Thai movie

Have you had enough with watching mostly international hits on Netflix? Now’s the time to change up your cinematic experience and check out the best of the best Thai movies on this streaming platform giant.

The pool of Thai films on Netflix is getting bigger and bigger, with more frequent updates, and it can be quite hard to pick which one to watch. Allow us to help out with a selection of the 10 all-time best Thai movies that will surely give your Korean or Hollywood favorites a run for their money.

Note: We have also curated genre-specific lists of the best Thai movies. Check out all the links here: drama, rom-com, horror, action/thriller.

Bad Genius (2017)

Bad Genius (2017)

Lynn is a top-notch genius, but she needs money. That’s when her affluent friends offer the straight-A student a well-paid job: to help them cheat on their exams.

Why it’s one of the best: Bad Genius ingeniously—forgive the pun—turns a simple story of student cheating into an adrenaline-driven watch that will make you lose your breath. It’s also applauded for subtly tackling more serious topics like social class and Thai education.

Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story (2009)

Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story (2009)

Mei Li, a 30-something single lady who desperately wants to find true love, thinks she may have finally met the perfect man. But will things be that easy for her?

Why it’s one of the best: Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story provides an insight into the banal life of Bangkokians in their 30s who are hoping to meet The One. Totally relatable if you’re one of those lonely hearts in our big city.

Grace (2016)

Grace (2016)

Famous internet personality Eclair is kidnapped by her die-hard obsessive fan Jack and his sister Grace, a forgotten online celeb who’s jealous of the rising star’s virtual popularity. Let the torture games begin.

Why it’s one of the best: These days, anyone can easily become famous online, which is why this psychological thriller is a perfect—if quite gruesome—portrayal of the dark side of internet fame. Plus, Apinya “Saiparn” Sakuljaroensuk’s performance as the crazy has-been takes the cake!

The Love of Siam (2007)

The Love of Siam (2007)

Boyhood friends Mew and Tong reunite after years apart and, this time, they finally explore what they both truly feel for one another.

Why it’s one of the best: The Love of Siam successfully encapsulates the culture clash between generations, especially when it comes to views on love and family. Since its release, the film has been acclaimed for paving the way for coming-of-age LGBTQ movies in Thailand.


My Girl (2003)

My Girl (2003)

Jeab takes a trip back to his hometown for his childhood crush Noi-Naa’s wedding, and is hit with bittersweet nostalgia.

Why it’s one of the best: Nostalgia never fails to warm our hearts, and this flick perfectly captures life in Thailand in the ’70s when things, even falling in love, were much simpler. Allow My Girl to comfort you with a big cast of adorable personalities and a soundtrack Thai pop oldies.

Ong-Bak (2003)

Ong-Bak (2003)

After the village’s precious worshipping statue is stolen, a Muay Thai master goes on an adventure to take back what belongs to his beloved home.

Why it’s one of the best: Ong Bak is legendary for how it promoted—and continue to—our country’s boxing art. It is also credited for pushing Tony Jaa into international stardom and bringing pride to Thailand.

Pee Mak (2013)

Pee Mak (2013)

Mak finally makes it back home from war and eagerly reunites with his wife Nak and their newborn. As the story unfolds, his four best friends find out that Nak and the baby are actually ghosts.

Why it's one of the best: Legendary folktale Nang Nak has been repeatedly made into films and series, but the 2013 version is totally a breath of fresh air, thanks to its comedic direction and contemporary context, which altogether render it a fun watch.

Shutter (2004)

Shutter (2004)

After a hit-and-run accident, Jane and her photographer boyfriend Tun are haunted by a female spirit that appears in developed photos. They need to figure out who they’re messing with—before time runs out.

Why it’s one of the best: Shutter is definitely one of the smartest—and scariest—horror films ever made in the history of Thai cinema. The story turns something common like photographs into a subject of immense terror. Also, the fact that Hollywood remade it is proof this film is definitely worth checking out.

The Tin Mine (2005)

The Tin Mine (2005)

An engineering student is kicked out of Thailand’s most prestigious university. He then embarks on an unlikely job at a far-flung tin mine where he doesn’t expect to learn the best lesson of his life.

Why it’s one of the best: This inspiring and philosophical movie is based on the real-life story of regarded Thai writer Ajin Panjapan. Hopefully it will help ignite your own passions and push you to get up and do something.

Where We Belong (2019)

Where We Belong (2019)

Leaving her hometown has always been Sue’s biggest dream. When she actually receives the opportunity to make that dream come true, Sue finds herself unable to leave her best friend.

