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33 Best Tamil Movies On Amazon Prime: ‘Karnan’ To ‘Nayakan’

33 Best Tamil Movies On Amazon Prime: ‘Karnan’ To ‘Nayakan’

best tamil movies on amazon prime

Amazon houses a wide range of regional content in India, as compared to Netflix. With so many options out there, we’ve taken the time out to sift through it all to bring you the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime.

The Tamil film industry, fondly called Kollywood, has grown exponentially from its humble origins in the early 1900s. Over the turn of the century, Tamil films have established a global presence, inspiring filmmaking in countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Today, there’s no dearth of talent as an exciting batch of directors and actors take the stage to show the rest of the film fraternity what they’re capable of.

So, here are some of their works to get you started on Tamil cinema. Don’t waste time surfing. Get streaming!


Best Tamil Movies on Amazon Prime

1. Karnan (2021)

Mari Selvaraj’s second feature film is a rousing call to arms against a system rooted in injustice. Dhanush stars as the titular character, a savior of the inhabitants of a small village called Podiyankulam. Mari establishes his characters, the setting in the first half to lead a chilling pre-interval block that sees Karnan relentlessly smashing up a bus. This is an interesting narrative decision. Instead of an actual antagonist, we get a bus as a stand-in for all the discrimination that the villagers have had to face. This sets up the face-off between the villagers and the police force lead by the conniving Kannabiran.

Selvaraj continues his crusade of narrating socially conscious tales with Karnan. The performances are excellent all across. Dhanush nails the brief, making us feel a gamut of emotions in his journey as a reluctant hero. Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli, Natarajan, and Gouri Kishen are all impressive in their respective roles. Santhosh Narayanan’s exhilarating score helps awaken us from a slumber of ignorance.

Watch Karnan on Amazon Prime


2. Dharala Prabhu (2020)

Dharala Prabhu is the official Tamil adaptation of Shoojit Sircar’s sleeper hit Vicky Donor. Director Krishna Marimuthu retells the tale of a sperm donor with a fresh pair of eyes. He deftly tweaks the film to suit the local audience better, without ever losing sight of the intentions of the original. While Vicky takes up the offer to donate sperm for his personal gains, Prabhu here only agrees after he learns the truth about his football coach being impotent. Krishna adds an extra emotional layer to make it easy for us to root for the lead. Harish Kalyan’s earnest performance certainly helps as well.

In Vicky Donor, we only see the couple adopting a child towards the end of the film. Dharala Prabhu takes it a step further by introducing the adopted kid much earlier in the film. We get to see the entire family warm up to the new child. So, when Nidhi and Prabhu contemplate separating, they’re forced to consider the newest member in the family as well. This naturally makes for a more satisfying conclusion.

Watch Dharala Prabhu on Amazon Prime


3. Master (2021)

Lokesh Kanagaraj delivers on his promise of a classy mass movie with his latest release. It’s always a pressure making a film with Vijay, arguably one of the biggest stars in Kollywood. It’s a fine balancing act, trying to satisfy eager fans, while still retaining his voice as a creator. Lokesh comes fairly close to achieving this objective. So, we get JD, an alcoholic, but lovable professor whose tryst with destiny lands him in a reformatory school for juvenile delinquents. His attempts to mend the ways of the inmates form the rest of the plot.

Lokesh also throws in a formidable antagonist in the form of Bhavani, played by a charismatic Vijay Sethupathy. He gives us a backstory for the villain, showing us what makes Bhavani truly threatening. The scenes where both the stars face off against each other are a treat. But, Malavika’s character seems underwritten despite her having a strong role to play in JD’s awakening. The entire college portion doesn’t really divulge any new information about the characters and only serves to add to the overstretched runtime of nearly 3 hours. Despite these shortcomings, we’d recommend Master for Anirudh’s electrifying background score and Lokesh’s audacious attempt to reinvent the “masala” movie.

