Top 30 Malayalam Movies of All Time (Ranked)

Best Malayalam Movies of All Time (Ranked)

Nowadays, you might be interested in broadening the movie types that you watch daily for more entertainment. You don’t need to worry because we have another list of the top 18 best Malayalam movies you may want to watch. Check out the listed movies down below.

1. Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016)

Malayalam 2h IMDb

Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016)

Director: Dileesh Pothan

Stars: Fahadh Faasil, Aparna Balamurali, Soubin Shahir

Let’s kick off our Malayalam movie list with our first movie, Maheshinte Prathikaaram. The cast comprises well-known actors like Fahadh Faasil, Aparna Balamurali, and Soubin Shahir. It revolves around the story of Mahesh Bhavana.

He lives his life peacefully when a sudden turn of events causes his world to be brought into chaos. Follow his story with his aging father, a loyal pet, and his long-distance lover.

This comedy-drama has the right amount of thrilling scenes to keep you hooked throughout the film. It’s the perfect way to start a Malayalam movie marathon, especially since it was released not long ago.

2. Ustad Hotel (2012)

Malayalam 2h 31m IMDb
Ustad Hotel (2012)

Director: Anwar Rasheed

Stars: Dulquer Salmaan, Thilakan, Siddique

The next movie on our list is Ustad Hotel which was released in 2012. It follows the story of Faizal ‘Faizi’ Abdul Razak, an aspiring chef. He wants to go to the UK but finds himself back home to help his grandfather run a small restaurant. There, he learns all sorts of things and his perspective changes.

Ustad Hotel is a comedy-drama with outstanding cinematography that will keep you engaged and hooked to your screens. It follows a simple succession of events with a well-established storyline that makes you laugh or cry with every scene.

3. Thanmathra (2005)

Malayalam 2h 40m IMDb
Thanmathra (2005)

Director: Blessy

Stars: Mohanlal, Meera Vasudevan, Arjun Lal

Thanmathra is a Malayalam drama film officially introduced to the world of movies in 2005. Starring Mohanlal, who plays the role of Rameshan, this movie revolves around the story of a father whose dream is for his son to become a respectable IAS Officer.

In a sudden turn of events, he might miss the chance to witness it. Follow his story and prepare your tissues for some tears that may fall.

With this film, you won’t ever feel like you’re wasting time watching another cliche family film. It will make you feel all sorts of emotions as the story unfolds.

4. Premam (2015)

Malayalam 2h 36m IMDb
Premam (2015)

Director: Alphonse Puthren

Stars: Nivin Pauly, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian

If you’re a big fan of rom-com movies, then you will surely like the next film Premam. It tells the story of a young man named George who’s had three chances to find love. The trailer will keep viewers wondering if he’ll finally find love on his third try.

The film has garnered many positive responses since its release, and that’s enough to make you want to watch it too. It shows all the madness brought upon by loving a person and provides an excellent narration to love in general. The superb casting is too good to be true too.

5. In Harihar Nagar (1990)

Malayalam 2h 13m IMDb
In Harihar Nagar (1990)

Director: Lal, Siddique

Stars: Mukesh, Siddique, Jagadish

The next movie on our list is the comedy thriller film In Harihar Nagar. It revolves around four friends fighting for the attention of one specific woman, their neighbor. However, she comes home to understand the story behind his brother’s death, so come watch how she unravels the mystery behind this crime.

Harihar Nagar is an example of Malayalam premium content that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. The storyline flows perfectly with a fantastic music score that sets the mood ultimately. You can have a good laugh and be on the edge of your seat for this movie.

6. #Home (2021)

Malayalam 2h 38m

#Home (2021)

Director: Rojin Thomas

Stars: Indrans, Sreenath Bhasi, Manju Pillai

One of the most recent films on this list is #Home, a 2021 movie by Rojin Thomas. This drama family movie depicts the story of a father who tries to learn how to become tech-savvy to understand his children more.

It gives a great picture of how families are nowadays, especially with the abundance of gadgets and social media. If you want to enjoy a heart-warming film, this one is a good choice.

