The 25 Best Thalapathy Vijay Movies and Where to Watch Them

Fondly regarded as “Thalapathy” (loosely translated to Commander) by his legions of fans, Vijay has endured as one of the most mainstream faces of the Tamil film industry.  Here’s a look at his career highlights.

Beginnings as a child actor

Vijay started his screen career at the mere age of 10 with a brief role in his director father S.A. Chandrashekhar’s crime drama Vetri (1984). Further roles as a child artist included the vigilante revenge drama Naan Sigappu Manithan (1985) in which he shared screenspace with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth.

Growing up as a romantic hero

On turning 18, Vijay bagged his first lead role in the melodramatic romance Naalaiya Theerpu (1992) leading up to regular work as hero, in mostly romantic comedies or dramas.

It was the rom-com Poove Unakkaga (1996) that offered his breakout performance. The aptly-titled Love Today (1997) and Thulladha Manamum Thullum (1999) were further successes in establishing him as a charming romantic with the latter offering an earnest performance as a passionate singer. 2000s-era hits like Kushi (2000) and Priyamaanavale (2000) continued his meteoric rise.

Transition to action roles

As a mainstream face of Tollywood, Vijay (or rather his stunt doubles) had to rely on a few action scenes in his early movies. But it is with Thirumalai (2003) that he found his footing as an action star. His action genre ventures have increased in scope and style over the years such as the superhero vigilante hit Velayudham (2011) and the crime thriller Thalaivaa (2013).

Director AR Murugadoss and Vijay have helmed several successful action ventures together including Vijay’s box office-smashing hit Thuppaki (2012) in which he played a counter-terrorism army officer and Kaththi (2014) in which he had a dual role as a petty thief and his doppelganger, an idealist farmers rights leader.

New success with Master and Leo

Another director who has increased the scope of Vijay’s action star career is Lokesh Kanagaraj who first collaborated with the actor for the mega-hit Master (2021). A success in terms of both theatrical and streaming records, Master found Vijay playing an alcoholic professor saving a juvenile home. While Vijay’s previous movies had been dubbed in other languages, the popularity of Master’s dubs in Telugu and Hindi on Prime Video helped elevate Vijay’s pan-Indian success.

This pan-Indian fame continued with Vijay’s sophomore teaming with Kanagaraj, this time joining the director’s cinematic universe (nicknamed “Lokiverse”). Playing the titular character in Leo (2023), Vijay proved that he’s only getting better with age. He gets enough space to deliver whistle-worthy one-liners and relatively violent action sequences. Leo’s release on Netflix was equally successful with the original Tamil version trending along with Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam dubs.

What makes Kaththi Vijay’s best movie?

Ghilli and Mersal serve as close contenders as Vijay’s best movie but Kaththi can be crowned as the Tamil actor’s finest work so far. As is the case with numerous other Vijay movies, Kaththi also finds him in a dual role. But the stark contrast between the two characters allows him to display his dramatic range like never before. With one of the heroes also being an idealist and farmer rights advocate, Vijay gets to deliver some of the most rousing monologues of his career.

Where to stream Vijay’s filmography?

Most of Vijay’s best films can be streamed on mainstream platforms like Netflix and Prime Video. However, some can be streamed exclusively on predominantly Tamil-heavy services like Sun NXT and other Indian platforms like Eros Now.

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aha
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  1. Kaththi

    Kaththi

    2014

    IMDB 8.1 (29k)

    #1

    Kathiresan aka Kaththi, a criminal, escapes from the Kolkata prison and comes to Chennai, where he comes across his doppelganger Jeevanandham, fighting for his life after being shot at by unknown men. Kathir decides to pass off as Jeeva and make away with a lump sum amount but once he realizes who Jeeva really is, Kathir turns a crusader.

  2. Ghilli

    Ghilli

    2004

    IMDB 8.1 (16k)

    #2

    Muthu Pandi, a village strongman, decides to marry Dhanalakshmi, and begins his quest by eliminating everyone who opposes their union - starting with both her brothers. In desperation, Dhanalakshmi decides to escape from the village, and in the process is unwittingly assisted by a university Kabaddi player Velu.

  3. Mersal

    Mersal

    2017

    IMDB 7.5 (37k)

    #3

    A few individuals in the medical profession are murdered or kidnapped, and the cop investigating the case suspects a doctor and arrests him. But is he the one who is behind these crimes? And why are they being committed?

  4. Sarkar

    Sarkar

    2018

    IMDB 7.0 (18k)

    #4

    NRI corporate Sundar Ramasamy comes to India to vote, only to learn that his vote has already been cast. While he reclaims his right legally, it also sets in motion a chain of events that eventually lead to him entering the political fray, trying to change the system.

