The 50 best films of Mohanlal

I did not have trouble choosing 50 films from a filmography of more than 300 titles (and Lalettan is my favorite actor). There are a few potentially controversial omissions like Bharatham, Thenmavin Kombath and some of Lalettan's overrated post 2000 films which are pretty unbearable :) (I am sure true fans of Malayalam cinema would agree with me). I also do not remember much of G. Aravnidan's Vaasthuhara, so I have excluded that one as well. Please post your comments, bouquets and brickbats :).
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1.
Dasharatham (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Rajeev Menon (Mohanlal) is a wealthy orphan, a spoilt rich brat who grew up to be an eccentric millionaire... (154 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ Lalettan plays a lovable millionaire playboy who wants to adopt a kid. This is a potentially controversial choice as Lalettan's no.1 film. The plot is absurd. But the film made everyone cry when it first came out. And Lalettan is at his loveable best here. ” - BudStamperOK
 
2.
Ulsavapittennu (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Gopi
“ A tragedy about the prince in a declining a royal family who finds it tough to deal with the outside world after his elder brother's wayward ways leaves the family in debt . The final scene is heartbreaking. This film was directed by Bharat Gopi. ” - BudStamperOK
 
3.
Nokketha Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Girly, who has a serious brain disease, spends her final days with her Grandma. (130 mins.)
Director: Fazil
“ This is more of a Nadia Moidu film. She upstages Lalettan in that "naked cooling glass" scene. This is Fazil's best film before he started to make sentimental nonsense. There is the wonderful "Aayiram Kannumai" song as well. ” - BudStamperOK
 
4.
Boeing Boeing (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mohanlal tries dating more than one air hostesses with the help of his friend MUkesh. Works like a charm in the start but things start to crumble which leads to a series of funny events.
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Duryodhanan beedi valichooo ..... :) An early Priyadarshan film based on the Jerry Lewis film of the same name. Lalettan and Mukesh are rival plagiarizing photographers who find it tough to handle their girlfriends. It is a wonderful morally repugnant comedy. ” - BudStamperOK
 
5.
Nadodikkattu (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
After losing their jobs, Dasen and Vijayan don't see any chances to get work in Kerala. So they try to escape to the Middle East, but end up in Tamil Nadu. Can they find luck there? (158 mins.)
“ ANGANE PAAVANAZHI SHAVAMAI! One of the most famous comedies in the history of Malayalam cinema. Mohanlal and Sreenivasan as a couple of lower middle class office employees who are tricked into buying a cow and then go on a trip to Dubai after which they land up in Madras are hilarious. Thilakan is also brilliant as M.N.Nambiar. Sathyan Anthikad sure knew how to make a comedy with some heart breaking scenes. ” - BudStamperOK
 
6.
Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Shambu and Shivan fall in love with girls of rich families who are at war with each other. Hilarious sequences pass by as they utilize the rivalry between the two families to achieve their goals. (131 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Another excellent morally repugnant comedy like BOEING BOEING. This film features an ensemble cast. The scene where Mohanlal (as Driver Shambu) upstages America returned Bhavan (Srinivasan) by speaking english is a classic! Cochin Hanifa and Jagathi are sensational in this. ” - BudStamperOK
 
7.
Vellanakalude Naadu (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A PWD contracter and his old love life (129 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Thamarasheri Chwaram! :) Lalettan takes on his corrupt brother and brother in law in this bitter sweet comedy. Srinivasan in a rare serious role is also excellent! ” - BudStamperOK
 
8.
Season (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Mohanlal helps a white man (Fabien) escape from Kerala Jail for money, but turns out for ulterior motives. (112 mins.)
Director: P. Padmarajan
“ Drugs and sex in Kovalam. Lalettan plays a dubious businessman who is embroiled in a drug deal gone wrong. Gavan became a bit of a rage in Kerala after this film. ” - BudStamperOK
 
