Home 50 Best Tamil Movies to watch before you Die

50 Best Tamil Movies to watch before you Die

50 best tamil movies

50 best tamil movies

A list of 50 best Tamil movies researched and handpicked for your pleasure. A few pointers before reading about all these movies.

  • I am not doing any kind of rating here. I am not an expert to do so. I am just making a list of wonderful movies in Tamil Cinema, which I believe are masterpieces.
  • I am trying to go back and forth the years in order to make the posts different from each other..its a deliberate attempt to make the posts more interesting.
  • I am not writing about the movies just by researching the Internet. I have seen all the movies at least once (most of them more than once) and so the movies are definitely hand picked.
  • This series was started in 2009 and I have been trying to finish the series over the years. It takes enormous amount of time to complete each post due to the extensive research that I undertake before writing each post.
  • I have tried to feature both off-beat and popular cinemas in this 50 best tamil movies list because I think it’s important to study the commercial cinema as much as the art-house cinema.
  • Each article will have reference list that consists of articles written by cinema historians like Randor Guy, Theodore Baskaran and Dhananjayan. I respect the work of these stalwarts and thank them for documenting the history of Tamil cinema.
  • Please note that it’s not possible to have all the movies that you might like in the list. This 50 best Tamil movies list is based on my likes and dislikes. I have tried to be as diverse as possible.

Click the individual posters to read the individual article on those 50 best tamil movies

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71 comments

50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die - 14:Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal | Sylvianism March 9 - 2:06 am

[…] Sylvianism ~ My Views and Skews Know Meஇதயத்தின் அடியிலிருந்து…50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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50 Tamil movies watch before you die : Thillana Mohanambal | Sylvianism April 17 - 12:11 pm

[…] Sylvianism ~ My Views and Skews Know Meஇதயத்தின் அடியிலிருந்து…50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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chitra January 3 - 4:50 pm

hi,

ur blog is too good..

50 tamil movies to watch b4 u die -i find only 19 movies could u share the remaining set –

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Sylvian January 27 - 12:10 pm

Dear Chitra, it’s a series blog, I write the blog after watching the movie once more, research on some interesting trivia and analysing the movie. COntinue to visit , you will find the entire list coming up in sometime

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sabharish February 11 - 5:15 am

Gud list mate… waiting for Johnny!!! and few KB’s masterpiece…
Keep up the work!

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Sylvian February 13 - 7:10 pm

Thanks for the comment buddy.. The next one will be up this week 🙂

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50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die 20 - Udhiripookal | Sylvianism March 6 - 12:24 pm

[…] 50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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50 Tamil Movies to watch before your Die – 21: Oru Thalai Raagam | Sylvianism June 4 - 10:44 pm

[…] 50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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siva dubai June 11 - 12:09 am

Dear Sylvian,

I have just come across this when i was browsing some other pages. Wonderful I should say. Man, it takes a lot of effort and penchant for writing to bring this kind of blogs. I wanted to do for a long time but i dont make myself any time to do that. But, seeing yours, I am very impressed and motivated. Wonderfully analyzed, well picked movies, i still need to check the remaining, but, neverthless, great effort. Informative. keep blogging. Siva, Dubai

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RamyaRamesh June 11 - 11:16 pm

completely loves your list, i totally agree with your views. i am surprised that u took note of “UDHIRIPOOKAL”, everytime i listen to “azhakiya kanne” , i feel sad that it has never taken centrestage. also, i expected to see K.BALACHANDER ‘S “aval oru thodarkathai” for sujatha s powerful female centric role, “moondru mudichi”, ” oru nadigai nadagam parkiral” for lakshmi and jayakanthan , “bama vijayam” an all time classic humour, ……… i ll just keep adding, wonderful to see a movie buff, waiting to see your list:)

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Sylvian June 13 - 7:18 pm

Hey Ramya

Thanks for the comment. Udhiripookal according to me is a classic and if it was sent to the oscars it would have won laurels for us. It should have been venerated, glorified and kept in the pinnacle of Indian Cinema Hall of fame. Period.

I dabbled on all your KB movies. In fact I almost wrote Aval oru Thodarkadhai but I can’t keep on adding KB movies to the list. I have to list films till 2010 and I haven’t set my foot on the golden era of Tamil Cinema 🙂 Wait for other movies, you will not complain. Nice to meet another movie buff like me.

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ganesan August 17 - 8:38 pm

Fabulous research

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Ramesh Ramakrishnan (@reviveramesh) October 5 - 10:11 pm

Well done Sylvian -many people around the world want to do this but you have done it – kudos – I for one keep making lists but did not share – you have done a marvellous job starting with 1950 is good other wise you will end up with a lot more – and the idea of short-listing hard – ask any HR person who is doing interviews – they will know….golden age of tamil films – you mean you have not covered those – are you referring to the 70’s and 80’s ??…waiting to get to see the full 50 and then have a huge film festival….

