Our Favorite Stoner Movies
Stream these classics for perfect 4/20 viewing
Welcome to InsideHook’s first annual Weed Week, where we’ll be providing coverage of a variety of cannabis-related goods, services and other topics of high interest for sophisticated stoners everywhere.
It’s that time of year again: 4/20 is upon us, and while you’ve no doubt already got your cannabis accessories purchased and your favorite strain picked out to mark the occasion, the day’s entertainment might present more of a challenge. What movie will you put on to watch while you blaze up?
There are, of course, plenty to choose from. Stoner flicks have become a beloved genre over the years, from capers like Pineapple Express and The Big Lebowski to buddy comedies like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And of course, any movie can be a stoner movie if you’re stoned while watching it. With that in mind, the InsideHook staff rounded up some of our favorite films that either celebrate ol’ Mary Jane or make for especially compelling viewing after you’ve popped an edible or two. Check them all out — along with where you can stream them — below, and be excellent to each other.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Richard Linklater’s classic ode to the last day of school is loosely centered around a kegger in the woods, but of course it’s also full of iconic stoners, whether it’s Rory Cochrane’s perpetually blazed Slater doling out conspiracy theories about the Founding Fathers (including one particularly memorable one about “hip, hip lady” Martha Washington having “a big, fat bowl waiting” for her husband every day) or the more beloved Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) asking our protagonist Mitch if he has a joint and, when faced with a negative answer, breezily responding, “It’d be a lot cooler if you did.” You don’t have to be a stoner yourself to enjoy this coming-of-age tale, of course, and regardless of whether you choose to light up while you’re watching, it’ll have you feeling alright, alright, alright. — Bonnie Stiernberg, Managing Editor
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)
In one of those “movie star breaks down his career” videos, Jack Black said of his band’s cinematic origin story, “We made the exact movie we wanted to make…and then the movie came out and nobody went to see it.” If you count yourself in the latter camp, you’re missing out big time. Not only does this movie have one of the all-time great cameo slates (Ben Stiller, Amy Poehler, Meat Loaf, Ronnie James Dio, Tim Robbins, Dave Grohl as Satan and Amy Adams before she was a household name), it has quite possibly the best tripping scene ever put on film when Black imagines himself as a baby Sasquatch. He’s high on something stronger than weed there, but the movie ends with (and I can say this because it’s not a spoiler if it came out in 2006) the acquisition of the Bong of Destiny. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
Half Baked (1998)
Filled with bright colors, dumb jokes and plenty of smoking scenes featuring Dave Chappelle and Co. getting lifted, this 1998 film falls somewhere in between it’s-so-bad-it’s-good and it’s-so-bad-it’s-bad — kind of like high-grade schwag. That’s kind of fine though because there aren’t too many other places where you’re going to find Snoop Dogg, Jon Stewart, Steven Wright and Willie Nelson other than at the latter’s house. He’s only in the film briefly, but the late, great Bob Saget steals the show. — Evan Bleier, Senior Editor
Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (2017)
If you’re a fan of Willy Wonka, this movie is a must-watch while stoned. It’s pretty much the same movie just animated, and sometimes Tom and Jerry have a tangential adventure. I remember bugging out thoroughly (in the best way) the first time I watched this movie on 4/20 a few years ago. I don’t actually remember the specifics since I was super baked, but I am 100% watching it again this year. Oh, and there’s a Wizard of Oz version too if that’s more your jam. — Elisabeth Chambry, Director of Commerce and Partnerships
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
There are few movies I enjoy (elevated or otherwise) more than the 1989 cult classic Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a fascinating proto-buddy-buddy vehicle for so-bad-they’re-good ’80s hairstyles, blatant historical inaccuracies, air guitar and the seemingly infinite endearment I feel towards Keanu Reeves. The premise is as follows: the two titular high school stoner-guitar player-slackers, played by Reeves and Alex Winter, galavant through millennia in a time-traveling phone booth to collect historical figures — Socrates, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln and the likes — so that they can pass their history class. The Stephen Herek flick has spawned some incredibly memorable lines (“Strange things are afoot at the Circle K,” or my personal favorite, “69, dude!”) and is a treat to consume whether or not you’re stone-cold sober or foundationally rocked by the notion that “We are all dust in the wind, dude.” — Paolo Sandoval, Assistant Editor
TRON: Legacy (2010)
The original Tron was a cornerstone of my childhood — and also one of the few good movies (until recently) that sort of understood video games. I had high hopes for the 2010 sequel, which brought back Jeff Bridges and added Olivia Wilde. And since this was well past my childhood, my “high” hopes included a little enhancement (and a ridiculously sized popcorn and Coke) at an early New Year’s Eve screening. The movie was fine and hit all the nostalgia points it was supposed to while adding a few cool touches — even if the last 20 minutes were kind of a generic sci-fi letdown. The rest of the flick? A little enhancement is all you need when you have Daft Punk providing an incredibly moody and immersive soundtrack and Bridges chewing scenery and musing philosophically — and Dude-like (“The grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships, motorcycles. With the circuits like freeways. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then one day, I got in.”) — Kirk Miller, Senior Lifestyle Editor
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
I followed Seth Rogen’s Twitter advice on a whim, popping an edible before tuning into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse however many years ago. While I found its bold storyline and rich character development refreshing for a superhero origin story told many times before, I can’t begin to describe this movie’s unbelievably immersive and original animation style that would go on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. As if stolen from the mind of an animator-turned-psychonaut, renderings mingled with hand-drawn elements to deliver a vibrant and unorthodox visual style that’s unlike anything I’ve seen before or since. Down your mind-altering substance of choice and enjoy the 116 minutes of mind-bending animations that follow. Then do it all again when the sequel comes out later this year. — Cam Vigliotta, Commerce Editor
Dancing With the Birds (2019)
This has everything: The “will she, won’t she?” drama, the captivating colors, birds you’ve never seen before — and, of course, they dance! I’ve probably watched this documentary five times, and it never fails to draw me in. — Elisabeth Chambry, Director of Commerce and Partnerships
The Big Lebowski (1998)
If you prefer to indulge in a few White Russians while watching this Coen Brothers cult classic to stay on theme, we won’t judge. But The Big Lebowski wouldn’t be the same without Jeff Bridges’ genteel hippie The Dude (and the other substances he partakes in) at the center of it. Its comedy comes from the laidback man who very famously was content to simply abide being thrust into a criminal underworld as he seeks to replace his rug that really tied the room together. And of course, the movie features one of the trippiest sequences you’ll ever see — an orgy of bowling pins and Kenny Rogers that may have been the result of something a little stronger than weed. — Bonnie Stiernberg, Managing Editor
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