Stoner movies have been around since the ’70s. One of the best stoner films of the era that I remember is ‘Up the Smoke (1978)’, which depicts the tale of two stoners who are on the run from Mexico to the US with the police on their tail. Then we’ve had some classics like ‘Sausage Party’, ‘Dazed and Confused’ etc., which are often regarded as benchmark stoner movies, albeit for no reason. Based on the potency of what you smoke, we have also witnessed movies like ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’, ‘Knocked Up’, ‘Growing Op’ etc., which have crossed all the limits of being called as “stoned” and they all stand way above the regular stoner movies on the “stoned” index.
27. Mac & Devin Go to High School (2012)
Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa are two high school students (HIGH school, get it?). Snoop Dogg must graduate, and Wiz Khalifa has to help him while struggling to write his valedictorian speech. This film is only good if you smoke something while you are watching. There is a little bit of everything: musical breaks in-between scenes and a lot of jokes that will make you laugh. Although the plot does not have a lot of substance to it, it has some good moments and is worthy of a one time watch if you don’t have anything else to do other than being stoned. Or at least, pretending to be.
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26. Dude (2018)
Four high school friends who are entering their last year – Lily, Chloe, Amelia, and Rebecca – are generally fooling around, smoking weed, dealing with their family problems and generally talk about strenuous relationships, boys, proms, vulgarity, and weed. As they head into their final year, they start dealing with the losses in their lives: the pain of losing their friends, the parting of ways owing to jobs and the typical withdrawal symptoms one faces while leaving school for the last time. About the weed, there’s a donkey-kong shaped bong named Donkey Bong that has been repeatedly focused upon throughout the film, without any reason; however, apparently, it consumed a lot of the film’s budget. The movie was criticized and appreciated equally and remains to be one of the best Lucy Hale movies out there.
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25. Where’s the Money (2017)
Del Goodlow is a good Samaritan who operates his father’s gym after the latter has headed to jail. The reason behind starting a gym was to keep the youngsters off drugs and crimes, but somehow, the tables had turned. Del’s dad, Dre, surprises him by telling him that there’s a $1 million stash hidden in the basement of a house, which has now been converted into a fraternity. Del tries to enter the fraternity by imposing as a fire officer but all in vain. Later, at the behest of his own fraternity, he tries to exploit many loopholes and enter the house, but all fail miserably and funnily enough to cause him embarrassment. Turns out, Del’s uncle Leon was in cahoots with a gang to embezzle all the money. In a comedy of errors, Leon is killed and the gym that was in tatters was ultimately saved, with everyone getting their share of the money. ‘Where’s the Money’ is a classic example of a headless yet enjoyable stoner movie.
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24. Total Frat Movie (2016)
A movie that has outright been called “awful” by many critics, including Rotten Tomatoes, ‘Total Frat Movie’ is revolving around rival frat parties inside a college campus. Picture a campus where you’d find everything but education – parties, drugs, booze, naked sultry chicks, out-of-whack fellas who’ve no idea what’s going on, laid back people and jilted losers who have nothing important to do in life. ‘Total Frat Movie’ is a messy combination of all of these, and more. The movie begins with Alpha house, a fraternity led by Charlie, which is put to an end owing to an incident at their first frat party. Three years later, another rival fraternity by the name Kappa Nu is trying their level best to be the leading fraternity. Charlie groups up with his older pals and challenges Kappa Nu’s leader for a duel. After winning it, he is looking for more people to join the party. This is certainly a passable affair, without any regrets.
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23. The Package (2018)
A black comedy at the outset, and with an IMDB rating of 5.5 (you’re the best judge), ‘The Package’ is mostly set around a group of five friends/crushes/acquaintances – Sean, Jeremy, and Donnie – the boys who were planning on going to this camping trip, which is later joined by Becky (Jeremy’s sister) and Sarah. During the booze-filled fun night the folks are having, with campfire, profanity and everything, Jeremy happens to cut off his organ by an accident. This sends everyone to a frenzy, with folks searching for his organ and aiming to take it to a hospital within 12 hours for penile reattachment surgery. Everything happens with a comedy of errors and horrors, with the remaining four seemingly failing at each and every task they’re picking up. Long story short, ‘The Package’ is hilarious and at the same time, a lot clichéd with jokes that we’ve previously seen in many other movies. Still, it is like a breath of fresh air compared to the movies we’ve had so far on the list.
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22. The Do-Over (2016)
Max and Charlie are old buddies. As they are fed up with their routine lives, they hatch up an evil yet effective plan to get out of their shells and be something else. While on a boat trip, Max blows up their boat and when Charlie wakes up, Max proposes that they can have a new and different life by assuming other identities. They relocate to Puerto Rico and assume the identities of Dr. Ronald Fishman and Butch Ryder respectively. Soon, they start getting troubled by the pasts of their newfound namesakes. ‘The Do-Over’ is a typical Adam Sandler movie that would give you both moments of laughter and cringe. Yet, it is one of those stoner movies that can be watched over the weekend.