Watch Master on Amazon Prime


4. Soorarai Pottru (2020)

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Sudha Kongara’s impressive biopic narrates the struggles and triumph of an entrepreneur with dreams to build low-cost airline. Bolstered by Surya’s intense performance, the dramatic heft inherent in the underdog tale conceals few tepid sub-plots. Moreover, Soorarai Pottru brings the vital socio-political aspects to the fore that lie behind shunning the low-cost aviation. Perhaps, the writer/director could have avoided a very one-dimensional portrayal of Paresh as a corporate bully. Yet, it’s an engaging drama worth cherishing.

Watch Soorarai Pottru (Tamil) on Amazon Prime

Watch Soorarai Pottru (Kannada) on Amazon Prime

Watch Soorarai Pottru (Malayalam) on Amazon Prime


5. Baaram (2020)

Blending the fly-on-the-wall approach from a documentary with the format of a feature film, director Priya Krishnaswamy garnered a National Award for Best Tamil Feature Film for Baaram (The Burden). The film is a realistic depiction of a stark societal reality based on a cultural malpractice called ‘thalaikoothal’. Senicide (killing of the elderly) or involuntary euthanasia is fairly prevalent in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu.

Emboldening the voices that need to be heard and amplified, the film is a noble gesture of gratitude directed towards the ailing and suffering parents whose lives have been impacted due to this practice. It is also an accurate representation of the socially accepted realities that have been normalized at the cost of human life.

Watch Baaram on Amazon Prime


6. To Let (2019)

Director: Chezhiyan

ToLet has been shot beautifully and shot with the purpose of showcasing the realities and sorrows of those who suffer silently — the common people who are living within a false sense of security. It’s fragile as a feather. Even a light gust of wind can take it away, just like the symbolic balloon in the trailer. The human life is fleeting and so is its value in today’s world. The film delves into the dark side of humanity. It’s very powerful in its portrayal of the lives of the less fortunate. ToLet nails its point home as it takes you on a journey with a stranded family who are desperately looking for a place to live after being evicted from their house. The premise is simple yet it is made engaging with the help of some wonderful performances and remarkable direction.

Watch To Let on Amazon Prime


7. Thadam (2019)

Director: Magizh Thirumeni

This investigative suspenseful thriller has a lot going for it. The edgy cinematography stands atop some great acting as we delve deeper and deeper into the detective drama. The plot revolves around a murder for which two lookalikes are suspected and both of them could have been equally guilty or equally innocent. There are not many clues that the movie gives us initially but the final reveals are quite satisfactory. The movie, with its great execution, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It is definitely worth a watch and also manages to squeeze a very prevalent social issue into the plot.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime


8. Peranbu (2019)

Director: Ram

Peranbu is a heartfelt, humanist masterpiece that holds a mirror to our sad reality. It deals with real issues that directly or indirectly threaten the lives of those the society doesn’t consider ‘normal.’ The movie revolves around a father and his daughter, who is inflicted with cerebral palsy and chronicles their journey through a world that is against them only because their orthodox mentalities deem them to be dangerous. So ensues a series of betrayals from those they called their own, those they believed in and of course those who opposed them from the beginning. Peranbu is a disturbing watch while being deeply impactful.

The chapterised novel-like storytelling technique helps add more sophistication to the film and allows for a much more planned and honed approach. The performances by both the leads are on par with the greatest of actors and the chemistry they share on-screen, which develops throughout the film, is uncannily realistic. Watch it if I haven’t said it enough.

Watch Peranbu on Amazon Prime


9. Viswasam (2019)

Director: Siva

An out and out masala entertainer, Viswasam has a lot of cool action scenes and an endearing father-daughter duo. The performances are good and the action is much better. The cinematography is above average. In terms of a story, there’s nothing revolutionary. But it doesn’t disappoint either as it provides ample entertainment with its action sequences and plotlines treaded by age-old rivalries and acts of vengeance. The father-daughter chemistry is one of the best features of this film and the message about allowing freedom to children without burdening them with the desires of the parent is always welcome in a society that fails to often understand this simple concept.

