By now, most of the shelter-at-home population have probably already burned through all the Netflix and Amazon Prime series and movies. If Netflix and Amazon are running out of recommendations, we recommend you “roll your own” list of pot movies worth the binge.
Not sure where to begin? Here is your starter list of 7 classic, must-see and worth-seeing-again stoner flicks (including film length and year produced), listed in reverse chronological order, newest to old (the same order used for our list of POTUS Potheads, which is purely coincidental, we assure you) :
Dude, Where’s My Car? (1h 24m; 2000)
This stoner film features Chester (Seann William Scott) and Jesse (Ashton Kutcher) awakening with no memory of their previous evening. When they step outside and discover that Jesse’s car is missing, the adventure is afoot, beginning with a visit to their twin girlfriends (who look nothing alike) angry at them for the mess they left behind the previous night. Before the end of this entirely mindless stoner comedy, Chester and Jesse will encounter characters such as a dog smoking pot from a glass pipe (and doesn’t like sharing), aliens with Swedish accents, a 50-foot tall woman (whose dress they gleefully and immaturely peek under), and a transsexual stripper demanding the return of a mysterious suitcase of cash, to name only a few.
The Big Lebowski (1h 59m; 1998)
Considered a modern cult classic, this film by the Coen brothers stars Jeff Bridges as Jeff Lebowski, better known as The Dude. In a classic character mix-up, The Dude is mistaken for millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston), who is the REAL Big Lebowski and whose frowzy young wife owes money to a gambling syndicate. The Dude is beaten up, his rug gets peed on, along with demands to cough up the cash pronto. Thus begins crazy tale, when The Dude visits the Big Lebowski to be reimbursed for his urinated carpet. After an initial rebuff, The Dude is called back and hired to help find the missing wife in this wildly twisting tale. The only consistency will find in this story is The Dude’s love for and devotion to smoking joints, which he does regularly throughout the film. This movie is so good, even people who are not stoners love it and love The Dude.
Half Baked (1h 22m; 1998)
Comedian Dave Chappelle co-wrote and starred in this unapologetic and comedic love letter to pot smokers. Chappelle plays Thurgood Jenkins who lives with his three roommates, Brian, Kenny, and Scarface, four childhood pals who discovered pot together. One night, when Kenny is sent out on the munchie run for the gang, he ends up in jail after stuffing a police horse full of junk food and killing it. The other three concoct a crazy plan to bail out Kenny by selling pot Thurgood is stealing from a medical marijuana laboratory. A crazy cast of incidental characters in the form of customers are introduced, including Snoop Dogg (naturally!), Willie Nelson, and a very young Jon Stewart (pre-Daily Show years), along with Thurgood falling for a girl named Mary Jane Potman who is decidedly anti-pot. Oh, how will it all end? Probably ridiculously, and with laughter…
Friday (1h 37m; 1995)
Rapper Ice Cube had already acted in several films (New Jack City, Boyz n the Hood, and Higher Learning), which set him apart as a significant black dramatic actor before he tried his hand at a comedic role. Ice Cube also co-wrote the script (with DJ Pooh) and plays Craig, who just got fired from work the day before. As his stoner friend, Smokey (hilariously played by Chris Tucker), says, “I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this; but I’m gonna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got shit to do.” After smoking up the dope, the dealer arrives, demanding $200 from Smokey who doesn’t have it and is given until midnight to get the money together, which begins the mad adventure, while introducing the various nutty characters in the neighborhood, including the ne’er-do-well loser Felicia (from which the classic trope “Bye, Felicia” is derived).
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1h 30m; 1982)
This teen comedy includes Sean Penn in his classic role as Jeff Spicoli, the long-haired blonde surfer/stoner constantly butting heads with Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a no-nonsense teacher with zero tolerance for his stoned antics (such as the time Spicolli had pizza delivered to Mr. Hand’s classroom, who was outraged that he would abuse his (Mr. Hand’s) time like that, to which Spicolli responded: “If I’m here, and you’re here, doesn’t that make it our time? Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with a little feast on our time!”). Meanwhile, the typical teen dramas arise, including a romantic triangle involving a very young Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton entangled between two boys who happen to be friends. This movie is an adaptation of a book of the same title by Cameron Crowe, and was an undercover expose of Claremont High School in San Diego, California.
Up In Smoke (1h 26m; 1978)
Before their film debut, Cheech and Chong was the stand-up stoner comedy duo that had the younger, pot-smoking American crowd in stitches. Up In Smoke, a film with absolutely zero redeeming values, became an instant stoner classic for that generation. Tommy Chong plays Anthony Stoner, who has tired of his parents nagging him to do more than play drums and smoke pot, causing him to split home in search of better vibes. He meets Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin), a fellow stoner; they both end up arrested for possession of marijuana, only to be released on a technicality. Throughout their stoned meanderings, there is a lot of smoking going on, including the classic scene of them smoking a gigantic joint in their car until it is completed cloud-filled. Included in their adventure is a rock concert competition in which they perform “Earache My Eye” and their transporting pot across the Mexican border in a van entirely made of marijuana. Silly, yet funny.
Reefer Madness (1h 8m; 1932)
Originally billed as Tell Your Children, and later renamed to Doped Youth, it remains a scandalously horrible film depicting the most inane behaviors which are never associated with using cannabis. After an opening disclaimer and a foreword warning of the shocking scenes to be portrayed and describing the menace of marijuana (“a violent narcotic – an unspeakable scourge”), the movie opens in a classroom, where the high school principal has gathered concerned parents to warn of these dangers. Alas, for the parents of Mary and Jimmy Lane, they are enticed into the sins and horrors of marijuana addiction! This film is famous for being simultaneously hilarious and sad for its outrageous lies; it also is an excellent example of the ridiculous lengths the government has gone in the past to demonize what we all now know to be safe, healing, and, yes, fun!
So there you have it… 7 pot movies worth the binge. In all, a total of 10 hours and 26 minutes of stoner movie watching. If you’re looking for something more than popcorn to accompany this fun list, we suggest an edible from our list of reviewed products. Either the Good Things Coming Fruit Jelllies (with an 8.8 CBDI score) or Puck’s Cannabis Confections (9.62 CBDI score!) could be just the right snack to complement this special stoner movie list!