Home is a top-rated Malayalam movie because of its fantastic cinematography, storyline, and music score. The casting was very well done, and they just blended well together.

7. Jana Gana Mana (2022)

Malayalam 2h 42m IMDb
Jana Gana Mana (2022)

Director: Dijo Jose Antony

Stars: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Mamta Mohandas

Over here, we have the 2022 Malayalam movie, Jana Gana Mana. This film depicts the story of how a brutal murder of a college professor caused an uproar with the students and how it is handled by the law. A police investigator sets himself to figure out what really happened as a judge in a courtroom tries to bring justice to the crime.

Jana Gana Mana’s theme is to show the people how these problems really are and to convey the emotions through the story and acting. These two things make you want to watch the entire movie again and again.

8. Devasuram (1993)

Malayalam 3h 7m IMDb
Devasuram (1993)

Director: I.V. Sasi

Stars: Mohanlal, Revathi, Nedumudi Venu

Devasuram is a Malayalam movie released in 1993 which tackles the story of Neelakandan, a wealthy heir from the Mangalasherry family. He is known as a menace to the community. He is about to receive a large inheritance following his father’s death. Follow his story as it takes a lot of dramatic twists and turns.

This film is an excellent mix of action, thriller, and drama that is well executed by the whole cast. Mohanlal, who plays the leading role, has done a terrific job bringing the character to life with his superb acting. Make sure to check this film out.

9. Thoovanathumbikal (1987)

Malayalam 2h 31m IMDb
Thoovanathumbikal (1987)

Director: P. Padmarajan

Stars: Mohanlal, Sumalatha, Parvathi

Over here, we have Thoovanathumbikal, the oldest movie on our list. It’s a romantic drama that follows the life of Jayakrishnan, played by Mohanlal. He falls in love with two different women, Clara and Radha, and this gets him into a dilemma on who should he choose between two. This movie is based on a real-life story of a man who lives in Thrissur, Kerala.

Padmarajan, the film’s writer and director, was lauded for his brilliance in putting his close friend’s life in a beautiful narration of love and choices. It’s a must-watch for anyone who enjoys romantic films.

10. The Great Indian Kitchen (2021)

Malayalam 1h 40m IMDb
The Great Indian Kitchen (2021)

Director: Jeo Baby

Stars: Nimisha Sajayan, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Ajitha V.M.

Next, we have the 2021 film The Great Indian Kitchen starring Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu. These two great actors play the role of husband and wife, with the film focusing on the latter one’s story. She tries to make a difference to what is typically expected of wives in an Indian household while making a name for herself.

The cinematography of this film is quite exquisite. For the first 20 minutes or so, you’ll be stuck with watching regular household chores, which will frustrate you, but it brings the message to you. It’s a great movie to address gender equality and related issues.

11. Spadikam (1995)

Malayalam 2h 30m IMDb
Spadikam (1995)

Director: Bhadran

Stars: Chippy, K.P.A.C. Lalitha, Thilakan

Up next, we have the 1995 film Spadikam. This drama action film revolves around the story of a family where the father and son always clash in the wrong way. Thomas Chacko ran away from home early and returned as a criminal.

At the same time, his father, Chacko Master, is a strict school headmaster. Their clash always ends up badly for their other family members, which creates more and more drama.

Spadikam is the top-grossing movie of the year 1995, making it a successful classic that tackles the problems of a family and its consequences for all the family members.

12. Kaalapani (1996)

Malayalam 2h 58m IMDb
Kaalapani (1996)

Director: Priyadarshan

Stars: Mohanlal, Amrish Puri, Prabhu

The next movie on our list is another 1996 Malayalam classic in Kaalapani. It’s a movie that gives the perfect mix of drama and action with a drop of history. Starring Mohanlal, who plays the character of Govardhan Menon, this movie depicts the injustice and sufferings of all Indian prisoners in a British cellular jail called Kala Pani.

Because of the film, Mohanlal brought home the Best Actor award, which means that this movie is genuinely a masterpiece waiting to be watched by you. It would perk up the interest of many people in Indian history in the form of entertainment.