Why it’s one of the best: On the surface, Where We Belong seems like your regular teen flick about two girl friends in a small town. But the film actually digs deeper in revealing the perspectives of modern teenagers, whose philosophy towards life is a thing of fascination, as well as consternation, for prior generations.

2gether: The Movie

107 min| Comedy, Musical, Romance


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The movie combining 2gether The Series and Still 2gether, creating a "Complete Edition." This version presents more of Sarawat's point of view in more scenes, such as the story behind their... See full summary »

Directors: Noppharnach Chaiwimol, Kanittha Kwanyu, Weerachit Thongjila| Stars: Vachirawit Chivaaree, Metawin Opas-Iamkajorn, Sattabut Laedeke, Thanatsaran Samthonglai


Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Not Rated|114 min| Drama, Fantasy


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87 Metascore

Dying of kidney disease, a man spends his last, somber days with family, including the ghost of his wife and a forest spirit who used to be his son, on a rural northern Thailand farm.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul| Stars: Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk



TV-MA|101 min| Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi


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Four insomniac med school students are lured into a neuroscience experiment that spirals out of control and must find a way out before it's too late.

Directors: Sita Likitvanichkul, Jetarin Ratanaserikiat, Apirak Samudkidpisan, Thanabodee Uawithya, Adirek Wattaleela| Stars: Panisara Rikulsurakan, Kay Lertsittichai, Supanaree Sutavijitvong, Krit Jeerapattananuwong


The Protector

R|111 min| Action, Crime, Drama


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52 Metascore

A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew| Stars: Tony Jaa, Nathan Jones, Xing Jin, Petchtai Wongkamlao


Bad Genius

TV-MA|130 min| Comedy, Crime, Drama


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Lynn, a genius high school student who makes money by cheating tests, receives a new task that leads her to set foot on Sydney, Australia. In order to complete the millions-Baht task, Lynn and her classmates have to finish the international STIC(SAT) exam and deliver the answers back to her friends in Thailand before the exam takes place once again in her home country.

Director: Baz Poonpiriya| Stars: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Chanon Santinatornkul


Sang Krasue

122 min| Drama, Horror, Romance


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In a far-away village, lived an innocent teenage girl, "Sai" who later discovered herself inheriting the curse of "Krasue". At night, her head would detach from her body and hunts for flesh... See full summary »

Director: Sitisiri Mongkolsiri| Stars: Phantira Pipityakorn, Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang, Sapol Assawamunkong, Surasak Wongthai


13: Game of Death

R|114 min| Comedy, Crime, Drama


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After losing his job, his car and his money, Phuchit, Krissada Sukosol, races against time to complete 13 tasks ordered by an anonymous caller who promised 100,000,000 Thai Baht upon completion.

Director: Chookiat Sakveerakul| Stars: Krissada Sukosol, Achita Sikamana, Sarunyu Wongkrachang, Nattapong Arunnate



240 min| Drama, Horror, Mystery


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4BIA is a Horror Anthology. The first segment, "Happiness" is about a lonely girl who corresponded with a stranger over hand phone text messaging and soon discovered something strange about... See full summary »

Directors: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Paween Purijitpanya, Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, Parkpoom Wongpoom| Stars: Maneerat Kham-uan, Witawat Singlampong, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Chon Wachananon


Jan Dara: The Finale

138 min| Drama


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Set in the 1930s, the film tells the story of Jan Dara, a boy who grows up in a house lorded over by his sadistic and debauched stepfather, Luang Wisnan in Bangkok. The story recounts the ... See full summary »

Director: M.L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul|

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Even if it’s not Asia’s biggest, Thailand’s film industry generates a decent amount of output. In 2019, Thai movies not only pleased audiences at home, but also attained screenings at international festivals in Toronto, Busan, and beyond.

At Cinema Escapist, we’ve compiled the Best Thai Movies of 2019 for any viewers curious about Thailand’s cinematic productions. These eight top Thai films of 2019 include not only mainstream movies, but also indie productions as well. They also represent a diversity of genres, including romance, action, horror, comedy, and documentary. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 2019’s 8 best Thai films.

•  •  •

8. Sisters

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Starring: Ployyukhon Rojanakatanyoo, Nannapat Lertnamchusakul, Ratha Pho-ngam | Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Action

We begin this list of 2019’s top Thai movies with SistersThis supernatural horror film centers on a pair of sisters named Veena and Mora. Their late mother was a krasue (a type of scary Southeast Asian female spirit) hunter and, as a result, the queen of the krause tribe vows revenge upon the girls. To protect her younger sister Mora, Veena must become a demon hunter herself.

