Note: None of the remakes or dubbed movies were considered fot this list. We had some amazing imports Great movies, but we’re listing only original Tamil movies.


#15. Tamizhuku En Ondrai Azhuthavum

The time-as-a-ticking-bomb milked with a smart script and some decent acting. Plus, a geeky Tamil mom/son never got so much breadth and depth in movies.

The time-as-a-ticking-bomb milked with a smart script and some decent acting. Plus, a geeky Tamil mom/son never got so much breadth and depth in movies.

#14. Charles Shafiq Kirthiga

Another great run-against-time thriller this year had OK acting, but great suspense to hitch us for the ride.

#13. Porumbokku

The “C” word finds few takers in Tamil mainstream cinema. s p jhananathan has no reservations about flashing his red flag. While many tamil director resort to sugarcoating their communist or socialist stripes, to hoodwink producers and censors for the sake of getting their movies made, jhananathan’s only restrains his movies to a boundary that guard them from becoming an outright red salute.

#12. Uppu Karuvaadu

The classic Radha Mohan cynicism takes over the state of movies in Tamil today. Hitting hard and mercilessly at all the shallow stakeholders in the movie-making process. Producers and actors come under the harshest lights our films have seen. If you can bear the unintended over-acting of Nandhita, every other actor delivers to his strength and it elevates the entire movie.

#11. Naanum Rowdythaan

Parthiban, Vijay Sethupathi, Anand Raj, RJ Balaji and Mansoor Ali Khan set aside thier ego and let the script take some nasty swipes at them. Dhanush, the Producer, has no sacred cows to protect. With no insecurities at stake, Naanum Rowdydhaan soars as a no-holds-barred comedy.

#10. Yaagavarayinum Naa Kaakka

Consequences, consequences and more consequences. Trigger happy lips all around lead to some dreadful turns for a few. Plays like a charm to the age old tamil movie formula of humour-laden first half followed-up with a intense half leading to an over-the-top, drama-loaded climax.
The journey of two lost souls, searching for a human bond they missed or pushed away, finding a surrogate, couldn’t have been done more simply and drama-free. Vijay Sethupathy’s Kailasam, abrasive without apparent triggers, burns through life looking for an exit and catches Sathya. Sathya (Ramesh Thilak) bearing a heavy cross for not caring for his father, tries washing his conscience with Kailasam. Of course, Kailasam won’t play easy.
#8. Maya
As far as spooking the living hell out of you goes, Maya is Grade A material. This is by far the most-hair-raising-est Tamil film in recent memory. Recent memory being clouded and raining horror flicks, that is one daring act pulled off. Maya does not try to be a comedy/sentimental drama/revenge masquerading as a horror movie; in a way it does, but only just. It goes makes no detours other than to cater to the Tamil sentimentality quota. This film is relentless and single-minded in bringing your fear of the paranormal and laying it bare for all of the two-plus hours.
Where he was known to faithfully recreate entire films from proven hits, Thani Oruvan is an experiment in picking Tamil movie cliches from multiple sources and making them work. Raja scores OK-ish on the originality of his content, but knows well that he can cover that up with style and presentation. He does well. Arvind Swamy helps along with his bad boy attitude.
A heist film is predictable in certain ways. You pretty much know the ending, you can even guess the interval block and can clearly pick the script trying to muddle the predictability by throwing in too many characters and multiplying the motives by as many factors. So, how does the script stay ahead of us. The director, has an answer and it is never lazy, cheap or without breaking a sweat.
#5. Indru Netru Naalai
When a Sci-fi comedy gets made in Tamil, the comedy takes over and the Sci-fi suffers (bad treatment at times and bad science on others). Indru Netru Naalai’s success is it has the discipline to stay simple all the way. It never gets showy with the time-travel segments, which is a temptation many directors won’t pass on. It also never takes itself too seriously, so the humour never dries up.
#4. Kirumi
North Madras in all its glory, in the capable mind of Anucharan, shines brighter than most films on Madras life put together. A nail-biting trip with Kathir who lets a sudden dosage of power and privilege get to his head. Far from the varnished police procedurals of a Gautam Menon, Anucharan creates a horror-film level uneasy strain by pushing Kathir down those very steps we wish he doesn’t. No matter how street-smart Kathir is, we’re never sure if he’ll make it out in the end.
Despite how old you’ve gotten watching Mani Ratnam, the excitement of watching his next never diminishes. Especially, when the movie works – part experience and part nostalgia. OK Kanmani is as simple as Mani Ratnam gets and as profound as any of his classic films on love. No non-linear timelines, no metaphors, no value judgements and no message, just a straight love story from the Mani Ratnam we thought we’d lost.
Heavy on philosophical statements and crisis of faith (literal) lend Kuttram Kadidhal a very dark tone. We travel with Merlin on her most exciting and nightmarish day through some moral dilemmas that are hard to come by in Tamil films. Director Bramma treats us to the many lives that Merlin’s action touches. The movie also deals with sex education in very subtle yet firm way. While all this may make Kuttram Kadhithal rather draining on the mind, it is one of those movies you ought to spend time with.
#1. Kaaka Muttai
We never wrote a review for Kaaka Muttai. It was such a sucker-punch, it left us happily dazzled. At the time it seemed unfair to sum up the movie in any number of words. You had the watch the film, sit up and move on, feeling the movie somewhere inside in the days that followed.

 

Some films that did not make it to our list, but had potential
 
 Demonte Colony  
Another horror movie that stood out over a deluge of wannabes. Mixing a Madras legend and great production with eerie elements, to create a chilling frightfest. 
 Paayum Puli 
 Trisha Illana Nayanthara 
States its intent very clearly, so there is no confusion about the treatment of a practical, unapologetic love story set in the times that dismantles Tamil conservatism and the image of love as a sanctified device.
 Thirandhidu Seese 
A bold concept and a well-intentioned attempt gets marred by predictability. A girl walks into a bar…

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