Movies have always been part of our life for a long time now. We people fight over a lot of differences, but when it comes to sports and movies, the differences stop to exist.
The love for South Indian Movies among people has evolved, and we have learned to enjoy and appreciate films without the language barrier.
In India, more than 60 different languages exist across the country. Every year almost one movie is released in each language. On an average of 1800 films were produced in a year.
Out of these movie industries, a majority population usually consider Bollywood is the more movie producing Indian cinema industry.
While South Indian film industries are named- Mollywood (Malayalam films), Kollywood (Tamil films), Tollywood (Telugu films), and Sandalwood (Kannada films).
South Indian Movies is known for its unique movie story, action, and showing the tradition and culture of India in its way.
Here, I am going to list the top 20 Best South Indian Movies of all time that have been made ever in the history of the South Indian movie industry.
The classifications are based upon the quality of the content over any other criteria.
List of all Blockbuster South Indian Movies of all Time:
1. Pariyerum Perumal (Tamil)
Pariyerum Perumal is a Tamil film & produced by a debutant director Mari Selvaraj. The casting was so unique and did not consist of a stellar cast.
The film is set to happen in a small town in Tamil Nadu and speaks about the caste system and discrimination based on the caste system in a much realistic way.
Although, the film happens in not so well known town of Tamil Nadu. The film speaks for the people who face discrimination against different grounds all around the globe.
The political stand the film takes on telling the tale of a law student (the protagonist) and his struggle for study.
The film might have fallen into the category of a documentary that has been written and executed exceptionally well.
So, Pariyerum Perumal is the first film on the list for the relevance of the subject: it discusses the struggle of man for study.
2. Eega (Telugu)
The second film under the top 20 Best South Indian Movies is commercial and is on the list because of the concept, use of technology, and acting seen in the film.
It is a fantasy film made by director S.S. Rajamouli. The film was a trendsetting experiment that came from an industry that was known for making films that were the least believable and clichéd.
The film stars Sudeep, Nani, and Samantha with a simple revenge plot with a unique concept.
The film has been a milestone in the Tollywood film industry since it created a noticeable space for the industry itself.
The film does not speak of any socially important issue, and the story-line is simple. But the experience is hilarious and exciting. If you have kids at your home, please watch it with them to get a better experience out of it.
3. Lucia (Kannada)
Kannada films are not spoken a lot in south India. But one film from the industry that made us regret looking down was Lucia by Pawan Kumar.
It is a psychological thriller movie about a drug named Lucia. The male lead Sathish Ninasam gives a convincing performance as both Nikki, the theater staff, and Nikhil, the actor.
The film can be at parts confusing, but the screenplay has been handled well and doesn’t fail to entertain you throughout and amaze you at the end.
This film was noticed, for breaking the traditional film production methods that were being produced by crowdfunding through a Facebook page and few investors from the page.
It was critically well-received & Director Anurag Kashyap went on to call it a birthday gift to myself.
Lucis is also on the list because it was a milestone for the industry. Also, it is indeed a well written and executed psychological thriller movie.
4. C U SOON ( Malayalam )
C U Soon is a “first of its kind in India” film. C U Soon is a Malayalam language film. And release in recently on Amazon Prime.
The film was made and released in COVID 19 limitations of making a film. The film was directed by Mahesh Narayanan, whose other film is being under t he list of top 20 south India Movies ever made.
The plot of the film was pretty predictable at parts but the way the film is made only on computer and mobile screens is unique.
The film’s run time was limited to 90 minutes that owes so much to the way the film engages right from the start till the end.
Apart from all the technically brilliant making the movie follows, the film has a solid issue brought into light in a very bold and in a disturbing manner.
This movie is on the list for opening a new possibility in the existing array of making techniques.
5. Arambam (Tamil)
Arambam is a Tamil action thriller film directed by Vishnuvardhan, starring a huge and stellar cast including Ajith Kumar, Nayanthara, Tapsee Pannu, and Arya.
The film was made on a big budget and shot across a lot of cities across India.
The plot of the movie is to show how corruption tends to affect the lives of soldiers in the armed forces of the country.
Such a bold and unique story has been told commercially and stylishly so that the fans of the actors thoroughly enjoy the film and watching their favorite actor on screen.
Though there are a few unrealistic moments in the film, the overall screenplay makes it a good entertainer with a bold plot.
