We have meticulously curated a list of the absolute best Muay Thai movies of all time, guaranteed to blow your mind. They’re presented in no particular order, so get ready for an adrenaline-fueled movie marathon that will leave you breathless.
These films showcase the artistry and intensity of Muay Thai, featuring not only the classic elbow and knee strikes but also the captivating moves of the ancient Muay Boran style, the original Thai martial art form.
Imagine this: for a couple of hours, you’re transported into a world of make-believe. Perhaps, in this world, you become a fearless martial arts prodigy, a Muay Thai warrior with awe-inspiring skills and jaw-dropping moves.
Martial Arts in Movies
Martial arts movies have played an immensely significant role in shaping the landscape of the film industry. These action-packed gems have not only entertained audiences worldwide but have also left an indelible mark on the movie genre itself.
Through their dynamic fight sequences, awe-inspiring choreography, and profound storytelling, martial arts movies have captivated generations and introduced audiences to the rich cultural heritage of various fighting styles.
Movie stars such as Bruce Lee, Donnie Yen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan, are some of the most important names in cinema history. They have elevated the art of combat on the silver screen, showcasing the dedication and mastery of martial artists while mesmerizing viewers with their acrobatics and precision. Moreover, martial arts movies have paved the way for cross-cultural exchanges, fostering a global appreciation for different traditions and opening doors for international collaboration in the world of cinema. Movies helped reveal to Western audiences the principles behind Karate, Kung Fu, and Muay Thai.
So let’s take a look at the best Muay Thai movies in history.
Best Muay Thai Movies in History
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme
Kurt Sloane accompanies his brother Eric, a kickboxing champion, to Thailand for a highly anticipated fight against Tong Po, an undefeated fighter. Despite Kurt’s reservations about Tong Po’s brutal strength, Eric insists on proceeding. The fight turns disastrous as Tong Po severely injures Eric, leaving him paralyzed. Fueled by rage, Kurt seeks revenge and trains in Muay Thai under the guidance of Xian Chow. Kurt proves himself in a preliminary match and earns the chance to face Tong Po.
However, he must contend with the manipulations of Tong Po’s manager and a dangerous criminal organization. With the help of martial arts, he will need to save the day. As ar as the best Muay Thai movies go, this is a must-watch.
Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)
Starring: Tony Jaa
In the rural village of Ban Nong Pradu, the ancient Buddha statue Ong-Bak is desecrated and had its head stolen by thieves from Bangkok. Ting, a highly skilled Muay Thai villager, takes it upon himself to travel to the city and recover the stolen artifact. With his only lead being a drug dealer named Don, Ting teams up with his mischievous cousin Humlae and street-racing friend Muay Lek. Along their journey, they encounter dangerous criminals, engage in thrilling fights, and ultimately face off against the powerful crime lord Komtuan. For the best Muay Thai movies, this is a must-watch.
Starring: Tony Jaa
Kham, the last guardian of Thailand’s war elephants, finds himself on a mission to rescue his beloved elephants, Por Yai and Kohrn, who have been stolen by ruthless poachers. He travels to Sydney, Australia, where he encounters a series of obstacles, including being mistaken for a thief by the police. Determined to find the elephants, Kham faces off against a Vietnamese gangster named Johnny and his henchmen, engaging in intense fights and navigating through dangerous situations.
With the help of a prostitute named Pla and police officer Mark, Kham battles his way through the criminal underworld, uncovering a web of corruption and betrayal. As he fights to save his elephants and seek justice. With the power of Muay Thai.
Legend of the Broken Sword Hero or Thong Dee Fun Khao (2017)
Starring: Buakaw Banchamek
“Thong Dee Fun Khao,” AKA “Legend of the Broken Sword Hero,” to Western audiences, is an action-packed film that chronicles the remarkable life of Thongdee, a hot-headed young man who transforms into a legendary Muay Thai fighter. Set in Thailand’s Ayutthaya period, the movie is inspired by the true story of a warrior known as “White Teeth.”
Filled with determination, courage, and loyalty, Thongdee’s journey showcases the resilience of the human spirit and the value of life. As fate leads him to become a devoted soldier under King Taksin the Great, Thongdee sacrifices everything to defend his country, ultimately becoming a revered hero among the Thai people, known as “Phraya Phichai Dap Hak.” Any best Muay Thai movies list would not be complete without Buakaw’s starring role.