  5. Thuppakki

    #5

    An army captain is on a mission to track down and destroy a terrorist gang and deactivate the sleeper cells under its command.

  6. Pokkiri

    Pokkiri

    2007

    IMDB 7.5 (13k)

    #6

    Tamizh is a killer for hire, and will accept any contract provided the amount is right. The Police want him for questioning, while the underworld needs him to silence their opponents. No one really knows this assassin's background. It is only Tamizh who knows his real identity and he has no intention of sharing it with anyone.

  7. Leo

    Leo

    2023

    IMDB 7.2 (56k)

    #7

    A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, but it brings forth consequences with connection to a dangerous world, one which will shake his carefully constructed life to its very core.

  8. Poove Unakkaga

    Poove Unakkaga

    1996

    IMDB 8.6 (6k)

    #8

    Raja learns that the girl he loves is in love with another man. When he comes to know about the long-standing dispute between both their families, he goes to their village to unite them.

  9. Thulladha Manamum Thullum

    #9

    A struggling singer feels guilty about a girl losing her eyesight; to meet the cost of her eye transplant surgery, he offers his kidney to a rich man.

  10. Master

    #10

    An alcoholic professor is sent to a juvenile school, where he clashes with a gangster, who uses the children of the school for criminal activities.

  11. Bigil

    Bigil

    2019

    IMDB 6.7 (24k)

    #11

    A do-gooder don wants his footballer son to uplift the life of his people by becoming a champion, but fate draws the youngster into a life of violence. Will he be able to fulfill his father’s dream when an opportunity comes his way seven years later?

  12. Shahjahan

    Shahjahan

    2001

    IMDB 7.7 (2k)

    #12

    Shahjahan is about a man (Vijay) who helps out two lovers. He later realizes that he has been helping his friend Krishna to fall in love with the girl that he is in love with. But Vijay swallows his 'love' and beats up the villains in town for the sake of his friend.

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  13. Kushi

    Kushi

    2000

    IMDB 7.9 (6k)

    #13

    College friends Jenny and Shiva part ways due to a misunderstanding. Although they are in love and realize they cannot live without each other, their egos prevent them from uniting.

  14. Friends

    Friends

    2001

    IMDB 7.9 (5k)

    #14

    A man values his best friend more than anything else in the world. One day he confesses a dark secret from their childhood to his wife, which is overheard by another. Once the secret gets out, the friendship is destroyed.

  15. Kaavalan

    Kaavalan

    2011

    IMDB 7.0 (7k)

    #15

    Bhoominathan aka Bhoomi is introduced to us as a person who gets into many local fights. Worried about his future, his family sends him to Muthuramalingam (Raj Kiran), a much respected personality in his place Semmanur, to put Bhoomi's life on the right track. But things don't go as planned. Muthuramalingam's adversary threatens to kill his daughter Meera (Asin) as a revenge against his own daughter's fate. So Bhoomi is given the job of Meera's bodyguard at college. Meera goes to college with her friend Madhu but is irritated by Bhoomi's presence everywhere. So she devises a plan.

  16. Love Today

    Love Today

    1997

    IMDB 8.6 (3k)

    #16

    Ganesh is obsessively in love with Sandhya, but she is not interested in him. His relentless pursuit leads to a lot of problems. However, everything changes the day he loses his father in an accident.

  17. Priyamaanavale

    Priyamaanavale

    2000

    IMDB 7.5 (3k)

    #17

    A modern man, Vijay, marries his father's sincere secretary who hails from a poor family. But their stringent prenuptial agreement grants him the power to end his marriage after 12 months.

  18. Nanban

    Nanban

    2012

    IMDB 7.8 (16k)

    #18

    The plot of the film illustrates the embankment of two friends on a quest for a lost buddy, who was once an optimistic and successful student. On their journey, they recount their college life and special moments that the three shared up until their lost friend secretly parted ways after convocation. During their quest, the two encounter a rival classmate who once made a long forgotten bet with them, a funeral that goes impossibly out of control, and a wedding they must crash.

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  19. Thalaivaa

    Thalaivaa

    2013

    IMDB 6.3 (11k)

    #19

    A mafia don sends his son out of the country because he doesn't want even a shadow of his life falling on him. Destiny wills otherwise. The son makes an innocuous trip to Mumbai to visit his dad. And ends up filling his father's large shoes.

  20. Thirumalai

    Thirumalai

    2003

    IMDB 7.2 (2k)

    #20

    Thirumalai (Vijay), a mechanic, falls in love with Sweta (Jyothika) and after some persistent wooing, she reciprocates his feelings. Sweta's father (Ashwin), the owner of a television channel, seeks the help of Arasu (Manoj K. Jayan), a bad guy, to break up the romance. This rest of the story is about how Thirumalai successfully join hands with Sweta. This movie was later remade in Telugu as Gowri.