South Indian movies are amazing and entertaining to watch. The South Indian cinema has a thriving range of movies. Whether you like action, romance, thriller or suspense it has something to offer you. Movies like Bahubali and Sivaji are only some of the many gems which South Indian cinema is replete with. Listed below are thirty of the best South Indian movies to get you comfortable for a binge-watch.
The south Indian movies with some famous south Indian actors are listed here. Some of these amazing south Indian movies have been remade in Bollywood.
Amazing South Indian Movies
This South Indian period drama set in the 1980s opened with a bang on the box office making more than thrice of its budget. The story revolves around a partially deaf Chitti Babu and his brother who try to save their village from the clutches of a cruel moneylender. It also won acclaim by the critics, the Times of India review of this movie says “Go watch the film this weekend for the characters and the intrigue they create”
Directed by: Sukumar
Actors: Ram Charan, Samantha Akkineni, Anasuya Bharadwaj and Aadhi Pinisetty
Release Date: 30 March 2018
The third highest-grossing movie of South India, it was the first Malayalam movie to earn 100 crores. Two of its songs- “Kaadaniyum Kaalchilambe” and “Maanathe Marikurumbe”- even made the 70 eligible songs list for the Academy Awards 2017. The story follows a kind-hearted honest man Murugan who helps out his villagers in fighting against the man-eating tiger. This amazing South Indian movies is full of action and some twists to keep you interested.
Directed by: Vysakh
Actors: Mohanlal, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Jagapati Babu, Lal, Vinu Mohan, and Bala.
Release Date: 7 October 2016
One of the earlier movies of Bollywood’s most loved heroine, Sridevi, it tells a heart touching story. A young woman, after suffering from a grave head injury starts acting like a child. Taking advantage of this some people kidnap and sell her to a brothel, a schoolteacher who she is sent to takes pity on her and tries to help her. An emotional south Indian movie to make your day.
Directed by: Balu Mahendra
Actors: Sridevi, Kamal Haasan, Y.G Mahendra and Silk Smitha
Release Date: 19 February 1982
This movie had a budget of 4 crores but has made more than 60 crores on the Box Office. It follows George and his friends from their teens to adulthood. George who has once been rejected by his school crush grows infatuated to his college lecturer. The story explores the different facets of love throughout one’s life. One of the famous and amazing South Indian movies.
Directed by: Alfonse Putharen
Actors: Nivin Pauly, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian and Anupama Parameswaran
Release Date: 29 May 2015
A coming of age teenage drama, it is the story of three cousins who are very close to each other and the circumstances which take all three to Bangalore. This movie explores the topic of cultural alienation, which these three suffer on shifting to Bangalore, love and choices related to career. The story is full of many heartwarming moments and definitely worth a watch.
Directed by: Anjali Menon
Actors : Nazriya Nazim, Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salmaan, Fahadh Faasil, Parvathy, Isha Talwar and Nithya Menon
Release Date: 30 May 2014
Probably everybody has already heard about this one, especially because only a few days ago the Hindi remake of this amazing South Indian movies Kabir Singh released and proved to be the highest-earning movie for lead actor Shahid Kapoor. It is the story of a brilliant medical surgeon who falls in love with one of the students of his college. But when her parents do not agree for their marriage he goes in a downward spiral of drinking and smoking.
Directed by: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Actors: Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini Pandey
Release Date: 25 August 2017
A simple yet beautiful romance about two people who have a chance meeting at a wedding. Yet this isn’t a typical love at first sight movie but one which goes through a series of love and hate situations. Though it did was not much appreciated by the critics it was the then highest-grossing Telugu movie. The songs and cinematography of the makeup for whatever lack there is in the storyline.
Directed by: Sekhar Kammula
Actors:Varun Tej and Sai Pallavi
Release Date: 21 July 2017
Bharat Ane Nenu
The movie deals with the topic of politics and corruption. The protagonist who is an Oxford graduate becomes the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after the death of his father and tries to root out corruption from the system. The movie received a positive response from the critics as well as the audience. The Behindwoods reviewer had the following to say about it “Bharat Ane Nanu has blockbuster written all over it!!!”
Directed by: Koratala Siva
Actors: Mahesh Babu, Kiara Advani, Prakash Raj and R. Sarathkumar
Release Date: 20 April 2018
Starring the most famous South Indian actor Rajnikanth this movie needs no introduction. It was a pioneering step in the genre of sci-fi, and the time of its production it was the most expensive film ever made in India.
Directed by: S. Shankar
Actors: Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai, and Danny Denzongpa.
