Stoner Movie Night: 72 Movies Perfect for Watching High

Finding the best movies to watch when you’re high is a delicate balance: you want something enjoyable, thought-provoking and with just the right amount of silliness. Here are our picks.

Written by

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is the senior editor at CBD Oracle, and has been covering science, vaping and cannabis for over 10 years. He has a MS in Theoretical Physics from Uppsala...

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Top movies to watch when you're high
Illustration: Layla Selestrini / CBD Oracle
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So you’ve invited some buddies over and packed a few bongs. As the smoke haze clears and you find yourself slumped on the sofa giggling about something you can barely remember anymore, the conversation lulls and you start thinking of something fun to do.

Our parents’ generation never had much choice in this situation – you had to watch whatever is currently being aired – but Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and a million other streaming services have changed all that.

Now you can enjoy basically any movie when the THC peaks. So we have a new problem: an abundance of choice compounded by the meandering thoughts of the stoner. The question, the eternal question, is “what should we watch?”

Well pack another bowl and take your pick.  


The 72 Best Movies to Watch While High

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First up, there are many lists online of this type of thing, but a lot of them tend to focus on classic “stoner” movies.

While it can certainly be fun to watch Pineapple Express while you’re baked (and it is on the list), there is so much more to finding good stoner movies than just having characters in the same state of mind as you.

Some whole movies just hit differently when you’re high, whether because of the themes, the aesthetics, or the unique style of humor.

So here, we’ve included some classic stoner-style movies (in their own section) but also offered up plenty of alternatives, ranging from stoner-friendly classics to movies that suck in just the right way.  


Stoner-Friendly Classics

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski movie cover
Photo: The Big Lebowski

Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% critics / 93% audience

IMDb: 8.1/10

The Big Lebowski is a legendary movie about what happens when you pee on the wrong person’s rug. That rug really tied the room together. The lead character, the Dude (Jeff Bridges) is an easygoing stoner who gets caught up in a dangerous situation when a case of mistaken identity brings some thugs into his apartment. Fuelled by White Russians and a constant supply of Js, he sets out to get the other Lebowski to pay for his rug.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A Space Odyssey movie cover
Photo: A Space Odyssey

Stars: Kier Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 8.3/10

Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic movie with some trippy visuals and plenty of heady themes that make it a great stoner movie choice. The story centers around an alien monolith found on the moon, bearing many similarities to one found on Earth by the progenitors of humanity, which spurred on their evolution. Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) is sent on a mission with other astronauts, but problems soon emerge with their ship’s computer system, HAL.  

The Fifth Element (1997)

The Fifth Element movie cover
Photo: The Fifth Element

Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm

Director: Luc Besson

Rotten Tomatoes: 71% critics / 86% audience

IMDb: 7.6/10

A 23rd century New York cab driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) finds the fate of the world in the back of his taxi in the form of the mysterious Leeloo (Milla Jovovich). She tells him she needs to meet Father Veto Cornelius (Ian Holm) to complete her mission, finding the four elemental stones (fire, water, air and earth) to protect the Earth from coming destruction. It’s a great movie anyway, but expect a lot more laughs if you watch it high.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix (1999) film cover
Photo: The Matrix (1999)

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% critics / 85% audience

IMDb: 8.7/10

The Matrix has basically become a cultural icon at this point, with the “red pill” vs. “blue pill” metaphor taking hold in a way the Wachowskis likely never envisioned. But the movie is a classic of mind-bending, things-are-not-what-they-seem cinema. When Thomas Anderson (aka Neo, to the hacker community) is contacted by another supposed hacker, known only as Morpheus, he is offered the famous choice to live in his constructed reality, or take the red pill and step outside of the simulation. The bong doesn’t bend… you just have to remember one thing: there is no bong.

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride movie cover
Photo: The Princess Bride

Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright

Director: Rob Reiner

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% critics / 94% audience

IMDb: 8.0 / 10 

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die! Although it’s inconceivable that you’ve never seen a reference to this movie before, the absurd adventure that awaits is probably not what you’re expecting. With pirates, kidnappings, sword fights, razor-sharp, occasionally surreal dialog (guess how many times that first line is spoken, for instance), and minimal “kissy bits,” it’s a movie that will stay with you for some time afterward. For Columbo fans, Peter Falk’s portrayal of the story-telling grandfather is the cherry on top.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China movie cover
Photo: Big Trouble in Little China

Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun

Director: John Carpenter

Rotten Tomatoes: 75% critics / 82% audience

IMDb: 7.2/10

When Jack Burton’s (Kurt Russell) green-eyed fiancée is kidnapped by a Chinese street gang, he and his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) team up with a lawyer (Kim Cattrall) and a sorcerer’s apprentice to rescue her from below San Francisco’s Chinatown. They find out that an evil sorcerer, David Lo Pan (James Hong), needs to marry a green-eyed woman to defeat a millennia-old curse and regain his physical body, and they must stop him. It’s a subversive love letter to kung fu B movies and a perfect high-watching choice.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie cover
Photo: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick

Director: Jim Sharman

Rotten Tomatoes: 78% critics / 85% audience

IMDb: 7.4/10

The cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show sees couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) stumble upon a strange mansion owned by Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), an eccentric transvestite scientist. Curry as Frank-N-Furter is the standout, but the whole movie is the type of outrageous silly fun you’re looking for just after lighting up.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory movie cover
Photo: Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum

Director: Mel Stuart

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% critics / 87% audience

IMDb: 7.8/10

The classic story of Charlie (Peter Ostrum), a boy who finds a golden ticket that gives him and other lucky winners a tour of the chocolate factory owned by the reclusive Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder). It’s magical enough for high watching throughout, but the terrifying boat scene takes on an even starker, stranger turn after a few hits. “There’s no earthly way of knowing… which direction we are going.”