Duel of Fists (1971)
Starring: David Chiang
This movie may be the first time in Western cinema history that Muay Thai was featured on the big screen. Fan Ko, a skilled martial artist and architect in Hong Kong, receives a request from his dying father to find his long-lost half-brother in Thailand. Armed with an old photo and a description of his brother’s tattoo, Fan Ko travels to Bangkok during the festive Songkran period. In Thailand, he discovers a corrupt Muay Thai fighting scene, controlled by the ruthless champion Cannon and backed by the Triad boss and a crooked fight promoter.
As Fan Ko searches for his brother, he encounters Wenlie, a fighter trying to raise money for his sick mother’s surgery. Mistakenly identifying another fighter, Miller, as his brother, Fan Ko witnesses him being killed in the ring by Cannon. It’s only when Fan Ko meets Wenlie a harsh truth is revealed. For the best Muay Thai movies this is where it all started.
Chok Dee: The Kickboxer (2005)
Starring: Dida Diafat
This movie is a biography of an imprisoned petty thief who is given a second chance at life. He becomes determined to achieve an extraordinary feat: becoming the first foreigner to ever win the Muay Thai World Championship. The film offers an intimate immersion into the world of Muay Thai, showcasing the art of fighting.
Shot over a span of five months in Thailand, the movie takes viewers to the best Muay Thai training camp, where the protagonist, Dida, plays himself and fights against actual Muay Thai champions. The fights are filmed live in renowned arenas such as Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen Stadiums, providing a thrilling experience for every Muay Thai enthusiast. The movie delivers a captivating story of friendship and is filled with pure Muay Thai action that is a must-watch for fans of the best Muay Thai movies.
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (2008) and Ong Bak 3 (2010)
Starring: Tony Jaa
For the best Muay Thai movies, no list would be complete without all of the Ong Bak films being included. Seeking more combat action in your best Muay Thai movies, well then you must watch the entire Ong Bak series. Ong Bak 2 starts in 1431 Siam, with Tien, a young nobleman, who is forced to flee from enemy soldiers and ends up being captured by slave traders. Saved by the Pha Beek Khrut, a band of bandits and martial artists, Tien trains with them and becomes a skilled warrior.
As he embarks on adventures with the bandits, Tien recalls his past life and the betrayal and massacre of his family by Lord Rajasena and a masked assassin. Seeking revenge, Tien infiltrates Rajasena’s palace. Fights scenes full of Muay Thai movie action take place. Tony Jaa adds even more to the best Muay Thai movies list with the third installment.
In this sequel, Ong Bak 3, Tien is held captive and tortured by Lord Rajasena’s soldiers while the village of Kana Khone suffers from a mysterious curse. Master Bua embarks on a pilgrimage to find a solution and discovers that the curse is caused by Bhuti Sangkha, the dark mystic who defeated Tien. Rajasena, tormented by his own guilt, seeks Bhuti’s help to remove the curse. Meanwhile, Tien is saved from execution and taken to Kana Khone to be healed.
The village comes together to heal him through acts of merit. When Tien wakes up, he is still crippled but finds the strength to persevere and trains in a new fighting style that combines martial arts and dance. As Bhuti reveals his true intentions and enslaves the villagers, Tien realizes he must confront him to save the village and fulfill his destiny.
Get ready for an electrifying movie marathon like no other. the world of the best Muay Thai movies offers an exhilarating and captivating experience for fans of martial arts and action-packed films. These carefully selected masterpieces showcase the artistry and intensity of Muay Thai, immersing viewers in a world of fearless warriors and jaw-dropping fights. We’ve handpicked the absolute best Muay Thai movies of all time, guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat. Brace yourself for a breathtaking display of skill, power, and heart-pounding action as these films take you into the heart of the ancient Thai martial art.
With the best Muay Thai Movies, you immerse yourself in the thrilling sequences and captivating storytelling, you’ll witness the indelible influence of martial arts movies on the film industry. Prepare to be captivated by the legendary performances of martial arts stars such as Tony Jaa. For a time Tony Jaa became the backbone of the best Muay Thai Movies. The best Muay Thai movies are classics and must-see cinema for any fan of martial arts or combat sports.
Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. Tim is the authority on kickboxing and combat sports journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.