6. Manam (Telugu)
Manam is a 2014 fantasy-drama film made by Vikram Kumar, with an all cast of the whole Akkineni family. The film is all about a family, and bringing the members of a family together makes it a fantastic family film!
The film interestingly deals with a story that spans over 100 years until 2013. Also, the fantasy part is about reincarnation and the afterlife.
The film has a very complex storyline that has been made with the emotions that hit us right on the spot, that is why the film is on the list.
7. K.G.F Chapter: 1
It is the first part of a planned period-drama trilogy by debut-ant director Prashant Neel. The film was a commercial success and has a lot of illogical stunt sequences.
The story is about Kolar Gold Field, the way it evolved as of today, told with a fiction part mixed with it in the right proportion.
The grandeur of the film and its screenplay is noteworthy. Although there is an unwanted amount of hero-worship stuffed into the film, making it a “masala” film at places. The film is a gem worth keeping from the Sandalwood.
It is on the list for the way film has been handled and appreciated by a large audience. KGF is one of best south Indian Movies of all time.
8. Drishyam (Malayalam)
Undoubtedly, Drishyam is one of the best thrillers move of Mollywood. The film was made by Jeethu Joseph and the lead role play by Mohanlal.
The film talks about the struggle of a man, whose source of knowledge is the films he watches, to get away with a murder his family committed without an intention.
As the plot seems, the film has shot very brilliantly making it even more interesting to watch. A fairly decent and a few unpredictable twists (Like the one at the end!!), the film is full of surprises.
The story of the film feels more lively and connected to the audience with the acting performances of the actors, especially Mohanlal.
Though the film was remade into many languages, none of them could nail the role as Mohanlal could. Something close to Mohanlal was Kamal Hassan.
9. O Kadhal Kanmani! (Tamil)
O Kadhal Kanmani is a Tamil coming of age romance film by the Legendary Mani Ratnam. It stars Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menon as the lead couple.
Also, Prakash Raj and Leela Samson play an intriguing couple in the film. The film is about the live-in relationship of a couple Adi and Tara.
The movie is portraying a young couple of today and how they are influenced by the love story of the married older couple Ganapathy and Bhavani.
The film portrays love at its purest and best form in almost all places. It was Bhavani and Ganapathy and their love story (and the way Ganapathy treats Bhavani, who suffers from Amnesia) that influenced and took away my attention the most.
The film is under Best south Indian Movies for its songs by A.R. Rahman and the way love has been presented to the audiences.
10. Pelli Choopulu (Telugu)
Pelli Choopulu is a Telugu language coming of age film made by Tharun Bhascker. The film stars Vijay Devarkonda, much before his Arjun Reddy image, and Ritu Verma.
The film is about a family that accidentally comes to another house for matchmaking and ends up joining hands with the girl he met for a business together.
The film story has a lot of values and a message said in a not so preachy way and part of the motivation in a very decent way.
The film is on the list for its genuine humor and the feel that it leaves on the audience.
11. Kirik Party (Kannada)
Kirik Party is a Kannada language romantic comedy film set to happen in a college campus premises.
Kirik Party Directed by Rishab Shetty, the film stars Rakshit Shetty, Rashmika Mandanna, and Samyuktha Hegde.
The film is not exceptional but is notable for the way the film makes us think about different issues from a very different perspective while visually presenting it to us through the protagonist in a humorous way.
Films are not about the unique story and making it has a lot to do with simple entertainment and happiness.
This film is on the list for the way it makes you feel at the end after a light-hearted fun ride of 3 hours.
12. Mayanadhi (Malayalam)
Mayanadhi is a Malayalam film made by Ashiq Abu starring Tovino Thomas, Aishwarya Lakshmi. The film is a love story treated with a bit of a crime thriller.
The plot starts with the protagonist making an escape attempt, which results in the death of a police officer.
Although he could have escaped from the place without a hint, he stays to make up with the love of his life.
The pace of the film is very slow but it does not affect the way we feel while watching the movie. The director has succeeded in making us feel what he wants to show their audiences.
The film does not talk directly at many levels about the meaning of trust in a relationship. It holds its place in the list for the way it makes us feel, at the end.
13. Anbe Sivam (Tamil)
Anbe Sivam is a Tamil film by Sundar.C, starring Kamal Hassan, Madhavan, and Kiran Rathod.
The film is a travel film that features the travel of an ad film director Anbu, and a mysterious man who accompanies him.
The film is notable for its quirky humor and the way it has explained a lot of life lessons humorously throughout the film.
