Must watch Tamil movies with top IMDB ratings
Must watch Tamil movies with top IMDB ratings

Tamil cinema, known for its rich storytelling and cultural depth, has produced some of the most remarkable films in Indian cinema. From gripping dramas to thrilling action flicks, Tamil movies captivate audiences with their unique narratives and compelling performances. In this listicle, we highlight must watch Tamil movies that boast top IMDb ratings. These films not only showcase the diversity and creativity of Tamil filmmakers but also offer an immersive experience into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s cinematic excellence. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to Tamil cinema, these movies are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Must Watch Tamil Movies With Top IMDB Ratings

◆ Nayakan (1987)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.7
  • Genre: Crime, Drama
  • Cast: Kamal Haasan, Saranya, Karthika
  • Runtime: 145 minutes

Directed by Mani Ratnam, “Nayakan” is a compelling crime drama loosely based on the life of Mumbai underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar. Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of the protagonist won critical acclaim. Inspired by the real-life Bombay underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar, “Nayakan” delves deep into the socio-political landscape of the 1970s and ’80s Bombay, portraying the rise of a benevolent yet ruthless gangster. The film is not just a crime saga but a poignant exploration of power, redemption, and the human condition, drawing parallels to the iconic character of Michael Corleone from “The Godfather” while offering a uniquely South Indian perspective.

◆ Thalapathi (1991)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.5
  • Genre: Action, Drama
  • Cast: Rajinikanth, Mammootty, Shobana
  • Runtime: 157 minutes

Must watch Tamil movies with top IMDB ratings
Must Watch Tamil Movies: Thalapathi

Drawing inspiration from the epic Mahabharata, “Thalapathi” presents a modern-day retelling of the friendship between Karna and Duryodhana, as seen through the characters of Surya (Rajinikanth) and Devaraj (Mammootty). The film transcends its gangster genre trappings to become a timeless tale of loyalty, sacrifice, and the complexities of human relationships, with director Mani Ratnam’s masterful storytelling and Ilayaraja’s soul-stirring music elevating it to cinematic greatness. The movie’s interesting characters and touching story are why people still love it today, making it really special in Indian movies.

◆ Padaiyappa (1999)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.2
  • Genre: Drama, Action
  • Cast: Rajinikanth, Soundarya, Ramya Krishnan
  • Runtime: 181 minutes

Directed by K. S. Ravikumar, “Padaiyappa” is an epic drama that follows the journey of Padaiyappa (played by Rajinikanth), a virtuous man who faces numerous challenges in his life. “Padaiyappa” is not just a typical revenge drama but a larger-than-life spectacle that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, righteousness over greed. The story revolves around his struggles, triumphs, and ultimate quest for justice. Padaiyappa’s journey takes him through various trials, including familial conflicts, deceit, and societal injustices. Along the way, he finds love and companionship while also confronting his adversaries with courage and determination. The film is renowned for its memorable dialogues, particularly Rajinikanth’s punchlines, which have attained cult status among fans.

◆ Alaipayuthey (2000)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.3
  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Cast: R. Madhavan, Shalini, Swarnamalya
  • Runtime: 156 minutes

Directed by Mani Ratnam, “Alaipayuthey” is a romantic drama that follows the lives of a young couple, Karthik (played by R. Madhavan) and Shakthi (played by Shalini), Beyond its romantic premise, “Alaipayuthey” serves as a provocative insight on the challenges faced by young couples in modern Indian society, from familial expectations to societal pressures. One special thing about the movie is its storytelling style. Instead of a straightforward plot, it jumps between past and present, making the story more engaging. Director Mani Ratnam’s sensitive portrayal of love and marriage, coupled with A.R. Rahman’s soul-stirring music, strikes a chord with audiences of all ages, making it a timeless classic that continues to be celebrated for its realism and emotional depth.

◆ Anbe Sivam (2003)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.6
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Cast: Kamal Haasan, Madhavan, Kiran Rathod
  • Runtime: 160 minutes

Must watch Tamil movies with top IMDB ratings
Must Watch Tamil Movies: Anbe Sivam

Directed by Sundar C., “Anbe Sivam” is a heartwarming tale of friendship and humanism. Kamal Haasan and Madhavan shine as two contrasting characters whose journey together unfolds a poignant narrative. “Anbe Sivam” is more than just a buddy road trip movie; it’s a profound meditation on the human condition, exploring themes of compassion, empathy, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world. Kamal Haasan’s dual role as the philosophical Nallasivam and the brash Anbarasu showcases his versatility as an actor, while the film’s powerful message of love and humanity transcends linguistic and cultural barriers, earning it a special place in the hearts of audiences worldwide.