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away movie cover
Photo: Spirited Away

Stars: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% critics / 96% audience

IMDb: 8.6/10

Probably the most well-known Studio Ghibli movie, Spirited Away follows Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi), after her parents are transformed into pigs and she finds herself a captive worker in a demonic bath house. It’s about as weird as it sounds, but also magical and a great stoned movie choice.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar movie cover
Photo: Interstellar

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Director: Christopher Nolan

Rotten Tomatoes: 73% critics / 86% audience

IMDb: 8.6/10

With a dying planet, Interstellar follows Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) as he travels through a wormhole and surveys three planets to find humanity a new home. Director Christopher Nolan is known for mind-bending movies, but the outer-worldly effects and philosophy of Interstellar make it one of the best, “serious” stoner movies out there.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street movie cover
Photo: The Wolf of Wall Street

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill

Director: Martin Scorsese

Rotten Tomatoes: 80% critics / 83% audience

IMDb: 8.2 / 10

The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a Wall Street stockbroker immersed in not-quite-legal affairs and a whole heap of drugs. The movie is epic and incredibly well-made, but it’s worth a stoned watch for the Ludes scene alone.

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dr. Strangelove movie cover
Photo: Dr. Strangelove

Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% critics / 94% audience

IMDb: 8.4/10

Dr. Strangelove is a biting satire on the Cold War-era constant threat of nuclear annihilation. And somehow, it manages to be hilarious. The combination of these two elements – with plenty of weirdness thrown in – makes this an ideal stoner flick.  


Comedy

Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland movie cover
Photo: Zombieland

Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% critics / 86% audience

IMDb: 7.6/10

Zombieland follows a college student through a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland as he searches for his family, guided by his personal rules for zombie survival, such as “double-tap” (as in, shoot again even if you think it’s over) and “when in doubt, know your way out.” It’s silly, zombie-themed fun with tons of excellent moments throughout.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Borat movie cover
Photo: Borat

Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen

Director: Larry Charles

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% critics / 79% audience

IMDb: 7.3/10

Borat is endlessly quotable and crudely hilarious in just the right way for your stoned brain. The fictional Kazakh journalist explores America and searches for the love of his life, Pamela Anderson. She will be his wife. Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) is also really enjoyable, if a little darker in tone.  

Team America: World Police (2004)

Team America World Police movie cover
Photo: Team America World Police

Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone

Director: Trey Parker

Rotten Tomatoes: 77% critics / 80% audience

IMDb: 7.2 / 10

With Thunderbirds-tier puppet work, except with real-world dictators, unnerving sex scenes, and more vomit than you would ever reasonably expect from the format, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone do what they do best: satirize American politics while making as many crude jokes as possible. America… FUCK YEAH.  

Idiocracy (2006)

Idiocracy movie cover
Photo: Idiocracy

Stars: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard

Director: Mike Judge

Rotten Tomatoes: 73% critics / 60 % audience

IMDb: 6.5 / 10

Idiocracy is a funny movie, with plenty of excellent moments when you’re high – anytime Terry Crews’ president Camacho is on screen, for instance – but it’s one of those films that takes on a more serious undertone as the years go by. It definitely has its flaws, but the biggest thing you’ll notice is the terrifying reality that this could be where we’re headed

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil movie movie cover
Photo: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Stars: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden

Director: Eli Craig

Rotten Tomatoes: 85% critics / 85% audience

IMDb: 7.5 / 10

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a horror/comedy centering around the title characters, a pair of rough-looking hillbillies who are mistaken for chainsaw-wielding murderers by a group of college students. To the students, it’s a real-life slasher movie; to Tucker and Dale, it’s an unfortunate set of misunderstandings that really sucks the fun out of the vacation.

Superbad (2007)

Superbad movie cover
Photo: Superbad

Stars: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Director: Greg Mottola

Rotten Tomatoes: 87 % critics / 87% audience

IMDb: 7.6 / 10

In classic teen movie style, Superbad centers on two nerdy friends’ plan to get enough alcohol to both enjoy a party they’ve been invited to and get their sex lives started. It sounds cliché but it’s an awesome experience high. McLovin steals the show.

