Alaipayuthey (2000)

Alaipayuthey romantic tamil movie sathiya

Most romantic films feature a love story starting from the first meet to the eventual marriage. Well, Alaipayuthey is slightly different. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the Tamil musical romantic drama features a love story post marriage and focuses on the problems many young couples face in real life. Featuring R. Madhavan and Shalini in the lead roles, the film explores the struggles of a married life and tries to find the true meaning of love.

Anniyan (2005)

Anniyan best tamil film hindi aparichit
Dubbed in Hindi as Aparichit

It is very rare for Indian filmmakers to make a vigilante film. While most filmmakers opt for a plain story, there are a few who produce marvels like the 2005 psychological thriller film Anniyan. Directed by S. Shankar, the film features the story of Ramanujan who is a law-abiding citizen and gets disturbed by public negligence towards law. His frustration leads to a split personality disorder. One of his identities is a vigilante serial killer named Anniya, whereas the other identity is Remo, created after failure in love. The film features Vikram in the lead role with Sadha as his love interest.

Also Read: Best Indian Films about the common man of the Country

Anjali (1990)

Anjali tamil film maniratnam

If you love kids, you will definitely love the 1990 film Anjali. While the film explores the innocence of kids, especially Baby Shamil who plays the titular character Anjali; it also features a sad ending. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the film tells the story of a mentally disabled child Anjali who is also critically ill. It’s a fun yet disturbing story and will make you both laugh and cry throughout the movie.

Mudhalvan (1999)

Mudhalvan best tamil film
Remade in Hindi as Nayak starring Anil Kapoor

Mudhalvan is a Tamil political thriller film and shares an interesting story. The 1999 Tamil film is a must watch if you are also frustrated with Indian politics. Directed by S. Shankar, the film tells the story of a young reporter who is challenged by the CM of Tamil Nadu to take charge of the latter’s post for one day. The reporter accepts the challenge and does a tremendous job in 24 hours that the people of Tamil Nadu unite to elect him as the new CM. The rest of the story follows his struggles and triumph in the new avatar as the permanent CM.

Also Read: 50 South Indian Films Remade In Bollywood

Parasakthi (1952)

Parasakthi 1952 tamil film best in the list

If you want to witness or wish to motivate yourself to fight against the odds, then watch the 1952 Tamil film Parasakthi. The film tells the story of three brothers and their only sister. All of whom are separated for various reasons but unite in the end. Throughout the film, the sister and the brothers face atrocities and struggle to make amends for their life. Although a classic film and a couple of generations old, I honestly believe that the movie will inspire you to some extent.

Enthiran (2010)

Enthiran robot best tamil film

Directed by S. Shankar, Enthiran is an Indian film that really raised the bar for Indian filmmakers in the Science Fiction genre. Featuring Rajnikanth in dual roles and Aishwarya Rai as the female lead, the film became a cult favorite with a spiritual successor 2.0 as the sequel. It is also the first Indian film featuring a robot as the main character.

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010)

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa best tamil romantic film
Remade in Hindi as Ek Deewana Tha

Different shades of romance are explored in Tamil cinema. One such theme is portrayed in the 2010 blockbuster film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. The film tells a love story of a Hindu Tamil boy and a Syrian Catholic Malayali girl. It is an innocent romance saga with lots of conflicts and emotional struggles due to religious differences coming in the way of true love. Whether the duo is united or separated in the end forms the rest of the story.

Kaththi (2014)

Kaththi best tamil film superstar vijay

Kaththi is an action drama film featuring Vijay in dual roles alongside Samantha Ruth Prabhu as the female lead. Directed by AR Murugadoss, the film tells the story of two individual who are lookalikes of one another but with highly distinctive personalities. While one is fighting for the rights of farmers, the other is a petty criminal. In a turn of events, the petty criminal takes place of the honest in order to escape prison. However, he has a change of heart and takes up the mantle to fight for the farmers in his own way. Whether he succeeds or not forms the rest of the story.