Watch Viswasam on Amazon Prime


10. Vellai Pookal (2019)

Director: Vivek Elangovan

A great detective movie to say the least. It borrows from a lot of classics by keeping things simple yet complex; by dangling the culprit right in front of your eyes and providing a vast number of red herrings. What I personally appreciated about this movie was that the detective protagonist was not someone with superhuman intelligence or great strength or power but a common man — a retired police officer. The plot that follows is discovered by him and us simultaneously. Thus, he too is led astray often due to the red herrings mentioned earlier.

The acting is superb and so is the execution. It may not be an artistic masterpiece but it is not bad in that regard either. And the final twist is truly a banger. You are never going to expect it and it will hit you in your non-suspecting face with all its might. Vellai Pookal is a well-actualised whodunit thriller.

Watch Vellai Pookal on Amazon Prime


11. Ayogya (2019)

Director: Venkat Mohan

Telugu film Temper’s (which was also remade in Hindi as Simmba) remake Ayogya is about a corrupt cop turning good, not because of some pointless plot but because of a very well-designed and valid chain of events which leads to a very able character development and plotline for our protagonist. The execution may be flawed and the acting may not be perfect but the soul of the movie clearly resonates with the the viewers. The ultimate self-sacrifice stands as a testimony to how seriously the movie is taking itself and in turn the social evil that it is representing on screen.

Watch Ayogya on Amazon Prime


12. Airaa (2019)

Director: KM Sarjun

The plot is complex, compelling and contemporary. The use of supernatural elements is sparse and has not been used irresponsibly like in many other horror movies. Thus, we are often not desensitized to the horror and when the horror kicks in, it kicks you in the gut. Airaa is an artistically beautiful, well-shot horror flick, which is an achievement in itself. The acting is praiseworthy and never falls into the trap of over-emphasizing the emotion of fear. The film has its moments with some plot twists and reveals. The finale reveal left me underwhelmed though. Airaa sends out a message of dwindling moral values among humans and how it affects the society as a whole.

Watch Airaa on Amazon Prime (Tamil, Telugu, Hindi)


13. Monster (2019)

Director: Nelson Venkatesan

Monster is a crazy, whacky comedy loosely based on the 1997 Hollywood film Mouse Hunt. The Tamil movie has its own culturally appropriate additions which make it more palatable for Indian audiences. The premise is simple. It’s the storytelling that rules here. A man wants to get rid of a rat that is infesting his house. He fails despite repeated attempts. The film keeps you engaged throughout its runtime packed with some twists and turns along the way. And while it entertains, it subtly puts across a significant message.

Watch Monster on Amazon Prime


14. Pariyerum Perumal (Horse-laden Deity) (2018)

Director: Pa. Ranjith

best Tamil movies on amazon prime
Image via New India Express

Mari Selvaraj, in his ambitious debut feature, attempts to tackle brutal social realities, in particular the caste-based hegemony and identity politics. The film’s titular character (Pariyan) is a lower-caste law student. His friendship with a dominant caste girl leads to a series of troubles and humiliations. The narrative, however, rises above the usual display of caste-based victimization and focuses on Pariyan’s awakening and realizations.

There are definitely some problems with the film, emerging particularly from the director’s obligation to appease mainstream audiences. Specifically, the passive and one-dimensional characterization of the lead female character (Jyothi). Moreover, Selvraj’s effort to humanize the oppressor is deemed problematic by some. Yet, Pariyerum Perumal serves a rare glimpse into the dark cultural and social practices.

Watch Pariyerum Perumal on Amazon Prime


15. Kaala (2018)

Director: Pa. Ranjith

Ranjith’s second collaboration with actor Rajinikanth was definitely more coherent and compelling than Kabali. Despite pre-release misgivings, Kaala sees Ranjith effectively using Rajini’s star power to deliver a politically-charged tale of the oppressed. The film, set in the slums of Mumbai’s Dharavi, chronicles the intense conflict between a local Tamil chieftain (Rajini) and a crafty white-clad politician (Nana Patekar).

