15 Best South Indian Movies of 2021 You Should Watch


2021 was a good year for South Indian movies, both in terms of commercial success and also in critical acclaim. While movies such as Pushpa broke box office records, movies such as Jai Bhim set new standards for Indian cinema. In the vast sea of Indian cinema, the movies across languages of South India never fail to surprise the audience with innovative plots and creative picturization. On top of that, the actors and directors are equally brilliant. Let’s have a look at some of the best South Indian movies of 2021 that you should definitely watch.


Also read: 20 Best South Indian Movies Every Movie Buff Should Watch

1. Jai Bhim

When a poor tribal man is falsely accused of burglary by a tyrant rich man, he is illegally detained by the police and goes missing soon after. A brave lawyer named Chandru decides to help the family get justice. This critically acclaimed movie is not only one of the best South Indian movies of 2021 but also one of the best films of Indian cinema of all time.

2. Mandela

This Tamil political satire is comedy at its best. A village has two rival political parties who are ready to leave no stone unturned till they achieve victory in the elections. A barber finds himself in a powerful position when he happens to have the deciding vote in his hands. This movie is indeed a treat to watch.

3. Narappa

A Telugu remake of Asuran, Narappa is as good as the original. It is the story of a farmer whose son murders an upper-caste landlord as an act of vengeance.

4. Naandhi

2021 was the year of courtroom and prison dramas and Naandhi is one of the best examples of that. Surya is wrongly accused of murder and spends years in prison waiting for a fair trial.

5. Aarkkariyam

A decent film by Biju Menon, Aaekkariyam revolves around the life of a Malayali couple in Mumbai amidst the nationwide lockdown. It is a slow-burning mystery drama with above-average ratings.

6. Love Story

This Telugu romantic drama offers a love story of caste divide, a plot that has been used multiple times in cinema. But what makes this movie different is the heartfelt performance of the cast. This movie was one of the biggest grosser of the year.

7. Karnan

With an 8.2 IMDb rating, this critically acclaimed movie starring Dhanush was one of the best South Indian movies of 2021. The oppressed communities of the village of Podiyankulam are denied a bus stop by the influential government of the rival village Melur. One man stands up to fight for the rights of the people.

8. Nayattu


This gem of a political thriller is a deep insight into the lives of the police personnel, their struggles, and tribulations. When three police officers get tangled in a murder case of the friend of a local goon, the entire system tries to frame them due to political pressure. They run for their lives to escape the clutches of law.

9. The Great Indian Kitchen

This Malayalam movie follows the story of a newly married woman, who refuses to be the ideal housemaker that her husband and in laws expect her to be. The movie is relatable, realistic, funny, and endearing.

10. Drishyam 2

A sequel to the well-known 2013 Malayalam movie Drishyam, Drishyam 2 lives up to its precursor both in plot and performance. The story begins six years after the first installment with Georgekutty and his family leading a prosperous life. Georgekutty is unaware of the fact that his perfect crime had left behind a witness.

11. Malik

Well-known actor Fahadh Faasil plays the role of Sulaimaan, an influential person who fights against corruption, in this Malayalam movie. However, things get complicated when his nephew is tasked with bringing about his downfall.

12. Cinema Bandi

An auto-rickshaw driver finds a camera one day and decides to shoot a film with the help of the other villagers. This is one hell of a comedy-drama that will fully immerse you into its innocent plot.

13. Yuvarathna

One of the few Kannada films to make a cut on this list, Yuvarathna (youth icon) is the story of a few students who work along with the administration to stop their college from being shut down. The movie runs at a good pace and has a good social message behind it.

14. Puksatte Lifu

A key-maker feels trapped when he becomes an accomplice of a few twisted and corrupt police officers. This Kannada movie is a must-watch.

15. Minnal Murali

A dhoti, chappal-wearing tailor is struck by lightning and gains superpowers somehow, and goes on to become the saviour of his hometown. A very few Indian superhero movies have been really captivating, this Malayalam gem is one of those.

So, these were the best South Indian movies of 2021 that you should definitely give a try. Which of your favourite movies did we miss out on? Do let us know in the comments section.

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