What are the best films to watch when stoned? What is the definition of a great movie to watch while stoned? An epic comedy that has you laughing your ass off from start to finish? Or an out-there visual extravaganza that takes your mind places it didn’t know it could go? And what about movies featuring classic stoner hi-jinks?
Well, just like all the different strains of sativa and indica fighting for your attention these days, stoner movies come in different moods for different occasions. On this list, we tried to cultivate, eh, curate a diverse selection of films suitable for all kinds of effects, from couch-lock to a case of the giggles. Either way, you’ll want to have plenty of good munchies locked and loaded for this marathon of trippy movies to watch while high…
Best Movies To Watch While High – 2020 Update
Stoner movies have been a genre for over half a decade now. There are so many classics in the genre, they could keep you occupied for a whole month of Four-Twenties.
And they just keep on coming! In the past decade, new stoner classics and second packings of iconic characters have steadily hit theatres and streaming.
Here’s a list of the primo of the crops, in a slightly suggested viewing order. But to each stoner his own!
Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Cabin In The Woods is a modern stoner horror movie. It’s thesis is what every stoner knows: weed makes you smarter. The movie is full of twists, turns and laughs. And stoner Marty sees every twist coming. Why? Because he got high, because he got high, because he got hii-gghh.
Starring Thor himself Chris Hemsworth in pre-Marvel days and featuring Fran Kranz as Marty, the 2011 film follows a group of teenagers who try to catch a break at the secluded cabin of the title, cut off from any kind of communication. Then it takes us to a weird facility where people seem to be observing and laying wagers on the teenagers fates. And then…Zombies! Trippy, right? That’s just the beginning of the freaky-deeky surprises.
Written and Directed by super hero movie man Drew Goddard with support from “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon, the film shows you it is wise to genre tropes. And wise enough to take those tropes and flip them all on their head.
From the moment we meet Marty with his big folding coffee mug bong contraption- a working prototype that cost the production 50,000 to make – he is philosophising about why cops won’t pull over a man with a big bong and we know this is a movie worth watching with a spliff. Wanna know what becomes of our beloved Marty? Better get to doing what Marty’s doing and then spark up the streaming.
Birds Of Passage (2018)
A foreign film. With subtitles. That’s right, you’re gonna have to read this movie. Unless you know Spanish. And obscure indigenous dialect unique to the region. Or maybe you pair it with the right strain and you’ll somehow understand what they are saying.
The film is a history of the beginnings of the Colombian cannabis trade, as told through the eyes of two powerful families, one indigenous, warring for control of the burgeoning market. So, indeed it is similar subject matter to “Narcos: Mexico”, but told much trippier by Oscar-Nominated Latin American Director Ciro Guerra, who made the film in collaboration with his wife Cristina Gallego.
But don’t worry so much about the words. What makes this a great movie to watch while high is how visually sumptuous it is. The poetic images of the movie are definitely best understood under the influence.
Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)/Bill And Ted Face The Music (2020)
“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is a stoner classic about which many people from California, a state with a rich, cultivated cannabis legacy, will say: “You shouldn’t even be allowed in California if you haven’t seen it!”
The classic has two sequels that are as good or maybe even more excellent than Bill and Ted’s previous adventure. They are from 1991 – “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” – and 2020 – “Bill and Ted Face The Music”.
In “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” – an adventure possibly even more inspired than the first movie – Bill and Ted are killed by two terminator style android lookalikes from the future. The real Bill and Ted go to hell, heaven and back, traveling again through time and space to save themselves and the world itself, while the androids get to ruining Bill and Ted’s presently happy lives
After decades apart, the pair come back together in “Bill and Ted Face The Music” and we see how those two iconic stoner rockers turned out. And it’s pretty sad. But also pretty funny, to watch them still trying to write the song that will save the world in the middle of middle age, and then watch them meet future loser versions of themselves and meet their daughters who will ultimately help them write the song that will unite the earth in peace and harmony.
Dude! Make sure you’re stocked up for this double dose of stoner silliness. It will be most excellent this way! Now party on!
Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)/Jay And Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
“Clerks” introduced us to the classic stoner characters Jay and Silent Bob, Bob being played by “Clerks” director Kevin Smith himself, an icon of the stoner generation.
When you watch it, you think to yourself “Did I get some really strong weed that made me go colorblind?” Nope, Clerks is in black and white. Probably because Smith was blowing the budget on chronic and didn’t have enough left over for color film.
