We often hear “Don’t Do Drugs” from people that care about us. There’s no doubt that over the last few years, the medical uses of Cannabis have increased significantly. Still, many people prefer to use it for harmful purposes. Keeping aside the discussion of the beneficial and harmful effects of Cannabis, it can’t be denied that the movies centered on their usage, or as they are referred to as “Stoner Movies” are quite entertaining. Over the decades, this subgenre of Comedy has taken Hollywood by storm. That being said, here are the 15 best Stoner movies of all time:
15. Pineapple Express (2008)
The inclusion of James Franco and Seth Rogen in the same movie is enough of a reason to lure in viewers. However, 2008’s buddy stoner action comedy film was enjoyable in its own right. The plot revolves around two stoners (a process server and his marijuana dealer) who end up in a hot mess after unintentionally witnessing a murder committed by the dealer’s boss.
Although the plot may sound like a generic cat-and-mouse-themed dark comedy, it will completely catch you off-guard on more than one occasion. The movie did well at the box office and managed to earn critics’ approval as well. So, you should definitely give it a shot!
14. Reefer Madness (1936)
In an age where most of the content is rehashed or a continuation of some sort, the era of originality is far behind us. This is why Reefer Madness still remains one of the most talked-about stoner films of all time.
This 1936 propaganda flick focused on the fatal consequences of high school students trying marijuana after being urged by “pushers”. Although the film now enjoys the status of a cult classic, it was a critical disaster, with some calling it one of the worst movies of all time. Still, the film managed to age well, after being rediscovered in 1970.
13. How High (2001)
If you ever intend on finding out how it feels to be high, just watch this 2001 stoner flick. It starred rappers Method Man and Redman and is a front-runner to be called the most “WTH?” movie of all time. While other stoner films’ plots focus on the harmful effects of taking drugs or getting in trouble due to playing a part in criminal activity, How High took the opposite route.
The story follows the two lead characters discovering some kind of enchanted weed, due to which they become intellectuals and punch their way into Harvard University after clearing the entrance exam with a remarkable score. Although the plot may sound ridiculous, you should expect it when you sign up to watch a stoner comedy.
12. Dazed and Confused (1993)
Once ranked third by Entertainment Weekly magazine on the list of 50 Best High School Movies and tenth on the list of “Funniest Movies of the 25 Years”, in addition to Quentin Tarantino ranking it as the 10th best film of all time in a Sight and Sound poll in 2002.
The accolades listed above should be enough to make anyone watch the movie. Although the 1993 coming-of-age film didn’t break box office records, the performance by an incredibly talented ensemble cast was praiseworthy and the plot of this stoner film (a group of Texan high schoolers preparing for summer by indulging in various questionable activities) is one of a kind.
11. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Another cult classic coming through! This crime comedy stoner movie took inspiration from Raymond Chandler’s work and stars Jeff Bridges and John Goodman in the lead roles. The story revolves around a stoner bowler becoming a target of an assault due to a mistaken identity case.
What follows is him carving out a plan to serve his own plan of justice… well not exactly! Comedy, Romance, Betrayal, a catchy soundtrack… you name it and the movie has got it and this is why it emerged as a critical success over time. Not only that but The Big Lebowski was also chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It was termed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
10. Smiley Face (2007)
While most of the stoner films are eventful and follow the lead character suffering from fatal consequences, Smiley Face is a flick that you can watch without the fear of gory stuff. Anna Faris stars as Jane, a young unaspiring actor who accidentally eats a whole plate of cupcakes laced with cannabis.
What follows is a hilarious series of events on an otherwise normal day in her life. Danny Masterson and John Krasinski also play key roles in the film. Anna’s performance in the film was applauded by many. Although it might not be a masterpiece, it is the perfect stoner flick to get entertained.
9. American Ultra (2015)
Although the film suffered big time both critically and commercially due to a misleading marketing campaign, that doesn’t deny the fact that it is an enjoyable flick featuring two of the most successful stars of this generation i.e. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
This 2015 Action comedy flick is about a stoner government agent who utilizes his “particular set of skills” to take care of the agents tasked with exterminating him. As mentioned earlier, the film received mixed reviews from the audience and critics alike but as stoner movies typically go, this one surely deserves a one-time watch.
