Do you need something to binge on? Do you love Muay Thai? Do you enjoy watching movies? Then, here’s a list of the best Muay Thai movies you NEED to watch and binge on!
Watching movies is an excellent way to escape reality. Filled with a burst of heart racing, laughter, excitement, you wouldn’t know when time passes so quickly. I love movies and Muay Thai, so I thank goodness there’s something like Muay Thai movies.
On this side, many Thai-boxing blockbuster movies have made waves even in the western world, where cultural martial art isn’t prominent. To introduce Muay Thai to the world, the following are the best Muay Thai movies of all time!
Five Best Muay Thai Movies To Binge On NOW!
After watching and reviewing tons of movies in the Muay Thai cinema, I’ve come up with the five best films for you. They will feature the original Thai martial art forms (Muay Thai Boran-style) and moves that are sure from the sports’ classic study.
So, a bit of quick advice from me; grab your popcorns and drinks, sit still and enjoy the journey through the movie run-track with me!
1. Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)
Starring: Tony Jaa, Mum Jokmok, Chumphorn Thepphithak
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
Just as some movies act as breakout movies for some stars, Ong Bak: Muay Thai warrior paved the way for Tony Jaa’s international fame. And like many other martial arts actors, he did all the stunts himself. It is also a movie that did a fantastic job of introducing Thai cultural sports to the world.
Viewers worldwide were super surprised at Tony Jaa’s impressive performance in acting and stunts that he gained much attention and even compared to international actors like Jackie Chan.
The movie centers around a young villager who goes on to retrieve a Buddha statue (Ong-Bak) stolen from their home-his village. Ting (Tony Jaa) volunteers to go to Bangkok to recover its stolen head. Pleased with him, the villagers give him a bag of money to support his trip to Bangkok.
On getting there, he meets his cousin, who ends up stealing and betting his money on an underground fight tournament. This leads to a series of events where Ting had to get involved with lots of fight scenes with spectacular acting.
The plot of this film is very straightforward and will take you through a whirlwind of emotions. It is undoubtedly one of the best Muay Thai movies ever released!
2. A Prayer Before Dawn (2018)
Starring: Joe Cole, Billy Moore, Panya Yimmumpai
Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
If you’re a fan of a rollercoaster prison story plot, then this movie is for you! Its action is based on a biographical book- A Prayer Before Dawn: A Nightmare in Thailand, written by Billy Moore. It was filmed in a real prison in Thailand and even featured some inmates who play it.
It is a true-life story about Billy Moore, an English boxer, and his survival and strives for freedom in one of Thailand’s worst prisons and probably the worst in the world. After being imprisoned for drug addiction, he still has to deal with the same wards. There, he ends up confronting gangs which leads to daily wars.
But there’s a way out for him, and he has to participate in fights while in prison. He sees this as an opportunity to be free and grabs it. On his quest to regain his freedom, he engages in endless fights, making the movie very thrilling.
Filled with tons of action-packed scenes with real-life Muay Thai techniques, this movie is one of the best Muay Thai movies with a fantastic background story. I love the reality portrayed in this movie and how real-life situations were displayed to relate with the audience. Hold still and enjoy the ride this movie is going to take!
3. Kickboxer (1989)
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michel Qissi, Dennis Chan
Director: Mark DiSalle, David Worth
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Being one of the earliest and still the best Muay Thai movies ever made, Kickboxer became a household name in the early 90s. And if you’re a lover of revenge plots and stories, this movie is REVENGE and, of course, Muay Thai.
This movie is an iconic one that set sail Jean-Claude Van Damme’s (an international martial arts superstar) acting career. Jean Claude taking the lead role, portrays Kurt Sloane, a foreigner who relocates to Thailand to AVENGE his kickboxing paralyzed brother Eric, who became a lost fight.
He has to train and master the martial arts and is trained by a Muay Thai expert Xian who introduces him to the eight limbs’ art. This way, he gets to confront his enemies and gets his revenge.
Although this movie has a poor presentation of Muay Thai, it’s still a movie that did the early introduction of Muay Thai to the world. Nonetheless, you will find this movie very entertaining, and who knows, it might become your perfect re-watch movie.
However it seems, this movie is getting outdated. But, it’s one of those classics that you wouldn’t get the feel of age while working. Give it a try today!
4. Tom Yum Goong / The Protector (2005)
Starring: Tong Jaa, Petchai Wongkamlao, Bongkoj Khongmalai
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
On my list of best Muay Thai movies, here’s another classic starring Tony Jaa, a global superstar. After his impressive performance in Ong Bak: Muay Thai warrior, he rose to fame and took place in our hearts. And here, he doesn’t disappoint and gives us yet another fantastic performance.
Officially released as Tom Yum Goong and then the Protector in the United States, this movie is a blend of Jaa’s incredible stunts, acrobatics, martial arts, and traditional Boran style. Here, he portrays Kham, who is on a rescue mission.
Kham has to travel to Australia to retrieve his stolen bull and baby elephant that he raised together. He ends up unraveling certain conspiracies with a Thai Sergeant in Sydney named Sergeant Mark, who helps him on his quest. As a team, they have to take down Madam Rose and her staunch henchman called Johnny, a trained martial artist, and robber.
Like any other Tony Jaa movie, you know what to expect. It is filled with intense, action-packed fight scenes. And with him at it again, you should expect realistic fight scenes which he secured him a room in the hall of fame of our hearts. He did a spectacular job as usual!
5. Beautiful Boxer (2004)
Starring: Asanee Suwan, Sorapong Chatree, Sitiporn Niyom
Director: Ekachai Uekrongtham
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
The last on my list of best Muay Thai movies is Beautiful boxer, a biographical sports movie about Muay Thai fighter Nong Toom’s life. Being transgender, Toom goes in search of his true identity. Born a man, he grows up and sees himself embracing his feminine side. With much disapproval from his father, he considers fighting and competing as a way to save up money enough for a sex change surgery to pursue his dream of being a transwoman.
This movie passes a strong message to its audience to remain true to themselves and appreciate their worth. For a moral background story, I understand its concepts. And with a blend of excellent action scenes here and there, the movie is a complete package.
It centers on this boy’s quest to escape poverty to achieve his dream of being a woman. Through his journey, you will learn from its inspiring depiction of finding your true identity.
Playing the role of real-life boxer Nong Toom is Asanee Suwan. I’d love to say he did an excellent job with all the ring action and acting. This makes the movie more appealing to those who want to watch it for the Muay Thai action and not the background story. However, overall it is worthy of being a part of the best Muay Thai movies to binge on.
Wrapping it up!
Are you already making a list of the ones to binge on tonight? I think you should do that as they are all fantastic. Grab one and escape reality for a while. This array of Muay Thai movies is complete for you if you seek action and a background story to accompany it.
I hope you enjoy them and have the flows of entertainment and fun as you watch them. Meanwhile, you can check out my review of the best Muay Thai books to read if you’re into literature.
Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Deni