13. Kireedam (1989)

Malayalam 2h 4m IMDb
Kireedam (1989)

Director: Sibi Malayil

Stars: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Kaviyoor Ponnamma

We also have Kireedam on our Malayalam movie list. Released in 1989, this is another film that stars Mohanlal. In this movie, he portrays a young man who does everything to save his father from a ruthless outlaw in their community. It’s a superb action drama that many people would certainly enjoy watching.

This film was considered a massive hit during its release because of its amount. However, no one was prepared for the amount of recognition that each member of the cast and production received even after the film.

14. Chithram (1988)

Malayalam 2h 39m IMDb
Chithram (1988)

Director: Priyadarshan

Stars: Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Renjini

If you like watching musicals, then Chithram is a good movie for you to watch. This drama comedy movie revolves around the story of Kalyani and his attempt to cover up a wedding that did not push through and hide from his father.

It involves a case of hiring someone to pretend to be his husband and preventing a cousin from telling his father the truth. You’ll surely laugh your heads off while enjoying this film.

Up to this date, no other Malayalam movie has come close to what Chithram has achieved. This film is known as the longest-running Malayalam movie in theaters.

15. A Northern Story of Valor (1989)

Malayalam 2h 48m IMDb
A Northern Story of Valor (1989)

Director: T. Hariharan

Stars: Mammootty, MadhaviDevan

A Northern Story of Valor is a 33-year-old film about the epic fight between two legendary members of the Chekavar clan in Indian history. This fantastic movie is set in 16th century India and is all narrated from the perspective of Chandu Chekavar. Watch closely as each scene passes, giving us fresh air on one of India’s favorite histories.

Based on an online poll in 2013, A Northern Story of Valor is voted by the people as the third best Indian film of all time. It’s also considered one of the great pride when it comes to Malayalam movies.

16. Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 (2019)

Malayalam 2h 20m IMDb
Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 (2019)

Director: Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval

Stars: Soubin Shahir, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Kendy Zirdo

The next movie on our list is another 2019 Malayalam classic in Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25. It revolves around the story of a father and son living daily in a small town village. With a massive void in their life, their lives turn upside down when an AI robot comes into the picture. Follow this sci-fi comedy-drama of a film that will surely entertain you.

The genre of sci-fi films is a bit of a rare case when it comes to Malayalam films, so this movie was a spark of brilliance waiting to unfold. We hope that more films like this will be produced soon.

17. Nadodikattu (1987)

Malayalam 2h 38m IMDb
Nadodikattu (1987)

Director: Sathyan Anthikad

Stars: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan

Another movie released in 1987 is Nadodikattu, a comedy film starring Monhalal and Sreenivasan. These two amazing actors play the role of two friends, both with the same job before, who lost everything after losing their job.

As they are left with considerable debt, they set off for Dubai in an attempt to start anew. Everything goes astray when they are mistaken for smugglers. Follow their journey as they try to set a path for themselves.

With another blockbuster casting, Nadodikattu was huge in theaters. The cinematography and plot add some depth to the film and make it even better.

18. Godfather (1991)

Malayalam 2h 30m IMDb
Godfather (1991)

Director: Lal, Siddique

Stars: N.N. Pillai, Mukesh, Philomina

Next, Godfather is a 1991 Malayalam movie starring N.N. Pillai and Philomina. This movie has the right mix of genres such as comedy, melodrama, action, and romance.

The two main actors in the film mentioned before play the head of two rival clans who sincerely hate each other. A sudden love story between two members of these clans will turn their world upside down.

Godfather is always included in most people’s top 5 list of best Masala Malayalam movies. The storyline will either make you cry or laugh and keep you interested with every scene of these four brothers.

19. Manichithrathazhu (1993)

Malayalam 2h 49m IMDb
Manichithrathazhu (1993)Manichithrathazhu (1993)

Director: Fazil

Stars: Shobana, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi

The nineteenth movie in this Malayalam movie list is Manichithrathazu. It is the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time, and there’s no question why.

