Critics' Choice: Top 15 Malayalam Films of 2018

by TejasNair | created - 5 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

These are the best Malayalam films of 2018 as selected by eminent critics. This list takes into consideration the reviews and ratings by, (K R Rejeesh and S Mullappilly), Lensmen Reviews (Aswin Bharadwaj S), (Neelima Menon), and Film Companion (Baradwaj Rangan).

Because a lot of times we need the perspective of multiple people to come to a meaningful conclusion, I have started this new list of the top films in Mollywood. You can also browse my other lists here:

The films are updated every week or two and are ranked on the basis of their aggregate score, which is a mean value of all the ratings given by the critics. Because not all films are reviewed by every critic, a title is added into this list only if it has been reviewed by four or more people/publications (including me). So, in essence, all Malayalam films releasing between January 2018 and December 2018 will be considered by these five critics + me.

Appreciate your constructive thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you and enjoy! For more such analyses, visit my blog -

Last updated: 10 December 2018.


Past honorees: Kammara Sambhavam (5.625), Ranam (5.600), Captain (5.500), Uncle (5.500), and Aravindante Athidhikal (5.400).

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1. Ee. Ma. Yau (2018)

120 min | Comedy, Drama

Set in Chellanam, Kochi, the story of Ee. Ma. Yau revolves around the death of Vavachan Mesthiri in a coastal village. It showcases the events that unfold between two evenings and looks at death from different perspectives.

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery | Stars: Chemban Vinod Jose, Vinayakan, Dileesh Pothan, Kainakary Thankaraj

Votes: 838

Aggregate score: 7.833. Rated the highest by me (8 stars). Read my review -

2. Sudani from Nigeria (2018)

123 min | Comedy, Sport

Story of an African football player and a local football club manager from Malappuram, Kerala.

Director: Zakariya | Stars: Soubin Shahir, Samuel Abiola Robinson, Savithri Sredharan, Sarasa Balussery

Votes: 1,544

Aggregate score: 7.333. Rated the highest by and Lensmen (8 stars). Read my review -

3. Sexy Durga (2017)

85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Durga, a north Indian migrant and a Keralite youth named Kabeer are running away on a midnight. The hapless "Durga" encounters a cross section of the society through the rest of the night.

Director: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan | Stars: Rajshri Deshpande, Bilas Chandrahasan Nair, Kannan Nayar, Arun Sol

Votes: 286

Aggregate score: 6.875. Rated almost equally by everyone. (Premiered in 2017, but released theatrically in 2018.) Read my review -

4. Varathan (2018)

130 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

After losing his job Abin along with his wife Priya, who has suffered a miscarriage, decide to shift from Dubai to Priya's family estate in Kerala. However, peace eludes the couple as they run into a set of new troubles.

Director: Amal Neerad | Stars: Fahadh Faasil, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sharafudheen, Dileesh Pothan

Votes: 1,278

Aggregate score: 6.700. Rated the highest by me (8 stars). Read my review -

5. Kayamkulam Kochunni (2018)

152 min | Action, Drama, History

Dreaded by the rich and corrupt and revered by the poor and downtrodden, Kayamkulam Kochunni was a Robin Hood of sorts. Chronicles the life and times of the legendary 19th century highwayman, and how he rose from his humble beginnings.

Director: Roshan Andrews | Stars: Nivin Pauly, Mohanlal, Sunny Wayne, Priya Anand

Votes: 1,297

Aggregate score: 6.600. Rated the highest by (8 stars). Read my review -

6. Koode (2018)

155 min | Drama, Fantasy

The story is set against the backdrop of hills of Nilgiris where two siblings, Joshua and Jenny, who come from a middle-class family. Together, they dwell on the serenity and calmness of the mountains.

Director: Anjali Menon | Stars: Parvathy, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Nazriya Nazim, Atul Kulkarni

Votes: 1,067

Aggregate score: 6.500. Rated the lowest by Film Companion (5 stars). Read my review -

7. Carbon (2018)

146 min | Adventure, Thriller

Sibi Sebastian and his never ending struggle to make it big in life, his quest for new horizons and opportunities. While others pass by, his relentless determination takes him to the most unexpected situation in his life.

