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



Muay Thai movies: the top 5 films about Thai Kickboxing


No one else has popularized Thai martial arts in the Western world like 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 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 polpularity of Thai martial arts in general.

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





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 a 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've 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.




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. And some mommy issues on top of that.

That said, it still includes some Muay Thai fighting scenes and it generally revolves around a 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 "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 dissapointed. This is one of the most interesting movies about a Thai culture.



Muay Thai Chaiya [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 expected a 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 a 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"



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 to a Bangkok to recover the ancient artifact stolen from his village.

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

And Tony Jaa always delivers on that.









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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