The very own domain of Superstar Rajnikanth, Tamil Film industry is known as one of the best regional film industries of India. The specialty of Tamil Film Industry or better known as Kollywood is a fine blend of art and masala flicks. Over the years, Kollywood has successfully delivered some of the best Indian films of all times. Besides gifting us stars in the form of Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Sridevi, Ramya Krishnan, Vikram, Vijay, Ajith, Asin, Simran, the film industry is also known as the stepping stone for many renowned filmmakers.

Ace film directors like Maniratnam, S. Shankar, A.R. Murugadoss, and many others began their career in Kollywood and later went on to garner accolades from every region both nationally and globally.

Today, with this article I am trying to give a tribute to Tamil Cinema for their contribution to not only Indian cinema but also the world cinema, here is the list of All Time Best Tamil Movies….

Also Read: Best Inspirational and Motivational Tamil Movies

List of Best Tamil Films of All Time

Tamil film industry is known for trying out different things. Everything from storytelling to the special effects and cinematography, each aspect of filmmaking in Kollywood gets equal attention.

This list of top Tamil films is the best example of the amazing blend of creativity with technology in Tamil cinema.

Let’s begin.

Nayagan (1987)

Nayagan kamal haasan best tamil film
Remade in Hindi as Dayavan

Nayagan is a 1987 crime drama film starring Kamal Haasan in the lead role. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the film tells the story of a young Tamil boy who arrives in Mumbai and becomes the local don. Loosely based on the underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar, the film mainly tries to portray the hardships faced by South Indians in Bombay during that period.

Thalapathi (1991)

Thalapathi tamil film starring Rajinikanth and Mammootty best tamil film
Dubbed in Hindi as Dalapathi

It is very rare that two superstars of the different industry come together in a film. Well, if anyone could do that then it is none other than the ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam. Thalapati is a 1991 crime drama film directed by Mani Ratnam. The film features Rajnikanth (the Tamil superstar) and Mammootty (the Malayalam superstar) in the lead roles. This film is based on the Indian Mythology Mahabharata, both characters portray Dushasana and Karan.

Sethu (1999)

Sethu best tamil film
Remade in Hindi as Tere Naam

Well, all of us love and praised Salman Khan for his performance in Tere Naam. But, when you watch its original film Sethu, you will witness and the new level of brilliance by Vikram. Directed by debutant Bala, Sethu is one of the best Tamil romantic drama films that inspired different film industries to remake the film, including Tere Naam.

Bombay (1995)

Bombay 1995 best tamil film
Dubbed in Hindi with same Title

Mani Ratnam’s 1995 Bombay got him recognition all over India as the film received accolades from various film industries. The ace filmmaker is known for his unique method of storytelling where he always blends human relationships and its conflicts with the surrounding elements. Featuring Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala in the lead roles, the film depicts the love story of the lead actors amidst the Bombay riots of 1992-93.

Moondram Pirai (1982)

Moondram Pirai aka sadma best tamil film
Hindi version titled as Sadma

Directed by Balu Mahendra, Moondram Pirai is a Tamil romantic drama featuring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in the lead roles. The film is considered as Sridevi’s best film for her brilliant portrayal of Bhagyalakshmi and one of the Best Tamil Films ever, who suffers from retrograde amnesia and behaves like a kid. Hindi film Sadma is the remake of Moondram Pirai with Kamal Haasan and Sridevi reprising their roles.

Anbe Sivam (2003)

Anbe Sivam best tamil film

Anbe Sivam is a comedy drama film featuring Kamal Haasan and R. Madhavan in the lead roles. Surprisingly the story of the film is written by Kamal Haasan whereas it is directed by Sundar C. The film basically features an unexpected journey from Bhubaneswar to Chennai where two strangers with distinctive personalities meet. It is one of the best films in India as it draws our attention towards humanism or humanity.

Thevar Magan (1992)

Thevar Magan best tamil film kamal haasan
Remade in Hindi as Virasat

Directed by Bharathan, Thevar Magan is a drama film featuring Kamal Haasan, Sivaji Ganesan, Revathi, Gouthami, and Nassar in important roles. The 1997 Hindi film Virasat starring Anil Kapoor is the official remake of Thevar Magan. The film follows the life of the protagonist played by Kamal Haasan and his transformation from a Western-influenced young man to a village chieftain.

