With Amazon Prime strongly pitted against Netflix, there’s so much the streaming giant has to offer lately. It is steadily growing its catalogue of films and TV shows, featuring indie gems and character-driven stories from across languages and genres. While Netflix boasts more international content, Amazon has gone big on ramping up its local content library. Newer releases have also been making their way to the streaming platform, giving audiences a good mix of blockbuster cinema and thoughtful films to choose from. This was especially evident with the Covid-19 pandemic when audiences were no longer able to access traditional methods of watching films. Instead, they discovered and duly appreciated hidden gems on Amazon such as Minari and Titli. We’ve sifted through it all and bring you some of the best movies on Amazon Prime India across languages and genres.
Bookmark this list to keep track of fresh titles out on Amazon Prime every month. These films were playing as of February 24, 2022.
1. The Green Knight (2021)
Based on a 14th century poem, David Lowery’s sumptuous medieval drama tells the tale of Sir Gawain, nephew of King Arthur. Gawain goes on a quest to the Green Chapel to confront a mysterious creature. Though Green Knight sounds like a conventional quest story, director Lowery constantly overturns our expectations. The casting of Dev Patel as Sir Gawain is a very interesting one. Patel’s Gawain is indeed charming but also very vulnerable unlike the heroic medieval knights.
Similar to his existential drama A Ghost Story, Lowery deals with themes of time, life, inevitability, and death. The brilliant cinematography keeps intact the dark and macabre tone of the narrative.
2. City of God (2002)
The iconic Brazilian gangster film City of God is based on the semi-autobiographical eponymous novel by Paulo Lins. The film documents the beginnings of a poor neighborhood, set up to rehabilitate people who had formerly been cast out from Rio’s slums ahead of the city’s beautifying drive. Flush with violence and corruption, the film’s gritty portrayal of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro contribute to its formidable reputation. Brazil’s entry in the Foreign Film category, City of God was nominated for four Academy Awards.
3. Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Shaka King’s historical drama on Fred Hampton and Black Panthers reverberates with high energy and passion. The 21-year old black activist was under FBI surveillance and eventually assassinated by them. Anchored by outstanding performances from Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, the film works well within the mainstream liberal discourse. It also offers a portrait of the deceptive, paranoid FBI, a perspective that’s far removed from the usual Hollywood portrayals.
4. Sarpatta Parambarai (2021, Tamil)
Boxing dramas have a familiar trajectory that can lose their way amidst the clichés and narrative tropes. Director Pa. Ranjith, however, utilizes a time-worn boxing narrative, to shape a powerful tale about empowerment against caste and class oppression. Led by a brilliant ensemble cast, Sarpatta Parambarai‘s richly layered characters and strong social and political undertones make it much more than an underdog boxer film. Sarpatta Parambarai made it to our best movies of 2021 list.
5. Knives Out (2019)
Rian Johnson’s star-studded murder mystery draws from Agatha Christie’s locked room whodunits. The film revolves around the dysfunctional family of a multimillionaire. The family’s octogenarian patriarch and popular novelist, Harlan Thrombey is discovered in his bedroom with his throat cut. Though initially ruled as a suicide, a gentleman private detective (Daniel Craig) unearths layers of falsehoods and deceptions. Besides, everyone in Thrombey’s clan seems to have ample motive to murder him. Replete with well-staged plot twists, Knives Out‘s narrative also makes a smart commentary on class divisions.
6. Minari (2020)
A Sundance winner, Minari follows a Korean American family in 1980s America who move from California to an Arkansas farm in search of their American dreams. A classic immigrant story but with unique details and characters, Minari is an autobiographical drama by Lee Isaac Chung portraying cultural decisions that the family must make to assimilate while staying true to their own culture.
Watch Minari on Amazon Prime
7. Parasite (2019, Korean)
Bong Joon-ho’s social satire tells a timeless tale about the rich and the poor. But the brilliance lies in the layers of fascinating details that offers a unique viewing experience. The narrative is centered on two nuclear families in Seoul, one poor and one rich. The poor Kim family cons their way to work for the wealthy Park family. The horrors of economic disparity wreak havoc on both the families. Parasite largely unfolds in grey zones without assigning blame to a particular class. It shows how antipathy is rooted in both sides and the villain here is the stratified system.
