2021 is coming to an end and this year too, there were a good variety of films. Here is Galatta's list of Top 10 Tamil movies of 2021 that largely connected with the masses. Kindly note that this list is not ranked on any basis and the films have been arranged in the order of their release dates.


Aelay is one of the most beautiful films to come out this year and it is a film that deserves more recognition. Portraying the relationship between a father and a son in a heartwarming manner, director Halitha Shameem has made sure the film had its moments at regular intervals. It was a welcoming move to see Samuthirakani play a light-hearted and mischievous character. (Available to stream on NETFLIX).


Mandela is a solid political satire that made a lot of sense and raised the right kind of questions. It was a brilliant film, in terms of writing, and debut director Madonne Ashwin announced his arrival in Tamil cinema in style. The writing was to the point and it had a good balance of humor and several thought-provoking scenes. Yogi Babu, in a subtle role, delivered one of his best and career-defining performances. The open-ending climax was the icing on the cake. (NETFLIX).


Karnan is an intense film by Pariyerum Perumal fame Mari Selvaraj, who is now one of the most powerful voices in Tamil cinema. Showcasing the problems and struggles of the oppressed communities, Karnan delivered an important message in the most poignant and effective manner. Dhanush excelled in bright colors with his portrayal as Karnan, with due support from the ensemble supporting cast. Karnan was also visually-appealing in terms of how Mari used metaphors as a tool for his narrative. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


Sarpatta Parambarai is a traditional sports drama that approached the genre from a different perspective. Pa. Ranjith's conviction and honesty in making a film that is true to its genre helped Sarpatta big time. It was a story of an underdog and was told in an engaging fashion, backed by strong performances from Arya, Pasupathi, Dushara Vijayan, and others. The film had characters that were brilliantly-sketched like Kabilan, Rangan Vaathiyaar, Mariyamma, Vembuli, Dancing Rose, who still stay fresh in our minds. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO).


Doctor is a film that was completely fun from start to finish. Twenty minutes into the film, there was no looking back and director Nelson Dilipkumar made sure that the comedy throughout the narrative struck the right chord. It is one of those rare films where Sivakarthikeyan took the back seat and the other actors excelled in the humour department. In a subtle and introverted character, Sivakarthikeyan fit the bill effectively, while Redin Kingsley, Sunil, Shiva Aravind, and Yogi Babu delivered delightful performances. Doctor is a film that has made audiences laugh the most in recent times. Furthermore, Anirudh's songs and powerful background score along with the aesthetic visuals by cinematographer Vijay Kartik Kannan elevate the film a notch higher. (NETFLIX - SUN NXT).


Jai Bhim garnered national attention with its strong content and is one film that had a big impact on the viewers. Suriya anchored the film, both as an actor and a producer, and made sure the content got a wide reach among the audience, and he needs to be appreciated for backing its bold themes. Jai Bhim, while firmly pointing out the crimes committed by the people in power, also effectively showcased caste discrimination and how the oppressed classes are used as scapegoats by the system. Director TJ Gnanavel's well-researched story and hard-hitting dialogues helped the film big time. Due credits to Lijomol Jose, Manikandan, and Tamizh for their terrific performances. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO). 


Making a high-concept idea adapted to the taste of the regional audience is no easy task and director Venkat Prabhu excelled on that aspect with Maanaadu. The eccentric yet electrifying performance of SJ Suryah connected big time with the masses. Silambarasan TR aced the character of Abdul Khaaliq and delivered a mature performance with conviction. Venkat Prabhu's fantastic writing promised a super-engaging screenplay that was completely tight leaving no space for any dull moments. Without any doubt, Maanaadu will even make it to the top 5 films of 2021! (SONY LIV).


Vasanth Sai's Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum 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 the women in our society and how they are being stereotyped. The film takes a deep look at our patriarchal society and Vasanth needs to be appreciated for the effective transition of the short stories into celluloid. Top-class performances from Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli, Kalieswari, and Parvathy Thiruvothu made the film look complete. SSIP is a beautiful piece of cinema! (SONY LIV)


Rocky is an offbeat daring film that has approached action and violence like any other in Tamil cinema in recent times. The raw and violent action in the film has been treated with ingenuity wherein the viewer isn't made to go through an unbearable or harrowing experience. Debut director Arun Matheswaran's taste for quality cinema and visual aesthetics is seen through Rocky and his unique style of presentation is the x-factor of the film. Vasanth Ravi's intense act aided the serious mood of the film to a great extent.


With Writer, Samuthirakani delivered one of his career-best performances in a subtle yet emotionally-charged role. Debut director Franklin Jacob tapped an unexplored side of the Police department, bringing out the harsh realities to light. The film's grounded writing was suggestive of the fact that director Franklin is a filmmaker to watch out for in the future. Following the success of Pariyerum Perumal and Gundu, Writer is one more important film to the society from producer Pa Ranjith.

These films might not have made it to the list of top 10 films of 2021, but deserve recognition and praise for ticking a majority of the checkboxes right.


Handling a film on a grand scale with two of the biggest stars in the front, things definitely were not easy for Lokesh Kanagaraj, but the promising filmmaker has made a commendable effort in making Master largely appealing. 'Thalapathy' Vijay is showcased in a completely different dimension and his performance, especially the intensity in his eyes, while reading the letter of the two children in the jail, is on point and a peak moment in the film. Vijay Sethupathi is in blazing form as Bhavani and his screen presence has made the film much more effective. Master did have its own share of problems, in terms of logical misses and cinematic liberties, but on a larger picture, it is a film that entertained the masses with a good and solid engaging story. Anirudh's chart-buster songs and electrifying background score are also a big boost. (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)


Chimbu Deven's writing is the most fascinating aspect of Kasada Tabara, which is a unique attempt in Tamil cinema. Though the narration remains uneven at places and the screenplay has pacing issues, Kasada Tabara is to be noted for the way it connected the dots between various stories. The connecting points take you by surprise every now and then, and that is where Chimbu Deven scores brownie points. (SONY LIV).


With the most unexpected twists and surprises, debutant Nishanth Kalidindi's Kadaseela Biriyani is an enjoyable madcap thriller. The film has a unique treatment that has been backed by an intriguing story and strong performances. Hakkim Shah as the menacing psychopath and Vasanth Selvam as Periya Pandi shined in their respective roles. Kadaseela Biriyani is a feast for the cinephiles, who love to watch experimental content. (NETFLIX).