Amazon Prime Video’s movie acquisitions might not have the same international depth as Netflix, but it’s undoubtedly stronger and richer in its local variety, with its titles spanning the Tamil, Telugu, and the Malayalam world of filmmaking in addition to Bollywood. And that’s matched with a powerful collection of American imports, to deliver a collection that can more than stand its ground against the world’s biggest streaming service. It lacks with its original efforts — a few are present below, for what it’s worth — but it’s also a lot more affordable at Rs. 999 per year, versus Netflix’s Rs. 650 a month.
To pick the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, we relied on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and IMDb ratings to create a shortlist. The last of them was preferred for Indian films given the shortfalls of reviews aggregators in that department. Additionally, we used our own editorial judgement to add or remove a few. 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 films currently available on Amazon Prime Video in India, sorted alphabetically.
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.
3 Idiots (2009)
In this satire of the Indian education system’s social pressures, two friends recount their college days and how their third long-lost musketeer (Aamir Khan) inspired them to think creatively and independently in a heavily-conformist world. Co-written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
Agantuk [The Stranger] (1991)
In Satyajit Ray’s last film, a mysterious and world-weary explorer returns to India after 35 years to see his only surviving relative, his niece, but has trouble convincing the family who he claims to be.
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.
After a poor Delhi auto-rickshaw driver (Rupinder Nagra) is named as the sole inheritor by a local billionaire (Naseeruddin Shah) just before his death, he must decide whether to keep it.
American Beauty (1999)
A depressed advertising executive (Kevin Spacey) in the midst of a midlife crisis falls for his teenage daughter’s best friend, in Sam Mendes’ satire of American middle-class that ultimately won five Oscars including Best Picture.
Rajesh Khanna stars as the eponymous happy-go-lucky man, who doesn’t let his diagnosis of a rare form of cancer get in the way of enjoying what’s in front of him. Told from the viewpoint of his doctor friend (Amitabh Bachchan). Hrishikesh Mukherjee directs.
Anbe Sivam (2003)
Kamal Haasan and R. Madhavan star in this Tamil cult film, in which the two are stranded over a thousand kilometres from home after heavy rain cancels all flights and strike up an unlikely friendship on their way back. Haasan also wrote the script.
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.
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.
A social satire from a debutante writer-director, which follows an eponymous young woman (Aditi Balan), who going through a bout of existential crisis, decides to shine a light on the consumerist and misogynistic behaviours in her society.
Back to the Future (1985)
Not many films come close to the worldwide appeal and legacy left by this sci-fi entry featuring the iconic DeLorean that Michael J. Fox’s character uses to (accidentally) time travel to when his parents were his age. Strange then that it didn’t get the green light for years.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
The heavily controversial Salman Khan stars as a devout Hindu Brahmin and an ardent devotee of Hanuman, who embarks on a journey to reunite a mute six-year-old Muslim girl, lost in India, with her parents in Pakistan. Kareena Kapoor co-stars. Salman is a convicted poacher, out on bail, and accused of culpable homicide, pending appeal.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The life of John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, from his spiral into paranoid schizophrenia and working on a secret project he made up, to regaining control over his life and becoming a Nobel Laureate.
The Big Sick (2017)
Kumail Nanjiani stars as himself in this rom-com loosely based on his romance with his wife, in which an aspiring comedian connects with his girlfriend’s parents after she falls into a mysterious coma.
Blood Diamond (2006)
Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War at the turn of the century, an arms smuggler (Leonardo DiCaprio) promises to help a fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) find his family in exchange for a priceless diamond the latter found in a river.
Set during the 1992–93 Bombay riots, writer-director Mani Ratnam offers a look at the communal tensions that cause a strain on the relationship between a Muslim woman (Manisha Koirala) and a Hindu man (Arvind Swamy).
The Bourne trilogy (2002–07)
Technically not a trilogy, but the first three chapters — Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum — starring Matt Damon in the lead as the titular CIA assassin suffering from amnesia were so good that they changed the longest-running spy franchise of all-time: James Bond.
Terry Gilliam blends social satire with his signature visual inventiveness in this dystopian sci-fi set in a retro-future world, which follows a lowly clerk who becomes an enemy of the state after trying to correct an administrative error.