Starring Monhalal as Dr. Sunny Joseph, this comedy horror revolves around him as he returns to India for a particular case from a close friend. As a psychiatrist, he thought his ways would work but what he doesn’t know is the involvement of a vengeful ghost lurking around them.

This movie was bound for nothing but greatness. You can also add the group of talented actors and Fazil’s direction to the factors that contributed to the success of this film.

20. R. I. P. (2018)

Malayalam 2h

R. I. P. (2018)

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery

Stars: Kainakary Thankaraj, Chemban Vinod Jose, Vinayakan

We also have R. I. P. on our Malayalam movie list. Released in 2018, this film is set in a coastal village in Chellanam, Kochi.

The movie depicts the story of the death of Vavachan Mesthiri and everything that relates to it in the web of human relationships and the custom, beliefs, and rituals that undergoes after it. This comedy-drama will help change your perspective about death.

R. I. P. is composed of a whirlwind of events that unfolds after a person’s death. The film’s superb quality can be credited to its well-established storyline, fantastic casting, outstanding cinematography, and suitable music score.

21. Pranchiyettan and the Saint (2010)

Malayalam 2h 20m IMDb
Pranchiyettan and the Saint (2010)

Director: Ranjith

Stars: Jesse Fox Allen, Innocent, Mammootty

If you like watching musicals, then Chithram is a good movie for you to watch. This drama comedy movie revolves around the story of Kalyani and his attempt to cover up a wedding that did not push through and hide from his father.

It involves a case of hiring someone to pretend to be his husband and preventing a cousin from telling his father the truth. You’ll surely laugh your heads off while enjoying this film.

Up to this date, no other Malayalam movie has come close to what Chithram has achieved. This film is known as the longest-running Malayalam movie in theaters.

22. Pathemari (2015)

Malayalam 1h 58m IMDb
Pathemari (2015)

Director: Salim Ahmed

Stars: Mammootty, Sreenivasan, Jewel Mary

Pathemari shows the reality of Indian immigrants’ conditions in Gulf countries. Starring Mammooty and Sreenivasan, the film shows how 50 years of immigration have affected these people and how their lives have changed. If you’re hooked on the idea of a survival story, you will like this film.

This drama film is a good reflection of how life has been for immigrants and how they had to migrate to the Middle East for a chance to live again and be free from the Communist state of Kerala. The story will give you a new perspective on life.

23. Sudani from Nigeria (2018)

Malayalam 2h 3m IMDb
Sudani from Nigeria (2018)

Director: Zakariya Mohammed

Stars: Soubin Shahir, Samuel Abiola Robinson, Savithri Sreedharan

Another movie released in 2018 is Sudani from Nigeria, which talks about the story of Majeed and Samuel. Majeed is the team manager of a local football team, while Samuel is their African star player.

The title of this movie comes from the nickname given to Samuel by the people in Majeed’s hometown, Sudani from Nigeria. Follow the story of these two people who later on become friends.

Sudani from Nigeria is one of the few Malayalam sports movies. However, it did the genre remarkably with the talented actors and outstanding storyline. It’s considered one of the best films of 2018 Malayalam cinema.

24. Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum (2017)

Malayalam 2h 15m IMDb
Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum (2017)

Director: Dileesh Pothan

Stars: Fahadh Faasil, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Nimisha Sajayan

Next, Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum is a 2017 Malayalam movie starring Fahadh Faasil and Nimisha Sajayan. These two brilliant actors are playing the role of a married couple who have gone into wedlock. Their story continues with some twists and turns as the wife is robbed on a bus ride home.

If you’re into movies with crime and drama, then this movie will fit right in with you. It’s considered a genius Malayalam film released in the last five years. The movie will start slow with a few exciting scenes, but once you continue watching, you’ll slowly be hooked to every stage that passes.