Director Ranjith is not-so-subtle with his message on land ownership and caste discrimination. Nevertheless, Kaala is a gutsy film in the current political climate, championing anti-saffron colors and cleverly reinterpreting Ram-Raavan politics. Moreover, Kaala provides ample space for Rajinikanth, the actor and downplays his overly hyped star persona. Altogether, it’s an uneven, loud yet empowering tale about the underprivileged communities.

Watch Kaala on Amazon Prime (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam)


16. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (Theeran – Chapter One) (2017)

Director: H. Vinoth

Theeran is based on the true incident of a high profile case, successfully handled by Tamil Nadu police in the 1990s. A young, idealistic cop is entrusted with the task of solving a series of murders. It seems to be the handiwork of the notorious Baawariya criminal tribe (from Rajasthan). The narrative tracks down the TN police force’s painful attempts to nab the deadly gang in their own domain.

Director Vinoth deftly and authentically portrays the functioning of police bureaucracy. The usual commercial glorification of police characters are largely amiss. Karthi plays the titular role with aplomb and Abhimanyu Singh is terrific as the gang’s leader. The stunt sequences in the parched lands of Rajasthan are well choreographed. Theeran would have been a great action thriller, if only it had scissored the irritable romantic track.

Watch Theeran Adigaaram Ondru on Amazon Prime


17. Aruvi – Stream (2017)

Director: Arun Prabhu

Arun Prabhu’s much-hyped directorial debut is a part satirical comedy, part character study of an ostracized young woman. Aruvi opens as a simple tale of a free-spirited girl. But her adult life in the repressive and unforgiving urban atmosphere takes unexpectedly worse turns. The lead character’s outcast status gradually becomes a prism that reflects the ugly side of the society.

There are a few narrative inconsistencies. But Arun Prabhu’s flawless direction and Aditi Balan’s deeply emotional performance create an indelible experience. The narrative tactic of withholding key information in the initial part imparts huge payoff to the proceedings. Like other good debut features of the year, Aruvi expresses its righteous fury over the highly industrialized and corrupted contemporary Tamil society. The film also boasts a rare, (for Tamil cinema) sensitive and empathetic on-screen portrayal of a transgender character.

Overall, Aruvi is a refreshing addition to the growing list of intriguing Tamil social dramas.

Watch Aruvi on Amazon Prime


18. Thupparivaalan – Detective (2017)

Director: Mysskin

With Thupparivaalan, critically-acclaimed director Mysskin has once again taken a chance with mid-budget cinema and star cast. The last time he took that chance (Mugamoodi), it brought out the worst possible film in his career. However, this Vishal-starrer procedural retains the director’s distinct brand of quirkiness and visual acuity. It is true that Thupparivaalan neither contains top-notch intellectual twists nor a staggering emotional arc. But it’s definitely a watchable action thriller with quite a lot of well executed sequences.

Vishal plays Kanniyan Poogundran, an eccentric private detective. He takes a little boy’s request to investigate the murder of his beloved Pomeranian dog. The simple and the seemingly silly investigation puts the detective to track down a family of ruthless criminals. The action set-pieces are spectacularly realized, but the film’s major flaw is it’s non-thrilling and dragged out second-half.

Watch Thupparivaalan on Amazon Prime


19. Seethakaathi (2018)

Director: Balaji Tharaneetharan

Balaji Tharaneetharan’s refreshing offbeat drama revolves around a versatile septuagenarian drama actor Ayya Aadhimoolam (a very restrained Sethupathi). Although Sethupathi appears for roughly 40 minutes, he is the narrative’s heart and soul. The supporting cast, particularly debutante Sunil, is also brilliant. Similar to Balaji’s debut-feature Naduvula Konjam PakathaKaanom, Seethakaathi possesses wonderfully quirky and inventive humor. The fantastical elements in the narrative add depth to Balaji’s quasi-satirical look at the Tamil film industry. At 173 minutes, the film is definitely overlong. Nevertheless, this is one of the rare, reflexive commentaries in Tamil cinema on art and the artist.