9.
Devasuram (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The heir to a village elder's family squanders his inheritance and bullies all and sundry. (187 mins.)
Director: I.V. Sasi
“ Lalettan plays a cruel and sexist heavy. This film is just really really tough. Lalettan is sensational as Mangalasheri Neelakandan. ” - BudStamperOK
 
10.
Rajavinte Makan (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The film follows underworld don Vincent Gomas (Mohanlal) and his rivalry against the Kerala Home minister N. Krishnadas (Ratheesh). (132 mins.)
“ One of Laletan's earliest films as an underworld don. ” - BudStamperOK
 
11.
Varavelpu (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man tries to do good for the community but is thwarted by the corruption of the local government. (144 mins.)
“ Hilarious pro-middle class film with Lalettan as a Dubai returned bus "udama" (owner) who finds the going tough, handling employees and vicious communists. ” - BudStamperOK
 
12.
Thalavattam (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Vinod/Vinu (played by Mohanlal) is mentally ill and is hospitalized in the institution run by Dr. Ravindran ( M G Soman)... (147 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Not exactly a remake of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST. Lissi playing the guitar was terrible :) but Lalettan carries this film. Soman was excellent as a cruel doctor. ” - BudStamperOK
 
13.
“ The trials and tribulations of middle class Malayalis. I liked the ending where they give up city life and go back to their village. ” - BudStamperOK
 
14.
Uyarangalil (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(142 mins.)
Director: I.V. Sasi
“ Lalettan plays a rare murderous womanizing villain. ” - BudStamperOK
 
15.
Iruvar (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Mani Rathnam's take on the real-life rivalry between M.G. Ramachandran and Karunanidhi. (140 mins.)
Director: Mani Ratnam
“ Its probably Lalettan's greatest achievement as an actor. Mohanlal-Manirthnam-A.R.Rehman and Santosh Shivan working together and they dont dissapoint, each of them is at the top of their game. This film is like a lost classic. Lalettan is so refined in this film. Its a shame that this film did not lead to better roles for him. It has been downhill for Lalettan after Iruvar. ” - BudStamperOK
 
16.
Sughamodevi (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Director: Venu Nagavalli
“ Lalettan plays a boisterous young man in this sentimental love story directed by Venu Nagavalli. ” - BudStamperOK
 
17.
Thoovanathumbikal (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Jayakrishnan falls in love with two girls, Radha and Clara, and fights his confusion about whom he should marry and spend his life with. (151 mins.)
Director: P. Padmarajan
“ Another great achievement for Lalettan as a Thrisshurkaran. And he does not come across as funny lying on the beach like a blue whale cavorting with Sumalatha, showing off his protruding breasts and pot belly and hirsuteness. Now thats the hallmark of a great actor. The film had a wonderful background score. ” - BudStamperOK
 
18.
Pattanapravesam (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Six months after the events of the prequel (Nadodikattu), C.I.D. officers Ramdas (Mohanlal) and Vijayan...
“ A worthy sequel to Nadodikaatu. I personally attended the shooting of this film and met Lalettan, Sreenivasan, N.L.Balakrishnan and Innocent. ” - BudStamperOK
 
19.
Thazhvaram (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man comes to an isolated valley to take revenge on his friend who murdered his wife. (130 mins.)
Director: Bharathan
“ Bharathan tries to make a Western and succeeds quite well. Salim Ghouse as the villain was excellent. ” - BudStamperOK
 
20.
Sadayam (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Sadayam follows the final days of a condemned prisoner, for murdering two little girls. (147 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ One of Lalettans darkest roles. The scene where he stabs those kids to death was pretty unsettling. ” - BudStamperOK
 
21.
Kanmadam (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Responsible for the accidental death of a man he met on the streets of Mumbai, Vishwam returns to Kerala to give the news to the latter's debt- ridden family, but instead falls in love with his sister. (162 mins.)
“ Probably his last great film? Manju Warrier was sensational in this. Boy what an actress! ” - BudStamperOK
 
