Joker (Heath Ledger), he doesn't understand, and must go through hell to save Gotham and its people.
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.
The Departed (2006)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon star as an undercover cop and a mole in the Boston police, respectively, trying to identify each other in Martin Scorsese's remake of the 2002 Hong Kongese original called Infernal Affairs. Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, and Martin Sheen also star.
The Descendants (2011)
Based on Kaui Hart Hemmings' 2007 novel of the same, a Hawaii land baron (George Clooney) and his two daughters (Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller) try to deal with problems in the wake of his wife and their mother falling into a coma after a boating accident.
In this Malayalam film that was later remade in Hindi, a local cable operator named Georgekutty (Mohanlal) does everything he can to protect his family, suspected in the missing-persons case of a high-ranking police officer's son, who had blackmailed Georgekutty's daughter with a nude video.
A stuntman moonlighting as a getaway driver (Ryan Gosling) grows fond of his neighbour and her young son, and then takes part in a botched heist to protect them from the debt-ridden husband.
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 (Shailene Woodley) who's forced to attend a support group, falls in love with another cancer patient (Ansel Elgort), and the life-changing journey they embark on.
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.
Good Time (2017)
After a failed bank robbery lands his developmentally-disabled younger brother (Ben Safdie) in prison, a bank robber (Robert Pattinson) embarks into the New York underworld over one crazy night, opting for desperate measure after measure to get him out of jail. Safdie directs with his brother, Josh.
Considered as one of the best gangster films of all time, it brought Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro together for the sixth time. Based on Nicholas Pilegg's 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy, it tells the rise and fall story of mob associate Henry Hill, his friends and family between 1955 and 1980.
Gran Torino (2008)
A Korean War veteran (Clint Eastwood) decides to help reform his Hmong neighbour (Bee Vang), who was pressured into attempting to steal the former's most prized possession, a 1972 Ford Gran Torino, as the gateway into a local gang.
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.
Two US astronauts, a first-timer (Sandra Bullock) and another on his final mission (George Clooney), are stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed, and then must battle debris and challenging conditions to return home.
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003)
Set against the politically-charged backdrop of the Emergency in the 1970s, writer-director Sudhir Mishra's film revolves around three friends (Kay Kay Menon, Chitrangada Singh, and Shiney Ahuja) whose lives are transformed in the wake of the turbulent period.
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.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Though historically inaccurate in various aspects, Benedict Cumberbatch's turn as British mathematician Alan Turing who helps the Allies decrypt the Nazi intelligence codes, Morten Tyldum's direction, and the work of its strong supporting cast brought it much success and acclaim.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Arriving 14 years after the original, this Pixar sequel from writer-director Brad Bird puts the focus on the ultra-flexible mother (Holly Hunter) as she sets out to restore faith in superheroes, while the heavyweight father (Craig T. Nelson) must take care of their three kids.
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).
Isle of Dogs (2018)
Wes Anderson's ode to canine friendship was this stop-motion feature set in a dystopian near-future Japan where dogs have been quarantined following a canine flu outbreak, and follows a young boy looking for his dog. Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, others lend their voices.
John Wick (2014)
In the first part of what is now a series, a former hitman (Keanu Reeves) exits retirement to find and kill those that stole his car and killed his dog. It's less story, more action honestly, with the filmmakers drawing on anime, Hong Kong action cinema, Spaghetti Westerns, and French crime dramas.
Priyadarshan's look at the inhumane treatment of Indian freedom fighters imprisoned by the British Raj at the infamous titular jail on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the early 20th century won three National Awards. Mohanlal, Prabhu, Amrish Puri, and Tabu star in the Malayalam film.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers (2001-02)
Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien's expansive Middle-Earth to life in a nine-hour trilogy, which charts the journey of a meek hobbit (Elijah Wood) and his various companions, as they try to stop the Dark Lord Sauron by destroying the source of his power, the One Ring. Hotstar is missing the final chapter, which is available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in India.
Love, Simon (2018)
A closeted gay high school teenager (Nick Robinson) must balance friends, family, and the blackmailer threatening to out him, all while he falls for an anonymous classmate over email. Katherine Langford stars alongside, and Greg Berlanti directs.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in director George Miller's reboot of his own franchise, which finds a woman (Theron) rebelling against a tyrannical ruler of post-apocalyptic desert, and gave us some of the best action sequences in the process.
