Crime thriller movies in Tamil. With their unique settings, and exciting plots, the following crime thriller movies in Tamil are among the most exciting films.
1. Raam (2005) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: Ram is falsely charged for killing his mother. Inspector starts interrogating each and every person connected to the house. Raam is directed by Ameer starring Jiiva, Rahman, Murali, Gajala and Saranya Ponvannan. It was screened at the 2006 Cyprus International Film Festival, where it won two awards for Best Actor and Best Musical Score for Jiiva and Yuvan Shankar Raja, respectively.
2. Andha Naal (1954) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: Rajan, a radio engineer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances. CID Officer Sivanandham unravels the mystery surrounding the murder. Andha Naal was included in CNN-News18’s list of the “100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time”. Andha Naal directed by Sundaram Balachander staring Sivaji Ganesan was the first film noir in Tamil cinema.
3. Visaranai (2016) – Genre: Crime Thriller. Plot: A group of immigrants are tortured to plead guilty for a crime they didn’t commit. When a policeman from their hometown helps to set them free, they agree to do him a favour in return, unaware of the trouble they are getting themselves into. Visaranai, written and directed by Vetrimaaran starring Dinesh, Samuthrakani, Anandhi and Aadukalam Murugadoss is based on the novel Lock Up by M. Chandrakumar. The film premiered in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the 72nd Venice Film Festival. It won the Amnesty International Italia Award.
4. Kuttrame Thandanai (2016) – Genre: Murder Mystery. From the director of Kakka Muttai. Plot: Ravi is suffering from a rare condition called tunnel vision. He need money for his surgery. He begins blackmailing two men who are suspects in a murder trial. Kuttrame Thandani is directed by M. Manikandan starring Vidharth, Rahman, Pooja Devariya and Aishwarya Rajesh.
5. Yudham Sei (2011) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: JK, a CID officer, is forced to take up a murder case while on a lookout for his own sister who is missing. Yudham Sei is written and directed by Myshkin.
6. Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (2012) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: Dinesh makes an MMS of his neighbour Aarti’s private moments and circulates it amongst his friends. When Aarti tries to go to the police, Dinesh attacks her but Jyoti, a maid, saves her. Vazhakku Enn 18/9 is written and directed by Balaji Sakthivel starring Mithun Murali, Sri, Urmila Mahanta and Manisha Yadav. The film was shortlisted by the FFI to become India’s submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for the year 2012.
7. Sigappu Rojakkal (1978) – Genre: Psychological Thriller. Directed by the legendary P. Bharathiraja has Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in the lead role. Plot: Dileep who is traumatized by women’s behaviour in his childhood and later becomes a psychopath who kills women after having sex with them.
8. Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006) – Genre: Murder Mystery – Action Thriller. Plot: DCP Raghavan sets off on the trail of the killers of Rani, and her parents. Written and directed by Gautham Menon, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu is a fantastic cop-killer film. The creepiness when the killer/s are in the frame is terrific. Don’t miss this film.
9. Naan (2012) – Genre: Crime Thriller. Plot: An ex-convict forges signature of a deceased medical student to get enrolled in a medical college. He kills his roommate by accident in a dispute and fears that his identity will be revealed. Naan is written and directed by Jeeva Shankar featuring Vijay Antony as the psychopath.
10. Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum (2013) – Genre: Thriller Drama. Plot: When a medical student, Chandru, helps a dying killer-on-run, the police arrest his whole family. They blackmail him into helping them catch him, which triggers a dangerous game between Chandru and the criminal. Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum is written and directed by Mysskin.
11. Nooravathu Naal (1984) – Genre: Murder Mystery. The film is directed by Manivannan, starring Vijayakanth, Mohan, Nalini and Sathyaraj. Devi marries Ram Kumar. Soon she senses something fishy with his activities and investigates with the help of her friend Raj. A wonderful crime thriller movie in Tamil.
12. Kirumi (2015) – Genre: Crime Thriller. Plot: Kathir gets a job as informer to a corrupt police officer. Kirumi is directed by Anucharan starring Kathir, Charlie and Reshmi Menon.