This is among the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime available for streaming right now.

Watch Seethakaathi on Amazon Prime


20. Maanagaram – Metropolis (2017)

Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj

Lokesh Kanagaraj’s socially conscious debut feature is a good, complex interplay of dramatic elements. It follows the structure of hyperlink cinema. The narrative revolves around a kidnapping incident and four diverse characters: a youngster from a small town seeking employment in a BPO; a carefree, tough guy who woos a well-employed girl; a taxi-driver who has moved to Chennai for his son’s asthma treatment; and a wannabe criminal whose naivety incites gales of laughter.

Initially, the plot unfurls like a ‘city-bashing’ feature. But the sensible writing doesn’t turn the narrative into one-long condemnation of city life. Even though the narrative relies on an unbelievable number of coincidences, the dark humor and tense atmosphere keep things lively. The final, idealistic stand may seem a bit blunt, but it’s definitely a fine meaningful entertainer.

Watch Maanagaram on Amazon Prime


21. Uriyadi (2016)

Director: Vijay Kumar

There are a lot of admirable factors in Vijay Kumar’s micro-budget debut feature Uriyadi. Even though, like many other young Tamil filmmakers, Vijay Kumar has chosen ‘college’ as the primary setting, he has actually tried to deal with a volatile subject. There is no heavy commercialization: like forced romance and bland comedy tracks.

Some may call the acting a bit amateurish, but that doesn’t affect the feel of the film. The four college students in the story have a realistic character sketch. But the stodgy, brutal violence employed in the final act mars the film’s efficiency.

Watch Uriyadi on Amazon Prime


22. Joker (2016)

Director: Raju Murugan

Raju Murugan’s Joker is not a great film. It spells out its message at every turn and misunderstands rants as a form of satire. But, it still seems to be a necessary film; one that shows complexities of a reality without resorting to vigilante-style justice.

Joker has the kind of premise which almost resembles a Shankar movie. But Raju Murugan’s treatment relies on the helplessness of the cursed protagonist rather than the false resurrection of a hero. The set-up and characters do tend to get a bit tiring and the stagings are less engaging. Despite the shoehorned didacticism, Somasundaram is a marvel to watch.

And, director Raju Murugan does a great job handling the flashback sequences in a humanistic way, unlike the cringeworthy Shankar film flashbacks.

Watch Joker on Amazon Prime


23. Pudhupettai (2006)

Director: Selvaraghavan

Tamil cinema’s so-called anti-hero always has a reason for his anti-social behavior. It’s usually emphasized in a melodramatic flashback. Selva Raghavan’s anti-hero in Pudhupettai, however, doesn’t have any neatly packaged reasons or redeeming factors. The harsh violence faced by Kokki Kumar (brilliantly played by Dhanush) in his adulthood is hinted as a reason. But for the most part, Kumar engages in dark deeds and savagery, because he has a desire for it. And surprisingly, his selfishness is not harshly punished.

Pudhupettai is partly a rites of passage film, where an innocent youngster transforms into a blood-thirsty gangster. It’s also a hard-hitting observation of the unbreakable chain between crime and high-end politics. Apart from Kumar’s characterization, the film’s biggest strength is Selva Raghavan’s raw, unflinching staging.

Watch Pudhupettai on Amazon Prime


24. Anbe Sivam – Love is God (2003)

Director: Sundar C.

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Kamal took on the themes of globalization, religious fatalism, and economic disparity in this brilliant re-working of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987). Anbe Sivam is a buddy road film involving a trade-union activist Nalla Sivam and an upper-class ad-executive Anbarasu (Madhavan). Circumstances force these polar opposite figures to travel together from Bhubaneswar to Chennai. Although they disagree on everything, a brotherhood is forged through their shared humanity.

Kamal Haasan’s script, apart from the formulaic flashback, shines with witty as well as thought-provoking word-plays. In the era of clashing lifestyles, religious and cultural views, the film’s laudable message is simple enough to not forget: ‘Love is God.’

