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 ten movies that are enhanced by a little partaking of that wacky tobaccy...
It's hard to choose a top ten ranking, so I've put them in alphabetical order.
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.