While Sisters has mediocre CGI and a somewhat haphazard screenplay, it still managed to gain a slot at 2019’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Those who enjoy horror B-movies should get a kick out of Sisters though. In certain countries, the movie is even available on Netflix.

7. The Cave

Director: Tom Waller | Starring: Ron Smoorenburg, Kelly B. Jones, Lawrence de Stefano | Genre: Drama, Documentary

In the summer of 2018, Thailand captured global headlines when a junior football team became trapped in the Tham Luang cave. The football team’s dramatic rescue now has a cinematic treatment with The Cave.

Given its relatively heavy focus on Western rescue crews, this docu-drama won’t give you a taste of everyday Thai life and culture if that’s what you’re looking for. However, it’s a slickly-produced dramatization that doesn’t disrespect the original cave rescue. That’s no surprise, given The Cave‘s director Tom Waller had prior experience tackling weighty stories from Thailand—notably with The Last Executioner.

6. Inhuman Kiss

Director: Sitisiri Mongkolsiri | Starring: Phantira Pipityakorn, Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang, Sapol Assawamunkong, Surasak Wongthai | Genre: Horror, Romance

If you want more Southeast Asian folklore-infused horror, Inhuman Kiss also has you covered. This movie also features krause, though with a romantic twist.

In Inhuman Kiss, a teenage girl named Sai gets cursed to become a krause. This means that, upon nightfall, her head separates from her body and floats around in search of blood and guts. Local villagers become concerned when their livestock start disappearing, and form a krause hunting party. While this happens, Sai must navigate a love triangle between two boys who have different opinions about krause.

Compared with a lot of other Southeast Asian horror, Inhuman Kiss‘ production quality is pretty good. The movie was Thailand’s submission for 2019’s international feature Oscar (it didn’t get nominated), and also streams worldwide on Netflix.

5. Hope Frozen

Director: Pailin Wedel | Genre: Documentary 

We venture from supernatural horror back to real life with our next 2019 top Thai movie, Hope Frozen. Directed by Thai-American journalist and filmmaker Pailin Wedel, the film dives into the internationallyviral story of a Thai family who decided to cryogenically preserve their young daughter Einz’s brain.

On top of excellent editing and cinematography, Hope Frozen feels humanistic and poignant. The film explores how Einz’s parents—both of whom hold PhDs—reconcile their scientific training with the faith that cryogenics requires. Additionally, the documentary reveals the thorny complications that cryogenics presents within the context of reincarnation-centric Buddhism, Thailand’s dominant religion.

4. Krabi 2562

Director:  Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers | Starring: Siraphun Wattanajinda, Arak Amornsupasiri, Primrin Puarat, Nuttawat Attasawat | Genre: Documentary, Drama, Experimental

Many in the West know Krabi as a beautiful vacation spot replete with beaches and limestone cliffs.  Krabi 2562 offers a trippy exploration of Krabi amidst the tides of tourism and consumerism, and is the most distinctively artistic Thai movie we’ve found from 2019.

In this experimental feature, a woman with an actively morphing identity guides viewers across vignettes that represent constantly intermixing time periods and settings. We see prehistoric humans cavorting alongside modern tourists on a beach in one moment, and stumble upon an urban landscape in the next. Krabi 2562 found a warm reception at 2019’s Toronto International Film Festival, and will delight those looking for more unconventional or innovative Thai films.

3. Where We Belong

Director: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee | Starring: Jennis Oprasert, Praewa Suthamphong, Saheoiyn Aophachat | Genre: Drama, Coming-of-Age, Family, LGBTQ

Amid a sea of horror films and sappy rom-coms, Where We Belong stands out with its heartfelt but brutally realistic coming-of-age story. The movie Jennis Oprasert and Praewa Suthamphong—members of popular idol group BNK48—as its two leads, a pair of best friends named Sue and Belle.

Eager to leave her small home town, Sue decides on a whim to study abroad in Finland after high school. She doesn’t tell anyone—including Belle—until the last minute. As the clock ticks down before Sue’s departure, the two girls begin to realize how much they’ll lose by being apart.

Where We Belong feels reminiscent of the award-winning Chinese movie Soul Mate—another female-centric story about coming-of-age and loss that we’ve greatly enjoyed on. Like Soul Mate, Where We Belong also has heavy LGBT undertones to its female friendship.