Captain Fantastic (2016)
After his bipolar wife suddenly dies, a single father (Viggo Mortensen), who brought up his six children living off the grid and isolated from society, must introduce them to the real world for the first time.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in this intimate, thoughtful and gorgeous drama about two lesbians living in polar-opposite worlds in 1950s New York, as they navigate societal customs and their own wants. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt.
Cast Away (2000)
After his plane crash-lands in the Pacific, a FedEx employee (Tom Hanks) wakes up on a deserted island and must use everything at his disposal and transform himself physically to survive living alone.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks star in Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Frank Abagnale (DiCaprio), who forged millions of dollars’ worth of cheques as a teenager, while being pursued by an FBI agent (Hanks).
Chak De! India (2007)
Ostracised and vilified by the press and public, a former Muslim men’s hockey captain (Shah Rukh Khan) plans to redeem himself by coaching the unpolished Indian women’s hockey team to glory.
After her husband is murdered while trying to leave Paris, a young woman (Audrey Hepburn) is pursued by three men, who want a fortune he had stolen, and seeks the help of a stranger (Cary Grant). Known as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made”.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Frequent collaborators Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are behind this ‘remake’ of the 1971 original based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 book, in which the title character — a young boy (Freddie Highmore) — wins a tour of an imaginative chocolatier’s chocolate factory with four other kids.
Chhoti Si Baat (1976)
This remake of the 1960 British film School for Scoundrels transports the story to then-Bombay, where a meek young man (Amol Palekar) turns to life-coach Colonel (Ashok Kumar) to battle a suave, bold man for the affections of a woman. Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Hema Malini cameo as themselves. Basu Chatterjee directs.
Chupke Chupke (1975)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s remake of the Bengali film Chhadmabeshi, in which a newly-wedded husband (Dharmendra) decides to play pranks on his wife’s (Sharmila Tagore) supposedly smart brother-in-law, released in the same year as Sholay. Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan also star.
Tom Cruise plays a hitman who takes a taxi driver, played by Jamie Foxx, hostage in Michael Mann’s neo-noir crime thriller, in which the latter must figure out how to stop the former.
The Conjuring (2013)
A pair of paranormal investigators (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are hired by a family who have been experiencing increasingly disturbing events at their farmhouse, in this effective horror from James Wan.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Based on the novel of the same name, a Chinese-American professor travels halfway around the world to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s extremely-rich family, where she must contend with weird relatives, jealous socialites, and the boyfriend’s disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh).
A Death in the Gunj (2016)
In Konkona Sen Sharma’s feature-length directorial debut, a shy and sensitive Indian student (Vikrant Massey) pays a heavy price for his gentleness, while on a road trip with his conceited relatives and family friends. Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin star alongside.
The Death of Stalin (2017)
Veep creator Armando Iannucci approaches this momentous occasion in the history of Russia through the lens of black comedy and political satire, depicting the power struggles that ensued following the titular dictator’s death in 1953. Jeffrey Tambor, who stars, stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut about three inseparable childhood friends whose wildly different approach to relationships creates a strain on their friendship remains a cult favourite. Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta star.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s characters fall in love during a trip to Europe with their friends in this now iconic film — which is still playing over two decades later in a single-screen Mumbai theatre — but face hurdles as the woman’s conservative father has promised her hand in marriage to someone else.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)
After a court order mandates a video cassette store owner and an RSS volunteer (Ayushmann Khurrana) and a plus-sized teacher-in-training (Bhumi Pednekar) to salvage their failing marriage, the two begin to put themselves in each other’s shoes, before deciding to take part in a piggyback race. Won a National Award.
Ee. Ma. Yau [R.I.P.] (2018)
A son struggles to organise the grand burial he promised his dad in this Malayalam-language black comedy that’s largely shot in natural light. Lijo Jose Pellissery directs.
The Exorcist (1973)
One of the greatest horror films of all time, that has left a lasting influence on the genre and beyond, is about the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to save her with the help of two priests who perform exorcisms.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Roald Dahl’s children’s novel about a fox who steals food from three mean and wealthy farmers gets the stop-motion treatment from Wes Anderson, featuring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Michael Gambon.
Fight Club (1999)
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton star in this cult hit from David Fincher, about a white-collared insomniac disappointed with his capitalistic lifestyle, who forms an underground fight club with a devil-may-care soapmaker, which evolves into something much more.
Forrest Gump (1994)
A slow-witted but kind-hearted man (Tom Hanks) takes part in a series of defining events of the second half of the 20th century in the US, while pining for his childhood love.