Iruvar (1997)

Iruvar best tamil film by maniratnam
One of the Best Tamil Political Film

Touted as a film that portrays the rivalry between M.G. Ramachandran (a.k.a. MGR) and M. Karunanidhi, Iruvar is an epic political drama film directed by Mani Ratnam. Featuring Mohanlal as a film star turned politician same as MGR and Prakash Raj as a screenwriter turned politician just like Karunanidhi, the film uncovers the love-hate relationship between Tamil cinema and politics.

Mouna Ragam (1986)

Mouna Ragam best tamil film
One of the Best films of Maniratnam

Mouna Ragam is a romantic drama film directed by Mani Ratnam. The film tries to depict the meaning of true love and convince the audience that love is all about giving not gaining. Featuring Revathi and Mohan in the lead roles, the film really makes you wonder about love and relationships.

Pithamagan (2003)

Pithamagan best tamil film

Pithamagan is a Tamil crime drama film featuring Vikram, Surya, Laila and Sangeetha in important roles. The film is best known for Vikram’s performance as Chithan who grows up among corpses in a graveyard. His performance in the film also won him National Film Award for Best Actor. Directed by Bala, the film follows the life of Chithan and his encounters with people, crime, and human bonding.

Roja (1992)

Roja best maniratnam tamil film
Dubbed in Hindi as Roja

Mani Ratnam has mostly narrated a love story amidst social conflicts. While Bombay was a film about the indifferences between two communities, his 1992 film Roja tells a love story amidst terrorism as the base. Featuring Arvind Swamy and Madhoo in the lead roles, the film is a romantic saga between the lead couple whose world turns upside down when one of them is abducted by the terrorists. The movie is a must watch for all.

Thillu Mullu (1981)

Thillu Mullu tamil comedy film
Remake of Hrishikesh Mukerjee’s Gol Maal

While many great Tamil films inspired Bollywood, Thillu Mullu is among those films that got inspiration from Bollywood. Yes, Thillu Mullu is the Tamil remake of Hindi film Gol Maal, one of the best comedy films in Hindi cinema. Directed by K. Balachander, the film features Rajnikanth, Madhavi, and Thengai Srinivasan in the lead roles.

Also Read: List of Amitabh Bachchan’s Movies remade by Rajinikanth

16 Vayathinile (1977)

16 Vayathinile tamil film of sridevi16 Vayathinile tamil film of sridevi

16 Vayathinile is a breakthrough film of the yesteryear Bollywood Diva Sridevi and One of the Best Films of Sridevi. Besides Sridevi, the film also features Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth. Both the superstars were struggling and didn’t achieve the stardom at the time. Kamal Haasan played the male protagonist in the film, whereas Rajnikanth played the villain. The 1979 film Solva Sawan is the Hindi remake of 16 Vayathinile.

Mullum Malarum (1978)

Mullum Malarum best tamil film

Mullum Malarum is a 1978 film directed by J. Mahendran. The story of the film basically focuses on the brother-sister bond and the sacrifices made by the brother for the happiness of his sister. The film is inspired by the novel of the same name penned by Umachandran. Mullum Malarum features Rajnikanth as the lead protagonist, whereas Sarath Babu, Fatafat Jayalaxmi, and Shobha play supporting roles in the film.

Paruthiveeran (2007)

Paruthiveeran best tamil film

Featuring in his debut film, Karthi hits a bull’s eye with the 2007 epic romantic drama Paruthiveeran. Directed by Ameer Sultan, the film tells the story of Paruthiveeran, played by Karthi, whose parents are banished from the village, thanks to their inter-caste marriage. However, the history repeats itself when Paruthiveeran and her cousin Muththazhagu, played by Priyamani, elope to get married. But, fate had other plans as Muththazhagu is gang-raped by Paruthiveeran’s friends and he is beaten to death by the girl’s father and other relatives.

Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.


  1. A mediocre list if you ask me with little description. Appreciate the effort tho. I would include Iruvar and Nayagan in my list. But there are so many great movies from the 60s and before which you have not even mentioned.