22.
Poochakkoru Mookkuthi (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Revathi comes to the city in search of job and finds a house. Shyam wants to become a popular singer. They both meet accidentally through a common milk boy, Chikku. (156 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Another morally repugnant comedy from Priyadarshan. ” - BudStamperOK
 
23.
Appunni (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The film explores a love triangle between the characters played by Nedumudi Venu, Mohanlal and Menaka...
“ Its actually Nedumudi's film. But Lalettan is excellent as a spineless school mash who nearly steals the village belle. ” - BudStamperOK
 
24.
Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The only way Gopalakrishnan can escape from certain bankruptcy is to sell the property he owns in the city and use the proceeds to settle his debts... (133 mins.)
“ A nice little bitter-sweet middle class comedy. It is actually a very depressing film if you think about it. ” - BudStamperOK
 
25.
Panchagni (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(141 mins.)
Director: T. Hariharan
“ This film featured Geetha's best performance. ” - BudStamperOK
 
26.
Hello My Dear: Wrong Number (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
When Mohanlal gives a girl who runs into his cab a ride; he unknowingly becomes involved in a murder/mystery.
Director: Priyadarshan
“ It is a little treat. Lalettan plays a harmless guy who gets embroiled in a sinister gangster plot with hilarious consequences. ” - BudStamperOK
 
27.
Vartha (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The movie narrates the story of a journalist who fights against the corrupted government system. (163 mins.)
Director: I.V. Sasi
“ Mohanlal, Mamooti and Rehman take on the bad guys but they all die in the end. ” - BudStamperOK
 
28.
Gandhinagar 2nd Street (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A jobless Malayali youth poses as a Nepali to get a job as a watchman. (137 mins.)
“ Just wonderful. One of those wonderful middle-class comedies. ” - BudStamperOK
 
29.
Pakshe (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Balachandran who had to sacrifice his childhood love (Shobhana), to marry into a rich family who only wanted his IAS Status, in order to save his poor family, lives a life of regret and despair for his decision. (154 mins.)
Director: Mohan
“ I dont think anybody likes this film much. But it is a film for adults. ” - BudStamperOK
 
30.
Kireedam (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The life of a young man turns upside down when he intervenes in a dispute in order to rescue his father (a cop) from a ruthless local outlaw. (124 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ The fight scene with Keerikadan was excellent. Lalettan really let himself go there. Should have been higher up on the list. ” - BudStamperOK
 
31.
Kamaladalam (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of love, grief and betrayal with the back drop of dance and arts. (154 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ One of Lalettans best performances. Though his dancing left a lot to be desired. Really liked Monisha in this. ” - BudStamperOK
 
32.
Kilukkam (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A tourist guide finds himself taking care of a mentally challenged girl with a troubled past. (155 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ More famous for Jagathi and Revathi's performances. One of the last great Priyadarshan-Mohanlal movies. ” - BudStamperOK
 
33.
His Highness Abdullah (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A qawwali singer passes as a Brahmin in order to infiltrate a palace and kill the king. (156 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ Lalettan as a Ghazal singer who is hired to murder a thampuran. I used to hate the songs back in the day. But the film was a really nice thriller. ” - BudStamperOK
 
34.
Lal Salaam (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
This film is mainly based on various true incidents relating to tribles, their culture and their lifestyle... (131 mins.)
“ Lalettan as Netoor Stephen. It is about the rise and fall of the Communist party in Kerala. ” - BudStamperOK
 
35.
Naaduvazhikal (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(143 mins.)
Director: Joshi
“ Has a wonderful action scene in the climax where Lalettan rises from the coffin. ” - BudStamperOK
 
36.
Moonnam Mura (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An ex-cop helps the police force once again to free some tourists from a group of terrorists.
Director: K. Madhu
“ Mohanlal plays Imran Ali. Its a Rambo style film where Lalettan single handedly frees a bunch of hostages from the bad guys. The film was shot in the Hill Palace near Thiruvaankulam. ” - BudStamperOK
 