Jay and Silent Bob appear in every one of Kevin Smith’s “View Askew” universe films. But the subsequent solo movies are where the pair are really given a chance to shine!
Comics and cannabis go great together, which is why both movies follow Jay and Silent Bob’s attempts to stop movie adaptations of the “Bluntman and Chronic” comics, made by fellow “view askew” characters and based on them!
A fun way to watch this double-chambered doubleheader is with a bong in your hand, trying to keep up with their smoky shenanigans!
This Is The End (2013)
“This Is The End” answers the question probably no one was asking: What would a stoner do in the apocalypse? And the team behind this film, who brought us many of the modern stoner classics, including some you will see later on this list, is definitely the best-qualified to answer the question.
That team is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. But the film itself is a meta celebrity fest, all of them appearing as exaggeratedly comedic versions of themselves. Like Michael Cera as a coke fiend. The cast also includes James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, Jay Baruchel, Channing Tatum, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and even Rihanna!
The idea is this veritable who’s-who of young Hollywood stars meet at a mansion for a big party when all of a sudden, the end of the world happens! Everybody becomes the worst version of themselves and it’s fun trying to figure out who is going to live or die, and how they die. And then…the Backstreet Boys show up? What? That’s just one of the reasons “This Is The End” is a top modern stoner classic.
Inherent Vice (2014)
“Inherent Vice” infuses the film noir genre with a shot of something it’s always needed: a stoner protagonist hero. Well, I don’t know if you can call him a hero, but in the end this stoner gets the job done. A new classic underdog antihero.
Set in 1970’s California, the film is based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon and is directed by Oscar Winner Paul Thomas Anderson. The high-wattage cast includes Joaquin Phoenix as our aforementioned antihero and also Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin, Maya Rudolph and Eric Roberts.
The films follows the adventures of a perpetually dazed and confused private detective as he tries to prevent a kidnapping that of course – this is film noir – leads to deeper corruption back when California was ruled by them there hippies. It’s like “Chinatown” except it’s more like “Forget it, Doc, It’s Cannatown.”
American Ultra (2015)
“American Ultra” is probably the secret fantasy of many a stoner. What if you were a secret agent stoner? Like a James Bong? And what if getting high actually helped?
The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and quickly turns into a stoner’s nightmare. Eisenberg plays Mike Howell, a convenience store clerk who spends his time lighting up the ganja and drawing comics. What he doesn’t know is that his code name is “Wise Man” and the CIA wants to kill him, because he is violating the protocols of the secret ULTRA training program, which secretly trained Mike to be a deadly assasin.
Howell spends the rest of the movie trying to avoid death, protect his girlfriend – gamely played by Kristen Stewart – and find out the truth. You’ll spend the rest of the movie living out a crazy ultimate stoners wish fulfillment.
Super Troopers 1&2 (2001/2018)
Like “Bill and Ted” and “Jay and Silent Bob”, 2001’s “Super Troopers” is another stoner movie that over the years developed a such a strong cult following that audiences were still clamoring for a sequel over a decade later. The sequel was actually funded by a crowd funding campaign that was no doubt helped in part by devoted cannabis enthusiasts.
“Super Troopers” target is the favorite of the cannabis community: bumbling police officers. In this case, state troopers. It stars members of the comedy collective known as “Broken Lizard” and features a few familiar faces like Jim Gaffigan and Brian Cox as Captain O’Hara.
In the first “Super Troopers”, set in Vermont, the merry gang of pranksters have to save their own asses by uncovering a local crime and one-upping the local police force. Of course, the crime is linked to local marijuana suppliers along the Canadian border.
In “Super Troopers 2”, the merry pranksters return and cross the border, eh? After a horribly tragic, well, actually hilarious, accident involving one Fred Savage – yes, that Fred Savage – the gang have been fired. But the governor brings them back to the force to guard Canadian land that is disputed by the U.S and a prank war breaks out with the local mounties. High-jinks ensue!
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
Another return of a character beloved by weed consumers everywhere. You think to yourself, this guy must be stoned! But he’s not. You can probably safely bet that they don’t even have weed in Kazakhstan. If you’re stoned though, Borat is sure to show you a good time!
Sacha Baron Cohen first rose to fame as the faux street gangster Ali G. , who interviewed DEA agents about the drug war to hilarious effect, amongst other politicians and gullible authority figures. Nothing more satisfying to a pro-potter than that. He was the original hoodwinker! Cohen also first developed the Borat character on the Ali G. show.