Ted (2012)

Ted movie cover
Photo: Ted

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth McFarlane

Director: Seth McFarlane

Rotten Tomatoes: 68% critics / 73% audience

IMDb: 6.9/10

Ted is a straightforward enough movie, with a childhood teddy bear, Ted (Seth McFarlane), who is brought to life when John (Mark Wahlberg) makes a wish one Christmas as a child. The only problem is that by the time John is an adult and living with Lori (Mila Kunis), he still spends most of his time smoking weed and knocking back beers with his bear. The humor is low-brow, but it’s unavoidably funny and perfect for a post-smoke movie.  

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (2006)

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny movie cover
Photo: Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny

Stars: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Liam Lynch

Director: Liam Lynch

Rotten Tomatoes: 52% critics / 67% audience

IMDb: 6.8 / 10

The Pick of Destiny is a ridiculous-but-enjoyable movie about a magical guitar pick that can make any guitarist a bona-fide god. They end up having a rock-off with Satan himself, after climbing the stairway to heaven and having Jack Black deactivate a laser alarm system with his penis. Oh yeah, and he has a vaguely Freudian mushroom trip about a flying sasquatch. Forget the snooty critics, light up, and get ready to laugh.

Zoolander (2001)

Zoolander movie
Photo: Zoolander

Stars: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell

Director: Ben Stiller

Rotten Tomatoes: 65% critics / 80% audience

IMDb: 6.5/10

 Zoolander is a movie about a stupid male model of the same name, played by Ben Stiller. Expecting to win VH1’s Male Model of the Year for the fourth year running, Derek Zoolander is baffled when his rival, Hansel (Owen Wilson) wins the award instead. He gets a potential route back to fame when he’s hired by Mugatu (Will Ferrell). However, it turns out he’s actually being brainwashed to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia. The jokes can be a little dumb – trying to get files out of the computer, for instance – but they hit just right when you’re high.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Tropic Thunder movie cover
Photo: Tropic Thunder

Stars: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.

Director: Ben Stiller

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% critics / 70% audience

IMDb: 7.0/10

Tropic Thunder is one of those movies where you can basically tell what you’re getting from the trailer and concept alone, but it manages to take the basic premise and elevate it through some smart choices and the powerhouse performance of Robert Downey Jr., in particular. An action movie star, a comedy movie star and a serious method actor land roles in a Vietnam War epic, only to find themselves actually in battle. This is another one where the jokes can miss, but if you’re giggly-high they will hit hard.

Shaolin Soccer (2001)

Shaolin Soccer movie cover
Photo: Shaolin Soccer

Stars: Stephen Chow, Kan-Cheung Tsang, Min-Hun Fung

Director: Stephen Chow

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% critics / 84% audience

IMDb: 7.3/10

Shaolin Soccer answers the age-old question that nobody asked: could mastery of kung fu make you absolutely amazing at soccer? The answer is… kind of. The movie follows kung fu enthusiast Mighty Steel Leg Sing (Stephen Chow), who finds out about a soccer tournament with a $1 million prize. He gathers a group of six, ex-kung fu master buddies and sets about forming a team. If you’re expecting ordinary soccer, you will be sorely disappointed. If you’re blazed and looking for a laugh, it’s a fantastic choice.

Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! movie cover
Photo: Airplane!

Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 7.7/10

If you’re thinking: “recommending Airplane! as a stoner movie, surely you can’t be serious?” Well, I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

Airplane! is a genuine comedy classic, packed wall-to-wall with witty and weird jokes, building a sense of surrealism throughout and having so many quotable lines you’ve probably heard some of the jokes even if you don’t know what Airplane! is. It’s a spoof of 1970s disaster movies, but even without that context it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious. You don’t even need a plot summary; you need to get a copy and put it on.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz movie cover
Photo: Hot Fuzz

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman

Director: Edgar Wright

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 7.8/10

Although many would recommend Shaun of the Dead from the “Cornetto Trilogy” instead (and it is also a good choice), Hot Fuzz combines the same style of humor with a more bizarre backdrop, with the humor building from the dry, almost slow opening into an increasingly surreal collection of call-backs and action movie references. The story centers on Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), a big-city London constable transplanted to the small town of Sandford. While at first nothing ever seems to happen – aside from the odd renegade swan – Angel soon starts to suspect something darker is going on under the surface.

Spaceballs (1987)

Spaceballs movie cover
Photo: Spaceballs

Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman

Director: Mel Brooks

Rotten Tomatoes: 56% critics / 83% audience

IMDb: 7.1/10

Spaceballs is a brilliant Star Wars parody, with a kidnap-the-princess plotline and plenty of familiar-looking characters cropping up along the way. One example is Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), who goes from a perfectly Vader-like voice with his comically-massive helmet down to one more fitting of the nerdy-looking Moranis when it’s up. The constant, meta fourth-wall breaking combined with the rich humor makes this an ideal stoner comedy.

Super Troopers (2001)

Super Troopers movie cover
Photo: Super Troopers

Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Erik Stolhandske, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar

Rotten Tomatoes: 36% critics / 90% audience

IMDb: 7.0/10

If you’re already a bit high and new to the movie, watch the opening scene. The guy in the back has just eaten a lot of their weed supply so they don’t get caught by the Troopers, but they also had to throw some out.

