Fall is coming, which means the cold weather will begin to creep in and the rain will start to ruin your plans more frequently. That’s alright, though. This is a perfect time to catch up on that huge Netflix queue you’ve been putting off!
Sadly, if you’re like me, you’ve probably filled your to-watch list with serious dramas and historical documentaries that’ll really enhance you as a person, but will probably be super boring. Sometimes it’s best to just sit back, smoke a bit and watch something that’ll blow your mind (or just make you giggle uncontrollably).
Everyone’s got their own criteria, but we’ve compiled our list in hopes that one of these movies might be just what you’re looking for. There are offerings from each camp – some complex thrillers, a couple classic comedies, an animated adventure and a few wild cards – and for that reason, we’re not ranking them. Note that they’re not necessarily stoner movies in the classic sense. These are the best movies to watch stoned, meaning they’re chosen for how well they suit a relaxed or curious attitude (think indica and sativa). They all come highly recommended, so find the one that best suits your mood!
We’re not sure which category this flick fits into. It’s surely fitting on any stoner movie list, as it’s filled with the stuff (along with many, many other substances). But there’s a lot of other stuff going on, with Johnny Depp’s outstanding portrayal of Hunter S. Thompson taking the spotlight. The two were friends in real life, which makes sense when you see Depp’s character. If you don’t know the story, it’s probably more fun to watch it all unfold. The story follows two “friends” as they visit Las Vegas to cover a race in the desert. Sound benign? Then you’re in for a surprise from the moment it begins, and the ride doesn’t stop until the credits roll. It’s all based on real events, but not much of it actually happened. Check this out if you’re craving a heaping slice of Strange America.
I’ve never felt that cannabis and terror go well together, so this is as dark as we’ll go. Soap is the star in this terrific thriller that centers on conspiracies and some intense internal conflicts. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt play well together, drawing you into their dark world of self-doubt and anger. This is one to pay close attention to, so a strong sativa might be a bit of an overload. Go for it if you’re feeling gritty.
This movie about dreams within dreams (within dreams that are also within dreams) is enough to make your head spin. That’s why it’s one of the best movies to watch stoned, second only to Primer in this list when it comes to the confusion factor. Prepare to get lost in the futuristic world of dream thievery, in which the thoughts and plans of high-ranking businessmen are stolen in their sleep. With an ending that will drive you nuts (in the good way), this one is best saved for a particularly curious evening.
Alright, we had to add at least one true stoner film to the list, and this one is as good as any (the list of honorable mentions would require a whole additional article). I’ll admit that I chose this classic ‘90s story of love, friendship and cannabis for personal reasons. It’s just a hilarious film that cracked me up as a kid, before I even knew anything about the effects of marijuana. Watching the dog float out their window was a trip, though I’m still waiting for my neighbor’s cat to do the same. Maybe he’s shy.
Hold on to your butts! We know, you’ve probably already seen this one. But have you seen it stoned? It’s definitely worth a revisit if not, and even if it’s been a few years. This film holds up even better than the original Star Wars trilogy, if I may dare state something so blasphemous, and the suspense still gets you. It’s got giant raptors, beautiful scenery and Jeff Goldblum. What more do you want?
Spirited Away is one of the most beloved Hayao Miyazaki films, and for good reason. All of Miyazaki’s features carry a unique, intangible trait that engages your curiosity while heightening your awareness of the world around you. Any of them deserve to be on this list, as they’re each as magical as the marijuana in your pipe. Spirited Away attained the most mainstream success, so it’ll serve as the placeholder. It’s a fantastic story about a young girl who is “spirited away” to a strange new world. She must escape, but first she wants to understand what brought her there – and why she’ll have to return. Check it out in any mood – it’s that entertaining.
This ridiculously low budget film ($7,000 – yes, seven thousand) has easily won the favor of critics and time travel lovers worldwide since its release in 2004. The movie itself is very short, coming in at 1 hour and 17 minutes, but you will want to budget some Google time. The movie is about two friends who discover a unique method of time travel and the consequences of their actions. That’s about the best you can explain it.
Nobody makes it more than ¾ of the way without getting lost, but that only makes it more exciting. Forgive the beginning – it’s super important, but you can ignore it. It’ll matter on the second or third watch, which is pretty much a necessity. An excellent choice if you’re deciding between watching a movie and playing a puzzle (or writing a critique of Einstein’s theories just for fun).
Like Jurassic Park, this is another one worth seeing again. While watching as a child, chances are good that you missed all the interesting references to marijuana, opium, mushrooms and other exciting substances. This time around, you’ll catch Lewis Carroll’s cleverness in full. It’s debatable whether they’re intentional, despite how obvious it seems, but it’s still an intriguing story worth watching again. A great remedy for a nostalgic mood.
An instant cult classic. Even nearly two decades later, it remains one of the most referenced films in stoner circles. If you’re out of the loop, take a couple hours to catch up. Jeff Bridges’ character delivers a hilarious blend of audacity, idiocy and sensibility. His way of life has even spawned its own church and serves as a blueprint for laid-back rebels worldwide. Super selection if you’re feeling non-conformist today.
M. Night may not have the best reputation lately, but this early work stands out as an exceptional piece of filmmaking. The Sixth Sense could also have fit here – hell, even Signs was worth a viewing – but Unbreakable is one of the better movies to watch stoned because of its unique take on superheroes. If you missed it, you should definitely watch it before reading the plot. The twisted reveal makes for much of its value, so go in blind and come out with your mind blown. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are a great pairing. Pick this one if you’re looking for something supernatural.
An honorable mention goes to anything starring Cheech and Chong and anything that requires 3D glasses.
There’s our list. What do you think? It’s tough to choose – there are thousands of great movies to watch stoned – but hopefully you’ve found the inspiration you were looking for!