37.
Orkkappurathu (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(133 mins.)
Director: Kamal
“ A nice little Anglo-Indian treat. The Beatles "Dont Let Me Down" was used in this film. Ramya Krishnan was so adorable. ” - BudStamperOK
 
38.
Anuragi (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: I.V. Sasi
“ One of Lalettans adult films where he has an affair with Ramya Kirshnan putting his family life in jeopardy. ” - BudStamperOK
 
39.
Amritamgamaya (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Director: T. Hariharan
“ Famous for the vicious ragging scene. ” - BudStamperOK
 
40.
Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A beautiful and well-told love story of a guy who falls in love with his new neighbor, but then finds that her family life is difficult. stepfather. (137 mins.)
Director: P. Padmarajan
“ Should have been higher up on the list but I rewatched it recently and did not like it as much as I had when I was a small boy. The background score is excellent. ” - BudStamperOK
 
41.
Kala Pani (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Govardhan, a doctor by profession, is wrongly accused of bombing a train and is jailed by the British in Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He witnesses the sufferings of hundreds of Indian prisoners there. (178 mins.)
Director: Priyadarshan
“ A sort of a landmark film in Malayalam cinema even though it is highly flawed. Prabhu stole the show from Lalettan in this one. ” - BudStamperOK
 
42.
Spadikam (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Chacko Master(Thilakan) is a school headmaster in Mathematics. He is a very strict teacher and does not go easy with his own son Thomas (Mohanlal)... (150 mins.)
Director: Bhadran
“ Some might say that this should have been higher up on the list. But in my opinion, this one and Narasimham started the whole gangster-tough guy rubbish that Lalettan acted in for much of the late 90s and early 2000s. ” - BudStamperOK
 
43.
Pavithram (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young man's relationship with his career, fiancee and brother is brought under stress by the birth of an unexpected sister.
Director: Rajeev Kumar
“ Very well photographed film. It has a lot of senti nonsense, but still worth a watch. ” - BudStamperOK
 
44.
Midhunam (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Will Sethumadhavan be able to start his Dakshayani Biscuit factory.
Director: Priyadarshan
“ Middle class hell. Dakshayani biscuits :) :) :) ” - BudStamperOK
 
45.
Soorya Gayathri (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(110 mins.)
Director: P. Anil
“ The pennu kaanal scene with Urvashi was wonderful. It is a bit of a sad film overall. ” - BudStamperOK
 
46.
Dhanam (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A young debtor's idea of turning in a group of smugglers for a lump sum amount as a reward goes awry as they set the dogs on him. (125 mins.)
Director: Sibi Malayil
“ Probably well known for Nedumudi as a bad guy. ” - BudStamperOK
 
47.
Ulladakkam (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Mohanlal plays a psychiatrist who treats a patient (Amala), who starts liking and becoming obsessive about him. (120 mins.)
Director: Kamal
“ I still remember the title sequence of this film with the camera traveling through a maze of rocks. The music was wonderful. It had too much slapsticky stuff to qualify as an adult film. ” - BudStamperOK
 
48.
Kaveri (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Rajeev Nath
“ A bit of a novelty. Mamooti and Lalettan star as Sithara's husbands who all die one after the other. ” - BudStamperOK
 
49.
Yuvajanotsavam (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
(120 mins.)
“ “ I remember one scene in this film where a young alcoholic shouts out "I want somebody to love me". And Lalettan looks helpless. That scene has always stayed with me. ” - PimpinAintEasy ” - BudStamperOK
 
50.
Kaliyil Alpam Karyam (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mohanlal comes from a rich family. His parents and his brother and sister are all modern. But Mohanal...
“ City boy meets country girl and things go haywire. The highlight of the film was probably the village girl playing tennis. ” - BudStamperOK