Baradwaj Rangan of The Hindu praised the director “Sometimes, five minutes is all it takes to know that you’re in the hands of a genuine filmmaker — like Anucharan”
13. Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (2016) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: Deepak, police officer lost his right leg in an accident five years ago. He retired from the department after the accident. He tells his most important case details to a man aspiring to become an IPS officer. Druvangal Pathinaaru is written and directed by Karthick Naren and starring Rahman in the leading role.
14. Aasai (1995) – Genre: Romantic Thriller. Aasai was written-directed by Vasanth and produced by Mani Ratnam starring Ajith Kumar, Suvalakshmi and Prakash Raj. Plot: A man kills his wife when she learns that he lusts after her sister. He then begins to make his moves for his sister-in-law. Aasai is a romantic movie as much as a thriller. Vasanth’s Aasai among one of the best crime thriller movies in Tamil.
15. Ratsasan (2018) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Ratsasan is directed by Ram Kumar featuring Vishnu Vishal and Amala Paul in the lead roles. The film is being remade in Telugu as Rakshasudu (2019) with Bellamkonda Sreenivas. Plot: Arun gives up on his dream of becoming a filmmaker and takes up the job of a police officer after his father’s death. He then attempts to track down a psycho killer.
16. Vaali (1999) – Genre: Crime Thriller. Vaali is the story of Deva and Shiva, two look-alike siblings. When Shiva marries Priya Deva becomes obsessed with and lusts for Priya. The thriller film starring Ajith Kumar and Simran is written and directed by S. J. Surya.
17. Eeram (2009) – Genre: Gothic Murder Mystery. Eeram is written and directed by Arivazhagan starring Aadhi Pinisetty, Nandha, Sindhu Menon and Saranya Mohan. Plot: A young married woman is found dead in her washroom. The story follows the murder investigation. The script has similarities with Shakespeare’s Othello. Eeram is one of the best ‘paranormal’ films in Tamil.
19. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (2017) – Genre: Cop Investigation – Action Thriller. Written and directed by H. Vinoth starring Karthi, Rakul Preet Singh and Abhimanyu Singh, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru is a ‘hold-the-breath’ action-thriller. Plot: Theeran, a police officer, tries to decode a series of cold blood events based on same pattern.
20. Thegidi (2014) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: A young detective is asked to keep an eye on a certain number of people and collect information on them. However, his subjects start dying mysteriously. Thegidi was written and directed by P. Ramesh starring Ashok Selvan, Janani Iyer and Jayaprakash.
Sify called the film “a well-made, edge-of- the-seat thriller with enough twists and turns. It keeps the deception game going till the last scene, with a taut script and outstanding BGM by Nivas Prasanna”
21. Thadam (2019) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: The murder of a rich youth creates confusion among cops when they find out that the one suspect in the murder has a look-alike! Thadam is written and directed by Magizh Thirumeni starring Arun Vijay, Smruthi Venkat, Tanya Hope, and Vidya Pradeep.
The Hindi (review) – Thadam by Magizh Thirumeni is an effective murder mystery involving identical twins
22. Naachiyaar (2018) – Genre: Crime-Drama. Naachiyar is written, and directed by Bala starring Jyothika, G.V. Prakash Kumar and Ivana. Plot: A police officer sets out to catch the man who raped Arasi, an underage girl. The suspect is Arasi’s lover Kaathu.
Gulf News (review) – Arasi’s and Kaathu’s love story unfolds against the backdrop of a police investigation that leaves you smiling — a first with a Bala film.
23. Iravukku Ayiram Kankal (2018) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: A cab driver finds himself in a tough spot after he is suspected of a murder. Multiple stories unfold while he tries to prove himself innocent. The thriller film is directed by Mu. Maran featuring Arulnithi, Ajmal, Mahima Nambiar, Vidya Pradeep, Chaya Singh, and Suja Varunee.
24. 8 Thottakkal (2017) – Genre: Thriller Drama. Plot: Sathya, a police officer, accidentally loses his service pistol. Before he can find the pistol, Murthy buys it from a robber and goes on a killing spree. 8 Thottakkal is written and directed by Sri Ganesh.
25. K-13 (2019) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: The morning after having a one-night stand at Malarvizhi’s apartment, Madhiazhagan awakes to find that she is dead. K-13 is written and directed by Barath Neelakantan starring Arulnithi and Shraddha Srinath. Latest among all. K-13 is good enough to be among the best crime thriller movies in Tamil.
