10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

4:30 am 16 Nov, 2013

Tamil Cinema is often cited as the back bone of Indian film industry because it is so full on cultural heritage. Famous as Kollywood, the Tamil film industry operates from Kodambakkam, and is well known for having produced some of the best movies which have earned critical acclaim the world over. It boasts of having great actors such as Sivaji Ganeshan, Mani Ratnam, N T Ramarao among others. It is second best to none in the country when it comes at producing quality content. Here are top 10 critically acclaimed Tamil movies.

10. Nayakan:

The 1987 release, Nayakan is crime film that is written and directed by ace director Mani Ratnam. Starring Kamal Hassan, the movie is based around the life of Bombay underworld don Varada. It portrays the miserable life that South Indians lead in Bombay during those times. The movie spurred up a lot of controversy and yet managed to grab many National Awards as well. It was included in the list of ‘All time 100 Best films’ by the Time Magazine in the year 2005.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

9. Aalayamani:

The story describes the over possessiveness and mistrust of a lover. It is a tale of dark feelings, which destroy the life of people and their well wishers too. Starring Sivaji Ganesan, the 1962 starrer won many awards and is still regarded as one of the very best in its genre.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

8. Bhaaga Parivinai:

This 1959 release was one of the most successful movies of its time. Starring Sivaji Ganesan and M.R.Radha, the movie throws light on the joint family culture in India. The movie won a National Award in the same year of release.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

7. Moondram Pirai:

The 1982 Tamil film starring Kamal Hassan and Sri Devi won many National Awards in the year of its release. The critically acclaimed movie was a blockbuster and ran for 329 days at the box office. It’s the story about a young girl suffering from amnesia who comes in contact with the male lead only to recover at the end of the movie. The fabulous soundtracks of the movie were composed by Illaiyaraaja.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

6. Kannathil Muthamittal:

The drama film of 2002 was directed and produced by Mani Ratnam. Featuring heartthrob R. Madhavan in the title role, the story presents an idea of a child of a Sri Lankan parents adopted by Indian parents, who lives with a dream of meeting her biological parents some day. The movie was widely praised and won 6 National Film Awards.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

5. Apoorva Raagangal:


A comparatively controversial flick, the movie directed by K. Balachander was mired in controversy as soon as it was released. The movie explores the relationships between people with wide age gaps, something not taken well by the gentry of the time. The movie won three National Awards and three Filmfare Awards.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

4. Iruvar:

Co-written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam, the film is based on the universal relationship of films cinema with politics. The film features superstar Mohanlal in the lead role. The story is about a struggling actor who is seeking opportunities to work in the film industry. The film won the Best Film Award at the Belgrade International Film festival and two National Awards. In the year 2012, the film was included in the 100 greatest films of all time by the British Film Institute Sight and Sound.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

3. Thevar Magan:

The 1992 film starring acting legend Kamal Hasan won 5 National Awards. The film was the biggest grosser of the time with a 175 day run at the box office. It shared a unique concept which was alien to the society of the time. It showed the young protagonist visiting his father with his westernized girlfriend and how this annoyed his father and strained the father son relationship. As the story unfold interesting sequences follow.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

2. Roja:

This is a story about a girl Roja who lives in village in Tamil Nadu where her sister is about to get married. However, the guy decides to marry Roja instead and thereafter, gets posted in Kashmir. It’s where some militants kidnap them and the actual story unwraps. This highly critically acclaimed political drama of 1992 was directed by great filmmaker Mani Ratnam. The film was later dubbed in various other languages. The movie won three national Awards along with a global acclaim.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

1. Anjali:

A cult classic and gem in its own right, it will be no exaggeration if we term the movie as one of the best emotional dramas the world has ever seen. The movie apart from its outstanding plot and directorial treatment is also remembered for the memorable tunes composed by master musician Illaiyaraaja, his 500th movie. It is a story about a dying mentally instable girl and the emotional trauma experienced by her family. The movie was India’s official entry to the Oscars in the year 1991. It also won 3 National Awards.

10 Critically Acclaimed Tamil Movies A Cinema Lover Should Watch

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