List of top 10 Tamil movies of 2021, including jai bhim maanaadu karnan


2021 is coming to an end and this year too there was a good variety of films. Here is Galatta’s list of the 10 best Tamil movies of 2021 that have touched the masses extensively. Please note that this list is not ranked on any basis and that the films have been ranked in order of their release dates.


Aelay is one of the nicest movies to be released this year and it’s a movie that deserves more recognition. Depicting the relationship between a father and son in a heartwarming way, director Halitha Shameem made sure the film had her moments at regular intervals. It was a welcoming gesture to see Samuthirakani playing a light and mischievous character. (Available to stream on NETFLIX).


Mandela is solid political satire that makes a lot of sense and has raised the right kind of questions. It was a brilliant film, in terms of writing, and first director Madonne Ashwin announced her arrival in Tamil cinema in style. The writing was precise and there was a good balance of humor and several stimulating scenes. Yogi Babu, in a subtle role, delivered one of his best career defining performances. The endless highlight was the icing on the cake. (NETFLIX).


Karnan is an intense film by the fame of Pariyerum Perumal, Mari Selvaraj, who is now one of the most powerful voices in Tamil cinema. Presenting the issues and struggles of oppressed communities, Karnan delivered an important message in the most poignant and effective manner. Dhanush excelled in bright colors with his portrayal of Karnan, with the backing of the supporting cast of the ensemble. Karnan was also visually appealing when it came to how Mari used metaphors as a tool for his story. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


Sarpatta Parambarai is a traditional sports drama that approached the genre from a different angle. Pa. Ranjith’s conviction and honesty in making a film true to its genre helped Sarpatta a lot. It was the story of an underdog and was told in an engaging way, supported by strong performances from Arya, Pasupathi, Dushara Vijayan and others. The film had brilliantly drawn characters like Kabilan, Rangan Vaathiyaar, Mariyamma, Vembuli, Dancing Rose, which always stay fresh in our minds. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


Doctor is a completely entertaining movie from start to finish. Twenty minutes into the film’s start, there was no turning back and director Nelson Dilipkumar made sure the comedy throughout the narrative hit the right chord. This is one of those rare movies where Sivakarthikeyan took the lead and the other actors excelled in the humor. In a subtle and introverted character, Sivakarthikeyan did the job perfectly, while Redin Kingsley, Sunil, Shiva Aravind and Yogi Babu delivered delicious performances. Doctor is the movie that has made audiences laugh the most lately. Plus, Anirudh’s songs and powerful background music along with aesthetic visuals from cinematographer Vijay Kartik Kannan take the film a step further. (NETFLIX – SUN NXT).


Jai Bhim has gained national attention with its strong content and is a film that has had a big impact on viewers. Suriya anchored the film, both as an actor and a producer, and made sure that the content had broad reach among audiences, and it must be appreciated for supporting its bold themes. Jai Bhim, while firmly highlighting the crimes committed by those in power, also effectively highlighted caste discrimination and how the oppressed classes are used as scapegoats by the system. Director TJ Gnanavel’s well-researched story and punchy dialogue helped the film a lot. Thanks to Lijomol Jose, Manikandan and Tamizh for their excellent performances. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


Making a conceptual idea suited to the taste of regional audiences is no easy task and director Venkat Prabhu excelled on this aspect with Maanaadu. SJ Suryah’s eccentric but electrifying performance touched the masses a lot. Silambarasan TR dominated the character of Abdul Khaaliq and delivered a mature performance with conviction. Venkat Prabhu’s fantastic writing promised a super engaging storyline that was completely tight, leaving no room for dull moments. Without a doubt, Maanaadu will even be part of the top 5 films of 2021! (SONY LIV).


Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum by Vasanth Sai is a strong and moving anthology that tells the stories of women from different time periods. SISP is an evocative film that acts as a reflection of women in our society and the way they are stereotyped. The film takes a deep look at our patriarchal society and Vasanth is to be appreciated for the news’s effective transition to celluloid. Top notch performances from Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli, Kalieswari and Parvathy Thiruvothu made the film complete. SSIP is a beautiful piece of cinema! (SONY LIV)


Rocky is a bold, quirky film that has approached action and violence like any other in Tamil cinema lately. The raw and violent action of the film was handled with ingenuity, the viewer not having to go through an unbearable or heartbreaking experience. First director Arun Matheswaran’s taste for quality cinema and visual aesthetics is seen through Rocky and his unique style of presentation is the film’s X factor. The intense act of Vasanth Ravi greatly contributed to the serious mood of the film.


With Writer, Samuthirakani delivered one of his best career performances in a subtle but emotionally charged role. Debut director Franklin Jacob tapped into an uncharted side of the police department, bringing the harsh realities to light. The film’s grounded writing suggested that director Franklin is a filmmaker to watch in the future. After the success of Pariyerum Perumal and Gundu, Writer is one more film for the company of producer Pa Ranjith.

These films may not have made the top 10 list of 2021, but deserve to be recognized and commended for ticking the majority of the boxes correctly.


Running a full-scale film with two of the biggest stars up front was certainly not easy for Lokesh Kanagaraj, but the up-and-coming filmmaker made a laudable effort to make Master widely appealing. ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay is presented in a completely different dimension and his performance, especially the intensity in his eyes, when reading the letter from the two children in prison, is on point and a peak moment in the film. Vijay Sethupathi is in great shape as Bhavani and his screen presence made the film much more effective. Master has had its own share of issues, in terms of logical failures and cinematic freedoms, but on a bigger picture it’s a film that has entertained the masses with a good, solid, engaging story. Anirudh’s hit songs and electrifying background music are also a big boost. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


The writing of Chimbu Deven is the most fascinating aspect of Kasada Tabara, which is a unique attempt in Tamil cinema. While the storytelling remains spotty in some places, and the script has pacing issues, Kasada Tabara is notable for the way he connects the dots between various stories. Connection points surprise you every now and then, and this is where Chimbu Deven scores brownie points. (SONY LIV).


With the most unexpected twists and surprises, newbie Nishanth Kalidindi’s Kadaseela Biriyani is a fun, wacky thriller. The film has a unique treatment which was supported by an intriguing storyline and strong performances. Hakkim Shah as a menacing psychopath and Vasanth Selvam as Periya Pandi shone in their respective roles. Kadaseela Biriyani is a treat for movie buffs, who like to watch experimental content. (NETFLIX).