If you’ve already seen it, it’s always a good time to rewatch, but it’s the best time if you’re baked. YOU BOYS LIKE MEXICO?!

The difference between the critic and audience score here is a sure sign you’re in the presence of greatness. It’s almost as magnificent as Thorny’s mustache.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie cover
Photo: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Stars: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam

Directors: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% critics / 95% audience

IMDb: 8.2 / 10

The Holy Grail is arguably the best Monty Python movie, complete with coconut shell horses, knights that say “ni” (and occasionally “ekke ekke ekke ekke ptang zoo boing”), a Black Knight who never surrenders and a brave Sir Robin bravely running away. If you haven’t seen it, watch it, or I will fart in your general direction.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Anchorman movie cover
Photo: Anchorman

Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd

Director: Adam McKay

Rotten Tomatoes: 67% critics / 86% audience

IMDb: 7.1/10

Anchorman follows Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), big-time news anchor in 1970s San Diego. Like most workplaces in the 70s, it’s a male-dominated environment where women are more likely to bring coffee and get sexually harassed than be expected to contribute anything of value. Things change when the station embraces diversity and decides to hire a woman. And even worse, she’s so good it puts Burgundy out of a job. The result is a movie packed with quotable moments, hilarious cameos, afternoon delights, horses, a man on fire and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) killing a guy with a trident.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Director: Stephen Herek

Rotten Tomatoes: 81% critics / 75% audience

IMDb: 6.9 / 10

Bill S. Preston Esquire (Keanu Reeves) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Alex Winter) are the hard-rocking slackers from Wyld Stallions, the best band to never learn to play their instruments. They have a history presentation to research, a buddy named Rufus (George Carlin) and a phone booth time machine. Light up and watch as the pair learn history with So-Crates (Socrates), Beef Oven (Beethoven) and Abraham Lincoln. They aren’t technically high, they just act like it. A lot.

Army of Darkness (1992)

Army of Darkness movie

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidt, Marcus Gilbert

Director: Sam Raimi

Rotten Tomatoes: 73% critics / 87% audience

IMDb: 7.4/10

The Evil Dead trilogy shifts from the initial horror of the first, to the horror/comedy of the second and then the full hilarity of Army of Darkness. Ash (Bruce Campbell), with a chainsaw for an arm (long story) and his boomstick on his back, finds himself trapped in medieval times with an army of deadites to blast into pieces and deliver corny (but amazing) quips to along the way. Take a toke and turn it on, you primitive screwheads.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Kung Fu Hustle movie

Stars: Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen

Director: Stephen Chow

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 7.7/10

Kung Fu Hustle is another movie from Stephen Chow, who also helmed Shaolin Soccer. This movie has the same stupidly-hilarious sense of humor and a touch of Looney Tunes-style surrealism thrown in for good measure. Sing (played by Chow) and a friend trick the residents of Pig Sty Alley into thinking they’re members of a notorious gang. However, the actual gang finds out and comes to set the record straight. Unfortunately for them, the unassuming alley has more than its fair share of kung fu masters.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie

Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin

Director: Edgar Wright

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% critics / 84% audience

IMDb: 7.5/10

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and starts to fall for her, all the while stringing along his current/soon-to-be-ex girlfriend Knives (Ellen Wong). He might sound like an asshole, but that’s kind of what Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is about. Ramona is the “manic pixie dream girl” type, but if Scott wants her heart, he has to defeat her seven evil exes first, leading to a frenzy of video-game inspired battles, punctuated with plenty of laughs. Worth a high watch for the comic book style imagery alone.

Kung Pow: Enter the First (2002)

Kung Pow- Enter the First movie

Stars: Steve Oedekerk, Fei Lung, Leo Lee

Director: Steve Oedekerk

Rotten Tomatoes: 13% critics / 69% audience

IMDb: 6.2 / 10

Steve Oedenkerk acquired the rights to a 1976 movie called Savage Killers, and after a flurry of editing, extra shooting and re-dubbing the original audio, Kung Pow was released. Technically, most of the on-screen action comes from the original movie, but with the drastic changes to the dubbing, Oedenkerk himself thrown in as the “chosen one” and the villain (originally played by Fei Lung) renamed Betty, it’s unrecognizable in the best way possible. Why should you watch it high? He uses guinea pigs on a rope as nunchucks and has a kung fu fight with an actual cow. The critics hate it because it’s crappy and low effort; the audience enjoyed it because it’s still hilarious.  

Black Dynamite (2009)

Black Dynamite movie

Stars: Michael Jai White, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson

Director: Scott Sanders

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% critics / 85% audience

IMDb: 7.3/10

Black Dynamite is a spoof Blaxploitation movie that expertly walks the line between mockery and homage. Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) is up against the Man, who killed his brother, pumped heroin into orphanages and poisoned their malt liquor. It has one of the best moments in cinematic history, but for a more fitting introduction, watch this scene where they piece together part of the evil plan.