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Susan Deborah January 30 - 10:02 pm

I have watched just a measly ten. Should catch up. Thanks for the list.

Joy always,
Susan

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Sylvian January 31 - 10:22 am

Some of them are quite rare to get it on a DVD.. 🙂 Try watching all the movies. It will be interesting

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Raj February 22 - 7:24 am

Motor Sundaram Pillai and Uyarndha Manidhan were two classic understated performances by the great man.

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Anouch February 25 - 3:32 am

Hi, just found out about your blog, and this serie is priceless for people like me, non Indian South Indian Cinemas lovers ^^ Quite difficult to find old movies with subs , but I’ve already seen a few classics (at least 5 from your list). Keep up the good work! Cheers from France.

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Sylvian February 25 - 8:03 am

Hey Anouch, Thanks for your reply. This is the reason why I started this series and I am happy that it had reached the right people. Keep watching and your comment has made my day 🙂

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Venkatesh February 26 - 9:55 pm

Will your list have Nayagan &Thevar magan – master pieces of Kamal??

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Ranga Badri May 4 - 8:03 am

No, she iwon’t have the two movies you pointed out. Nayagan is a copy of Godfather — any ding-dong could have made that movie. Thevar Magan is one way to make sure no one competes with Kamal by simply killing off Sivaji Ganesan in the movie and letting Kamal take up the role of village chief — this role is simply a stand-in for the mantle of ruling Tamil cinema acting (and womanizing), so Thevar Magan won’t be listed.

Let’s be original please, with no hidden agendas or political messages being transmitted through cinema.

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Ramakrishnan June 30 - 8:25 am

Hi Ranga Badri, I wont agree you. I hope you have not yet watched The Godfather. I have seen both The Godfather and Nayagan. They may be seemed to be on a same boat, but they are always distinct and unique among themselves. Nayagan is always and a evergreen classic. When it comes to Thevar Magan, it is a perfect script and a wonderful film, Tamil Cinema has ever produced. So in Tamil Cinema’s crown of wonderful films, Nayagan and Thevar Magan are always astonishing and evergreen feathers.

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Srinivas April 21 - 11:04 pm

sad tat i cldnt find masterpieces like sindhu bhairavi and a few other great creations of KB included 🙁 lukn forward fr de updated list 🙂 bt yeh i shd say tat its a grt collection and the movie silla nerangalil sila manidhatrgal is my favorite as well 🙂

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Movie Review: Nagaraja Chozhan MA MLA – Mani Darling.. Why? | Sylvianism May 11 - 10:38 pm

[…] 50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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simson May 12 - 6:27 pm

Nice article on Tamil Cinema when you only hear of Hollywood and Bollywood bragging about themselves. Looking forward for more article on tamil cinema.

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PROF.M.A.S.AYYAR June 5 - 2:45 pm

Hi Sylvian
I used to do list our the best movies i have seen so far…….and most of them are in your list…i thnik ur list may also contain Aval appadithan, Salangai Oli, Jhonny, Raja Paarvai, Mahanadhi, Punnagai Mannan, Anbe sivam, Nizhalgal, 6-60 varai…et..al….I have watched each of these movies…8-10 times in the last 10 years…

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Projekt Ilaiyaraaja 142/365 – Why was it so short? – Unnai Thedi Thedi | Sylvianism June 19 - 2:02 pm

[…] 50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die […]

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sharon August 17 - 1:01 pm

what about velli vizha by Balachander with Gemini?

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ahileshyadav September 4 - 12:11 pm

hi buddy,
It’s a wonderful list…I have watched and enjoyed most of the movies for your list…Your post is really awesome….

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Gowtham R October 12 - 4:34 pm

very good research. waiting for the list to be completed.

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Priya Mehra November 13 - 10:50 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUO42O22z8g This is one of the best Movie to Watch !!

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Prasanna November 25 - 1:28 pm

Buddy…. can you please add your list. Waiting for remaining 28 movies. Awaiting trivia and couple of things you say about the movie. I watch these movies again for that. so Please add.

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Sai Raghu December 2 - 10:53 pm

Slyvian,

Great blog.TCI’s(Tamil cinema Illetarates) must read this.

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Priya December 28 - 10:11 pm

hai bro i felt very happy to see the wonderful collection n u c when i want to think about my good old days i will see Mullum Malarum and Uthiri pookkal and after seeing i will cry still i dont know why? it takes me to my youth and it will create some sort of chemical reaction in my body and mind if anybody is having the same sort of feeling let me know that please

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Sylvian December 29 - 10:58 pm

Of course, Priya, that’s why I am reliving the nostalgia by writing this list. I think everyone goes to that world when they revisit these movies

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elavarasan February 15 - 12:48 pm

hi,
awaiting for next updation.