In this sequel to the first megahit 2006 “Borat” moviefilm, Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Borat and we meet his daughter as he travels to America to gift her to the Vice President for to make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan. And all the people who play victim to Sacha Baron Cohen’s hustle, especially former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, must have been smoking something themselves to fall for it!
The world needs Borat more than ever in these tripped-out days and Borat’s Subsequent Moviefilm definitely deserves your high five!
Pineapple Express (2008)
From the same dope team that brought you “This Is The End”, “Pineapple Express” takes us on a trip into today’s brave new world where weed has names! Many people ask which came first, the movie or the strain? The world may never know, but does it really matter?
“Pineapple Express” stars James Franco and the acting prince of the stoner generation, Seth Rogen. It follows the adventures of stoner Dale Denton, who accidentally leaves behind evidence of a strain of weed so rare it traces him back to the scene of a murder!
Now the movie turns into a stoner action comedy as Dale and his dealer Saul try to escape the clutches of some corrupt cops, the greatest enemies of stoners everywhere! “Pineapple Express”, the movie, pairs best with a joint full of “Pineapple Express”, the strain. Enjoint!
Well, these should keep you busy for the weekend and maybe even a day off Monday. Bong Appetit!
Best Movies To Watch While High – 2019 List
Check out our list from last year!
What’s better than getting stoned and just watching the world pass you by? When it’s literally the entire world passing before your very eyes, even if it’s on a screen. I saw this movie both on a tiny screen in the back of a VW Bus and a 70mm big-screen projection in a movie palace and I don’t know which time it was more fascinating.
The film is a true journey, structured in a narrative of day to night and the cycle of life, a structure you don’t even notice as you give yourself over to the camera’s lazy eye and the expansive wowness of nature and the earth and human beings.
Baraka is a word of the Sufis, who are disciples of the phenomenon of mysticism and the inward dimension. The term loosely translates to: “a blessing, a breath, the essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds.” As the process unfolds in “Baraka”, you will begin to feel like you have truly reached a higher plane, with or without the sacred herb.
Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure
This should really be a double feature entry — both the “Excellent Adventure”, when Bill and Ted first put the time-traveling telephone booth to use, and the “Bogus Journey” sequel, where the two wild stallions literally cheat Death.
This is the movie that made Keanu Reeves surfer dude famous, and if you haven’t seen him in it, I’m warning you now you are going to bust a gut! Californians say if you haven’t seen this movie you shouldn’t even be allowed to live in the state.
The funny thing is the goofed-out duo never even actually smoke any weed in the movie but somehow created the “stoner-surfer-rocker-dude” stereotype we all have come to know and love. With a new threequel called “Bill and Ted Face The Music” coming soon, now is the time to kick back with a phattie and take a trip through time with Bill and Ted.
Most might say the film from Kevin Smith’s very stonerly oeuvre to include on this list would be “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”. But I say the film that introduces the two iconic stoners produces more belly laughs per minute and has many more memorable moments.
Made for $30,000 in 1994, this black and white comedy practically invented the slacker lifestyle and defined generation X. Kevin Smith, a comic book icon and herb enthusiast, must have definitely based Jay and Silent Bob on his real dealers, even going so far as to play Silent Bob himself.
The movie itself is like one long stoned conversation, with that skewed perspective on life that only getting high can provide, and goofy things happening, the kind that seem to only happen after you’ve just smoked. If it isn’t your first time smoking, I’ll wager you will recognize more than a few moments of their antics from your own life.
Dead Man On Campus
This 1998 movie is an underrated and overlooked forgotten gem. One of the few nineties comedies where the funny lasts through the whole movie and there are plenty of iconic stoner moments, although the film doesn’t quite tip into the stoner hijinx category.
The film stars the classic teen comedy “Saved By The Bell”‘s Zack — Mark-Paul Gosselaar – as the opposite of that squeaky clean character. He plays Cooper, a slacker rich kid who is puffing his way through college on his fathers fortune and would rather spend the evening cleaning his bong than doing homework.
When his new roommate Josh loses his scholarship thanks to spending a little too much time with Cooper, the boys attempt to exploit a loophole that allows the roommate of suicide victims to sail through with passing grades.
“Dead Man On Campus” also features early performances from two later Judd Apatow comedy staples, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan. But it will always make my list of favorite stoner movie moments just for when Cooper offers up some timeless advice as he scrubs his six-foot bong — “You can’t mix the schwag with the kind!”