Forushande [The Salesman] (2016)
Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi uses Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” as his story within a story, to depict thematic parallels with the deteriorating relationship of an Iranian couple after an assault on the wife. The husband wants to find out who the attacker is against her wishes, while she deals with post-trauma stress.
Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
Inspired by the 2008 Tamil-language film Subramaniapuram, Anurag Kashyap concocts a gangster epic that blends politics, vengeance, and romance as it looks at the power struggles between three crime families in and around the Jharkhand city of Dhanbad, the epicentre of the coal mafia.
Ghare Baire (1984)
Based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel of the same name, and set in the chaotic aftermath of the partition of Bengal, writer-director Satyajit Ray tells the story of a woman married to a forward-thinking man whose lives are upended by the appearance of the husband’s radical friend.
A bunch of eccentric paranormal enthusiasts start a ghost-catching business in New York, and then stumble upon a plot to wreak havoc by summoning ghosts. Gave birth to one of the most iconic song lyrics in history.
Winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe, this Ridley Scott-directed film tells a moving story of a Roman general (Crowe) who loses everything — his family and rank —to end up as a slave and then seeks vengeance on the perpetrator (Joaquin Phoenix).
The Godfather (1972)
In what is considered one of the greatest films of all-time, an aging leader (Marlon Brando) of a New York mafia transfers control of his empire to his youngest son (Al Pacino), who goes from a reluctant outsider to a ruthless boss.
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola’s follow-up to his original, centering on Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) at the top of the pecking order while offering a look back at his father’s (Robert De Niro) past, is considered by some to be better than its predecessor.
Gol Maal (1979)
A chartered accountant (Amol Palekar), with a knack for singing and acting, falls deep down the rabbit hole after lying to his boss that he has a twin, in this Hrishikesh Mukherjee comedy.
Gone Girl (2014)
Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel and directed by David Fincher, a confounded husband (Ben Affleck) becomes the primary suspect in the sudden mystery disappearance of his wife (Rosamund Pike).
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.
Gully Boy (2019)
An aspiring, young street rapper (Ranveer Singh) from the slums of Mumbai sets out to realise his dream, while dealing with the complications that arise out of his personal life and the socioeconomic strata to which he belongs. Zoya Akhtar directs, and Alia Bhatt stars alongside.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Alfonso Cuarón stepped behind the camera for what many consider to be the best Harry Potter film, as the boy who lived enters his third year at Hogwarts, and is told that Sirus Black, an escapee from the wizarding world prison Azkaban, is after his life.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Working off the tone set by Alfonso Cuarón, the fourth entry in the series finds the titular chosen one pulled into an inter-school magical tournament, while battling the disturbing visions and the aching pain that stem from his forehead scar.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
In this final thrilling chapter, the famous trio — Harry, Ron, and Hermione — face a race against time to find and destroy Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes, while the students and teachers of Hogwarts unite to defend the school.
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro star on opposite sides of the law — the former a detective, the latter a thief — in Michael Mann’s stylistic crime drama, with a group of bank robbers planning a heist unaware the police are onto them.
Hera Pheri (2000)
Unemployed and struggling with money, a landlord and his two tenants (Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, and Sunil Shetty) chance on a ransom phone call and plan to collect the ransom for themselves in this remake of the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Brought up in a world where Vikings have a tradition of being dragon slayers, a young teenager becomes an unlikely friend with a young dragon and learns there may be more to the creatures than everyone thinks.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Best picture winner at the Oscars, a new leader (Jeremy Renner) of a bomb disposal squad surprises his subordinates with his views and reckless approach to the job in the Iraqi capital. Kathryn Bigelow became first woman to win best director.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Directed by Steven Spielberg off a story by George Lucas, an eponymous archaeologist (Harrison Ford) travels the world and battles a group of Nazis while looking for a mysterious artefact, in what is now often considered as one of the greatest films of all-time.
Into The Wild (2007)
Based on Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book, Sean Penn goes behind the camera to direct the story of a top student and athlete who gives up all possessions and savings to charity, and hitchhikes across America to live in the Alaskan wilderness.
Aishwarya Rai made her acting debut with a dual supporting role in Mani Ratnam’s biographical film, which is inspired by the real-life rivalry of 1980s Tamil Nadu political icons M.G. Ramachandran (Mohanlal) and M. Karunanidhi (Prakash Raj).