Vishwaroopam (2013)

Vishwaroopam best tamil film

Kamal Haasan is known for making films with new themes that are never tried before. The 2013 spy thriller film Vishwaroopam is one such film. He not only acted as the main lead but also directed the film himself. Despite the controversies around the film and the resultant ban, the film earned accolades from all over during a fragmented release later on. The film was shot simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil.

Also Read: Best Bollywood Thriller Movies

Aadukalam (2011)

Aadukalam best tamil film starring dhanush

Aadukalam is considered as Dhanush’s best performance till date. He even won Best Actor award at both 58th National Film Awards and 59th South Filmfare Awards. Directed by Vetrimaran, the film tells the story of a young rooster trainer who is an expert in breeding and training roosters for cockfights. The film tells the story of love, betrayal, loyalty, and ego clashes. It’s an interesting film if you are into filmmaking.

Mankatha (2011)

Mankatha best tamil action thriller film
One of The Best Tamil Action Thriller Movies

Mankatha is one of its kind black comedy heist drama film produced in India. The film is beyond morality and ethics. Directed by Venkat Prabhu, the film tells the story of a heist drama involving 4 thieves, a suspended police officer, and an investigating police officer. The film features Ajith and Arjun Sarja in the lead roles, whereas Trisha Krishnan, Vaibhav Reddy, Lakshmi Rai, Andrea Jeremiah, and other play pivotal roles.

Jigarthanda (2014)

Jigarthanda best tamil film

Featuring Siddharth, Bobby Simha, and Lakshmi Menon in the lead roles, Jigarthanda is an interesting musical gangster film. Directed by Karthik Subbaraj, the film follows the life of Karthik, an aspiring filmmaker, who is eliminated from a reality show because of his short film. After encouragement from one of the reality show judges, he sets out on a journey in the hunt for a script on a real-life gangster. Here’s where the film gets interesting and the rest of the story focuses on the challenges Karthik faces while making his breakthrough film.

Also Read: Best Indian films about Film Making

Kanchivaram (2008)

Kanchivaram best tamil film
National Award Winning Film

Kanchivaram is a 2008 drama film featuring the life of silk weavers in the famous town of Kanchipuram. Directed by Priyadarshan, the film follows the life of Venkatam, played by Prakash Raj, who is a silk weaver. Through the film, the director draws our attention towards a time when the worker’s community in India suffered and it is still in some places. The film also depicts the struggles faced by the silk weavers initially and also justifies the need for a movement that focuses on the interest of the workers.

Kaaka Muttai (2015)

Kaaka Muttai best tamil film ever

Kaaka Muttai shares an interesting tale of two slum children of Chennai desiring to taste Pizza once in their life. Directed by M. Manikandan, the film follows the lives of two kids living in Chennai slums who grow a desire to eat Pizza after watching a commercial on their new television. Whether they fulfill their desire or not forms the rest of the story.

Kaakha Kaakha (2003)

Kaakha Kaakha cop trilogy tamil best film kakka kakka
Part of GVM’s Cop Trilogy

Featuring Surya in the lead role, Kaakha Kaakha is a 2003 action drama film about an IPS officer and his battle against organized crime in the city. While he is successful in putting a hold on the criminal activities, he also pays a huge price for the mission. The film starts off as a typical action movie but eventually turns into a thriller at the end. Jyothika plays the female lead in the film, whereas Jeevan plays the antagonist.

Pudhupettai (2006)

Pudhupettai best dhanush film tamil movie

Pudhupettai is a 2006 neo-noir Indian film featuring Dhanush in the lead role. Directed by Dhanush’s elder brother Selvaraghavan, the film narrates the story of a young slum-dweller and his rise in the underworld and later into politics. Besides Dhanush, the film also features Sneha and Sonia Agarwal as the female leads.

Over to you!

Tamil film industry is known for its versatile filmmaking and has often set new benchmarks in different genres. This is why many Tamil films are remade in different languages including Hindi. Watch each of these best Tamil movies of all time and taste a new flavour of Indian cinema.

Also, feel free to mention your favorite All time Best Tamil Movies that you believe it deserves to be on the list in the comments below.

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.