25. Drishyam (2013)

Malayalam 2h 40m IMDb
Drishyam (2013)

Director: Jeethu Joseph

Stars: Mohanlal, Meena, Asha Sharath

Over here is Drishyam, a film released not too long ago. This thrilling crime drama revolves around the story of Georgekutty and his family as they weather a massive storm that’s brought upon an accidental murder with his daughters as the prime suspect.

The thrilling chase for the truth will keep you on the edge of your seat, and all the drama scenes will surely bring a tear to your eye.

Drishyam’s storyline is a gem to watch, and its climax makes you feel goosebumps. If you like watching a thrilling chase for the truth, this movie is quite a choice.

26. Nayattu (2021)

Malayalam 2h 4m IMDb
Nayattu (2021)

Director: Martin Prakkat

Stars: Kunchacko Boban, Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan

The fifteenth movie in this Malayalam movie list is Nayattu, a crime thriller starring Kunchacko Boban, Joju George, and Nimisha Sajayan. It revolves around the story of three police officers who are on the run because of torture and an unlawful arrest of a civilian. The story depicts how these policemen are human, too, with a bit of arrogance.

From the start, the movie scenes will keep you invested and question the harsh reality depicted in the film. Mixed with superb acting from the cast and fantastic cinematography, the movie was bound to be a success.

27. Drishyam 2 (2021)

Malayalam 2h 32m IMDb
dutch rabbit breed

Director: Jeethu Joseph

Stars: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba

Since we had Drishyam on the list, it’s impossible not to add its sequel, Drishyam 2. This film is set six years after the first movie and all its chaos.

Georgekutty’s family has surpassed the first wave of challenges that almost drowned his family in sorrow. However, another investigation opens up this time and will try to bring the family down. It’s up to Georgekutty again to save his family from impending doom.

Like the first film, this sequel will surely keep your heart racing from start to finish. It’s a drama masterpiece that will surely tug your heart too.

28. Kumbalangi Nights (2019)

Malayalam 2h 15m IMDb
Kumbalangi Nights (2019)

Director: Madhu C. Narayanan

Stars: Shane Nigam, Soubin Shahir, Fahadh Faasil

If you’re looking for a movie released in the past few years, you should definitely add Kumbalangi Nights to your movie list.

It’s a movie about four brothers who have the typical love-hate relationship that every sibling has. However, their relationship turns for the better once Franky starts having problems with his love life. If you have a sibling, you can totally relate to this one.

Due to its huge success, this movie received 8 awards in 12 total nominations. It is worth noting that this movie has proven that the golden run of the new wave of Malayalam movies is still ongoing.

29. Take Off (2017)

Malayalam 2h 19m IMDb
Take Off (2017)

Director: Mahesh Narayanan

Stars: Parvathy Thiruvothu, Fahadh Faasil, Kunchacko Boban

This movie is set in Tikrit, Iraq, in the year 2014. It follows the story of a group of Indian nurses who were captured by a group of ISIS militants once the city was taken over. Take Off shows all the hardships the group has experienced under the harsh terrorists.

Take Off is an excellent option if you’re in for some Action, Drama, and Thriller scenes. The movie was complete with great stars like Parvathy Thiruvothu, Fahadh Faasil, and Kunchacko Boban, who played their roles perfectly.

30. Kilukkam (1991)

Malayalam 2h 35m IMDb
Kilukkam (1991)

Director: Priyadarshan

Stars: Mohanlal, Jagathi Sreekumar, Revathi

The final movie on our list is Kilukkam, released in 1991. We cannot end our list without a pure comedy film that will make you laugh to your heart’s content. Kilukkam is a film that centers on Molanhal, who plays the role of Joji, a tourist guide.

He meets Nandini and ends up giving her shelter as he finds out she is a missing person with a high reward for her return. Follow their journey as they go on an adventure to find Nandini’s actual father.

The diverse mix of genres and film characteristics make Kilukkam a must-watch movie if you’re starting to watch Malayalam movies.



That’s it, you have reached the end of our article on the top 18 best Malayalam movies of all time. We hope that you were able to pick up a movie or two from this list that you can enjoy on your next movie marathon. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends.

Best Malayalam Movie of All Time (Ranked)


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