40 Best Rajinikanth Movies and Where to Watch Them

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Rajinikanth, or Super Star Rajini as he’s often venerated, is a cinematic legend whose fandom is unparalleled in any part of the world. If you too are a “Rajini fan”, have a look at the best movies of Rajinikanth with this comprehensive list celebrating the Tamil actor along with a handy guide to know where you can stream his multi-decade filmography.

Where can you stream Rajinikanth’s best movies?

Prime Video, Sun NXT, and Voot have an abundance of Rajinikanth’s finest works with Netflix, Eros NOW, ZEE5, and Jio Cinema offering a few more options.

Once you’re all set for a Rajinikanth movie binge, you can even have a quick glimpse at his monumental career.

From a Bus Conductor to a Superstar

Rajinikanth's film career has not only been about box office records but also about leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of his fans. The star is equalised to no less than a God among his staunchest fans, with hordes worshipping his posters with garland and milk as offerings every time a major Rajinikanth title hits the cinemas.

Before this gargantuan level of fame, Rajinikanth was just a bus conductor. His underdog story starts from 1950 when he was born in Bengaluru as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. Starting his career in the 1970s as a bus conductor, Rajinikanth's journey to stardom is a tale of sheer determination and talent.

Changing with the Times

His cinematic debut in K. Balachander's Apoorva Raagangal (1975) marked the beginning of a prolific career. Rajinikanth's unique style, distinctive dialogue delivery, and charismatic on-screen presence quickly made him a favorite among audiences.

The 1980s saw the rise of Rajinikanth as the "Superstar" with a string of blockbuster films. His collaborations with director S. P. Muthuraman in movies like Muthu and Annamalai established him as the undisputed box office king. The iconic "Rajini style" became a cultural phenomenon, characterized by his trademark mannerisms like an eccentric approach to spinning and wearing his sunglasses and a much-mimicked gravity-defying ritual of flipping cigarettes.

Entering the 2000s, Rajinikanth's career witnessed a resurgence with the sci-fi film Endhiran (2010), directed by S. Shankar. The film, also released as "Robot” in Hindi, broke several box office records and showcased Rajinikanth's ability to embrace cutting-edge technology in cinema. His charismatic performance as both the scientist and the robot in the film was a major career highlight.

The 2010s marked a new phase in Rajinikanth's career with movies like Kabali (2016) and Kaala (2018). Directed by Pa. Ranjith, these films delved into socio-political themes, and Rajinikanth seamlessly adapted to the evolving tastes of the audience. His larger-than-life presence and magnetic screen persona continued to draw audiences to theaters, solidifying his legacy as an enduring superstar in Indian cinema.

Why is Thalapathi Rajinikanth’s best movie?

Rajikanth’s success in the 1990s was marked with commercial blockbusters like the gangster actioner Baasha. But this was also a decade for the superstar to showcase his more nuanced and emotional side, something that Tamil auteur Mani Ratnam seamlessly tapped into with the crime drama Thalapathi.

A contemporary take on the antiheroic warrior Karna from the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharat, Thalapathi featured Rajinikanth as a moralistic slum-dweller who is willing to go to any lengths to fight for his people. But his morals get questioned as he shakes hands with an influential gangster, played to perfection by Malayalam veteran Mammootty. Rajinikanth and Mammooty’s pairing was one for the ages and continues to remain relevant to this day, reminding cinephiles that Rajinikanth is much more than just eyebrow-raising theatrics and box office records.

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  1. Thalapathi

    Thalapathi

    1991

    IMDB 8.5 (13k)

    #1

    Surya, a courageous man who was raised in the slums, fights for the rights of the poor and befriends Deva, who hires him as his commander and changes his life completely.

  2. Enthiran

    #2

    Dr. Vasi invents a super-powered robot, Chitti, in his own image. The scientific body, AIRD, that must approve the robot, declines it based on its not having emotions and the ability to make rational judgment. A sudden flash of lightning evokes emotions in the robot, and Chitti is seemingly ready for integration into the human world. Then, Chitti falls in love with Dr. Vasi's fiancée Sana and turns on his creator.

  3. Thillu Mullu

    Thillu Mullu

    1981

    IMDB 8.5 (3k)

    #3

    Chandran lies to his boss that his mother is unwell to get a leave but gets caught. In order to save his job, he is forced to pretend to his boss that he has a good-for-nothing twin brother.