Watch Anbe Sivam on Amazon Prime


25. Kannathil Muthamittal – A Peck on the Cheek (2002)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Amudha, on her 9th birthday, learns that she is adopted. Her biological mother, a Srilankan Tamil refugee, has gone back to her people in Sri Lanka. On Amudha’s insistence, the adopted parents make a trip into the escalating war zones of Sri Lanka. Unlike Mani Ratnam’s previous issue-based films, the central conflict of Amudha is intricately realized. Moreover, the humane perspective organically flows unlike the contrived nature of Bombay and Roja.

Watch Kannathil Muthamittal on Amazon Prime


26. Alaipayuthey – Saathiya (2000)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Alaipayuthey is a great deconstruction of the Indian romance genre. It starts off like any another feel-good love story of an urban boy and a girl. But, Mani Ratnam astoundingly peels the layers of their love until the overly sentimental climax. The film proves why he is a master when it comes to realizing intimate as well as muted emotions. The onscreen pair – Madhavan (his debut) and Shalini – is outstanding.

No other director can render perfect visuals to A.R. Rahman’s songs. Alaipayuthey‘s intoxicating songs show you why. The film gives a subtle, much-needed message about marriage and relationships. Ratnam’s OK Kanmani (2015) could work as a good companion piece (although it’s scope was limited) to this one.

In 2002, Ratnam’s ex-assistant Shaadi Ali remade the film in Hindi as Saathiya.

Watch Alaipayuthey on Amazon Prime


27. Iruvar – The Duo (1997)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Iruvar is a tale of friendship and love, set under Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian political backdrop. Unlike Bombay or Roja, Iruvar caused a huge controversy in Tamil Nadu. There are a lot of anecdotal references to friendship/rivalry between Tamil Nadu’s two influential politicians – M.G.R. and Karunanidhi. The censors cut down a lot of alleged controversial dialogues. The final cut didn’t look as powerful as Mani Ratnam wanted it to be. Those who aren’t aware of these giant politicians couldn’t follow many of the muted or cut underlying elements. Yet, Iruvar happens to be rare. And the finest film to explore the long-lasting relationship between cinema and politics in Tamil Nadu. Aishwarya Rai made her debut as Kalpana. The character was apparently based on late chief minister Jayalalitha.

The film finely illustrates the intense interactions and speeches that shaped the rivalry between the two political leaders. No words can describe Mohan Lal and Prakash Raj’s excellent acting range. In a scene towards the end, Chief Minister Anandan (Mohan Lal) meets opposition leader Tamilchelvan (Prakash Raj). It’s a marriage function and the two leaders sit side by side. With the help of Santosh Sivan’s cinematography and A.R. Rahman’s music, Mani Ratnam spectacularly dwells on their inscrutable emotions.

Tamilchelvan’s thunderous poetry recital in the end is another memorable scene.

Watch Iruvar on Amazon Prime


28. Uyire (Dil Se) (1998)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Dil Se was the better one among Mani Ratnam’s unofficial ‘terrorism’ (or political) trilogy. The usual simplification of the socio-political backdrop wasn’t so bothersome in Dil Se.

It’s a great love story at heart with career-best performances from Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. As Amar, Shahrukh gives a layered performance, transforming from a carefree youngster to a desperate adult. There’s a scene when Manisha tries to cry but her frozen emotional state doesn’t bring out the tears. Such endearing moments prove why she is one of the best actresses in Indian cinema.

Visually, Dil Se is among Ratnam’s top three works. Santosh Sivan’s majestic portrayal of Ladakh will stay forever in our minds.

The Telugu-dubbed version Prematho is also available for viewing on Amazon Prime.

Watch Iruvar on Amazon Prime


29. Bombay (1995)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Bombay is a fairly convincing indictment of communal hatred in post-independent India. The first half captures the romance between Shekhar (Arvind Swamy) and Shaila Banu (Manisha Koirala), set in rural Tamil Nadu. The two elope and settle in Mumbai after facing strong disapproval from their orthodox families. When a possibility for peace between religiously different families arrives, the first wave of Hindu-Muslim riots hit the city. The riots are triggered by fascist elements in the Maharashtra state (after the demolition of Babri Masjid).