◆ Anniyan (2005)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.2
  • Genre: Mystery, Thriller
  • Cast: Vikram, Sadha, Prakash Raj
  • Runtime: 181 minutes

Directed by Shankar, “Anniyan” is a psychological thriller that delves into the mind of Ambi, a righteous and socially awkward man played by Vikram. Ambi suffers from multiple personality disorder, with his alternate persona being Anniyan, a avenger who punishes wrongdoers according to his own sense of justice. As Anniyan’s actions become increasingly violent and uncontrollable, Ambi struggles to reconcile his dual identities while also pursuing his love interest, Nandini (played by Sadha). The film explores themes of justice, morality, and the complexities of the human mind. With its gripping narrative, intense performances, and innovative visual effects, “Anniyan” received critical acclaim and became a commercial success..

◆ Deiva Thirumagal (2011)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.2
  • Genre: Drama
  • Cast: Vikram, Anushka Shetty, Amala Paul
  • Runtime: 160 minutes

Must watch Tamil movies with top IMDB ratings
Must Watch Tamil Movies: Deiva Thirumagal

Directed by A. L. Vijay, “Deiva Thirumagal” narrates the tale of the special connection between Krishna (played by Vikram), a father with intellectual disabilities, and his daughter Nila (played by Sarah). Anushka Shetty portrays the role of an advocate named Anuradha who helps Krishna in his legal battle. The film explores themes of love, fatherhood, and the rights of individuals with disabilities. Vikram’s portrayal of a mentally challenged father fighting for custody of his daughter is both heart-wrenching and inspiring, challenging stereotypes and advocating for the rights of differently-abled individuals. With heartfelt performances by the cast, especially Vikram’s portrayal of Krishna, “Deiva Thirumagal” received critical acclaim for its emotional depth and touching narrative.

◆ ‘96 (2018)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.5
  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha Krishnan, Varsha Bollamma
  • Runtime: 158 minutes

Directed by C. Prem Kumar “96,” a 2018 Tamil film, offers unique elements that capture the audience’s interest. One distinctive feature is its nostalgic storyline, which revolves around a high school reunion and rekindled romance between two former classmates Ramachandran (Ram) (played by Vijay Sethupathi) and Janaki Devi (Jaanu) (played by Trisha Krishnan). The movie beautifully captures the essence of first love and the passage of time. Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha Krishnan deliver soulful performances, making it a memorable cinematic experience. “’96” is an emotionally resonant romantic drama that transcends the boundaries of time and space to explore the enduring power of first love. Set against the backdrop of a high school reunion, the film delves into themes of nostalgia, regret, and the passage of time, as the protagonists confront their pasts and come to terms with lingering emotions.

◆ Kaithi (2019)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.4
  • Genre: Action, Thriller
  • Cast: Karthi, Narain, Dheena
  • Runtime: 147 minutes

Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, “Kaithi” stands out from typical action thrillers. Instead of following a traditional storytelling style, the movie unfolds in real-time. This means that viewers are drawn into a gripping, non-stop adventure that keeps them fully engaged from beginning to end, with pulses racing and excitement building at every turn. One unique aspect is its real-time narrative, which unfolds over the course of a single night. With no breaks or pauses, the film takes audiences on a heart-pounding ride alongside the protagonist, as he battles against time and a ruthless criminal syndicate to save his daughter. This innovative narrative approach creates an unprecedented level of intensity and urgency, making “Kaithi” a gripping cinematic experience unlike any other.

◆ Soorarai Pottru (2020)

  • IMDb Rating: 8.7
  • Genre: Drama, Biography
  • Cast: Suriya, Aparna Balamurali, Paresh Rawal
  • Runtime: 153 minutes

Directed by Sudha Kongara, “Soorarai Pottru” offers several unique elements that capture audience interest. One standout aspect is its inspiring storyline, based on the life of Captain G. R. Gopinath, the founder of the low-cost airline Air Deccan. The film follows the journey of Nedumaaran Rajangam, played by Suriya, who dreams of making air travel accessible to all. What makes “Soorarai Pottru” special is how it shows people never giving up on their dreams, no matter how tough things get. The movie’s realistic depiction of the aviation industry and the challenges faced by entrepreneurs adds depth to the narrative. Furthermore, Suriya’s powerful performance, coupled with Sudha Kongara’s adept direction, elevates “Soorarai Pottru” to a compelling cinematic experience that resonates with audiences on an emotional level..

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