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)
In this satire of politics, bureaucracy, and the media, two photographers (Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani) inadvertently capture a murder while trying to expose the rich. A Mahabharata dramatisation in the third act is a renowned highlight.
When a New Orleans district attorney (Kevin Costner) tries to unearth the mystery and possibly conspiracy behind the assassination of former US President John Kennedy, he’s faced with considerable pressure from the government. Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman co-star. Oliver Stone directs.
Jurassic Park (1993)
It might be over 25 years old at this point but watching the very first Jurassic film from Steven Spielberg — based on Michael Crichton’s novel, which he co-adapted — is a great way to remind yourself why the new series, Jurassic World, has no idea why it’s doing.
Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Guru Dutt directed and starred in what is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, about a famous director (Dutt) who casts an unknown woman (Waheeda Rehman) in his next film, and the opposing trajectories of their careers thereon.
Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
Upon learning that she is adopted, a young girl embarks on a journey across civil war-ravaged Sri Lanka to find her biological mother who is part of the revolutionaries. Mani Ratnam directs.
The King of Comedy (1982)
In Martin Scorsese’s overlooked satire of celebrity worship and media culture, an aspiring comic (Robert De Niro) stalks his late-night talk show idol to earn a big break, and then kidnaps him when things don’t work out.
Kumbalangi Nights (2019)
Four brothers who share a love-hate relationship stand behind one of their own in matters of the heart in this Malayalam-language family drama that explores masculinity with nuance and in detail. Directorial debut of Madhu C. Narayanan.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
After an obese kung fu enthusiast panda is supposedly mistakenly chosen as the Dragon Warrior to fight an impending threat, he is unwillingly taught by an elderly master and his students who have been training for years.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
As corruption brews in post-war Los Angeles, three police officers — one sordid (Kevin Spacey), one brutal (Russell Crowe) and one moralistic (Guy Pearce) — investigate a series of murders in their own way, and form an uneasy alliance. Spacey stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)
In this sequel to the 2003 original (also on the list), the Mumbai underworld don (Sanjay Dutt) starts to live by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to impress a radio jockey (Vidya Balan) he’s smitten with. Some felt it dumbed down Gandhism. Co-written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Ajay Devgn plays the titular socialist revolutionary and freedom fighter in writer-director Rajkumar Santoshi’s biopic, which follows Singh — and later his associates, Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar, and Chandra Shekhar Azad — from the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to the bombing of Parliament House. Some did not like its treatment of Gandhi.
The Lego Movie (2014)
An ordinary, rules-following Lego minifigure (Chris Pratt) is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world from an evil tyrant, for which he is hilariously underprepared. It spawned the hit single, “Everything Is Awesome”.
Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016)
Denied for a release for six months, this black comedy centres on four women in small town India who set out on a journey to discover freedom and happiness in a conservative society.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)
Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s expansive Middle-Earth to life in these three three-hour epics, 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.
Crises befall a few youngsters — a cab driver, a BPO interviewee, and a hot-headed lover — whose lives are interlinked after they arrive in a big city in this Tamil-language thriller. Feature-length debut for writer-director Lokesh Kanagaraj.
In this Malayalam-language psychological thriller classic, 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, the husband’s psychiatrist friend (Mohanlal) suggests an unusual cure.
Mean Girls (2004)
Tina Fey’s cult hit teen comedy follows a home-schooled 16-year-old (Lindsay Lohan) who’s an instant hit with A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for the ex-boyfriend of the clique’s alpha.
Men in Black (1997)
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star as two agents of an eponymous secret organisation, whose job is to monitor extraterrestrial life on Earth and hide their presence from humans, using neuralysers to erase memories if need be.
Mera Naam Joker (1970)
By far the longest film on this list with a four-hour runtime, this semi-autobiographical take on director, producer, and lead star Raj Kapoor’s own life is about a circus clown (Kapoor) who must make his audience laugh no matter how unhappy he is within. Told in three chapters, it features three women — Simi Garewal, Kseniya Ryabinkina, and Padmini — who shaped his world. Negatively received upon release, it later underwent a critical revaluation.
