Illegal streaming sites such as iBOMMA have been a big headache for film producers across the globe. The Indian film industry has been particularly hit hard as the large Indian diaspora community has been making use of dubious streaming portals. Indian laws are unable to catch up with these shady sites, which are mostly operated from beyond its shores.

The issue of illegal streaming is such that the famous production house in Tamil — the country’s oldest surviving film production unit — the AVM, came out with a thriller web series last year on such piracy peddling site. The infamous Tamil digital pirates Tamil Rockers were the subject of SonyLiv’s web series Tamil Rockerz.

The Telugu film industry, Tollywood, one of the major ones in the country, has been hit hard by its Tamil Rockers brand, iBOMMA. A few months back, the pirates even made bold threats to the Telugu film producers. Such is their cockiness and chutzpah. 

The illegal streamers, usually with the help of venal or disgruntled insiders, air pirated versions of new films within a day or two of their official release. This hurts everyone connected with the film industry, and it is in the larger interests of everyone that such fly-by-night operations are not encouraged or consumed.

Don’t Watch These Top Telugu Movies of 2023 on iBOMMA

If you are a Telugu film buff, most of the top releases of 2023 can be accessed on legitimate streamers such as Netflix and Prime Video with official patronage.

Here’s a list of some of the top Telugu offerings on mainstream OTT platforms. These movies have done well on streaming platforms, which is where you should watch them- not iBOMMA. 

Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty

This underrated gem takes time to get going. But once it does, it is a laughathon with Naveen Polishetty in spectacular form, dropping one comic one-liner after another.

On a comeback, Anushka Shetty is grace personified in this tale of a single woman looking to become a mom through the IVC route. But it also leads to romance. This breezy tale is urban-centric and, if predictable, full of mirth.


Nani is the Telugu hero with two big hits in 2023. Released in the latter half of the year, his Hi Nanna is doing well in theatres. It is a soft-focus story about a dad.

Dasara is a different movie that hit the screens early this year. It is a visually stunning revenge drama helmed by debutant Srikanth Odela’s Dasara. Though a bit cliched, the film has its heart in the right place. Aside from Nani, it also stars Keerthy Suresh and Deekshit Shetty in the leads.

Ranga Marthanda

Director Krishna Vamsi’s Ranga Marthanda is a remake of the Marathi film Natsamrat, which itself is based on a stage play of the same name that has been performed since the 70s.

This is the story of a theatre actor who announces retirement from acting in a bid to spend more time with his family. But things don’t go according to plan. The film, despite its shortcomings, is emotionally stirring.

The film has  Prakash Raj, Ramya Krishna, and Brahmanandam in the lead roles, along with Shivathmika Rajashekar, Rahul Sipligunj, Ali Reza, and Anasuya Bharadwaj in supporting characters.


Can a movie centred around a death be this gracefully funny? Well, Balagam shows you how it is done. Telangana’s culture and small-town ethos are beautifully brought out in this film, with Priyadarshi Pullikonda in the lead.

The story is about how a family deals with the consequences of his grandfather’s passing. The ceremonies involved in the funeral are the core of the film. Venu Yeldandi, as a guilt-filled tailor, is a hoot in this film. Written and directed by actor Venu Yeldandi, in his directorial debut, the movie is a triumph for small Telugu films whose numbers are growing by the year.


This romantic comedy is a self-aware hat-doff to mass masala Telugu movies. Directed by Pawan Basamsetty, the film cobbles up a bunch of situations with a small thread of a story.

But what works is the ease and poise of Naga Shaurya, he is nicknamed Show and Nani in the film and likes to be the centre of attention. He, along with buddies (played by Satya and Rajkumar Kasireddy) keeps you laughing, even if unthinkingly. Yukti Thareja plays the female lead.


This is the web series debut of the Telugu star Naga Chaitanya. He plays an investigative journalist named Sagar, who finds himself in the thick of unexpected happenings.

The series is a smartly crafted horror mystery thriller from the director Vikram Kumar. His 2016 Tamil film 24 is a misunderstood gem in the sci-fi genre. The man shows his mettle in this gripping series that also stars Parvathy Thiruvothu, Prachi Desai, Gnaneswari Kandregula, Anish Kuruvilla, Tharun Bhascker, Rohini, Tanikella Bharani, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Pasupathy.


Under Ajay Bhupathi’s direction, Payal Rajput had given the hit RX 100 in 2018. So when the combo came back together, there was a huge expectation. And Mangalavaaram didn’t disappoint.

This psychological mystery thriller had a good run at the box office. The film gets going with the investigation of a bunch of strange suicides in a village. Others in the cast include Nanditha Swetha, Divya Pillai, Azmal, Ravindra Vijay, Krishna Chaitanya, and Ajay Gosh. 

Martin Luther King

This sensitive political satire is a remake of the Tamil hit Mandela (2021). It is about a nameless barber in a small village whose single vote becomes crucial in a local election involving two factions.

Directed by Puja Kolluru, the film stars Sampoornesh Babu in the titular lead role while Naresh, Sharanya Pradeep and Venkatesh Maha play supportive roles. The film makes insightful social commentary even while keeping its tongue firmly in cheek.

Tiger Nageswara Rao

This film deals with an important chapter in Andhra Pradesh’s history—that of the marginalized communities of Stuartpuram, whose identity was criminalized under the British Raj.

The film has Ravi Teja in great form, as he plays a notorious bandit from Stuartpuram in Andhra Pradesh. Director Vamsee’s biopic-style film is on the eponymous Nageswara Rao who earned the moniker ‘Tiger’ for his daredevilry. 

The film’s events are set in the 60s and 70s, and the film’s production design is an object lesson for others to emulate.


Sai Dharam Tej needed a hit to salvage his career that seemed to be going nowhere. The horror thriller Virupaksha seems to have provided him with that.

Featuring Samyuktha Menon as the female lead, Virupaksha’s storyline thrills and keeps you engaged for the most part. The production design, BGM, performances, and twists all make the film a good watch.

Virupaksha is directed by Karthik Varma Dandu, who shows he is adept at handling an interesting subject. He shows that fear can be invoked without resorting to gimmicks.

Balakumar Kuppuswamy
Balakumar Kuppuswamy

An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.


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