Muay Thai Movies: a list of the best Thai Kickboxing films

Muay Thai movies: top 6 films and animations about Thai Kickboxing

No one else has popularized Thai martial arts in the Western world as Jean Claude van Damme did with his 1989 film "Kickboxer". The dark side to that is that most people tend to confuse Muay Thai with Kickboxing.

Up to this day, a lot of regular folks who don't train in martial arts do not see any difference between those two distinctive martial arts.

Still, there are more pros than cons to this situation as the original Kickboxer became the 80's classic and increased popularity of the Thai martial arts in general.

That was a major step to introduce Muay Thai to a wider audience. Take a look at this list of Muay Thai films that have influenced martial arts cinema.

Muay Thai Movies: a list of the best Thai Kickboxing films

Kickboxer: The Vengeance [2016]

Since I have mentioned the original flick now it's the time to talk about a "Kickboxer: Vengeance". The strong point of this Muay Thai movie is definitely the cast. Our old friend "Muscles from Brussels" Van Damme is accompanied by a few of the best Mixed Martial Arts fighters such as George St Pierre and Cain Velasquez.

For a few brief seconds, you can even watch one of the top Dutch Style Kickboxers Bazooka Joe" Valtellini. Another cool thing about this movie is its cheesy 80's atmosphere and that retro feeling.

I also really liked the main villain: the ultimate killing machine Tong Po. I do not want to spoil the ending for you but the "good guy" will prevail eventually as you can imagine :-).

This film didn't score well on IMDB but it is still worth watching if you are interested in martial arts and if you liked the classic "Kickboxer". Especially since there aren't too many Muay Thai movies made in Hollywood and the subject is still fresh and untapped.

Kickboxer Vengeance

Yamada: Samurai of Ayothaya

Yamada: Samurai of Ayothaya is an action-packed movie set in 17th-century Thailand. The film follows the journey of a Japanese samurai named Yamada who travels to the kingdom of Ayothaya to seek revenge for the death of his father.
The movie features impressive fight scenes, breathtaking landscapes, and a well-crafted plot. The acting is solid, with lead actor Hideaki Ito delivering a convincing performance as the stoic warrior.

The mix of Japanese and Thai cultures, as well as the historical setting, makes for a unique and engaging viewing experience. Overall, "Yamada: Samurai of Ayothaya" is a thrilling action movie that is sure to satisfy fans of the genre.
It is also worth noting that one of the main characters is played by Buakaw.

Yamada: Samurai Of Ayothaya

The Legend of Muay Thai: 9 Satra

The Legend of Muay Thai is a beautiful big budget 3d animation that combines unique Thai touch with a large budget that you would expect from Hollywood. It delivers epic Hollywood-style action scenes with a plot that is dipped in Thai cultural references.

It is not just a shallow animation made purely for entertainment. It also teaches about Thailand by presenting the viewer with references to Thai Buddhism [Theravada], with Sak Yant Tattoo symbols and more.

Muay Thai 9 Satra animation

Only God Forgives [2013]

Only God Forgives is not your typical martial arts film. It is more of a drama, a quite sophisticated film about a clash of cultures.

That said, it still includes some Muay Thai fighting scenes and it generally revolves around the concept of fighting and offers a large amount of violence. It is a completely different take on Thai martial arts and culture than that offered by the "Kickboxer" franchise.

Those who lived in Bangkok will find its thick atmosphere in this movie. And those who never visited it will have a chance to understand it more from a Farang and a native Thai perspective.

Give it a try - I think you will not be disappointed. This is one of the most interesting movies about Thai culture.

Only God forgives film

Muay Thai Chaiya aka Muay Thai Fighter [2007]

Muay Thai Chaiya is a Muay Thai movie about two childhood friends who went separate ways in their lives. One of them got in trouble with a farang mobster in Bangkok.

As you may expect childhood friends will eventually unite and the final scene will take place in the ring where the main protagonist will have to face the ruthless foreign fighter.

Muay Chaiya offers a lot of action and spectacular Muay Boran fight scenes. You will also get a chance to watch a legendary fighter Samart Payakaroon on the big screen.

"Every part of the body can be a weapon"

Muay Thai Fighter movie

Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior [2003]

Tony Jaa is a martial arts cinema legend who, just like Jackie Chan, does all the stunts in his movies. In "Ong Bak" he plays a villager who arrives in Bangkok to recover the ancient artifact stolen from his village.

Upon arriving his cousin gets him in trouble and he gets involved in an underground fighting tournament. The plot of the movie is very simple, however, this is a the kind of film that you would watch for spectacular fight scenes and for a sophisticated story.

And Tony Jaa always delivers on that.

Ong Bak Thai Warrior movie

I hope you've enjoyed this selection of my favorite Muay Thai movies. If you think some other films deserve to be on this list let me know in the comments.

If you are also interested in video games you may want to read a list of the best Muay Thai Video Games.

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