Happy 420, kids! It’s that special holiday where people all over the world celebrate their love for marijuana. There are number of ways of celebrating this day, but the way I like to celebrate it is by watching stoner films. Whether they are films about stoners, which mostly include either a minimalist plot or one of extreme circumstance centered around a lovable, naive stoner, or films that would be a trip while getting high, a barrage of colors, edits, and mania, a stoner film is always a great watch. Here are my personal favorite stoner movies to watch today or any day, for that matter.
5 – HALF BAKED (Tamara Davis, 1998)
- Half Baked looks at a group of stoners (Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Diaz, Jim Breuer) who try and raise bail money for their friend (Harland Williams) who is prison because he was super high and fed a police horse junk food while he had the munchies. How do they plan on raising the money? By selling weed, of course. While all of that is going on, Chappelle’s Thurgood falls in love with a woman aptly named Mary Jane (Rachel True), who is against smoking weed, causing drama in Thurgood’s life. There’s a whole lot of hijinks in Half Baked and it all works thanks to tons of perfectly timed cameos, tons of humor, and a stoner trio you can’t help but love.
4 – HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE (Danny Leiner, 2004)
- Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle might have the most stoner movie plot of all-time. Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) get super high, get the munchies, and the only way to satisfy those munchies is White Castle. What transpires in an Odyssey-like journey featuring a game of Battle Shits, a religious weirdo named Freakshow, hang gliding, Neil Patrick Harris, and tons of weed. But hidden beneath all the stoner rowdiness is a sweet story about knowing your worth. Harold learns to stand up for himself and to not always be the timid stereotype has has grown up to be, and Kumar, a genius in the medical field who doesn’t take anything seriously to spite his father, realizes how good he is as a doctor and decides to go to medical school.
3 – THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Joel and Ethan, 1998)
- The Big Lebowski is my favorite movie on this list and one of my favorite movies of all-time. So why is it at number three? When I think about The Big Lebowski and watch the film, which I do often, I don’t necessarily view this as a stoner film that I view Harold and Kumar or Half Baked or the other films on this list. Yes, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (a legendary Jeff Bridges) is the greatest stoner in cinematic history, but he’s really the only who partakes in smoking. There are some trippy elements to the movie, as well as a wild plot, that solidify The Big Lebowski as a stoner classic, just not the stoner classic. This is, however, a true cinematic classic. It’s endlessly quotable, casted and acted to perfection, written and directed at the highest level, and a movie that gets better with each re-watch.
2 – GRANDMA’S BOY (Nicholaus Goossen, 2006)
- What makes Grandma’s Boy a perfect stoner is that this movie is about basically nothing and features nothing but boys playing video games and smoking weed while one of them lives with his grandma. There isn’t much else to this movie until end of it, which concludes with a video game showdown. This is a movie that takes us inside the mind of these simplistic stoners who are great at two things: playing video games and smoking weed, lots and lots of weed. Grandma’s Boy was a movie that came and went when it hit theaters in January of 2006, but one that has grown a cult status over the years. This movie is hilarious, full of great one-liners, weird characters and performances, and has a chill vibe where when things happen in this movie, like a monkey driving a car, you just lay back and accept it. Grandma’s Boy is a stoner classic and has earned its spot this high on the list.
1 –DAZED AND CONFUSED (Richard Linklater, 1993)
- The original poster for Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused featured a droopy-eyed, stoned smiley face with the caption, “Watch it with a bud.” This double entendre is what makes Dazed and Confused the best stoner movie ever made. On the one hand, there is someone smoking weed in almost every scene of this movie, whether by the conspiracy theorist who believes Martha Washington gave George Washington a big bowl of weed every morning, the hot-headed car bro who is ready to fight at all times, the starting quarterback of the high school team, or the guy who graduated years ago who just loves freshmen girls, everyone at one time or another during this film has a joint in their hand. But what makes Dazed and Confused the best stoner movie ever, along with one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, is that Linklater focuses on the friendship and bonding of all these characters. A true ensemble piece filled over a dozen characters, Linklater shows that bonding of these kids on the last day of high school in 1976. Every character is unique and even though some get limited screen time, you know every character by the end of the film. Every time I watch Dazed and Confused, it feels like I’m seeing my friends again. It’s a perfect hangout movie. A movie you can light up a joint with while being surrounded by your best buds.
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