Tamil cinema, or Kollywood, as it's adoringly called, has been around for several years now, but the last few decades have especially seen a lot of great classic hits in the language. Right from the early 1960s to even 2019, we have listed some of the most classic Tamil movies that you should watch at least once in your lifetime.


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Roja is a 1992 Tamil film is the story of Roja who lives in a Tamil village. Her sister is about to marry a man from the city, who decides to marry Roja instead and gets a job assignment in Kashmir, where some militants decide to kidnap them.


2005's Anniyan is an action thriller Ambi, a meek lawyer, ends up being a vigilante named Anniyan, and a supermodel named Remo, after suffering with multiple personality disorder due to the society.


Thalapathi is Rajinikanth's Tamil classic. This timeless action drama is about Surya, an orphan raised in a slum. He finds a friend in the local Godfather and they rule the town to form a parallel government. Interesting watch, for sure.


Times of India

Indian is a 1996 Tamil superhit movie starring Kamal Haasan in the lead role. It shows the story of Senapathy, a veteran freedom fighter. He is angry against the rampant corruption at every level of the bureaucracy. He will clean it up at any cost. Sequel Indian 2 releases in 2020.

Nerkonda Paarvai

Last year's Nerkonda Paarvai is about Deepak, a lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder who experiences frequent mood swings. One night, Rajveer and his friends get drunk and try to molest Miss Arora and her two roommates leading to an accident. The film revolves around how Deepak fights the girls' case against these influential boys.


Dhanush is a big star in Tamil cinema and he was recently seen in 2019's Asuran. This action drama revolves around a revenge murder story. It's about the fight between two main characters - Chidambaram and Vadakkooran.


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1987's Tamil hit Nayakan is another classic Kamal Haasan movie that you should be watching if you are a Tamil cinema fan. The story revolves around a common man's struggles against a corrupt police force putting him on the wrong side of the law.


Mudhalvan is 1999's thriller hit about a man who accepts a challenge to act as the Chief Minister for one day only, and makes such a success of it that soon he is embroiled in political intrigue.


Yet another classic Tamil movie that has been adapted into a popular Bollywood film. 2005's Ghajini is based around a rich business entrepreneur falling in love with an ad film actress. Tragedy strikes and the world changes.

Thevar Magan

The Hindu

Thevar Magan from 1992 has been produced by, written by, and stars Kamal Hassan in the titular role. It was one of the rare few Tamil films to be chosen for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards, back in 1992.