Minority Report (2002)
Steven Spielberg loosely adapts Philip K. Dick’s short story of a future where a special police unit can catch criminals before a crime is committed thanks to a technology, and what happens when an officer from that unit (Tom Cruise) is himself accused of a murder.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
After the agency he works for is wrongly implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and a new team are forced to go rogue and clear their employer’s name in this fourth entry of the franchise.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
With the organisation he works for disbanded and his country after him, Hunt (Cruise) races against time to prove the existence of the schemers pulling the strings in this fifth chapter. Introduced Rebecca Ferguson to the franchise.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
In what is arguably the best entry in the franchise yet — sixth, if you’re counting — intelligence agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) & Co. set off on a globe-trotting adventure from Europe to Kashmir, to retrieve three plutonium cores from the hands of terrorists. Henry Cavill joins the fun.
Based on the true story of Oakland Athletics and manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), it follows the latter’s attempts to build a competitive team by relying solely on statistical analysis, with help from a Yale graduate (Jonah Hill).
After a Palestinian terrorist group kills 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the latter’s government launches a secret retaliation, tasking five men to hunt and kill those responsible for the massacre. Steven Spielberg directs, based on a true story.
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003)
After his parents find out he has been pretending to be a doctor, a good-natured Mumbai underworld don (Sanjay Dutt) tries to redeem himself by enrolling in a medical college, where his compassion brushes up against the authoritarian dean (Boman Irani). Co-written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who stands accused in the #MeToo movement.
Set in a remote Turkish village, this debut feature by a Turkish-French director depicts the lives of five young orphaned sisters and the challenges they face growing up in a conservative society.
Inspired by The Godfather — though good luck getting writer-director Mani Ratnam to admit it — and the life of Bombay (now Mumbai) crime boss Varadarajan Mudaliar, it depicts and the life and death of Velu (Kamal Haasan) who becomes a gangster and builds an empire.
Winner of the National Award for best Hindi film, in which Rajkummar Rao stars as a government clerk who tries to run a free and fair election in the Naxal-controlled conflict-ridden jungles of India.
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Spanning four decades, Sergio Leone’s final sprawling film about a kid in a Jewish slum (Robert De Niro) who rises to prominence in New York’s world of organised crime remains one of the greatest gangster films of all-time.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie lead the ensemble cast of Quentin Tarantino’s “fairy tale tribute” to the waning days of Hollywood’s golden age, which follows an ageing actor (DiCaprio) and his long-time friend and stunt double (Pitt) as they navigate a changing industry.
Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu, Mehmood, and Kishore Kumar star in this remake of the 1952 Bengali film Pasher Bari, about a young man (Dutt) who falls in love with his new neighbour (Banu) and then enlists the help of his singer-actor friend (Kumar) to woo her away from her music teacher (Mehmood).
Pariyerum Perumal (2018)
An idealistic young man from a poor, oppressed caste family strikes a friendship with a much wealthier female classmate at law school in this Tamil-language film, earning him the wrath of her relatives and the society at large. Debut for writer-director Mari Selvaraj.
After his wife abandons him and their cerebral palsy daughter for another man, a single father (Mammooty) working as a cab driver in Dubai must return home and raise his only kid, while on the brink of homelessness.
Based on Amrita Pritam’s Punjabi novel of the same name and set in the years before and after the Partition, a Hindu woman (Urmila Matondkar) returns to her Muslim kidnapper (Manoj Bajpayee) after she’s disowned by her family upon escaping. Won a National Award.
The Prestige (2006)
After a tragic accident, two fellow magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) turn bitter enemies in this thriller from Christopher Nolan, and engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion, while sacrificing everything they have.
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. Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars.
Guru Dutt directed and starred in this classic set in then-Calcutta which follows a struggling, anguished poet named Vijay (Dutt) who is unable to get recognition for his work until he meets Gulab (Waheeda Rehman), a prostitute with a heart of gold.
Based on the real-life events depicted in Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel “Calling Sehmat”, Alia Bhatt stars as an undercover Kashmiri RAW agent who marries into a Pakistani military family to spy on the enemy prior to and during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. Some critics found it improbable.
The Report (2019)
An idealistic government investigator (Adam Driver) uncovers shocking secrets as he dives into the CIA’s post-9/11 use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — in simpler words, torture — and faces severe pushback from those in the know.
Before Dil Se.. and Bombay, Mani Ratnam’s exploration of human relationships against the backdrop of politics began with this Tamil-language film, about a newly-wed woman who moves to Kashmir and struggles to find her husband after he is kidnapped by Kashmiri separatists.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
In this psychological horror based on Ira Levin’s best-selling novel, a young pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) suspects an evil cult — involving her neighbours — wants to take her baby for use in their rituals.
