1. Nayakan (1987)
Written and directed by Maniratnam
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Kamal Haasan, Janakaraj, Nasser
- a perfect mixture of greatest talents is Nayakan. Classic sound track by Ilayaraja, mind blowing performance by Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam - what to say about this man? a path breaking directer who rarely failed to mesmerize the viewers. There are very few songs and all the songs just fits the places. This classic movie can brings tears. Is one of the greatest gangster movie in the world.
Best Scene: BGM and performance of Kamal Haasan just after his son's death.
* Time Magazine's list of All Time 100 Best Films.
2. Moondram Pirai (1982)
Written and directed by Balu Mahendra
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Kamal Haasan, Sridevi
- the film is a poetic beauty. Romantic story was never so sensitive in India earlier. Yet another great sound track by Ilayaraja and performance by Kamal Haasan. Kamal Haasan is stunning as he was in Nayakan. The movie tells the story of a mentally disabled girl saved and taken cared by a person, who gradually falls in love with the girl. But the girl just fails to identify him after she get cured.
Best Scene: Climax scene, performance of Kamal Haasan and Ilayaraja + K J Yesudas's song.
* National Award for best Actor - Kamal Haasan
3. Ratha Kanneer (1954)
Written by Tiruvarur K Thangaraj, directed by R Krishnan and S Panju
- story revolving around a foreign return who is as bad as any thing in this world - just become a classic for its unique story line and performance. The theme itself is classy. M R Radha as the rich foreign return who disrespect his mother and wife, later looses everything, becomes blind and leprosy. A must see movie for classic movie fans.
Best Scene: M R Radha meeting his wife, but both cannot identify each other because of his blindness and leprosy.
4. Uthari Pookkal (1979)
Written and directed by J Mahendran
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Vijayan, Sharath Babu
- the story is about the cruel and wicked Sundararaman, who is the head of a popular and most powerful family in a village. the direction, dialogs are considered as the finest and a path breaking in Tamil Cinema history.
Best Scene: The outstanding ending
* Mani Ratnam once remarked 'uthari pookkal' as the best Tamil movie of all time.
5. Parasakthi (1952)
Written by Kalaingar M Karunanidhi, directed by S Panju and R Krishnan
Music: S Sudarsanam, Cast: Sivaji Ganesan
- the script and dialogs by 'now' CM of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi is considered as one of the best for its questions raised on social issues. The film itself created a revolution. The movie is about three brothers who are settled in Burma from India, later returns to India when Japan attacks Burma. This is a must see movie for its powerful dialogs and social message.
Best Scene: Sivaji Ganesan's argument and defense in the court.
* The film was opposed by then many Hindu communities and societies for its bold dialogs and the script which abuse religious practices.
6. Mullum Malarum (1978)
Written and directed by J Mahendran
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Rajini Kanth, Shoba, Sarath Babu
- the story revolves around the clash between an Engineer and a villager. Rajini Kanth as the bold villager, is just a revelation. Highlight of the movie is Rajini itself, then Shoba and then the script. Performance makes the script looks for authentic and near to our heart. Watch out for those who want to know the talent of Rajini Kanth.
Best Scene: Rajini's clash with Sarath Babu, eg: the dialog - 'Rendu kai, rendu kaal ponakkoodam, Kaali engirava polachikkuva sir, ketta payan sir avan..'.
7. Iruvar (1997)
Written and directed by Mani Ratnam
Music: A R Rahman, Cast: Mohanlal, Prakashraj, Nasser, Tabu, Aiswariya Rai, Gouthami
- An epic saga inspired from the life of MG Ramachandran (Actor, Ex CM) and M Karunanidhi (CM of Tamil Nadu). I would like to rate this movie ahead of Nayakan in terms of direction, script and cinematography is concerned. Breathtaking performance by Prakashraj and Mohanlal remains as the best the their filmography. A R Rahman's mind-blowing music and the spectacular cinematography by Santhosh Sivan just adds beauty to the movie. The movie has Mani Ratnam's signature in each frame. An outstanding movie.
Best Scene: Every scene which have Mohanlal and Prakashraj together.
* Won the Best Film of the Festival - Auteur Films, 1997 Belgrade International Film Festival
8. Hey Ram (1998)
Written and directed by Kamal Haasan
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Kamal Haasan, Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Atul Kulkarni, Naseerudhin Shah
- One of the most controversial movie of our time is undoubtedly the most daring effort in Indian Cinema. Technical perfection of this movie matches with any Hollywood productions. Unbelievable art direction, performance and outstanding direction by Kamal Haasan. This movie just develop the respect towards Tamil and Indian Cinema. The movie takes a fiction version of many real life incidents happened just before the Independence.