Documentaries

Super High Me (2007)

Super High Me movie

Stars: Doug Benson, Brian Unger

Director: Michael Blieden

Rotten Tomatoes: 63% critics / 51% audience

IMDb: 6.0/10

This documentary is basically Super Size Me but for weed. Comedian Doug Benson takes a break from weed for 30 days, then gets high continuously for 30 days. This is supposedly to “compare the effects” but it seems to really be “to have an excuse to get high for 30 days.” There’s some more serious talk about legalization efforts, but overall it’s a funny little documentary dedicated to the pleasures of weed.

Planet Earth II (2016)

Planet Earth II movie

Stars: David Attenborough

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% critics / 97% audience

IMDb: 9.5/10

Adding Planet Earth II to your stoned night-in really takes it to the next level. With lush visuals and many unique and harrowing moments caught on film, you’ll learn something and experience the rollercoaster that is life on this planet all from the comfort of your own sofa. Attenborough’s voice is the perfect companion to your high, regardless of the specific version, but Planet Earth and the sequel are classics.

Cosmos (1980/2014)

Cosmos documentary

Stars: Carl Sagan (1980) / Neil deGrasse Tyson (2014)

IMDb: 9.3/10

While Neil deGrasse Tyson’s updated Cosmos has more accurate science and better visuals – and shares the spot on this list – nothing really compares to Carl Sagan’s original version of this astronomy docu-series. Filled with thought-provoking lessons, barbed anti-cold War remarks and the word billions said more times than you’d dare to count, Carl Sagan’s warm personality and poignant sense of wonder at the cosmos makes it a hugely enjoyable series.

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Exit Through the Gift Shop film

Stars: Thierry Guetta, Banksy, Rhys Ifans

Director: Banksy

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% critics / 91% audience

IMDb: 8.0/10

Exit Through the Gift Shop was a project started by Thierry Guetta, who was filming the underground art world and eventually met Banksy, who he wanted to feature in a documentary. Banksy, though, quickly realized that Guetta himself was the more interesting subject, and what follows is Guetta’s foray into the art world, where he is known as Mr. Brainwash. Is he making art? Is he just an idiot trolling anybody? Is this bizarre character even real? Light one up and get ready for an experience.

In Guetta’s words: “I don’t know how to play chess, but to me, life is like a game of chess.”

Baraka (1992)

Baraka documentary

Director: Ron Fricke

Rotten Tomatoes: 81% critics / 96% audience

IMDb: 8.5/10

Baraka is a mesmerizing and beautifully filmed look at life in all its glory, completely without words and with no narrative or explicit interconnecting thread to guide you. As a piece of cinema, it’s masterful, and as something to watch when you’re high, you’ll be zoned out in awe within the first 10 minutes. It’s not great if you want something to laugh, but if you want to provoke some stoner philosophizing, you couldn’t find anything better.

Abstract: The Art of Design (2017)

Abstract The Art of Design

Stars: Platon, Ian Spalter, Cas Holman

Director: Varies by episode

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% critics / 93% audience

IMDb: 8.3/10

Abstract is a docu-series exploring the art and science of design, following eight very different artists (in its first season) to give viewers insight into the processes behind things like photography and architecture. It’s a visual treat, so light one up and get ready to be blown away.

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020)

Have a Good Trip- Adventures in Psychedelics

Director: Donick Cary

Rotten Tomatoes: 58% critics

IMDb: 6.8/10

Have a Good Trip is ostensibly a docu-series that explores the science and culture of psychedelic drugs – already a great choice for something to watch when high – but in practice is just a vehicle for celebrities telling drug stories. Some of them are really funny, though, so even if you don’t learn much from the documentary, you’ll still have a great time.


Mind-Bending Movies

Memento (2000)

Memento movie

Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Christopher Nolan

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% critics / 94% audience

IMDb: 8.4/10

Leonard (Guy Pearce) doesn’t remember anything that happened after his accident, but remembers the details of his life before. He also knows that John G. raped and murdered his wife, because he tattooed it across his chest so he never forgets. The only question is, who is John G? How can he find him without his memory? Guided only by the notes and tattoos he leaves himself, Leonard sets about solving the mystery. The movie runs in reverse chronological order, with episodes of his memory running from most recent to least recent, so at each stage, you know as little of what came before as Leonard did.

Inception (2010)

Inception movie

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eliot Page

Director: Christopher Nolan

Rotten Tomatoes: 87% critics / 91% audience

IMDb: 8.8/10

Inception is about a world where corporate espionage takes place in the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is one of the best in the business, but lost everything in the process. He has one chance to get his life back, but it involves a strange job: not stealing an idea from somebody’s subconscious, but planting one there instead. It’s Christopher Nolan, so you know it’s going to be mind-bending from the get-go. 

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko movie

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Director: Richard Kelly

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% critics / 80% audience

IMDb: 8.0/10

“I made a new friend.”

“Real or imaginary?”

“…Imaginary.”

Donnie Darko tells the story of a teenager who almost dies when a jet engine falls off a plane and crashes into his bedroom. Luckily, he wasn’t in his room, because a six-foot tall figure in a bunny costume lured him away to tell him the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. With the bunny, Frank, encouraging Donnie to vandalize his school and more, the film asks deep questions about what it means to be alive and gets more and more mind-bending as the story unfolds.

