17 Stoner Films You Can Watch In Any State Of Mind

The stoner film genre has taken a beating over the past couple decades due to a glut of lazy films, the premise of which just seems to be, “Hey! Marijuana! Fun, right?” And while that’s probably enough to get the stoner demographic in the door, they’re forgotten as quickly as they’re made. However, some efforts have managed to transcend the stereotype of stoner films and serve as fun (or serious) studies into the world of weed and smokers. Of course, on the other end of things, some pot films are so dumb and so ridiculous that they can’t help but be fun. And in between the two ends of the spectrum are a bunch of forgettable films.

1

Half Baked might be the quintessential stoner film, in good ways and bad. It’s a film that’s quite simply ABOUT marijuana, but it owns that conceit with such passion that you can’t help but enjoy the ride. The characters, all ridiculous, represent different weed-smoking archetypes, and the plot is almost 100% inconsequential, but the movie proves endlessly quotable, and it’s hard to find a stoner film that’s more fun and silly. The parade of cameos during the weed delivery montage makes the whole thing worth it.

2

Many critics who considered Dazed and Confused among the best films of the 1990s would probably balk at the idea that this Richard Linklater’s study of rural Texas high school kids in the 1976 is a stoner film, but let’s call a spade a spade. The film revolves around getting high and a keg party. Sure, there’s a brilliant attention to characters and environment in this movie, but that just makes it a really, really, really good stoner film.

3

You better believe that a spastic stoner film based on a Thomas Pynchon novel, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson will get recognition on this list. Following up on classics There Will Be Blood and The Master, PTA went a little gonzo for Inherent Vice, a film about...well, it’s about a lot of stuff, but the madness of the film and its star, Joaquin Phoenix, is honestly more fun than the plot is. While some films listed here are pleasant surprises because of their depth, Inherent Vice is a great stoner film because of its lack of depth. It’s Paul Thomas Anderson slumming it, which, rest assured, is still high praise for the film.

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4

It’s hard to make an artful film about two guys sitting on a porch, smoking up, but F. Gary Gray managed to do just that with Friday, starring Ice Cube and a then-unknown Chris Tucker. The film’s beauty is in its simplicity and also in the way that it portrays South Central LA as little more than just another neighborhood, albeit one with characters with names like Big Worm, Deebo, and Pastor Clevor.

5

Occasionally, a film gets so dumb, it somehow becomes so over-the-top it’s smart. Such is the case with Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, a film whose premise lies entirely in the title. There are these two guys, Harold and Kumar, who get high and are really just jonesing for the perfect junk food. Their journey turns epic, features a sweet extended appearance by Neil Patrick Harris, and ends in (spoiler alert) the guys getting their White Castle. The film is way more fun than the ridiculous title would suggest.

6

It’s easy to forget that as mainstream as stoner culture is now (just look at a Taco Bell commercial), smoking pot was once a truly forbidden and countercultural practice. While that may sound serious, comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong had a way of bringing levity to a couple of ostracized hispanic stoners in the uncool parts of LA. Their epic, nonsensical travels through Los Angeles laid the groundwork for generations of stoner films after theirs. And while the formula is often repeated, it’s never duplicated due to the insane personality that Cheech and Chong bring to their films.

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7

If you were looking for a stoner film to watch with your family, this would be it. Saving Grace is a British production starring Brenda Blethlyn and former late-night host Craig Ferguson, back before he was famous. In this sweet story, an aging British widow (Blethlyn) finds out that her late husband hid massive debt from her, and she conspires with her stoner groundskeeper (Ferguson) to use her gardening skills to run a huge marijuana operation in a sleepy English seaside town. If you’re interested in seeing a bunch of proper British people get super-stoned and silly, this is the film for you.

8

In the interest of academia, it’s important to put one pot documentary on this list. Since stoners are usually a fairly laid-back bunch, I don’t think a dry documentary on the history of pot would do it. But Super High Me is a pretty poignant look at weed by noted stoner comedian Doug Benson, who examines the medical effects on his body of smoking for 30 days (which he’s practically made a lifestyle of) and then abstaining for 30 days. The film is also interspersed with commentary and appearances by other comedians such as Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifianakis in various states of sobriety.

9
Hunter S. Thompson would likely take great offense in learning that his gonzo opus Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was turned into a film that’s regarded as a “stoner movie.” Because really, it doesn’t focus on pot more than it does dozens of other drugs that are consumed during the film. Johnny Depp plays the chemically-enabled journalist and Benicio del Toro his wingman lawyer as they drive through the desert and into Las Vegas for reasons that really aren’t important. The journey is the message here, and their journey will make whatever benders you’ve seen before look like child’s play.
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10

Very little can be said about The Big Lebowski that hasn’t been said before. It’s perhaps the most quotable movie...ever? The film follows a quixotic stoner as he winds his way through the San Fernando Valley all due to a urine-covered rug and a case of mistaken identity. The fact that bowling serves as a dominant theme through the film is just icing on the cake. Few characters in movie history, let alone stoner films, are as fun to ride along with as Jeff Bridges’ Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski.

11
In October 2008, Redman announced that he was in the middle of writing a sequel to How High saying his goal was to "represent all the smokers," and arguing that no one had done justice to a stoner film since How High. In November 2015, Redman confirmed that How High 2 would be released in 2017.
12
During its initial theatrical run, Grandma's Boy earned only $6 million, however the movie has since earned over $50 million in DVD sales. At the time of its release, Grandma's Boy received overwhelmingly negative reviews with one critic writing, "A gross-out comedy that's more gross than comedic, Grandma's Boy is lazy and unrewarding." However, the movie won several awards at the 2006 Stonys including Best Stoner Movie, Best Actor in a Movie (Allen Covert), and Best Pot Scene in a Movie.
 
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13
Pineapple Express is arguably one of the most financially successful stoner films of all-time, becoming the first marijuana-themed comedy to gross over $100 million worldwide. Seth Rogen originally asked for a budget of $50 million, but wasn't able to secure anything higher than $25 million because of the film's subject matter. Speaking of Rogen, the movie's writer rolled every joint and cross-joint in the film himself.
 
14
Seth MacFarlane's first live action project became the highest grossing R-rated live action comedy of all-time in 2012. Despite making a movie about a talking bear, MacFarlane took a lot of care to make sure Ted was as historically and scientifically correct as possible. MacFarlane even consulted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to make sure he got the stars in the night's sky correct.
 
15
This Is The End
This Is The End prided itself on realism. Several of the paintings hanging in James Franco's house were actually painted by the actor. Several of the actors, notably Jonah Hill and James Franco, got so into character insulting each other that Seth Rogen had to step in and reminded each other that they were actually friends.
 
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16
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Like Up In Smoke and the word "man," Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back used the word "fuck" 248 times. However, the movie came under fire for an entirely different word. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) objected to the film's use of the word "gay" as a derogatory term. As an apology, Kevin Smith donated $10,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
 
17
Compadres
The Mexican drug-comedy, Compadres, follows in Pineapple Express' action-comedy stoner footsteps. A former Mexican cop is forced to team with a 17 year old American hacker in order to get revenge on a drug lord who framed him for a crime he didn't commit.
 

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