The 11 All-Time Greatest Movies to Watch High on 4/20

Hey, yo. It's 4/20. Know what that means? It means a whole day celebrating the gloriousness that is weed. And part of that celebrating includes three things: smoking, eating, and watching movies.

Every year, a slew of articles list the best movies to watch while high. They include some decent ones, but a good number of them don't belong among the all-time greats. Sure, the Harold & Kumar movies are fine, but they're not stellar. Reefer Madness is a classic, but it's also a cliché (and kind of a bummer). And Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas is a marvel, but it's better on hallucinogens than weed.

So this list is here to end the debate once and for all — skull bong in one hand, remote control in the other. What you want to watch on 4/20 are movies that complement smoking: You want to laugh, you want to trip out, and you want your mind to bend a little. So order the pizzas, blaze one up, and read about the 11 greatest movies to watch high today. 

11. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Available on Netflix.
This movie tanked when it came out in 2001, but it later gained a cult following. It launched the careers of Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, and Bradley Cooper. A spoof of '80s high-school movies, Wet Hot American Summer is a throwback to classics like Airplane and is way funnier when you’re baked. Plus, you can also binge-watch the even funnier 2015 eight-episode prequel on Netflix.

10. Pineapple Express (2008)
Available on Amazon streaming for $3.99.
Pineapple Express has become a new classic for stoners, and for one very good reason: James Franco and Seth Rogen smoked a shitload of weed and made a movie around it. It’s also low-key funny, as the classic skinny guy/fat guy-comedy-duo-running-for-their-lives trope gets turned on its head. Think Abbott and Costello being reeeeeeeally high.

9. Dazed and Confused (1993)
Available on Amazon streaming for $3.99.
When it comes to this flick, everyone loves to point to Matthew McConaughey’s classic line: “They stay the same age." And rightfully so — it’s a great moment. But the heart of Dazed and Confused is found in the clip above. The entire scene is just a mantra for the stoner life. As we get older, life and responsibilities get in the way, but you just gotta keep livin’, man. Also, turn anything you can find into a smoking device. Also, always carry eye drops.

8. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb (1964)
Available on Amazon streaming for $3.99.
Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 classic is arguably the greatest war and political satire film in cinematic history. And Peter Sellers as all three of the main characters is a master class in comedic acting. It’s an amazing film — stoned or sober. But for what it’s worth, the first time I watched this movie high, I legit cracked up for a good 15 minutes straight after watching the scene above. Tears and everything. It was awesome.

7. Half Baked (1998)
Available on Netflix..
Dave Chappelle, Snoop, Willie Nelson, and Jon Stewart. Together. In a movie that is an homage to the stoner life. C’mon, now. It also features the greatest — and most accurate — munchies run in the history of cinema.

6. Friday (1995)
Available on Amazon streaming for $3.99.
The original Friday is so good because it’s basically an honest and hilarious ode to the slacker life. It features some of the realist dialog found in a movie that's essentially about two friends who do a whole lot of nothing with their day. What’s more stoner than that? The movie spawned a couple of so-so sequels and a few imitators. But it’s tough to top a movie that gave us the above clip and introduced “Bye, Felicia” into the pop-culture lexicon.

5. Inception (2010)
Available on Amazon streaming for $3.99.
Inception is a journey into the subconscious that features dream interpretations and the state of total... GAHHH...  THE CITY IS FOLDING INTO ITSELF LIKE A GIANT CHALUPA!

4. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
Available on Amazon and iTunes for $2.99.
On the surface, Wes Anderson’s charming dramedy The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is a sort of tribute to French diving pioneer Jaques Cousteau. But at its core, it’s really a movie about what a stoner would do if he had a boat, a submarine, and a small crew of miscreants with which to roam the ocean. It also features a scene that depicts the best possible way to handle the news that you're a father: by stepping aside and smoking a J while listening to David Bowie. The film has a kick-ass soundtrack featuring Bowie, the Stooges, and the Zombies.

3. Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke (1978)
Available on Netflix.
Cheech and Chong are the Godfathers of stoner flicks, and in 1978 they released what would be the template for all to come: Up in Smoke. The two comedians basically find any and every reason to have their characters roll up doobies as they scamper through their many misadventures. Throughout the movie, they get arrested, are threatened to be sent to military school, and eventually end up in some kind of rock 'n' roll music contest. But plot really doesn't matter when a movie is 90 minutes of Cheech and Chong smoking all the weed and cracking jokes.

2. Brazil (1985)
Available on Amazon and iTunes for $2.99.
Here's another movie that’s not about weed but will totally screw with your head while you’re high. Brazil tells the tale of an Everyman schlub living in a fascist dystopia sometime in the not-so-distant future. The man pushes paper for a living. He escapes his dreary existence by imagining himself as a sort of winged knight who rescues the beautiful woman of his dreams from peril. But as he gets more lost in his own mind, the paranoia begins to escalate as the very real threat of the Big Brother-like Central Services looms. Suddenly, neither he nor you can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Aside from the mind-bending plot, the crazy visuals by director Terry Gilliam will trip your shit out. Probably best not to watch this one alone.

1. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Available on Amazon for $2.99 (free for Prime members).
There are a million-and-one reasons why Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Big Lebowski is amazing. One of those reasons is the Dude himself. Because he’s one of us. He’s an unemployed stoner who wants nothing out of life but to bowl with his buds, drink his White Russians, listen to his Creedence tapes, and smoke while sprawled out on his favorite rug (which really brings the room together). But that simple life gets turned upside down when he’s mistaken for an old fat cat who is the Dude’s complete opposite. A caper ensues. His life is in danger. Other people lose their lives and their pinkie toes. Yet, through it all, the Dude abides. And in the end, he gets to keep his Johnson.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.