There’s gotta be at least one Marvel movie on this list, because few things go better together than comics and cannabis. But it’s a tough call between the Asgardian fantasy world of Thor and the magical universe of Dr. Strange.
The 2016 “Doctor Strange” film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorceror Supreme, who is just learning to control his powers, conjures up an equal mix of comedy and trippy effects. One minute it’s ha ha, the next it’s whoa! The visuals are similar to “Inception” but inside a much more surprising and fantastical universe than just Leo Dicaprios dream world.
The hallucinatory dimension of this film carries through to even the minutest detail, including Stan Lee’s cameo reading Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors Of Perception”, a book which ushered in the psychedelic era and is the namesake of the gods of trippy rock, The Doors.
Marijuana can be a gateway to spiritual dimensions, and Doctor Strange helps guide you through the gate.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
When I walked out of this movie the first time, I had literally become so immersed in it that I thought I was Hunter S. Thompson. That is the kind of trip this flick takes you on.
An adaptation of the seminal book by Thompson, I can’t imagine a more perfect director for it than eye-candy specialist Terry Gilliam, a mastermind of hallucinogenic entertainment who is known for other LSD-inspired films such as Brazil and Twelve Monkeys.
The film stars Johnny Depp as the icon of the stoner counter culture beat generation, with a madcap Benicio Del Toro trying and failing to keep him in check. No other film has captured so accurately a bleary-eyed trip through intoxicated insanity!
Something about this movie. If you’re in the right state of slightly altered mind, you just get this movie and it’s message. The metaphors and meanings of things just somehow become crystal clear.
The film comes from the mystical mind of Mr. Jim Henson, so maybe it’s no surprise. Henson, of course, created The Muppets, the puppets that entertain children and stoners for hours on end. But he is also behind the trippy classic “The Dark Crystal” and you can see some of that influence here.
The cast mostly focuses on: a teenage crush of mine, the incredibly gorgeous Jennifer Connelly, glam pop icon David Bowie who turns in a witty, typically androgynous performance, and a really cute baby who gets kidnapped.
But what will keep you mesmerized are the puppets and psychedelic world of the labyrinth itself. It’s a perfect stoner mix of comedy, thrilling adventure, engaging puzzle and hallucinogenic visuals.
Natural Born Killers
You may think: what is a film about America’s most lovable homicidal couple doing on this list? But in fact, Mickey and Mallory Knox are really hippies at heart. Spark a dooble and join them on their cross-country killing spree and I’m sure you’ll understand where they’re coming from.
The film is directed by Oliver Stone and stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis as the charming maniacs, and features an all-star cast including a young, fresh-faced Robert Downey Jr and a younger Tommy Lee Jones. Plus a truly killer soundtrack selected and produced by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
The real reason to watch this movie nice and toasty are the visuals which careen from dreamy to nightmarish in the flicker of an eye. One minute you’re watching a wacked-out sitcom, the next an animated action show, the next you are along for Mickey and Mallory’s mushroom trip. Which, rumor has it, Stone made the crew also ingest in the desert for the filming of that scene. Not a single restless moment on this wild ride!
The Simpsons Movie
What list of stoner movies would be complete without an animated film? There are plenty that qualify, almost too many to choose from, so I nominate The Simpsons Movie.
The Simpsons were one of the first to break ground on network television with pot jokes and main characters getting high, like when Homer is prescribed medical marijuana. The movie gives them a chance to let loose even more without restriction from the censors.
I mean, how can you not love a movie that’s got a spider-pig in it, right?
This film falls squarely in the stoner hi-jinks category. It’s a stoners day from hell, and is best appreciated from the safety of your couch, preferably with an ample stash sitting on the table.
In “Smiley Face”, directed by Gregg Araki, Anna Faris plays your typical stoner actress living in — surprise — California! Faris plays the hapless stoner girl with an equal mixture of charm and irreverence as she becomes a victim of her own bad stoner choices.
Director Araki is known for the warped, mindbending “Nowhere” film trilogy and he brings notes of that demented mentality to the quirky situations. John Krasinski shows up, as well as Jane Lynch and Danny Masterson, all adding their own spin to the rapid hilarity and your repeated chanting of “Oh, mannn!”
An original film that revels in it’s own tragedies, while watching it you will be reveling in the fact that you are comfortably chilling at home, lighter safely in reach.
This is just a fraction of the endless list of films that are complemented by a little cannabis, in my humble opinion. It’s a great starter list and I suggest you stock up and lock yourself in for a weekend of THCinema.