Run Lola Run (1998)

Run Lola Run

Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup

Director: Tom Tykwer

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% critics / 90% audience

IMDb: 7.7/10

Run Lola Run is a movie built on branching realities, as Lola (Franka Potente) embarks on her 20-minute journey to get 100,000 Deutschmarks to replace the money her boyfriend owes to a bad guy but left in a subway car. The movie explores how small choices have big impacts on outcomes, and gets into existential issues on the way too.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich

Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich

Director: Spike Jonze

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% critics / 87% audience

IMDb: 7.8/10

Being John Malkovich is a bizarre movie about an unemployed puppeteer (John Cusack) discovering a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich. If this doesn’t seem stoner-friendly enough to you, there’s also a scene in which John Malkovich himself goes through the portal into his own brain and basically breaks reality in the process. Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich?

Adaptation (2002)

Adaptation movie

Stars: Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper

Director: Spike Jonze

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% critics / 85% audience

IMDb: 7.7/10

From the writer of Being John Malkovich, this movie stars Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman and his fictional twin brother Donald. Kaufman is attempting to write a movie adaptation of a novel called The Orchid Thief, and eventually – after a lot of turmoil – ends up writing the movie, Adaptation. Yes, this means the one you’re currently watching. And no, I doubt whoever wanted Charlie Kaufman to adapt The Orchid Thief was super-happy when he returned a script about him writing the script adaptation of the book. And yes, it really is as confusing as it sounds. 


Trippy and Weird

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd- The Wall

Stars: Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson

Director: Alan Parker

Rotten Tomatoes: 72% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 8.0 / 10

The Wall is very much a visualization of the album of the same name, built around Pink’s (Bob Geldof’s) flashbacks and drug-induced hallucinations surrounding his childhood, especially the death of his father. The overall theme is good, but what really makes it an ideal stoner movie is the unusual, sometimes wordless way the feelings and anxieties of Pink are shown and the trippy animations throughout. At first, the movie seems weird and uneasy, but as the second joint hits part-way through everything starts to make sense.

Heavy Metal (1981)

Heavy Metal movie

Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas

Rotten Tomatoes: 66% critics / 67% audience

IMDb: 6.6 / 10

Heavy Metal is a cult classic animated anthology, all tied together by a glowing green sphere named Loch’Nar that embodies the sum of all evils, with plenty of trippy animation and a knockout soundtrack to ease it down. It’s perfect to watch high thanks to the amazing visuals and kind of corny, teenage boy-friendly themes, provided you don’t mind the standard 80s-era sexism seeping through in parts.  

Fantasia (1940)

Fantasia movie

Stars: Leopold Stokowski, the Philadelphia Orchestra

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95% critics / 83% audience

IMDb: 7.7 / 10

With the musical score taking center-stage alongside the animation, watching Fantasia while high can be a pretty intense experience, but the enjoyable – if bizarre – animation really brings the music to life in a way that’s perfectly suited to your stoned brain. Even if you don’t have childhood nostalgia, it’s a genuine cinematic experience regardless. 

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Alice in Wonderland 1951 movie

Stars:  Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn

Director:  Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

Rotten Tomatoes:  84% critics / 78% audience

IMDb: 7.4/10

Alice in Wonderland is the story of a girl who chases a rabbit down a hole and ends up in a weird world where caterpillars smoke questionable substances and you can’t have a basic conversation with essentially anybody. The fact they’re animals isn’t the issue, it’s that they’re completely insane. The magic here comes right from Lewis Carroll’s story, but this version has more classical animation and really brings the story to life.

Big Fish (2003)

Big Fish movie

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup

Director: Tim Burton

Rotten Tomatoes: 75% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 8.0 / 10

With his father on the brink of death, William Bloom (Billy Crudup) travels to see him. Previously, Edward Bloom’s (Albert Finney / Ewan McGregor) stories seemed too exaggerated, and William felt that his father never told him the truth. He sets out to get to the bottom of it, either directly from his father or by finding out himself. Expect a lot of Tim Burton-style magic, plenty of weirdness and general lighthearted fun.

The Holy Mountain (1973)

The Holy Mountain

Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% critics / 88% audience

IMDb: 7.8/10

The Holy Mountain is a heavily symbolic, surrealist cinematic experience, that’s so hard to make sense of when you’re sober that it’s easily one of the best movies to watch when you’re high. Because why not? It’s more of an experience than a clear narrative, so it’s better to get baked and just let the hallucinatory images wash over you.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel movie

Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric

Director: Wes Anderson

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% critics / 86% audience

IMDb: 8.1 / 10

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a Wes Anderson movie, and it comes with all his usual visual flair and the quirky charm of his filmmaking style. Although others would also be great for high viewing – The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is a personal favorite – The Grand Budapest Hotel combines light-hearted comedy with some murder mystery elements and a deeper point about modernization in the world to produce something really fascinating.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man- Into the Spider-Verse

Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% critics / 93% audience

IMDb: 8.4/10

Into the Spider-Verse is a Spider-Man movie that brings Spider-Men (?) from different universes together, combining multiple art styles for a visual feast that really reminds you what cinema can do. It centers on Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) being mentored by a kind of burnt-out Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), divorced and a little tubby. But when a when a threat to the whole multiverse surfaces, Spider-Men from different realities join forces. It’s fun and eye-popping but also a great Spider-Man story generally.


