What are the best movies on Disney+ Hotstar? The 20-or-so titles below are largely thanks to that Disney ownership. They star the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Natalie Portman, Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hugh Jackman, Frances McDormand, and Andy Serkis. And they come from directors such as Russo brothers, Ryan Coogler, Darren Aronofsky, Yorgos Lanthimos, James Mangold, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Chloé Zhao, Matt Reeves, Rian Johnson, Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, Vishal Bhardwaj, Meghna Gulzar, and Satyajit Ray.
Of course, this list cannot possibly cover everything. And that’s why we have separate recommendations for some select genres that you should also check out. We also have similar articles for best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) & Avengers: Endgame (2019)
In this dual-header that bookends the first decade of Marvel’s shared film universe, every superhero introduced across over a dozen movies tries to thwart an intergalactic supervillain who is on a quest to collect all-powerful elements. After a catastrophic failure, the remaining superheroes must gather strength to discover a way to undo his universe-shattering actions.
- 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.
- The Favourite (2018)
Olivia Colman swept best actress awards for her work in this early 18th-century black comedy about two cousins (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) who vie for the affections of Great Britain’s queen (Colman).
- Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Christian Bale and Matt Damon lead this racing drama about the titular American car giant’s fight to beat the dominant Italian supercar maker at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the help of automotive designer and former Le Mans winner Caroll Shelby (Damon) and hot-tempered British driver Ken Miles (Bale). Logan director James Mangold is at the wheel.
- Hamilton (2020)
Lin-Manuel Miranda rose to fame with this hip hop-inspired musical take on the life of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton (Miranda) that finds him leading a colour-blind cast that further empowers its immigrant message. This recording is bolstered by camera movement, cutaways, and close-ups that aren’t possible for a stage production.
- The Incredibles (2004) & Incredibles 2 (2018)
With a government ban on superheroes, a heavyweight father of three is itching to get back to his crime-fighting ways, which forces the family into action in this Pixar original. The ultra-flexible mother is the focus of the sequel as she sets out to restore faith in superheroes, while the father must take care of the kids.
- Inside Out (2015)
Set largely inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl, her five personified emotions — Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust — try to cope with a new life after the family moves thousands of miles west to San Francisco in this excellent Pixar film. Swept awards for best animated movie.
- Logan (2017)
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.
- Maqbool (2004)
Vishal Bhardwaj kicked off what would become his Shakespeare trilogy with this adaptation of Macbeth set in the Mumbai underworld, starring Irrfan Khan in the conflicted titular role, Tabu in the role of the ambitious Lady Macbeth, Pankaj Kapur as the king, and Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah in the gender-flipped roles of the Weird Sisters. Free to watch.
- Nomadland (2020)
A best picture Oscar winner that follows a widowed sexagenarian (Frances McDormand) who sets out on a van-dwelling nomadic lifestyle after she loses everything in the aftermath of the 2008 Great Recession. Chloé Zhao writes and directs, with the help of real-life nomads and non-professional actors.
- 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.
- Ratatouille (2007)
An anthropomorphic rat (Patton Oswalt) who longs to be a chef tries to achieve his dream by forming an alliance with a young garbage boy at a Parisian restaurant. Brad Bird writes and directs. From Pixar.
- 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. Free to watch.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Three decades on from the fall of the Empire, a new rising threat in its mold has crushed the democratic New Republic and is chasing the remnants of a resistance movement. An orphan scavenger (Daisy Ridley) must convince the only Jedi in exile (Mark Hamill) to train her, while his twin sister (Carrie Fisher) attempts to keep annihilation at bay. Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac co-star.
- Talvar (2015)
Meghna Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj combine forces to tell the story of the 2008 Noida double murder case, in which a teenage girl and the family’s hired servant were killed, and the inept police bungled the investigation. Uses the Rashomon effect for a three-pronged take. Irrfan Khan stars. Free to watch.
- 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.
- Toy Story tetralogy (1995–2019)
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!” Tom Hanks, Tim Allen lead the voice cast.
- WALL·E (2008)
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. From Pixar.
- Zootopia (2016)
Set in the titular city filled with anthropomorphic animals, a newly-minted bunny cop (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a cynical fox con artist (Jason Bateman) must work together to unravel a conspiracy that threatens the peace. Praised for its message of tolerance and diversity.