2. Happy Old Year

Director: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit | Starring: Sunny Suwanmethanon, Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying | Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Renowned Thai blockbuster director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit returned in 2019 with Happy Old YearThis was one of 2019’s most anticipated Thai movies, given it also featured two huge stars: Sunny Suwanmethanon and Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (of Bad Genius).

In Happy Old Year, Chuengcharoensukying plays Jean, a young woman who is trying to clean out her house Marie Kondo-style. As she goes through this process, memories of her ex-boyfriend Aim (Suwanmethanon) begin to resurface. The film becomes a poignant journey that plays to audiences’ sense of nostalgia, accentuated by excellent cinematography and Thamrongrattanarit’s trademark humor.

1. Friend Zone

Director: Chayanop Bunprakop | Starring: Naphat Siangsomboon, Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul | Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Our best Thai movie of 2019 is Friend Zone. As 2019’s highest-grossing Thai movie, Friend Zone captivated audiences throughout Thailand with its relatable story. We’ve picked it as 2019’s top Thai film because we think it has great international appeal, even if it isn’t a classic.

As you might suspect from the title, Friend Zone centers on a man who gets stuck in the dreaded “friend zone” of unrequited love. In this instance, Palm is the man. Since high school, Palm has had feelings for a woman named Gink—who only sees him as a good friend. Ten years later, Palm rediscovers Gink at a wedding, and his friend zone adventures comedically come to life again.

With amusing characters, easily understandable jokes, and a premise that audiences from Boston to Bangkok can relate to, Friend Zone is a lighthearted way to top our list of Thailand’s best films from 2019.

•  •  •

Like this list? “Like” our Facebook page for more Asian film updates and reviews.

Want more Thai movies? Check out the Best Thai Films from 2018 and 2017!

If you want movies from other Asian countries, check out the Best Korean Movies of 2019 or the Best Japanese Movies of 2019!


List of Thai films

Title Director Actors Genre Notes 2007AloneBanjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom WongpoomMarsha Wattanapanich, Vittaya Wasukraipaisan, Rachanu Boonchuduang, Hatairat Egereff, Rutairat Egereff, Namo Tongkumnerd, Chutikan Vimuktananda, Nimit Luksameepong, Yupawan Unnataravarangkool, Michel Sardou, Taechit Mingmongkol, Pornchai Piboontanakeat, Amornrat Piboonthanakiat, Prasert VivattanananpongHorror thrillerFighting Beat / FB Fighting Beat (Thai: อก 3 ศอก 2 กำปั้น)Piti JaturaphatDavid Bueno, Peerawat Herabat, Nattanun Jantarawetch, Andrew Koji, Nahatai Lekbumrung, Lex Luther, Tim Man, Micky Nowacki, Sura Sankum, Amornrit Sriphung, Pemanee Sungkorn, Than Thanakorn, Sura TheerakonActionBangkok Love StoryPoj ArnonRattanaballang Tohssawat, Chaiwat Thongsaeng, Wiradit Srimalai, Chutcha Rujinanon, Uthumporn Silaphan, Sahatchai Churum Na Ayudthaya, Chonprakhan Janthareuang, Rachanu Boonchuduang, Suchao Pongwilai, Ratchanong Suprakorb, Nakarin Kangwanchokechai, Apichai YouangthongDramaThe Bedside Detective (Sailap jap baan lek)

(Thai: สายลับจับบ้านเล็ก )

Komgrit TriwimolSunny Suwanmethanont, Pattarasaya Kreuasuwansri, Panissara Phimpru, Chaleumpol Tikumpornteerawong, Prakasit Bowsuwan, Nimit Luksameepong, Sumeth Ong-ard, Jarupus Pattamasiri, Daraneenuch PhotipitRomantic comedyBody (Body sob 19) (Thai: บอดี้ ศพ #19)Paween PurikitpanyaArak Amornsupasiri, Ornjira Lamwilai, Kritteera Inpornwijit, Patharawarin Timkul, Paramej NoiamDrama Horror MysteryBus Lane (May narok muay yok law)

(Thai: เมล์นรกหมวยยกล้อ)