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Govindasamy Parthiban April 15 - 5:16 am

Dear Sir,

Love your writing and appreciate your movie choices. I hope with your vast knowledge, you will be able to help me. I want to see the old tamil murder/mystery movie – one by one some one gets killed and in the final scene it is revealed that the murderer hid his identity by being in a wheel chair all the time. It is classic movie that i want to show my two daughters and i hope you can help me.

Thank you for your time and love the honest reviews – i just hope you will consider Mouna Ragam in your list one of the days

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writeraishwaryan March 16 - 1:56 am

Film name is Nadu iravil by S. Balachandar

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Vijay April 29 - 12:28 am

one of d finest list i ever read….good job…

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Shallinee Raman May 24 - 9:31 am

I kept swiping my fingers tirelessly on my iPad – searching for lucky No. 24. Until I read your comment. They come in batches. Fine. Yours truly will wait, patiently, fingers crossed that some present day movies will be listed too. The Tamil movie industry is evolving magnificently. So many great movies in hand. For me, Alaipayuthey still is Número Uno. Looking forward to read the rest of the list. Take care. God bless. 🙂

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mellow June 21 - 7:15 am

Hi, How about kathalikka neramillai, kalatta kalyanam,nenjam marapathillai, parthal pasi theerum, nallavanukku nallavan, padikkatha methai, karnan, agni satchi, antha 7 natkal, varumayin niram sigappu, sirai, bhuvana oru kelvi kuri,thaneer thaneer,navarathri, iru kodugal list is endless…..

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siva July 24 - 5:49 pm

were is other movies

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Vasu September 4 - 10:30 am

I am sure Nayakan does not deserve to miss a place in the list (even if you don’t rank it among YOUR BEST!)

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siva1612 September 15 - 9:34 pm

FOA.. Kudos on the list. The concept is simply amazing.. I cannot believe that this has been around since 2009 and i found it only this week. The level of research and the trivia are simply superb… Have never encountered anything as such till date in my 9 years of browsing the web…
Secondly, I’m not going to request any movie addition, as i can see that this is ur list and as it is my firm belief that the movies a person likes is a window into their psyche, I really enjoyed getting to know yours. Also, this is first reply to any blog post so far.
Further, 2009-2014 … 5 years have gone and the list is not even half finished!!??!!.. I can understand that immense research is there behind each post, but i don’t think i can follow this blog for 5 more years for further updates!!.. Anyway that’s up to u!!
The comments, in particular from Mrs.Raji, who actually saw the old movies in the theaters are wonderful..

Keep up the series and kudos once again..

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Ajay October 20 - 11:53 am

Awesome post..truly all the movies are great in their own ways..mostly watched all the movies posted..When will the other movies in series will be posted..

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Pragash October 21 - 7:28 pm

Very nice Post. If you are interested in Tamil Cinema and want to catchup on the news please visit our site. http://www.vuin.net

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Surya P November 19 - 12:50 pm

Nice list. I came to know DIgambara Samiyaar from here only. Thanks for that. Please have a look at Kalai Arasi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalai_Arasi). I felt great about our directors and science fiction after seeing this movie.

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Ramesh December 28 - 7:39 pm

Getting goosebumps by merely looking at the list!

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mani January 6 - 11:32 pm

Heyyo have u seen this film called miss malini?! If you can get it please let me know.

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Mani February 28 - 10:55 pm

If anyone has a copy of miss Maliki pls can u mail me at csmanikandan@live.com . My grandfather acted in that movie as the suave villain and I was interested in it. Also my family has been hunting for it for quite a while.

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Ascetic January 31 - 12:50 pm

Waiting to see further additions to this list

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siva1612 February 1 - 4:52 am

Hi, One Question. Why have u written a piece on Oomai Vizhigal, but is not listed here?

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Sylvian February 4 - 3:35 pm

Hey Siva,

Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I missed it but I have added the link now. Happy to see someone looking it so carefully. You made my day 🙂

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siva1612 February 23 - 2:52 pm

Happy to have been of some help.. I guess this shows the eagerness with which we are waiting for the entire series… Seriously, I was so much interested in this series, I searched the entire blog with a fine tooth comb for more… And it paid off tooo…
2 posts in 2 months.. Hope i could see all 50 by the end of the tear … At least!!

Kudos again..

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writeraishwaryan March 16 - 2:04 am

Good work. I am also starting such a list for writing a book. Will u help me, if I trouble u anytime. Writeraishwaryan@gmail.com

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Murali August 20 - 4:20 am

I love your list. Just wondering where would Lava Kusa fall in this line? It is a wonderful tamil devotional movie with great acting skills from Anjali Devi as Seetha and others….

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Nivi October 23 - 2:16 pm

Shall I tell that you missed MOODUPANI…?

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R March 19 - 11:36 pm

Sir what about Haridos, u hv missed the great movie

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