Best Scene: 'Hey Raam...raam..' Song, Saketh Ram's pre-climax conversation with Mahatma Gandhi
Top 10 Entertainers of All Time - (Tamil) - The Best Tamil Movies of All Time
1. Chandralekha (1948)
Written by Pandit Indra and Aga Jani Kashmiri, Directed by S S Vasan
Music: S Rajeswara Rao
- one of the most expensive Movie of all time tells the story of two princess fights for power and a beautiful dancer, Chandralekha.. The movie is an extravagant movie for its lavish sets and fight scenes. Circus scenes included in the movie was a huge hit among the viewers and resulting in the formation of Gemini Circus, - the movie was pictured in Gemini Studio.
Highlight: The world famous drum dance scene is just breath taking - even though we are watching the movie after 60+ years of its release.
* The film was the widest released Indian movie of that time - 609 theaters.
* The film was released around the world with subtitles
* The film's Japan version was named as 'Shakunetsu-no Kettu'.
2. Baatcha (1995)
Written and directed by Suresh Krishna
Music: Deva, Cast: Rajini Kanth, Raguvaran, Nagma
- This is a high voltage action - gangster movie, one of the best film to start with in Tamil if you are a fan entertainers. One of the biggest hit in Tamil Cinema history, tells the story of a normal man turn gangster turn auto rickshaw driver. Its considered as the movie which too Rajini Kanth to a level higher than any other actor in Indian Cinema Market. The unmatchable performance by Rajini Kanth as Manick Baasha is just amazing. This movie can enthralls you, entertain you and thrill you more than any other action movie in India.
Best Scene: Famous medical college scene and the first action scene of the movie.
* Film had a run of over 365 days in many theaters in Tamil Nadu, and was a huge hit in Andhra and Kerala region as well.
3. Thalapathi (1991)
Written and directed by Mani Ratnam
Music: Ilayaraja, Cast: Rajini Kanth, Mammotty, Sobana, Aravindswamy, Amarish Puri
- Mani Ratnam's adaption of Epic Mahabharatha, a modern version of the Epic. The awesome movie have some glorious moments of performance by Mammotty and Rajini Kanth. The film is arguebly the best performed movie by Rajini Kanth. At times critics rate the performance of Rajini Kanth in this movie ahead of Nayakan. The music by Ilarayaja is as great as the movie itself. The theme music used is just a masterpiece. Santhosh Sivan's cinematography just added flavor to the spectacular movie. A must watch for all who have doubts about the acting talent of Rajini Kanth. An absolutely perfect combination of great performance, script without loosing its entertainment aspects.
Highlight: The conversation between Rajini, Mammotty and Aravindswamy inside the collector office, pre climax argument between Rajini Kanth and Mammotty.1
4. Indian (1996)
Written and directed by S Shankar
Music: A R Rahman, Cast: Kamal Haasan, Manisha Koirala, Koundamani
- One of the biggest block buster of Kamal Haasan directed by the amazing S Shankar. The story of movie is about a very old person against the corruption in the society. Senapathy, who once had to fight with British army now takes the weapon to fight against the corrupted Govt officials. The character was beautifully portrayed by Kamal Haasan.
Highlight: Spectacularly pictured songs, action sequences and the dialogs inside the TV station by Kamal Haasan.
5. Endhiran (2010)
Written by S Shankar, Sujatha and Directed by S Shankar
Music: A R Rahman, Cast: Rajini Kanth, Aiswariya Rai, Danny
- Second movie in the combination of Shankar and Rajini Kanth, the biggest block buster in the history India. The movie itself is a spectacular visual treat. The amazing special effects used in the film is above the standard of any Indian Movies till date. Though the story is not new, the visuals and the performance of Rajini Kanth just took the movie above usual movies. Its the first complete sci-fic Indian movie. S Shankar balanced the right mixture of Sci fic with desi flavor. The area Shankar won is that he never loosed his control over the film while giving a Hollywood like movie still manages to be a pure Indian Movie.
Highlight: Final 45 Minutes action scene is just breathtaking SPX.
* Is considered as the most expensive Asian movie
Other Must See Movies in Tamil
1. Thiruvilayaadal - Starring: Sivaji Ganesan
2. Mouna Ragam - Mohan, Karthik, Revathi
3. Apoorva Sahodargal - Kamal Haasan
4. Paruthiveeran - Karthi, Priyamani
5. Pithamagan - Vikram, Suriya
6. Aarilirunthu Arupathu Varai - Rajini Kanth
7. Bombay - Aravindswamy, Manisha Koirala
8. Guna - Kamal Haasan
9. Unnal Muiyum Thambi - Kamal Haasan, Gemini Ganesan
10. Thevar Magan - Kamal Haasan, Sivaji Ganesan
11. Veerapandiya Katta Bhomman - Sivaji Ganesan
12. Mudhalvan - Arjun, Raguvaran
13. Nadodi Mannan - MGR
14. Gentleman - Arjun, Madhubala
15. Malaikkallan - MGR
16. Roja - Aravindswamy, Madhubala
17. Naan Kadavul - Aarya, Pooja
18. Kannathil Muthamittal - Madhavan, Simran
19. Vedham Puthithu - Sathyraj
20. 16 Vayathinile - Kamal Haasan.
21. Sigappu Rojakkal - Kamal Haasan
22. Netri Kan - Rajini Kanth