Cancer cell proliferation relies on the ability of cancer cells to grow, transition through the cell cycle, and divide. To identify novel chemical probes for dissecting the mechanisms governing cell cycle progression and cell division, and for developing new anti-cancer therapeutics, we developed and performed a novel cancer cell-based high-throughput chemical screen for cell cycle modulators. This approach identified novel G1, S, G2, and M-phase specific inhibitors with drug-like properties and diverse chemotypes likely targeting a broad array of processes. We further characterized the M-phase inhibitors and highlight the most potent M-phase inhibitor MI-181, which targets tubulin, inhibits tubulin polymerization, activates the spindle assembly checkpoint, arrests cells in mitosis, and triggers a fast apoptotic cell death. Importantly, MI-181 has broad anti-cancer activity, especially against BRAF(V600E) melanomas.