Watch Parasite on Amazon Prime
8. La La Land (2016)
La La Land is an astounding example of great storytelling blended with outstanding performances and a stirring soundtrack. It was the year’s most ravishing cinematic experience.
Linus Sandgren’s cinematography in La La Land is drop-dead gorgeous. If something truly levitates the film from the technical aspect other than the soundtrack it’s the masterful camerawork.
9. Titli (2014)
Titli’s titular character wants to break free from his gangster family and start life afresh as a law-abiding citizen. However, things change when he gets married. Dibakar Banerjee‘s film captures the gloomy essence of Eastern Delhi to full tilt. And features a solid rendering of its fairly dark subject.
Watch Titli on Amazon Prime
10. Saraansh (1984)
In what is remembered as Anupam Kher’s best performance, Saraansh is a story of a mother and father adjusting to life after their son is killed in a mugging accident. It is an intriguing portrayal of the social circumstantial complexity of life. The film, among the finest in Mahesh Bhatt’s filmography, was India’s official entry to the Academy Awards that year.
Watch Saaransh on Amazon Prime
11. Blow The Man Down (2020)
A regional noir, Blow The Man Down world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival early last year. A sparkling debut from writer-director duo Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, this dark comedy thriller is not to be missed.
12. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
A young female painter is commissioned by a lady to sketch her daughter’s portrait for a suitor in Milan. Set in the 18th century, the film follows the romantic relationship between the reluctant bride and her painter. With an all woman cast, director Celine Sciamma handles a nuanced enigmatic drama with her signature minimalism, and won the best screenplay at the Cannes. If you liked Girlhood by the same director, you’ll love this one.
13. Gully Boy (2019)
Gully Boy is the 8 Mile of Bollywood. The film is a bare, raw and fierce portrayal of life for the less fortunate. One up for Zoya Akhtar who takes the reins and steers Gully Boy to incredible commercial and critical success. It’s one hell of an incredibly well-made film. Do not miss.
14. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The story revolves around John Nash, a Nobel laureate in Economics and the effect of paranoid schizophrenia on him and his wife Alicia. After considering many actors, including Gary Oldman and Sean Penn for John Nash’s part, director Ron Howard ultimately cast Russel Crowe. The film went on to win 4 Academy Awards.
15. Raazi (2018)
A taut thriller helped by an edge-of-the-seat narrative and a fine ensemble of actors, Raazi is a wartime tale set in 1971. It chronicles the true story of a young Kashmiri girl trained as a spy and sent behind the enemy lines ahead of the Indo-Pak war. Alia Bhatt as Sehmat renders some fine, jaw-dropping moments and her character transition is smooth. She brings out the innocence and brazenness with equal conviction. Watch Raazi for Meghna Gulzar’s compelling storytelling, supported by brilliant performances.
Watch Raazi on Amazon Prime
16. Pariyerum Perumal (2018, Tamil)
A guy belonging to an oppressed caste falls in love with a girl from an upper caste. Things crumble when their families intervene, creating numerous complications. This is one of the best Tamil films of 2018, one that refrains from being preachy and renders its message with avidity.
17. Adhe Kangal (2017, Tamil)
This is a delicious Tamil thriller that boasts a captivating story. It’s about a visually impaired chef who falls for a woman he barely knows. The nicely fleshed out characters and tight hold on the script make it one of the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime.
18. Chris Nolan Films (2017)
Watch Dunkirk on Amazon Prime
19. The Big Sick (2017)
Although billed as a romantic comedy, The Big Sick is a fresh and very thoughtful take on relationships. Kumail Nanjiani’s amusing performance and his arresting screenplay stay with you for a long time. It’s one of the best romances of the 21st century.
20. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (2017, Tamil)
Few action films bring to the forth the aftermath of violence. Theeran is one of the best Tamil thrillers that vigorously shows the graveness of the crimes. The film was also on Flickside’s top Tamil movies of 2017 list.
21. Wonder Woman (2017)
Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman is a monumental film for all ages. It’s one of the best comic book films ever made. The finest film on women empowerment, Wonder Woman shows Gal Gadot in her most rousing avatar.
22. Trapped (2017)
Vikramaditya Motwane, of Lootera and Udaan fame, finally graced the director’s seat again for the first time since 2013. In Trapped he gives us a taut survival thriller starring the talented Rajkummar Rao. It trails a man who’s stranded on the top floor of a Mumbai high-rise building and explores his ordeal and attempts at escape and survival.