Director: Venu Goopaalan | Stars: Fahadh Faasil, Mamta Mohandas, Manikandan R. Achari, Chethan Jayalal

Votes: 719

Aggregate score: 6.333. Rated the lowest by me (5 stars). Read my review -

8. Eeda (2018)

152 min | Drama, Romance

Anand and Aiswarya who hail from nearby villages in North Malabar. A chance meeting in their native place develops into a passionate affair in Mysore. But their lives suddenly become intertwined in a series of violent events.

Director: Ajithkumar | Stars: Shane Nigaam, Nimisha Sajayan, Surabhi Lakshmi, Alencier Ley Lopez

Votes: 259

Aggregate score: 6.300. Rated almost equally by everyone. Read my review -

9. Aami (2018)

155 min | Biography, Drama

The biopic on iconic Kerala writer Kamala Das alias Kamala Surayya alias Madhavikutty.

Director: Kamal | Stars: Manju Warrier, Murali Gopy, Tovino Thomas, Anoop Menon

Votes: 386

Aggregate score: 6.200. Rated the highest by me (8 stars). Read my review -

10. Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil (2018)

138 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Jacob, a manager at a big financial firm, finds himself behind bars when he tries to save the woman he loves from being involved in a criminal case. The only way for him to survive and to escape was to break out of prison.

Director: Tinu Pappachan | Stars: Antony Varghese, Vinayakan, Chemban Vinod Jose, Tito Wilson

Votes: 821

Aggregate score: 6.000. Rated the highest by me (7 stars). Read my review -

11. Njan Marykutty (2018)

126 min | Drama

A transsexual man's attempt to realize his true orientation in a society that stigmatizes gender transformation. Will Marykutty come out victorious while shredding all the taboos associated with transsexuality?

Director: Ranjith Sankar | Stars: Jayasurya, Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Innocent, Aju Varghese

Votes: 316

Aggregate score: 6.000. Rated the highest by me and Full Picture (7 stars). Read my review -

12. Aalorukkam (2018)

124 min | Drama

Pappu Pisharadi, an aging man, is on a constant hunt for his son, who left him 16 years back, which is when he is brought to a hospital where he meets Dr. Seetha and Priyan, who promise to help him find his son.

Director: V C Abhilash | Stars: Indrans, Sreekanth Menon, Vishnu Agasthya, Aliyar

Votes: 51

Aggregate score: 6.000. Rated the highest by (7 stars). Read my review -

13. Padayottam (2018)

134 min | Comedy, Crime

The story revolves around a local don Chenkal Raghu, from Thiruvananthapuram and how the society perceives him.

Directors: Rafeek Ibrahim, Nithin Michael | Stars: Biju Menon, Dileesh Pothan, Saiju Kurup, Sudhi Koppa

Votes: 270

Aggregate score: 6.000. Rated the highest by (7 stars). Read my review -

14. Poomaram (2018)

152 min | Drama

A war waged between two colleges at the youth festival, with Goutham (Kalidas Jayaram) leading the Maharaja's college to regain their lost glory from the all-time winners, the St. Teresa's college led by Irene (Neetha Pillai).

Director: Abrid Shine | Stars: Kalidas Jayaram, Kunchacko Boban, Neeta Pillai, Meera Jasmine

Votes: 540

Aggregate score: 5.900. Rated the lowest by me (4 stars). Read my review -

15. Maradona (II) (2018)

148 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

Maradona, a young man, due to some dangerous situations, moves out of his hometown and reaches Bangalore to stay with his distant relatives. However, during his stay there, his situation worsens further.

Director: Vishnu Narayn | Stars: Tovino Thomas, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sharanya R. Nair, Tito Wilson

Votes: 225

Aggregate score: 5.900. Rated the highest by Lensmen (7 stars).

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