Kittikorn LiasirikunUdom Taephanit, Kiat Kitjaroen, Suthep Po-ngam, Naowarat Yuktanan, Sriphan Chunechomboon, Arisara Wongchalee, Khomsan Nanthajit, Prinya Ngamwongwarn, Anchana Phetjinda, Achita Sikamana, Theeratorn Siriphunvaraporn, Boriwat YutoAction Comedy The Bodyguard 2Petchtai WongkamlaoPetchtai WongkamlaoAction comedyFinal ScoreSoraya NagasuwanDocumentaryGhost StationYuthlert SippapakComedy horrorGhost Mother (Thai: ผีเลี้ยงลูกคน) Theeratorn SiriphunvarapornNatnischa Cerdchoobuphakaree, Patcharapa Chaichua, Focus Jirakul, Thanakorn Pisanupoom, Thana 'Oil' Suthikamorn, Kowit WattanakulHorror Haunting Me (Thai: หอแต๋วแตก; Hor Taew Tak)Poj ArnonChaiwat Thongsaeng, Jaturong Mokjok, Sukonthawa Koetnimit, Comedy horrorFilm Studio: Five Star Production

Sequels: Oh My Ghosts! 2 2009

Oh My Ghost! 3 2011

The Haunted DrumWoranut Wongsawan,Horror Drama In Country Melody (Isam Samawang)Note Chern-YimMusical comedyThe Life of BuddhaDramaRelease expected on December 5; would be the third feature-length animated film in Thai cinema history. The Love of Siam (Thai: รักแห่งสยาม)Chukiat SakveerakulMario Maurer, Witwisit HiranyawongkulRomantic dramaKing NaresuanChatrichalerm YukolHistorical dramaTrilogy of films. Kung Fu TootsieJaturong MokjokSittichai Pabchompoo, Pokchut TiumchaiComedyLullabye Before I WakeNate PantumsinchaiDean Shelton, Maiara WalshRomantic dramaScreened only at Lido Theaters. Ma MhaPantham ThongsanglComedy dramaFirst Thai live-action film with an all-animal cast. Me ... Myself (Thai: ขอให้รักจงเจริญ; Khaw hai rak jong jaroen) Pongpat WachirabunjongAnanda Everingham, Chayanan Manomaisantiphap, Monton Annupabmard, Puttachat Pongsuchat, Piya Wimookdayon, Treepon Promsuwan, Direk Amattayakul, Kamol Chatrasen, Maria DissayanandRomantic dramaDirectorial debut by actor Pongpat. Muay Thai ChaiyaKongkiat KhomsiriAkara Amarttayakul, Thawatchai Penpakdee, Sonthaya ChitmaneeMuay Thai boxing dramaPremiered as closing film at 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival. Nong Teng kon maha hiaPongsak Pongsuwan, Choosak IamsukPongsak Pongsuwan, Choosak IamsukComedyOpapatikaThanakorn PongsuwanPongpat Wachirabanjong, Leo Putt, Somchai Kemklad, Chakrit Yaemnam, Ray MacDonald, Athip Nana, Nirut Sirijanya, Khemapsorn SirisukkaFantasyPleasure FactoryEkachai UekrongthamYang Kuei-mei, Ananda EveringhamDramaPremiered at 2007 Cannes Film Festival, official selection, Un Certain Regard, Singaporean co-production Ploy (Thai: พลอย)Pen-Ek RatanaruangLalita PanyopasDramaFilm Studio: Five Star Production

Premiered at Director's Fortnight at 2007 Cannes Film Festival, had to be re-edited for release in Thailand because of censorship concerns about the sex scenes.

Ponglang Amazing Theater (Ponglang Sading Lumsing Sai Na)Rerkchai PaungpetchPonglang Sa-onComedy-horrorReleased November 29. Seven Days to Leave My Wife (Yang Ngai Gaw Rak)Torpong TunkamhangSamapon Piyapongsiri, Suwatjanee Chaimusik, Benjawan Artner, Prinya RhunprapanComedy dramaSick Nurses (Suay Laak Sai)Piraphan Laoyont, Thatsaporn SiriwatHorror comedyThe Screen at Kamchanod (Phee Jang Nang)Songsak MongkolthongAchita Pramotch Na Ayuthaya, Pakramai Potrananda, Namo TongkumnerdHorrorBased on a true story. Released December 5. The Sperm (Asujaak)Taweewat WanthaLeo PuttScience fictionSpiritual World (Winyarn Loke Khon Tai)HorrorSyndromes and a CenturyApichatpong WeerasethakulNantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok, Jenjira PongpasRomantic dramaPremiered at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. Withdrawn from 2007 release in Thailand by director, due to cuts requested by Board of Censors. VDO ClipPakphum WonjindaSlasher horrorVow of DeathComedy horror

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Them, rubbing the clitoris with my finger from another river. You moaned and wriggled like a snake, and meanwhile I was accelerating into your pussy with my fingers, feeling for the coveted tubercle inside the vagina. But soon I got tired of amusing and caressing my beloved girl with just my fingers.

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