So Bad It’s Good

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Stars: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Bela Lugosi

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.

Rotten Tomatoes: 66% critics / 45% audience

IMDb: 3.9 / 10

Plan 9 From Outer Space is widely regarded as the worst movie of all time, but that really doesn’t do it justice. Plan 9 may have dreadful directing, acting, scoring, dialogue and special effects, but you can tell that there’s a genuinely enthusiastic filmmaker’s vision behind the cacophony of awfulness, and that gives it a special charm. But, let’s be fair, what makes it awesome as a high movie is the utterly bizarre plotline and you-could-do-better-at-home special effects.  

There’s also Ed Wood, a movie about the director himself that’s just genuinely pretty good.

Deadly Prey (1987)

Deadly Prey movie

Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Troy Donahue, Ted Prior

Director: David A. Prior

Rotten Tomatoes: 55% audience

IMDb: 5.1/19

Deadly Prey is like the dollar-store version of the most generic 80s action movie you can think of. Some fascist thugs are kidnapping people from the streets of Los Angeles to basically use as prey to train soldiers. But this time, they kidnapped the wrong guy. We follow the deadliest of prey as he navigates the most inept action movie you can imagine, all culminating in a glorious moment that will live on in your memory forever, no matter how high you are when watching.

Samurai Cop (1989)

Samurai Cop movie

Stars: Robert Z’Dar, Matthew Karedas, Janis Farley

Director: Amir Shervan

Rotten Tomatoes: 47% audience

IMDb: 4.6/10

From the 80s B-movie school of any old shit’ll do comes Samurai Cop, a movie about the police trying to stop the unimaginatively-named Katana gang, who have Los Angeles in their stranglehold. But how do you stop a Yakuza-ish criminal gang? You don’t need any old cop, you need a Samurai Cop. It might not have any stand-out amazingly stupid moments like Deadly Prey, but it’s still an enjoyable disaster after a bong-load or two.   

Cats (2019)

Cats movie

Stars: Judy Dench, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo

Director: Tom Hooper

Rotten Tomatoes: 19% critics / 53% audience

IMDb: 2.8/10

Cats is a truly awful movie. Not only does the music suck and the plot go absolutely nowhere, the CGI was so bad that Universal announced it would be releasing a version with updated CGI just two days after it was released. It left its scent on popular culture because of how jaw-droppingly bad it was, but like a multi-car pileup, that’s exactly what makes it hard to look away from. Light up and get ready to giggle. 

Reefer Madness (1936)

Reefer Madness movie

Stars: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lilian Miles

Director: Louis J. Gasnier

Rotten Tomatoes: 39% critics / 37% audience

IMDb: 3.7 / 10

Reefer Madness is the classic anti-marijuana propaganda video, back from well before the messages of such movies had to at least have a veneer of plausibility. Light up a joint and stick on this atrocity, and you can learn all about how reefer cigarettes will lead you into a life of promiscuity, jazz-fuelled parties and – if you’re one of the unlucky ones – criminal insanity. Nowadays it’s undoubtedly mainly watched by people who are high as balls.

The Room (2003)

The Room 2003 movie

Stars: Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero

Director: Tommy Wiseau

Rotten Tomatoes: 26% critics / 47% audience

IMDb: 3.6/10

The Room is a strange, ego-driven fever dream centering on Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) and his characterless fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle), who decides to cheat on him despite literally everyone else in the film treating him like the second coming of Jesus. The dialog is so inauthentic it feels like it was written by an alien wearing a skin suit, people announce they have cancer and never mention it again, fully-grown adults descend into fits of chirping like “chickens,” you watch the same bizarre, overly long sex scene twice and if you think that’s an alleyway? Nope, it’s CGI. Why? Nobody knows.

It’s the Citizen Kane of bad movies. You’ll love it.

Kung Fury (2015)

Kung Fury movie

Stars: David Sandberg, Jorma Taccone, Steven Chew

Director: David Sandberg

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% audience

IMDb: 8/10

David Sandberg’s own description of Kung Fury is hard to beat:

“During an unfortunate series of events a friend of Kung Fury is assassinated by the most dangerous kung fu master criminal of all time; Adolf Hitler, a.k.a Kung Führer. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time, to Nazi Germany, in order to kill Hitler and end the Nazi empire once and for all.”

It’s “so bad it’s good” on purpose, admittedly, but it really hits the nail on the head.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001)

Freddy Got Fingered movie

Stars: Tom Green, Rip Torn, Marisa Coughlan

Director: Tom Green

Rotten Tomatoes: 11% critics / 56% audience

IMDb: 4.6/10

If you’re old enough to remember Tom Green, you don’t need much of an introduction to Freddy Got Fingered. It’s Tom Green doing Tom Green stuff, vaguely set to a plotline about a slacker son realizing he can get back at his dad by claiming he was molested by him. It’s stupid, gross-out humor that’s completely devoid of anything that can be considered artistic, but where else will you see a performance of a song called “daddy would you like some sausages?” while sausages rhythmically bob up and down on a pulley system?  