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
Based on Bimal Mitra’s similarly-titled 1953 Bengali novel and set during the fall of British Raj feudalism, a part-time servant (Guru Dutt) develops a close, platonic bond with the ignored, lonely wife (Meena Kumari) of an aristocrat (Rehman). Waheeda Rehman also stars.
Winner of four National Awards, a classical music legend faces ruin in this Telugu-language drama owing to changing music trends and the unexpected bond he forms with a prostitute’s daughter, who is driven into exceptional circumstances.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
In Steven Spielberg’s World War II drama, while war rages on in Normandy, an army captain (Tom Hanks) is given the task of searching for a particular private (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have already been killed.
Told entirely through screens — computers and smartphones — a father (John Cho) breaks into his teenage daughter’s laptop after she goes missing and detectives are unable to find a single lead.
A Separation (2011)
Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama follows an Iranian middle-class couple, whose 14-year-old marriage begins to dissolve after they reach a crossroads over the wife’s wishes to leave the country and the husband’s concerns for his elderly Alzheimer’s father.
Not many films have a level of prominence in popular Indian culture that is enjoyed by this fine example of “Curry Western”, which blends real-life elements with the works of Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone. Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, and Jaya Bhaduri (now Bachchan) star.
Shutter Island (2010)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese collaborate for this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel, about two US Marshals (DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) investigating the disappearance of a criminally-insane patient, who was imprisoned for drowning her three children.
After a poor Delhi man’s (Rajesh Tailang) 12-year-old son goes missing while away on work hundreds of kilometres away in Punjab, he sets out across the country to find him, fearing he’s been trafficked.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
In what many consider the best Spider-Man movie of all-time, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) can’t catch a break. He loses his job, his powers, and the love of his life Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). And his best friend (James Franco) is out for Spider-Man’s blood to avenge the death of his father.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Drawn with a mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn art, Miles Morales is drawn into an inter-dimensional conflict soon after he’s bit by a spider and gains superpowers, pushing him to team up to save the multiverse. Set for a 2022 sequel.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in this latest — fourth, if you’re counting — remake of the 1937 classic tale, of an alcoholic fading star (Cooper) meeting and discovering a future star (Gaga). Cooper marks his directorial debut.
Star Trek (2009)
J.J. Abrams reboots the Trek film franchise by taking it into an alternate reality, where the young Kirk and Spock aboard USS Enterprise must combat a determined enemy from the future, who’s creating black holes to destroy planets one by one.
The true story of the 2009 emergency plane landing on New York’s Hudson River gets the everyday-hero treatment from Clint Eastwood, focusing on the pilot’s (Tom Hanks) heroics and the subsequent investigation that tried to paint him otherwise.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the android, now reprogrammed and sent back in time (again) to protect a younger version of a resistance leader, in James Cameron’s sequel to the original that is considered one of the greatest films of all time.
Mani Ratnam directs this Tamil-language crime drama loosely based on Karna and Duryodhana’s friendship from Mahabharata, in which everything changes for a slum-dwelling orphan (Rajinikanth) who’s taken under the wing of a local gang lord (Mammooty) with the arrival of a new district magistrate.
While looking for a secret treasure in a village in 20th-century Maharashtra, a man and his son face the consequences of building a temple for a legendary demon who’s not supposed to be worshipped in this psychological horror film.
Based on a true story, a nine-man Kerala police unit (Mammootty among them) must ensure peaceful elections in the Maoist-prone areas of Chhattisgarh with an insufficient number of bullets — unda is Malayalam for “bullet”.
Vaastav: The Reality (1999)
Loosely based on the life of Mumbai gangster Chhota Rajan, a young man (Sanjay Dutt) from the ghettos accidentally murders someone, which leads him into a life of crime where he swiftly climbs up the ladder — before launching into a spiral.
Set against the backdrop of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in the Indian state of Kerala, individuals from various walks of life come together to contain its spread in this gripping Malayalam-language thriller. Parvathy, Tovino Thomas, and Revathi star.
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.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a real-life stockbroker who swindled over $100 million from buyers and scammed his way to the top, before he was caught and charged with fraud, corruption, and money laundering. Martin Scorsese directs, in ways that were accused of glorifying its protagonist’s reprehensible actions.
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.