8. Up in Smoke (1978)
It would be highly unfair to exclude the film that is credited for establishing the stoner comedy genre, from this list. Up in Smoke follows the story of Lead Characters Pedro and Man (played by writers of the film Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong respectively) as they unintentionally sneak in a van loaded with marijuana, from Mexico to L.A.
What steers up the plot and makes it fun at the same time is that they are pursued by an incompetent Sgt. Although the film didn’t emerge as a critical success, it did good business at the box office and paved the way for other stoner comedy flicks to be made.
7. Friday (1995)
If not for any other reason, this stoner comedy movie launched the career of Chris Tucker who then went on to star in some of the most successful comedy films. Along with Chris Tucker, Ice Cube played the lead role on Friday.
The movie has somewhat of a generic stoner comedy plot that involves the lead characters getting in trouble with a crime lord. In this film particularly, the journey of 16 hours in the lives of two friends namely Craig Jones and Smokey is shown as they continue to lose time and struggle to pay a drug dealer. The box office collections of the film were quite decent. The film’s success also led to the development of two sequels.
6. Grandma’s Boy (2006)
The film is exactly what you expect it to be, based on the title. This 2006 flick revolves around the story of stoner video game tester Alex who is forced to leave his place after wasting the rent money. He is then left with the only choice of moving in with his grandmother Lily and her two roommates.
Grandma’s constant presence near the TV makes things awkward for Alex who struggles to smoke in her presence. This, coupled with a few interesting sub-plots, results in a fun movie. The film, unfortunately, failed to make a mark at the box office or in critics’ books.
5. Paul (2011)
The film’s main purpose was to make fun of science fiction films. This 2011 Sci-fi Road comedy film focuses on two friends (portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) who are science fiction geeks and their passion drives them to encounter Paul (an alien held captive in Area 51).
Paul’s sarcastic nature and fondness of adult habits (drinking, smoking, etc.) help him connect with the two lead characters, and together, they set out on a journey to return Paul to his home planet. The film fared well at the box office and performed decently in front of the critics as well. This is surely a must-watch for all the sci-fi geeks!
4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Another coming-of-age entry on this list! To say that teen comedy films of the late 90s have aged well would be an understatement. Even the audience of today prefers such cult classics over the comedy films of today. Fast Times at Ridgemont High was based on the book of the same name whose author Cameron Crowe described his experiences when he went undercover at Clairemont High School.
As the title suggests, the movie’s plot centers on a group of teenagers who attempt to try first-hand what it feels like to be young. They indulge in questionable activities throughout the film. If there’s one stoner movie that you should watch, this is the one!
3. Half Baked (1998)
This stoner comedy exists just to refresh your mood! The comic timing and quirkiness in this flick will make you giggle for 82 minutes straight (which by the way is the movie’s run-time).
As for the plot, it follows the journey of three stoner friends who attempt to come up with “master” ideas to get their friend out of jail. If you are looking for an instant classic, then this flick might not suit your needs but if you are looking to sit back, relax, and get entertained, then Half Baked should be among your top choices at least.
2. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
Harold & Kumar film series is perhaps the best stoner comedy franchise out there, and that is saying much! It’s common for the first installment in the franchise to be the best and something that can’t be topped in quality by its successors.
The same can be said about this film. When the titular characters try to visit White Castle after consuming marijuana, they encounter a series of unexpected events along the way. The movie also features various renowned names playing some version of themselves. The movie was a critical and commercial success, with people referring it to as “comedy done right”.
1. Ted (2012)
Chances are that you already saw this one topping the list! To this day, Ted remains a one-of-a-kind film. It received an Academy Award nomination as well, in addition to emerging as one of the 15 highest-grossing films of 2012.
Ted is a story about John Bennett who gets his childhood wish of getting a living teddy bear Ted. John, who enjoys a fun youth as a party guy and smoker, eventually decides to start taking life seriously but can he do that, when the one standing in his way is his buddy Ted? Well, you will have to watch to find that out!
How did you find our list of the best stoner movies of all time? Have any better suggestions? Let us know!