Most of Tamil cinema's superstars had movie releases in 2016 but not many of the performances stood out.
Only some experimented with their roles and played rational characters, while others seemed content playing the regular larger-than-life action hero romancing the heroine and decimating the enemy.
Here's a look at some of the memorable performances of 2016.
From the 2013 black comedy Soodhu Kavvum that catapulted him to stardom to the recent Aandavan Kattalai, Vijay Sethupathi's journey in films has been one of constant innovation, acclaim and success.
The actor seems to reinvent himself with every film and the sheer volume of his work is unbelievable. He had six releases this year -- Sethupathi, Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum, Iraivi, Dharma Durai, Aandavan Kattalai and Rekka.
Each of the films portrayed him in a different light even though he appears to thrive on playing the underdog and give a whole new definition to the Tamil hero.
From a family-loving cop to a smug rowdy to a perennially drunk doctor and a poor debt-ridden villager, he excelled in them all.
Director Samuthirakani has often said that acting is his first love. He validated this claim by winning the National Award for his brilliant performance in Vetrimaaran's Visaranai.
Samuthirakani's portrayal of a conscientious cop caught in the whirlpool of a dangerous political game earned him much acclaim.
His second release was Appa, a film in which he not only played the lead role, but also directed and produced.
The actor was perfect as a caring and understanding father guiding his young son on the right path without bowing down to social pressures.
Theater artist Guru Somasundaram came into the limelight when he played the acting coach in Karthik Subbaraj's superhit gangster film Jigarthanda in 2014.
The actor has since been seen in a number of supporting roles but his exceptional performance in Raju Murugan's political satire film Joker has won him much appreciation.
The film sees him as the country's president in his own make-believe world, where he attempts to right every wrong in his own peculiar style earning the ridicule of the public and the government. The actor's poignant and compelling performance takes the film to a whole new level.
Superstar Rajinikanth has been part of the film industry for over four decades now.
His 2016 release -- Pa Ranjith's Kabali will be remembered for his subtle, yet powerful performance, even though he is mostly known for his commercial entertainers.
Kabali has him playing his age as a gangster in Malaysia searching for his missing wife. The film depicts a vulnerable side to the actor that was a total contrast to his usual larger-than-life image often projected on screen. The film is definitely a milestone in his career.
Madhavan, who has been busy in Bollywood for the last few years, returned to Tamil cinema with a sports drama titled Irudhi Suttru.
Directed by Sudha Kongara, the film revolves around women's boxing. The actor, who had bulked up considerably for the role, gave an effortless performance as a rough and tough hot-tempered boxing coach.