Ratnam brilliantly captured the full range of human emotions. Despite the emotionally appealing nature of the film, there were a few undermining elements, like the climax and the understated portrayal of Hindu hegemony.

Watch Bombay on Amazon Prime


30. Roja (1992)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam loves to do contemporary redesign of Hindu mythological stories. In Roja, he takes Satyavan and Savitri story, mixing it with real-life incidents. For good or bad, Roja was an important film in Ratnam’s filmmaking career. The superbly realized individual conflicts in his previous films were now replaced with ‘individual vs the giant political system’ conflicts.

Apart from Arvind Swamy and Madhu’s great central performances, Pankaj Kapur stole every scene he was in. His performance as the jihadist militant rises above the constrained characterization. Roja, once again, is a very emotionally appealing film to mass audiences. Yet, its portrayal of Kashmir militants and blunt showcase of patriotism were problematic.

The film also marked the great music director A.R. Rahman’s debut. The music and the emotionally aching visualization of the songs are fascinating parts of the film.

Watch Roja on Amazon Prime


31. Thalapathi (1991)

Director: Mani Ratnam

Rajinikanth plays Surya (son of Sun god aka Karna) in this modern interpretation of the epic Mahabharata. Mammooty, as usual, brilliantly underplays as Devaraj (Duryodhan). Arvind Swamy made his debut in the supporting role as Arjun (Arjuna). Narrative-wise, Thalapathi plays out like a familiar gangster-policemen story.

Nevertheless, watch this one for its aesthetic style (courtesy DoP Santosh Sivan) and power-packed moments. Everything from the shot composition to the explosive dialogues to Illayaraja’s heartrending music create an unforgettable experience. Before fully immersing himself in larger-than-life, over-hyped roles, Rajini gave one of his best performances in this one. Ratnam weaves great heroic moments (especially the collector-office scene) without compromising Rajini’s understated performance.

This is one of the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime streaming right now.

Watch Thalapathi on Amazon Prime


32. Nayakan (1987)

Director: Mani Ratnam

The gangster epic — inspired by Mario Puzo’s Godfather — brought together three greats of Indian cinema. Kamal Haasan, Illayaraja and Mani Ratnam. It’s the story of a down-trodden young, rebellious guy becoming a saviour of his fellowmen. The film is partly based on real-life Tamil gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar. The nuance Kamal Haasan brings to the central role (Velu Naicker) is up there with Brando’s Corleone. While Mani Ratnam had creative freedom in Mouna Raagam, it was only in Nayakan that he fully developed his directorial voice. His penchant for sharp angles, light and darkness, sweeping set-ups were well established here.

This was P.C. Sreeram-Mani Ratnam’s second collaboration. Both were at an early phase of their career. It was with Nayakan that they started their journey of capturing slice of life with all its layered features. There are few dated and mediocre elements in the film. But, Nayakan was much ahead of and different from its contemporaries.

Watch Nayakan on Amazon Prime


33. Andha Naal (1954)

Director: Sundaram Balachander

Sundaram Balachander’s mystery thriller was a commercial failure but went on to win the second Best Feature Film in Tamil at the 2nd National Film Awards in 1955. The first in the film noir genre in Tamil cinema, made without songs, dance or stunts, Andha Naal has gained a cult status over the years. In 2013, CNN-News18 counted it in its 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time list.

Watch Andha Naal on Amazon Prime



There we are! These are some of the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime available for streaming right now. We’ve tried to incorporate the works of stalwarts like Mani Ratnam and Mysskin, while also making room for promising talents liked H. Vinoth and Lokesh Kanagaraj. Bookmark this page to stay on top of all that’s newly added to the platform. 

Which of these have you seen? What are your favourites? What did we miss? Tell us in the comments below.


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