Release Date: 1 October 2010
This is a thriller which will leave you thinking a long time even after you leave the theatre. It was remade in Tamil, Kannada and Hindi as well, the name of the Hindi remake is Baaghi 2 which has received much appreciation. The movie opens with the lead heroine, Shweta, calling her ex-boyfriend, Rishi, for help because her daughter has been kidnapped. Things start to get out of hand when everyone including Shweta’s husband, Karthik, claim that they never had a daughter.
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
Directed by: Ravikanth Perepu
Actors: Adivi Sesh, Adah Sharma Anasuya Bharadwaj and Vennela Kishore
Release Date: 26 February 2016
The Hindi dubbed version of this movie is known by the name Makhee and was unanimously appreciated both in the mainstream cinema as well as Telugu cinema. The story follows a sci-fi, where the hero is reborn as a housefly with his earlier conscience and attacks the person who killed him.
Genre: Fantasy/ Action
Directed by :S. S. Rajamouli and J.V.V. Sathyanarayana
Actors: Sudeep, Nani, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Release Date: 6 July 2012
Bahubali 2: The Conclusion
This movie was much awaited in not only in South India but on a pan Indian level and does not need much introduction. The sequel and conclusion to the first movie which had also received a lot of attention from the fans. It made 1,801 crores on the box office and is the second highest-grossing Indian movie.
Genre: Fantasy/ Drama/Action
Directed by: S. S. Rajamouli
Actors: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah
Release Date: 28 April 2017
Bahubali: The Beginning
Yet again another movie which does not need any introduction. It is claimed to have some of the best VFX and special that ever seen in an Indian movie at that time. It won National Film Award for Best Special Effects along with many other awards. If not for the amazing story watch this movie as its a visual treat.
Directed by: S.S.Rajamouli
Actors: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, and Tamannaah
Release Date: 10 July 2015
Based on the folklore of Vikram and Vetala, the story opens with an animated picturization of the same. Vedha, a gangster, is arrested by a righteous gangster. Vedha tells Vikram of some real-life situations where he had to make some tough decisions.
This movie opened to some of the most positive reviews by the critics. Firstpost describes it as “This is a triumph of smart writing, superb characterization, and terrific performances. The audience finds it difficult to take sides in this thriller that explores the line between good and evil.”
Directed by: Pushkar–Gayathri
Actors: Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi, Shraddha Srinath, Kathir and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Release Date: 21 July 2017
It is a story about the underworld, smuggling and harassing women. With Jackie Shroff in the lead role in the movie, it is a one time watch for his good acting skills. It won the Grand Jury Award at South Asian International Film Festival 2010. Probably the first Tamilian neo-noir film, it has amazing ratings by most movie platforms, Amazon prime gave it 5/5 stars. Despite all this, the film did not manage to make a big amount on the box office.
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Directed by: Thiagarajan Kumararaja(first film)
Actors: Jackie Shroff, Ravi Krishna, Sampath Raj, Yasmin Ponnappa, and Guru Somasundaram
Release Date: 18 December 2008
This story is about women empowerment and how a young strong-headed movie Aruvi. The story starts with an aggressive Aruvi who wants to take revenge against everyone who wronged her. But by the end of the movie, some of the resolutions is achieved in the plot.
Genre: Political Drama/ Thriller
Directed by: Arun Prabhu
Actors: Aditi Balan, Anjali Varadhan, Lakshmi Gopalswami and Pradeep Antony
Release Date: 1 December 2017
If you want to watch a feel-good, not too serious south Indian movie, this will be the perfect movie for you. After the protagonist is humiliated by a man in front of his entire village he vows to not wear slippers until he beats him in a hand to hand combat. But before he can do that, his apparent arch-enemy has left the country. The twist in the story is that the protagonist falls in love with his humiliator’s sister.
Directed by: Dileesh Pothan
Actors:Fahadh Faasil, Anusree, Alencier Ley Lopez, Aparna Balamurali, and Soubin Shahir.
Release Date: 5 February 2016
This movie gained much critical acclaim and ran for more than five months in the theatres. The story is about a man who is not very well educated, yet manages to fool the whole police department to protect his family after a bad incident. The movie was remade in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi. The Hindi remake of the same name has gained much popularity and also won numerous accolades like its original version.
Directed by: Jeethu Joseph
Actors: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba Hassan, Esther Anil, and Kalabhavan Shajon
Release Date: 19 December 2013
Due to unforeseen circumstances two strangers, Aras and Nalla, have to travel together from Bubhaneshwar to Chennai. While one is a commercial director, the other fights for labor rights. During this journey, they are initially at loggerheads with each other but with time form a connection.
Genre: Drama/ Musical Comedy
Directed by: Sundar C.
Actors: R. Madhavan, Kiran Rathod, Nassar, Santhana Bharathi, and Seema
Release Date: 14 January 200
A beautiful film which uses the long lost method of metadrama and brings to stage the emotional experience and struggles of an actor. The central character is very well developed the
three-dimensional person and will make you cry at his situation. Uttam Villain is the name of the movie which is the last wish of the protagonist before he dies.
