The best of Tamil cinema in 2018

2018’s Tamil cinema had the big stars yes, but it also saw some young filmmakers making a mark with their work. Here’s a list of the best films of the year (in no particular order).

Updated - December 26, 2018 08:00 pm IST

Published - December 26, 2018 07:15 pm IST

 Nayanthara in ‘Kolamaavu Kokila’

Nayanthara in ‘Kolamaavu Kokila’


Kolamavu Kokila

What happens when a normal person belonging to a middle-class family suddenly has to smuggle drugs? This interesting storyline gets to be a lot of fun thanks to Nayanthara and company indulging us in some genuinely comical moments conceptualised by Nelson. It also helped that composer Anirudh came up with some interesting songs to go with this wacky subject.

 Dulquer Salmaan in Mahanati

Dulquer Salmaan in Mahanati


Nadigaiyar Thilagam (Mahanati)

Keerthy Suresh came up with a stellar performance in this biopic on actress Savitri. Nag Ashwin’s passionate trip down memory lane gave us a lot to dig into – the film industry back then, the sway that stars had over audiences. All that went a long way into making this one of the best biopics in recent times.



Though not directed by Mysskin (he is given screenplay credit and of course, stars in it), this is essentially a Mysskin film at heart. There are a lot of quirky characters that make this a uniquely-textured film that also manages to dish up some quite ironic moments.

 A scene from ‘Pyaar Prema Kadhal’

A scene from ‘Pyaar Prema Kadhal’

Pyar Prema Kadhal

The lead pair – played by Harish Kalyan and Raiza Wilson – won many hearts in this complicated romance that’s not just all lovey-dovey. There’s doubt and debate in their relationship, giving the film a unique flavour. Will also be remembered for the strong characterisation (and performance) of ‘Bigg Boss’ fame Raiza Wilson and the songs (by Yuvan Shankar Raja).

A scene from the movie “Pariyerum Perumal”.

A scene from the movie “Pariyerum Perumal”.


Pariyerum Perumal

Director Mari Selvaraj weaves an outstanding anti-caste storyline in Pariyerum Perumal , probably the best Tamil film of the year. The casting and performances are top-notch, while Mari’s directorial prowess is evident in many sequences. The climax is both beautiful and hard-hitting. This is that one Tamil film you just  had  to watch this year.



Just when fast was becoming synonymous with ‘good’ in Tamil cinema along came this nostalgic love note that seemed to be in no hurry to go anywhere. The longer the moments linger, the better the ‘feel factor’ was in this heartwarming film that took you back to your school days and old flames.

Samantha in the movie.

Samantha in the movie.


U Turn

This Samantha-helmed film came across as an intricate film that got most of its twists spot on, especially for those who hadn’t watched the Kannada original. With a suspense-led police interrogation leading on-screen proceedings,  U Turn  plays out like an English crime novel, one of those you just cannot put down.

Arvind Swamy and Jyothika in 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'

Arvind Swamy and Jyothika in 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'


Chekka Chivantha Vaanam

Just when we thought Mani Ratnam was losing his touch, the director gave us a realistic action drama that showed that he still had it in him. The story of sons slugging it out post their father’s demise isn’t a new storyline in films, but the treatment and performances (from a bevy of stars) gave hope for many fans of Ratnam who had been yearning for such a film from the director for a while now.



Mystery killers and unique plot twists have always worked in Kollywood, and Ratchasan  – thanks to its unique antagonist – turns what could have been your average thriller into something riveting. The cat-and-mouse game between the cops and the killer keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of the time.

When  Vada Chennai   released, there were objections to the portrayal of north Chennai. A still from the film

When Vada Chennai released, there were objections to the portrayal of north Chennai. A still from the film

Vada Chennai

The Dhanush-Vetri Maaran combination, which gave us the terrific Polladhavan  and  Aadukalam,  continued their rich form with gangster drama Vada Chennai . With fine characterisation and performances, this film provided an insight into the goings-on inside prison. We can’t wait for  Asuran , the next project from the same combination.


0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.