26. Kurangu Bhommai (2017) – Genre: Thriller Drama. Plot: The lives of a local gangster, a desperate father, a cunning cab driver and an insomniac pick pocketer intersect as they try to find an abandoned bag full of money. Kurangu Bhommai is written and directed by Nithilan Swaminathan starring Vidharth, Delna Davis and Bharathiraja.
27. Priyamudan (1998) – Genre: Romantic Thriller. Plot: Vasanth, the son of a wealthy businessman, falls in love with Priya when he visits Rajasthan. He impersonates a man named Vasanth Kumar, who had saved her life before, to get closer to Priya. The film is directed by Vincent Selva starring Vijay and Kausalya in the lead roles. The film was later remade as Preminche Manasu in Telugu, as Nata in Kannada and as Deewana Main Deewana in Hindi.
28. Metro (2016) – Genre: Crime Thriller. Plot: Disgusted by the chain snatching robberies, a man vows to combat the criminal menace by taking the law into his own hands. Metro is directed by Anandakrishnan staring Metro Shirish, Bobby Simha and Sendrayan. The film was remade in Kannada as Siliconn City. The film was given a “A” certificate by the Indian Censor Board due to its violent content.
29. Adhe Kangal (2017) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: A visually impaired chef falls hard for a woman he barely knows. Life changes altogether since then. Adhe Kangal written and directed by Rohin Venkatesan has Kalaiyarasan, Janani Iyer and Sshivada in the lead roles.
Sify.com praised Adhe Kangal stating it was “a delicious thriller with a meaty, realistic plot and nicely fleshed out characters and not to forget a smart running time of 120 minutes”
30. Maanagaram (2017) – Genre: Action Thriller. Written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj has Sri, Sundeep Kishan, Madhusudhan Rao and Regina Cassandra in the lead roles. Plot: Two different events in Chennai gets interlinked. A man who comes to Chennai for an interview is beaten brutally for a reason he don’t know. In another place, a gang of small-time criminals kidnaps the son of a local gangster from his school for a ransom.
31. Kuttram 23 (2017) – Genre: Cop Investigation. Plot: ACP Vetrimaaran unravels a crime racket involving medical professionals while investigating about a missing case. The film is written and directed by Arivazhagan starring Arun Vijay, Mahima Nambiar, Vamsi Krishna, and Aravind Akash.
The Hindustan Times noted, “it is brilliantly scripted and directed – and of course ably acted out by especially Vijay”
32. Maayavan (2017) – Genre: Sci Fi Murder Mystery. Plot: Kumaran sets out on an investigation of a series of mysterious murders. His inspection toughens when he realises the pattern followed by the murderer. Maayavan is directed by C. V. Kumar starring Sundeep Kishan, Lavanya Tripathi, Jackie Shroff and Daniel Balaji. Even though certain things doesn’t fit our logic, still Maayavan keeps us hooked to the movie.
33. Aaraathu Sinam (2016) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: Police officer Aravind resorts to alcohol after his wife and daughter get killed by criminals. He is forced to take up the case of a serial killer. It is a remake of Malayalam block-buster ‘Memories’. Aarathu Sinam is written and directed by Arivazhagan starring Arulnithi, Aishwarya Rajesh and Aishwarya Dutta.
34. Poovizhi Vasalile (1987) – Genre: Murder Mystery. Plot: A man, depressed by the death of his own family, finds a deaf and mute boy in the trash. The boy, who has seen the killers of his widowed mother, is in danger. It is directed by Fazil, starring Sathyaraj, Sujitha and Karthika. Poovizhi Vasalile is one of the best crime thriller movies in Tamil.
35. Pizza (2012) – Genre: Horror-Mystery. Pizza is written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj featuring Vijay Sethupathi and Remya Nambeesan. Pizza was remade into Kannada as Whistle (2013), in Hindi as Pizza (2014) and in Bengali as Golpo Holeo Shotti (2014). Plot: Michael, a pizza delivery boy, lives with Anu, an aspiring horror fiction writer. One day, on a home delivery, he goes to a bungalow, where mysterious events begin to take place.
“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough” – Roger Ebert