  4. Baasha

    Baasha

    1995

    IMDB 8.3 (11k)

    #4

    Auto rickshaw driver Manickam avoids violence at all costs. When some thugs begin to intimidate Manickam's family, it triggers the revival of Manickam's old self.

  5. Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai

    #5

    Santhanam gives the best education to his siblings and takes care of all their basic needs. However, when they become financially stable they ill-treat and ignore him.

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  6. Mullum Malarum

    #6

    A young man, Kaali and his sister, Valli, who were orphaned as children, share a close bond. However, their relationship gets strained as Kaali butts heads with a newly appointed engineer from the city.

  7. Sivaji: The Boss

    Sivaji: The Boss

    2007

    IMDB 7.5 (21k)

    #7

    A wealthy engineer arrives in India with the mission of serving the nation and investing in the country's welfare but is met with strong opposition from corrupt officials and politicians. After being faced with insurmountable hardships, he decides to take drastic measures.

  8. Annamalai

    Annamalai

    1992

    IMDB 7.7 (2k)

    #8

    A class-divided friendship goes through highs and lows through several decades.

  9. Padayappa

    Padayappa

    1999

    IMDB 8.2 (7k)

    #9

    Padayappa, a mechanical engineer whose father gives up his property to his foster brother, and then dies of shock soon after. Neelambari initially loves Padayappa, but plans to humiliate him after his family humiliates her father. The rest of the plot deals with Padayappa overcoming all the obstacles placed by Neelambari.

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  10. Chandramukhi

    Chandramukhi

    2005

    IMDB 7.2 (7k)

    #10

    Creepy happenings in an abandoned mansion are attributed to the ghost of an ancient courtesan, back for revenge.

  11. Billa

    #11

    Billa, a powerful outlaw with a long list of enemies, kills Rajesh, a member of his gang, after he quits the criminal life. But Rajesh's fiancee and his sister pledge to take revenge on Billa.

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  12. Kabali

    Kabali

    2016

    IMDB 6.1 (14k)

    #12

    A gangster in Malaysia goes in search of his family after 25 years of imprisonment.

  13. Jailer

    #13

    Muthuvel Pandian, a retired, stern yet compassionate jailer lives a peaceful life with his family, but trouble knocks his door when his cop son’s tryst with an antique mafia gang goes awry and forces Muthu to step back into a dark world he had voluntarily took a break from.

  14. Kaala

    Kaala

    2018

    IMDB 7.2

    #14

    Karikaalan consistently fights to keep the people of Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, safe from the clutches of mighty politicians and the land mafia don, Hari Dhadha.

  15. Aval Appadithan

    #15

    Manju, a modern woman who works for a male chauvinist boss, helps Arun to film a documentary on the lifestyle of women from different backgrounds. As their work progresses, he falls in love with her.

  16. 16 Vayathinile

    16 Vayathinile

    1977

    IMDB 8.0 (1k)

    #16

    Sixteen-year-old Mayil is secretly loved by her handicapped cousin, Chappani, and the village rowdy, Parattai. But, she falls for a city doctor who takes advantage of her and deserts her. Gradually she realises how much Chappani loves her meanwhile, Parattai also eyeing for Mayil.

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  17. Petta

    Petta

    2019

    IMDB 7.1 (12k)

    #17

    A hostel warden becomes the target of a dreaded politician and his gangster son, but little do they realise that it is they who should fear him.

  18. Muthu

    Muthu

    1995

    IMDB 7.5 (3k)

    #18

    The story concerns Muthu, a charismatic, well-respected and loyal servant and charioteer of Raja Malayasimman, a wealthy zamindar. While Muthu and Raja's exploits lead them to fall in love with the same woman, an actress and dancer named Ranganayaki, Raja's materal uncle Ambalathar is keen on assuming control of the family's property.

  19. Arunachalam

    Arunachalam

    1997

    IMDB 7.5 (2k)

    #19

    Arunachalam, the son of a prominent village elder, discovers the truth about his past.

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  20. Pedarayudu

    Pedarayudu

    1995

    IMDB 7.4

    #20

    Pedarayudu, the eldest brother, sits on an ancestral throne that is cursed and whoever delivers a wrong verdict dies. However, things take a turn after his youngest brother is accused of murder.