Best new Thai Movies in 2018 & 2017 (Netflix & Cinema List)

The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Thai movies of 2018 in cinema, DVD and Netflix. Are Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Josh Kim & Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Thailand's biggest directors?

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!

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.

New Thai movies in 2018

Top movies up for release in 2018

  • A Prayer Before Dawn

    DIRECTOR: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
    CAST: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm, Panya Yimmumphai, Nicolas Shake

    Billy Moore ends up in a Thai prison after a stupid mistake. In order to survive, he partakes in Muay Thai boxing tournaments. 'A Prayer Before Dawn ' is one of the most brutal, depressing and mesmerizing prison films you're likely to see. Read more

    RATING: 77/100

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Best Thai movies of 2017

Top rated 2017 Thai movies

  • By the Time it Gets Dark

    DIRECTOR: Anocha Suwichakornpong
    CAST: Arak Amornsupasiri Apinya Sakuljaroensuk Achtara Suwan

    'By the Time it Gets Dark' is a contemplative and meandering film about several lives that are loosely connected. As a whole, it paints a beautiful of both contemporary Thai history and the art of filmmaking. Read more

    RATING: 80/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 27th, 2017

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Best Thai movies on Netflix or DVD in 2018

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

  • Tae peang phu deaw

    DIRECTOR: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
    CAST: Margot Chung Weerasak Glunrawd Nastnathakit Intarasut

    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. Read more

    RATING: 71/100

    RELEASE DATE: November 12th, 2012

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  • 36

    DIRECTOR: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
    CAST: Vajrasthira Koramit Wanlop Rungkamjad Nottapon Boonprakob

    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. Read more

    RATING: 70/100

    RELEASE DATE: February 6th, 2012

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  • Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark)

    DIRECTOR: Anocha Suwichakornpong
    CAST: Arak Amornsupasiri Apinya Sakuljaroensuk Achtara Suwan

    '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. Read more

    RATING: 66/100

    RELEASE DATE: August 10th, 2016

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  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

    DIRECTOR: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
    CAST: Thanapat Saisaymar Jenjira Pongpas Sakda Kaewbuadee

    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. Read more

    RATING: 66/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 25th, 2010

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  • In April the Following Year, There was a fire

    DIRECTOR: Wichanon Somunjarn
    CAST: Wichanon Somunjarn

    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. Read more

    RATING: 62/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 31st, 2012

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  • Mekong Hotel

    DIRECTOR: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
    CAST: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

    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. Read more

    RATING: 60/100

    RELEASE DATE: March 16th, 2013

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  • Motel Mist

    DIRECTOR: Prabda Yoon
    CAST: Prapamonton Eiamchan Vasuphon Kriangprapakit Wissanu Likitsathaporn

    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. Read more

    RATING: 52/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 30th, 2016

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