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The Best Stoner Movies
What makes a good stoner movie?
It can be argued that your viewing experience with just about any film can be enhanced with the psychedelic lenses provided by a marijuana high, but some of the best stoner movies are the ones that are super visually appealing and a little mind-boggling, and some include a lot of pot smoking.
Whether you're looking to laugh at the antics and adventures of potheads, or to watch a trippy film that makes you think about life while you do the pot smoking yourself, the best stoner movies are those crafted with stoners in mind.
There are a lot of films featuring stoners, but here are some of the most beloved:
Friday is a 1995 American stoner comedy written by and starring Ice Cube; the film spans one day in the lives of a duo of stoners living in a crime-infested suburb of South Central L.A. The slacker potheads must scheme to pay a drug dealer that night. Friday is fullof laughs. The Friday franchise follows but it’s the original Friday that continues to be a favorite for a new generation of viewers.
Cheech & Chong Up In Smoke (1978) features another couple of pothead icons, starring counterculture comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, as a couple of middle-aged pot-smoking hippies who embark on a series of THC fueled misadventures from jail to competing in a rock band contest. After forty years Up in Smoke is still a stoner favorite; The comedians followed the film with a string of movies featuring the duo but none are so beloved.
Another iconic stoner duo includes none other than Harold and Kumar; Harold is a nerd with a career in accounting and he and his best friend, Kumar are a couple of Asian American potheads. In Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle(2004), the guys get the munchies and head out on a quest throughout New Jersey for White Castle burgers, on the way toking and tripping over a gang of extreme sports punks, racist cops and an escaped cheetah. In Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008), the stoners find themselves in Amsterdam in jail on charges of terrorism, and make a great escape. Harold and Kumar are a riot when you’re high and high, full of belly laughs. A third film a Very Harold and Kumar Christmas(2011) also received good ratings and is even featured in 3D.
There are the teen comedy classics like Dazed and Confused (1993) a coming-of-age stoner film about the antics of a group of rowdy teenagers and stoners partying for the last day of school in 1976 and is complete with a lot of toking as incoming freshmen try to avoid getting hazed by bullies. How High is a 2001 stoner comedy starring multi-platinum rap superstars Redman and Method Man star as a duo of potheads who get into Harvard because the weed they score is magical. Half Baked(1998) stars Dave Chappelle as part of a trio of amateur dealers and has reached cult status in spite of low ratings for its explicit toking and low brow humor. Pineapple Express(2008) stars Seth Rogen as a stoner named Dale and James Franco’ s character as his dealer, on the run from cops and drug lords over their potent Pineapple Expressweed strain.
Visually appealing films that explore big questions and feature introspective and philosophical dialogue can be awesome to contemplate while you're stoned, too.
Everything the Monty Python guys have done is made for stoners, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) to Monty Python's The Meaning of Life(1983). Richard Linklater’s Waking Life(2001) is a personal favorite, a revolutionary breakthrough in film animation, exploring existential concepts in a surreal world. The film is packed with endless ideas and possibilities to blow a stoner’s mind.
2001: A Space Oddessy (1968), Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece has it all. The visuals are just stunning and gorgeous and the score is great to listen to stoned. 2001 is a film with near perfect ratings and is based on the book by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. Astronauts are on a mysterious mission and attacked by their own ship's computer system.
Another fan favorite for psychedelic visuals, Pink Floyd's The Wallis a visual riff on Pink Floyd's album "The Wall," and features a successful but drug-addicted musician Pink (Bob Geldof) is looking back on his past through a haze of flashbacks and chemical-induced hallucinations. Fantasia (1940) is an old Disney favorite with amazing visuals and music and perfect ratings. You haven't watched Fantasia until you've watched Fantasia stoned, in my opinion. The classical music and animated imaginary makes this masterpiece unique and totally the stuff of stoners.
Then you have those cult classics many stoners love, like The Big Lebowski, a 1998 stoner comedy film by Joel and Ethan Cohen. Jeff Bridges stars as “the dude”, a free spirit who shrugs off adult expectations and isn’t an explicit stoner so much as he is the perfect character to crack a stoner up.
Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (2006) with Jack Black is a stoner favorite, following two amateur rock musicians on their quest to acquire a magical guitar pick, culminating in an epic rock -off with the devil. Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) is another cult classic best watched stoned, starring Johnny Depp, following the character and his lawyer around Vegas on a binge of hallucinogenic drugs.
Then there’s Donnie Darko (2001) which may not have you in stitches, but will definitely have you tripping as you watch it while you’re stoned, drawing you into a parallel universe with a giant rabbit who predicts the end of the world. It's a dark and creepy horror drama, but Donnie Darko is a cult classic for stoners.
Cinema and Weed Were Meant for Each Other
Whether it's a laugh riot with weed itself the backbone of the plot, or a visual masterpiece with stony concepts, these are some of the films known for improving your stoned experience; vice-versa, being stoned will improve these films. Grab the remote, roll a joint and tune in.
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