Genre: Meta Drama/ Comedy
Directed by: Ramesh Aravind
Actors: Kamal Hassan, K. Viswanath, K. Balachander, Jayaram, and Andrea Jeremiah.
Release Date: 2 May 2015
A worker at a cinema hall suffers from insomnia, to cure this situation he tries drugs. His life turns upside down when he is tricked into consuming a drug named Lucia. The drug causes him to daydream, the twist in the story is when his dreams start turning into reality.
Genre: Fantasy/ Thriller
Directed by: Pawan Kumar
Actors: Sathish Ninasam, Sruthi Hariharan and Achyuth Kumar
Release Date: 6 September 2013
This blockbuster made more than 220 crores and was the highest-grossing South Indian movie when it was released. A young woman Nirupama who lives in the USA gets married to a man to be able to pursue her PhD there. Things take a violent turn when she, suspecting her husband to have a secret identity approaches a private detective and finds out about his bloody past.
Directed by: Kamal Haasan
Actors: Kamal Haasan, Shekhar Kapur, Rahul Bose and Pooja Kumar
Release Date: 25 January 2013
A love story between which starts in college gets serious, but when due to an accident the heroine dies. The story is about how the boy copes and deals with life after losing his lady love. The movie ends on a happy note sending out the message that one should try to find happiness in life.
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Directed by: Rishab Shetty
Actors: Rakshit Shetty, Rashmika Mandanna, Samyuktha Hegde, Aravinnd Iyer, Dhananjay Ranjan and Pramod Shetty.
Release Date: 30 December 2016
This is one of those must-watch movies which will make you realise the true meaning of old is always gold. Based on the real-life story of Mumbai based gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar, this movie won appraise by many. The film opened to critical acclaim and the actors were praised for their brilliant performances. This film has been included in TIME included Nayakan in its list of “All-Time 100 Best Films” (Source: Wikipedia) and is a true gem.
Directed by: Mani Ratnam
Actors: Kamal Haasan and Saranya
Release Date: 31 July 1987
Anyone here who has watched that really famous absolutely amazing movie, Nayak? I am guessing everybody, this movie is the original Tamil version of that movie. This became one of the highest-grossing Tamil movies of that time.
Genre: Political Drama/Action
Directed by: S. Shankar
Actors: Arjun Sarja, Manisha Koirala and Raghuvaran
Release Date: 7 November 1999
Yet another blockbuster by superstar Rajnikanth, this movie has a huge fan following even till date. It won a National Film Award, three Filmfare Awards and two Vijay Awards and made a good amount at the box office as well.
Genre: Political Drama/Action
Directed by: S. Shankar
Actors: Rajinikanth, Shriya Saran, Vivek, Suman
Release Date: 15 June 2007
KGF Chapter 1
Based on a true event which took place in the 1970s in the Kolar Gold Fields, it narrates a very sad but true story about their suffering. The story is told from the point of view of Rocky who promised his dying mother to become a rich and powerful man. It shows us how he goes about this aim in his life. A good South Indian movie with right emotions.
Genre: Historical/ Action
Directed by: Prashanth Neel
Actors: Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Anant Nag, Vasishta N. Simha.
Release Date: 21 December 2018
If you are wondering why the name sounds familiar that is because it is the original version of the Amitabh Bachchan starer Sooryavansham. The original is just as good if not better than its more popular Bollywood version. The movie was also remade in Telugu and Kannada.
Directed by: Vikraman
Actors: Sarath Kumar, Devayani, Raadhika, Manivannan and Priya Raman
Release Date: 27 June 1997
A suspense thriller, this movie revolves around saving the only proof of a model’s death which was framed as a gas leak accident by gangster Rishi. The hero, Arjun, meets the leading lady Anamika in a club and the two start seeing each other. One night while they had gone to Anamika’s home she gets kidnapped while Arjun was not there. On police investigation, it turns out that Anamika has not been seen at her apartment for three days. One of the most amazing South Indian movies.
Directed by: Anand Shankar
Actors: Vikram Prabhu, Priya Anand, and J. D. Chakravarthy
Release Date: 4 July 2014
A blockbuster and amazing South Indian movie for the typical Rajnikanth fan it will make for an evening well spent. It is the story of Lingaa, a petty thief who mends his ways when he comes to know about the great deeds of his grandfather in building a dam. He commits to helping people and saves his grandfather’s legacy from getting destroyed by some ill-meaning people.
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Directed by: K. S. Ravikumar
Actors: Rajinikanth, Anushka Shetty, Sonakshi Sinha, and Jagapati Babu.
Release Date: 12 December 2014