Best new Thai Movies (2017) - Top Netflix & Cinema

Thai Cinema is probably best known for director Weerasethekul Apichatpong. If anything, he is proof of the abolute unique character of the cinema of Thailand. Please make sure you’ll watch some other gems too!
The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Thai movies of 2017 in cinema or on DVD or Netfix. Are Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Josh Kim & Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Thailand's biggest directors?

Since the end of the 90s, Thai cinema has been building up international presence. Before then, the Cinema of Thailand was really at the bottom of the barrel and nobody paid attention to it. But with the emergence of a new breed of young filmmakers, both artistically and intellectually more audacious, the national film industry enjoyed a prosperous development. Directors like Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives, 2010) – he also goes by the name of “Joe” – and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe), have helped Thailand contribute substantially to the international film scene for the past 15 years. Being part of the so-called new wave in Thai Cinema at the turn of the century, they created a logical gateway for the flourishing of Thai Independent Film. Many new artists have come on the scene to try and experiment, and to express their own voice, in whatever way befits them best.

By giving you a list of the most interesting Thai films of the decade so far, this article should serve as a perfect introductory to Thai Independent and Contemporary Cinema for beginners.

Thai movies2017
Popular actorsJenjira Pongpas, Banlop Lomnoi & Jarinpattra Rueangram
Trending moviesLove in Khon Kaen, How To Win Checkers (Every Time) & 36

2017 anticipated releases to watch

Pop Aye (19-01-2017)

A promising looking road movie about a man and elephant. Will screen at Sundance. More to follow!

StarringPenpak Sirikul, Bong & Thaneth Warakulnukroh
DirectorKirsten Tan
Themesdrama, road,

Best Thai movies on Netflix or DVD in 2017

2010's best rated Thai movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  1. Motel Mist (30-01-2016, 115 minutes)
  2. Motel Mist is a very entertaining sci-fi film, obviously flirting with exploitation cinema, but in a rather stylish way. The story evolves around four different persons all staying in the same motel, for various reasons. Weird, funny and shocking.
    StarringPrapamonton Eiamchan, Vasuphon Kriangprapakit & Wissanu Likitsathaporn
    DirectorPrabda Yoon (Invisible Waves )
    Themessexuality, violence, exploitation, science fiction,
    Keywordsabsurd, fun,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  3. Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark) (10-08-2016, 105 minutes)
  4. 'By the Time it Gets Dark' is a beautiful and melancholic film, exploring the massacre during a student uprising in Bangkok, 1976. Director/writer Anocha Suwichakornpong chooses to tell her story through identity shifting characters that are different and somehow the same.
    StarringArak Amornsupasiri, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk & Achtara Suwan
    DirectorAnocha Suwichakornpong (Breakfast Lunch Dinner )
    Themesactivism, university, women, drama, historical,
    Keywordscomplex, heartfelt,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  5. 36 (06-10-2012, 68 minutes)
  6. Memories fade, but photographs live forever. This experimental film explores the differences in this digital age between our own real memories and the memories we capture, meaning the photographs we make. The title of the movie is to be taken literally, as it consists of only 36 static shots, all more random than spectacular. If the main characters are in it or not does not matter, the camera will not move. Life is simple.
    StarringVajrasthira Koramit & Wanlop Rungkamjad
    DirectorNawapol Thamrongrattanarit (Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, The Master & Heart Attack)
    Similar moviesKreuzweg & Wonderful Town
    Themesarts, city, drama,
    Keywordssurreal, weird,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  7. Mekong Hotel (16-03-2013, 61 minutes)
  8. Mekong Hotel is a mix between a horror movie, a documentary and a boring movie rehearsal that gives you the creeps of alienation. Do not ask me what it’s about. Just see it for yourself. It’s weird and annoying for sure, but also strangely pretty and entertaining in its laziness.
    StarringApichatpong Weerasethakul
    DirectorApichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours & Syndromes and a Century)
    Similar moviesSang sattawat & Blissfully Yours
    Themesarts, filmmaking, drama,
    CountryThailand United Kingdom
    Keywordsboring, charming,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  9. In April the Following Year, There was a fire (31-01-2012, 76 minutes)
  10. This Thai independent film, with its cool title, is a typical example of fun meta-cinema. It’s quite obvious that the main character is supposed to represent the director himself, so we quickly get into the areas of self-reflection and portrayal, which always proves to be interesting, but sometimes also a tiny bit forgettable.
    StarringWichanon Somunjarn
    DirectorWichanon Somunjarn (Overseas, Somewhere Only We Know & Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse)
    Similar moviesSomewhere Only We Know & Four Boys,
    Themescity, filmmaking, drama,
    Keywordsabsurd, dreamlike,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  11. Tae peang phu deaw (12-11-2012, 98 minutes)
  12. Two Friends, Lek and Kong, one of them being a locksmith, have made it a hobby to break into other people’s houses and stay there for a while to drink their wine, watch television, but not really steal anything. One day, things go wrong and the film takes a totally unexpected and different course. A fascinating mystery ensues.

    StarringMargot Chung, Weerasak Glunrawd & Nastnathakit Intarasut
    Director Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (The Couple & Sa-nap)
    Similar moviesRot fai faa... Maha na ter & 36
    Themesfriendship, lifestyle, drama,
    Keywordsadventurous, extraordinary,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  13. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (25-09-2010, 114 minutes)
  14. It would be a shame not including The Palme D’or of 2010 in this list. It is certainly not Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s best film, but it’s definitely a good start for exploring his oeuvre for film lovers not familiar with him. Because of its sheer absurdity (you will see a man in a monkey suit) it’s quite inarguably his most accessible to date.
    StarringThanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas & Sakda Kaewbuadee
    DirectorApichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours & Syndromes and a Century)
    Similar moviesHoly Motors & Post Tenebrax Lux
    Themesdeath, memories, drama, fantasy,
    CountryFrance Germany Netherlands Spain Thailand United Kingdom
    Keywordsunique, whimsical,
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

Love in Khon Kaen (30-09-2015, 122 minutes))

In 2010 Thai filmmaker won a Palme d’Or at Cannes for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, but has not released a feature film since. Love in the Khon Kaen is looking to be yet another mystical film, and Ioncinema reports the film will be about a housewife who takes care of soldier with sleeping sickness, triggering, halluciations strange dreams, phantoms, and romance.
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours & Syndromes and a Century)
StarringJenjira Pongpas, Banlop Lomnoi & Jarinpattra Rueangram
Similar moviesJourney to the shore & Loong Boonmee raleuk chat
Themesdreams, memories, drama,
CountryFrance Germany Malaysia Mexico Norway Thailand United Kingdom United States
Keywordsdazzling, matchless,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

How To Win Checkers (Every Time) (26-04-2015, 80 minutes))
DirectorJosh Kim (The Postcard, Draft Day & The Police Box)
StarringToni Rakkaen, Ingkarat Damrongsakkul & Thira Chutikul
Similar moviesSleeping Giant & Umimachi Diary
Themesgrowing up, military, drama,
CountryIndonesia Thailand United States
Keywordsbased on a novel, thought provoking,
Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix