The 10 best Thai drama movies listed below will both wrench your heart and touch your soul. These dramatic movies deal with issues that anyone can identify with including the themes of family and love. Don’t let this be an undiscovered Asian genre for you. 

  1. “The Happiness of Kati.” Based on an award-winning novel by Ngarmpun Vejjajiva, this film tells the story of a mature nine-year-old who has come to a crossroads. Facing the death of her mother, she needs to choose between two drastically different futures. She could look for her father or remain with her retired grandparents and close friends of her mother.

  2. “Tropical Malady.” This movie is the pride of Thailand as it was the first Thai film that snagged a prize at a major international film festival. The story is portrayed in two parts. The first is a romance between two homosexuals and the second is a psychological drama following a soldier who is haunted be the spirit of a shaman.

  3. “Beautiful Boxer.” Dealing with a major theme in Thai lifestyle, the protagonist of this movie is a transsexual female, Nong Thoom, who is played by a male Thai kickboxer. The plot is an autobiographical tale of Thoom’s life as a famous transsexual woman, martial artist, actress, and model. The film was instantly recognized as a success and won various international awards.

  4. “Syndromes and a Century.” The director of this movie, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, has informed the public that this film is about transformation and the memory of feelings. His project was a tribute to his own parents. He tells two parallel stories with similar plotlines, but different settings and results.

  5. “Blissfully Yours.” This is another prize-winning film directed by Weerasethakul. In it, the audience follows the story of a couple and tells of the longing for love and making love. Roong takes the day off work to make love to her boyfriend, a Burmese immigrant, while Om goes into the jungle to have an affair.

  6. “Fun Bar Karaoke.” The Japanese influence is clear in this movie, partly revolving around a hostess at a Thai karaoke bar who’s attached to a mobster. He sends an assassin, Noi, to kill a man who’s fallen in love with the hostess. The man’s daughter ends up falling in love with the hitman.

  7. “Last Life in the Universe.” The two protagonists in this multicultural and multilingual film switch between speaking in Thai, Japanese, and English throughout the story. A bit of comedy, drama, and romance ensues when a Japanese librarian is forced into close quarters with a Thai woman. He is suicidal and obsessively neat while she’s a disorganized, pot-smoking slob.

  8. “The Last Song.” Araya Ariyawattana plays a beautiful showgirl who has sworn that she’ll never give her heart away. The movie is in fact a tale of unrequited love. When she finds herself falling for a handsome singer, she’s devastated to learn that he’s in fact fallen for her younger sister.

  9. “The Judgment.” Fak, a promising novice Buddhist monk, leaves the monastery to take care of his sick father. When his father passes away, he’s left with a young stepmother who is possibly mentally ill. Fak falls into a depression when he has to deal with the villagers’ rumors that he’s sleeping with his stepmother.

  10. “Som and Bank: Bangkok for Sale.” Part of the “Bangkok Trilogy,” this crime-drama follows the relationship of Som and Bank. Bank pulls Som into the drug world where they seem to be able to make tons of money so that they can live the luxurious life. Trouble arises when a big drug deal goes wrong.