The film takes a strong political stand against the existence of God in each human and has also brought it to screen interestingly.
The film is on the list for the way it has narrated and the excellent performances of the male lead. (Also for the positivity the film generates when watched)
14. Take Off (Malayalam)
Take Off is a Malayalam film directed by Mahesh Narayanan and lead role by Fahadh Fazil, Parvathy Thiruvothu, and Kunchako Boban.
The story of the film is a set of real events that happened in 2014 to the nurses working in Dubai.
The film is noted for its fiction work that is mixed with real-life incidents in a very realistic manner. Also letting people know the difficulties nurses faced during the phase of their life.
The film is on the list for the way they let people understand clearly the picture of what happened at that place, rather than sticking what the news channels let us know. It is a bold attempt and should be appreciated.
15. Bombay (Tamil)
Again this film by Mani Ratnam, which is a love story that talks a lot in detail about the cultural differences that prevail in the country.
Starring Aravind Swamy and Manish Koirala, the film is about the love story of a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy set in the backdrop of Hindu-Muslim riots that broke out in Bombay in 1992-93.
The way the film makes you feel the way the country reacts towards inter-religious marriages is depicted right from the start of the film.
But the film ends with a positive note on how love wins over all the differences and riots. That is why the film is on the list.
16. Bahubali (Telugu)
This film is a fantasy drama set in the backdrop of a royal family and war. Bahubali has a very usual and complex storyline told in a non-linear narrative.
This movie was an epic done in the Indian cinema. It creates a history that can not be broken easily.
It can be watched for the VFX grandeur and a wonderful storyline that elevates the perfect use of VFX.
This is the only reason the film is on the list for the visual experience and it is the best South Indian Movies and most liked movies of India who broke the all records of Indian Cinema.
17. Classmates (Malayalam)
If the Kannada industry has a Kirik Party, the Malayalam industry has Classmates. Of course, they are different but both share the similarity of being set on a college campus.
Classmates directed by Lal Jose, stars Prithviraj, Kavya Madhavan, Indrajith, Narain, and a more stellar cast.
This film has become a turning point in the life of the actors. This film speaks about a get together of a college batch and something that led the protagonist to do something that appeared like a suicide attempt.
To know what exactly happened, the friends of the protagonist goes back on the memory lane to their college days, the most beautiful days of their lives.
The movie is a complete nostalgic mood generator and stands out for the way the incidents have been shot and brought to us in such an entertaining way. That we almost begin to miss our college days.
18. Amen (Malayalam)
Amen is a coming of age comedy film directed by Lijo Jose Pellisery known for his eccentric film making ways. The film stars Fahadh Fazil, Swathi Reddy, Indrajith, and a lot of other actors.
The film justifies its tagline “A divine comedy” and attempts to make a black comedy film that stands out for the way it has produced. Also, the use of surrealism is appreciated.
This film is on the list for the experiment it is and is also a musical, which is never a kind of film that is found in Malayalam cinema.
19. Vikram Vedha (Tamil)
It is a gangster thriller directed by Pushkar-Gayathri directed duo starring Vijay Sethupathi and Madhavan.
The film can be called a modern-day adaptation of the folk tale of Vikram and Vetal.
The story of the movie is unique and a bit spicy. By the way, the narration of the film is taken over by Vedha by his tricky questions for Vikram.
The film is on the list for the way film is made with all styles & the good-bad consequence has been explained in a far better way than any other contemporary movie.
20. Panchathanthiram (Tamil)
This is a classic cult comedy film directed by K.S. Ravikumar starring Kamal Hassan and a lot of other prominent actors from the south Indian industries.
The story is like a bedtime story of a kid about his father. The way he made up with his mother after a series of confusions.
The film is still considered a classic and can be watched whenever you feel like you need to get the stress out of your system.
Also, the film has good songs with lyrics that mean something about the film, which made it even funnier.
Kamal Hassan is the show-stealer. The film is the list for the way the film can be a stress buster.
These are the top 20 best South Indian Movies that have been made ever in the south Indian film industry.
Although there are a lot of other films too that should have been on the list but not included. These films satisfied all the criteria set. If you want to add any movie in the list of best south Indian movies, you can leave a comment.
Also to conclude is that South Indian cinema that considered its golden period to be the 1980s and early 90s have begun to pick up slowly and is getting back to form and the other industries seem to be doing good now that people have decided to shred these differences for the sake of films.
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