In this Malayalam-language psychological thriller, a young wife (Shobana) is possessed by the spirit of a vengeful dancer after she opens a locked room in their new haunted mansion. To help get rid of it, a psychiatrist friend (Mohanlal) of the husband suggests an unusual cure.
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.
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.
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.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Wes Anderson brings his signature touch to a coming-of-age tale of two young lovers (they're 12) who run away from their homes, prompting the entire town to look for them.
Two 14-year-old boys (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) come across a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) hiding in a boat stuck in a tree, trying to escape from bounty hunters, and decide to help reunite with his lover (Reese Witherspoon).
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.
Intentionally shot in black-and-white, Alexander Payne's road comedy sees an estranged son reluctantly agree to drive his elderly alcoholic father, so he can claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize, and gets to know him on their journey.
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.
A lawyer (Amitabh Bachchan) comes out of retirement to help three women (Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tariang) clear their names in a crime involving a politician's nephew (Angad Bedi). Won a National Award.
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.
Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire play two siblings who are transported to the titular black-and-white 1950s sitcom set in the American Midwest, where they are stuck with new names and new parents, but old-fashioned clothes.
Set in Kerala, a Malayalam-language coming-of-age drama that spans fourteen years and multiple love interests in a man's (Nivin Pauly) life, from falling for a girl (Anupama Parameswaran) at high school to a new lecturer (Sai Pallavi) in college.
After his daughter and her friend are kidnapped, a father (Hugh Jackman) takes matters into his own hands while the police methodically track down multiple leads, getting himself into trouble.
Having been born in captivity, a five-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay) gets to experience the outside world after a miraculous escape thanks to his mother (Brie Larson), 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).
In this dark, gripping thriller from David Fincher, two detectives — one new (Brad Pitt) and one about to retire (Morgan Freeman) — hunt a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.
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–Mexico border.
A Single Man (2009)
Eight months after the sudden death of his boyfriend whom he spent 16 years with, a depressed British university professor (Colin Firth) living in Southern California in the early 1960s plans to take his own life.
The Shape of Water (2017)
Winner of Oscar for Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romantic drama follows a lonely and mute janitor (Sally Hawkins), who falls in love with a humanoid amphibian being held in captivity at a classified, high-security government facility in the 1960s.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Considered one of the greatest films of its decade, a banker (Tim Robbins) sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife and her lover bonds with contraband smuggler (Morgan Freeman), helping him in his business and others at the prison.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (1980-83)
In the final two films of the original trilogy, Luke Skywalker becomes a Jedi while his friends are being chased by Darth Vader across the galaxy. And after the Empire begins work on a second Death Star, Luke must find a way to help his father and put an end to the Emperor.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Rey learns the ways of the Force and the Jedi under a reluctant Luke in this middle chapter of the sequel trilogy, hoping to convince him to lend his support to the Resistance cause in the fight against the rising threat of the First Order.
The Tale (2018)
A documentary filmmaker (Laura Dern) starts to question her pre-teen relationship with two adults — her horse-riding instructor (Elizabeth Debicki) and running coach (Jason Ritter) — after coming across an essay she wrote back then.
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.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Taika Waititi rescued the standalone Thor trilogy and made the character fun with this uber-colourful and boisterous chapter in which the Asgardian god of thunder loses his famed hammer and must figure out how to save his home from the goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett).
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Angry over the lack of progress in her daughter's murder investigation, the mother (Frances McDormand) rents out three billboards to accuse the revered chief of police (Woody Harrelson) of failure, which creates a furore in the little town.
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!"
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.
Ustad Hotel (2012)
Winner of three National Awards, this Malayalam-language drama looks at class, privilege, and food through the story of a chef from a well-off family who returns to his hometown to work with his grandfather, after being disowned by his father.
Vada Chennai (2018)
Meant to serve as the first in a trilogy, a skilled carrom player (Dhanush) is reluctantly pulled into a local gang war in north Chennai. Multi-National Award winner Vetrimaaran directs this Tamil-language film.
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.
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.
You Are My Sunday (2016)
Five thirty-something friends struggle to find a place in Mumbai where they can play football in peace in this light-hearted rom-com tale, which explores gender divides and social mores along the way.
David Fincher signed on Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. to depict a cartoonist's (Gyllenhaal) obsession with figuring out the identity of the Zodiac Killer in the 1960s-70s.