Watch Trapped on Amazon Prime
23. Nayakan (1987, Tamil)
The gangster epic — inspired by Mario Puzo’s Godfather — brought together three greats of Indian cinema. Kamal Haasan, Illayaraja and Mani Ratnam. It’s the story of a downtrodden young, rebellious guy becoming a savior of the fellow downtrodden. The film is partly based on real-life Tamil gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar. The nuance Kamal Haasan brings to the central role is up there with Brando’s Corleone.
Other great titles in Ratnam’s filmography — Iruvar, Mouna Raagam, Bombay, Roja, Kannathil Muthamittal, Alaipaayuthey, Thalapathi are also streaming on Prime.
Watch Nayakan on Amazon Prime
24. Pather Panchali, Aparajito (1955, 1956, Bengali)
This was the debut film of Satyajit Ray and is one of the few favourite films of Christopher Nolan. It offers a realistic look into the life of a Bengali family who struggles with poverty. Ray’s second film in the Apu Trilogy Aparajito, portrays the bustle of city life. The film is devoid of melodrama and stays highly insightful and raw in underlining its context.
25. Shutter Island (2010)
A great suspense thriller that stays watertight and doesn’t reveal anything until the very end. DiCaprio plays a US marshal who unravels shocking truths about an asylum situated in a remote area.
26. The Hurt Locker (2008)
One of the best war films ever made, The Hurt Locker takes a close look at the life of a young soldier who disposes of bombs — a job which people rarely survive. The sheer intensity of the film is such that the audience feels like they are in the battlefield right alongside Jeremy Renner, hoping to God that he wouldn’t accidentally snag a trip wire. This is one you don’t want to miss out on.
27. The Lord of the Ring Trilogy (2001-2003)
Peter Jackson’s epic needs no introduction. It’s one-of-its-kind fantasy films made in the history of cinema. The trilogy encapsulates unparalleled action and storytelling that is full of original characters and high on emotions. Shot back-to-back, the film released in three consecutive years.
28. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Three close friends are separated after college due to their different approaches towards relationships. This is, arguably, the finest film ever made on friendship and relationships in Bollywood.
29. Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s Fight Club was a late bloomer. Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name, Fight Club is everyone’s story. Edward Norton’s performance received immense praise along with The Dust Brothers’ electrifying soundtrack. The film later gained a cult status.
30. LA Confidential (1997)
This masterpiece of a film ranks near the top of my all-time favourite movies. It delivers on all fronts so flawlessly. It gives me the noir feel I love, but at the same time nailing the story and not being too far-fetched. LA Confidential may just be the last great film noir.
31. Heat (1995)
A detective, decides to nab a highly intelligent seasonal criminal who has vowed to pull off one last robbery before he retires for good. We all are familiar with how the last act thing goes. What makes Heat remarkable is its intensity. Engrossing from start to finish.
Watch Heat on Amazon Prime
32. Pyaasa (1957)
Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa is a masterpiece that highlights his best work as a filmmaker. He plays the role of a poet, who tries to get his work published but faces constant rejection. It’s one of the rare Bollywood films where songs weren’t mere fillers but aided the narrative. It’s on TIME Magazine’s All-Time Top 100 Movies list.
Watch Pyaasa on Amazon Prime
33. Newton (2016)
Amit Masurkar’s Newton is a darkly comic examination of a frail democratic process. Rajkummar Rao spectacularly plays the titular character, a young idealist who does things by the book. Director Masurkar strikes a perfect balance between satirical humor and tense interplay.
Watch Newton on Amazon Prime
There it is! These are the 33 best Amazon Prime movies available for streaming in India as of February 24, 2022. We’ve included some lovely slice-of-life films, as well as potboilers and blockbusters. The expanding palette of audiences have caused streaming services to provide a cinematic experience that caters to all kinds of tastes. In fact, more and more new releases are choosing to go straight to streaming or for a simultaneous release, which speaks to the sheer force of this new method of watching films. For example, you can also watch the newly released French psychological thriller Titane on Amazon Prime if you have a Mubi subscription.
Which of these is your favourite? Did we miss something? Let us know your all-time greats from Amazon Prime in the comments below. Sign up for our newsletter to get recommendations on the best films and TV shows, straight to your inbox. Or hop over to our Instagram for a new movie recommendations everyday.