Commando (1985)

Commando movie

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya

Director: Mark L. Lester

Rotten Tomatoes: 67% critics / 67% audience

IMDb: 6.7/10

This is the most generic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie there is, which is either awful or fantastic news depending on how much you enjoy brainless, explosion-ridden, one-liner bait action sequences only loosely held together by any plot. It’s a popcorn movie and a perfect choice if you’re looking for things to watch while stoned and feel like working on your Arnie impression. GET TO THE CHOPPER!


Movies About Stoners

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Starring: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro

Director: Terry Gilliam

Rotten Tomatoes: 49% critics / 89% audience

IMDb: 7.5/10

Hunter S. Thompson’s vaguely South American alter-ego Raoul Duke is hired to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race in Las Vegas. Should you a) do your job or b) pack a suitcase full of a whole galaxy of uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, two dozen amyls, a quart of tequila, quart of rum, a crate of beer, 75 pellets of mescaline, two bags of grass and a pint of raw ether and embark on a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream. Ma boi chose option b). 

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused movie

Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey

Director: Richard Linklater

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% critics / 90% audience

IMDb: 7.6/10

Dazed and Confused is a legendary stoner movie, not because of the sort of cheesy jokes about the munchies you’ll find elsewhere, but because it perfectly captures the spirit of 70s Texas. With weed featuring prominently throughout the movie, we follow along as students try to get high, drunk, laid or all three on their last day of high school. It’s nostalgia-bait but done right and enjoyable even if you never experienced the mid-70s US.

Smiley Face (2007)

Smiley Face movie

Stars: Anna Faris, John Krasinski, Adam Brody

Director: Gregg Araki

Rotten Tomatoes: 66% critics / 44% audience

IMDb: 5.8/10

If you can forgive a few kinds of obvious jokes, Smiley Face hits the mark perfectly as a stoner comedy. Jane (Anna Faris) has a whole list of stuff to do, but before she checks a single item off the list, accidentally eats a tray of weed-laced cupcakes. Not to be deterred, she heads out into Los Angeles to complete her day’s activities anyway. The premise is simple, but it captures something about the stoned mind perfectly, making it a brilliant watch when you’re baked.

Pineapple Express (2008)

Pineapple Express movie

Stars: Seth Rogan, James Franco, Gary Cole

Director: David Gordon Green

Rotten Tomatoes: 68% critics / 73% audience

IMDb: 6.9 / 10

Pineapple Express addresses the age-old problem for people in illegal states: how friendly do you really get – or want to get – with your dealer? Dale Denton (Seth Rogan) only visits his dealer Saul (James Franco) for the weed, and at the beginning picks up a special strain, Pineapple Express. When the two witness a murder and accidentally leave an incriminating roach at the scene of the crime, they have to get to know each other a whole lot better. Don’t let the semblance of a serious plot fool you, it’s enjoyable stoner silliness all the way through.

Up in Smoke (1978)

Up in Smoke movie
Photo: Up in Smoke

Stars: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Strother Martin

Directors: Lou Adler, Tommy Chong

Rotten Tomatoes: 47% critics / 82% audience

IMDb: 6.9/10

Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke is probably the most well-known stoner movie of all time, and basically kick-started the genre. So it’s no surprise it’s one of the best comedies to watch high, kicking off with an absurdly fat joint and just getting more ridiculous from there, it might not be a “respectable,” critic-pleasing movie but it will make you laugh more than enough to make up for it.  

Friday (1995)

Friday movie

Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long

Director: F. Gary Gray

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% critics / 91% audience

IMDb: 7.2 / 10

Friday starts off when Craig (Ice Cube) gets fired from his job, and his friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) vows to get him high for the first time. Unfortunately, the pair end up owing money to a drug dealer and have until the end of the day to get it. Well, it sounds important, yeah, but obviously there’s time for a joint or two along the way.

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle / Get the Munchies (2004)

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle : Get the Munchies

Stars: John Cho, Kal Penn, Ethan Embry

Director: Danny Leiner

Rotten Tomatoes: 74% critics / 80% audience

IMDb: 7.0/10

Another now-classic stoner movie follows two friends who get high in front of the TV (instantly relatable) and are blown away by a White Castle ad. They set out on what turns out to be an epic quest to get some sliders, getting into tons of trouble along the way and even running into Neil Patrick Harris. If you’ve ever taken a late-night stoned quest to get yourself some munchies, you’ll have some moments of familiarity among all the laughs.  


Conclusion

We love stoner movies, but the main thing this list is about is the huge range of stoner-friendly movies outside the quite niche genre.

Sure it’s funny to light up and watch Up in Smoke, but it’s not until your brain is melting part way through The Holy Mountain that you really understand the potential of the right movie when you’re high. And this is not an exhaustive list, so please leave suggestions in the comments – we want new things to watch too.