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21. Masterminds (2016)
Steve and Kelly plan to rob the Loomis Fargo & Company and they seek the help of an armored van driver at the company – David. After a successful robbery, which is close to $18 million, Steve keeps most of the share while David is held as a prime suspect and accessory to the crime, who does not know of Steve’s identity until the half of the movie. David has to go the extra mile and make Steve confess about the crime, which happens, although there’s a lot of money that was never accounted for. A wacky comedy with some really good rib-tickling moments and decent performances, ‘Masterminds’ is a fun watch for a heist movie and a stoner comedy nonetheless.
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20. Uncle Nick (2015)
Before I begin, a word of advice — please don’t watch it when you’re not stoned. ‘Uncle Nick’ is the telltale of profane motormouth Nick who’s desperate for hookups and doesn’t care a damn about societal insinuations about him. Turns out, at a Christmas party hosted by his brother, he resorts to drunken abuse, voyeurism, and lounging. The tagline “Nothing ruins Christmas like family” has been aptly set for this stoner comedy comprising of wry humor and an anticipatory slapstick comedy which turns into an utter disaster.
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19. The Waterboy (1998)
Adam Sandler is an iconic comedic actor; so whenever we talk about funny films, his name has to appear somewhere. In this one, he plays Bobby Boucher, a waterboy for a college football team with a surprising talent. He becomes a member of the team when its coach discovers he can tackle people much bigger than him. Boucher is one of Sandler’s most iconic characters. Besides a good cast (that includes Kathy Bates) and the amazing Adam Sandler, this film has a compelling cartoon-like comedy. ‘The Waterboy’s absurd script and humor are just perfect for a late-night film session.
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18. Moonwalkers (2015)
‘Moonwalkers’ begins with agent Kidman, a Vietnam-war hardened PTSD-ridden veteran who is entrusted with the task of finding Stanley Kubrick, paying him a hefty sum of money and filming fake moon landing in order to cover up, in case the Apollo 11 mission goes wrong in 1969. Instead, he meets up with Johnny, a struggling band artist who is debt-ridden himself, thanks to some loan sharks, claims to arrange a meeting between Kidman and Kubrick, but asks his stoned roommate to appear as an imposter instead, only for the money. A deal has gone wrong and with the so-called loan shark gangster called Iron Monger closing in on his adversaries, Johnny and Kidman seem to be losing their end game. Kidman’s character is really interesting, trippy and looks frustrated all the time. Watch it if you need an ample dose of laughter along with the insanity of a stoner movie.
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17. My Ex-Ex (2015)
A movie which perhaps was written in a stoned state of mind, ‘My Ex-Ex’ tells the story of Mary who has been dating Ted. At an opportune moment, Ted asks Mary out and Mary anticipates that Ted might propose to her finally. Things take a sharp turn and Mary gets dumped instead. Unable to cope up with the sudden shock, she visits a psychic who professes that she would soon reconnect with her ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, Mary doesn’t mention which ex-boyfriend she had been referring to. Patrick, her college friend, and another ex-boyfriend is her new crush despite knowing he isn’t the right person for her. While Patrick is taken by surprise, Ted seeks to come back to Mary and ask for forgiveness. ‘My Ex-Ex’ sounds good on paper but the realization part proved to be its nemesis.
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16. Good Kids (2016)
Touted to be a coming-of-age movie, ‘Good Kids’ is sort of sketchy, to begin with, but comprises of all the elements (well, almost) for a promising blockbuster. It tells the story of Nora, Andy, Lion, and Spice. Being best friends since childhood, the group of four never did anything wrong and never even attended a party. But things take a turn when a common friend invites them to a party and all of their goodness seemingly goes down the drain. The frenzy of the party that follows is perhaps the compensation for what they had been missing out on so far. A messy mix up of a rom-com and a stoner movie, ‘Good Kids’ fails to realize being either of them, forget both.
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15. Reincarnated (2012)
‘Reincarnated’ is a stoner documentary that almost elaborately covers Snoop Dog’s life and how he became what he’s known for today. The way it chronicles the musician’s highly unconventional way of life is quite intriguing. The film is engaging, yet weary and the after-effects of being too stoned are quite evident. Still, it does promote Snoop a lot and is a must-watch for his fans.
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14. The Legend of 420 (2017)
‘The Legend of 420’ is a funny, yet trippy documentary about how marijuana has evolved through the years, how its legality has changed across states and countries and what are the implications of legalizing it after years of the ban. The film also highlights how the production of marijuana has grown in the past few years since it has been legalized in a few states and the interviews by growers, law enforcers, politicians et al. If you want to know more about this 420 and why it is good or bad for the society, maybe watching this documentary could help.
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13. Lommbock (2017)
Stefan and Kai have been friends for years. They meet again and while Stefan has been successful being a lawyer in Dubai, Kai is struggling his way to have a good time with his stepson who is getting into the “drug” business. Whether he would be able to make amends with his son, whether his career will finally take off and whether Kai and Stefan together can address the problems of Kai’s son is all that the movie is about. As far as the film as a whole is concerned, we could see some emotions flowing in: hope, love and the ambition to strive for the best above all. Perhaps, this is one of the few lights of hope amongst the prevailing darkness in this sub-genre.
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12. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
And now to one of the best stoner movies out there, and definitely the most hilarious one on this list, ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’ begins with a group of college students and two hillbillies Tucker and Dale. While the college students are on a camping trip into the woods and wilderness, Tucker and Dale are mistaken by the students as notorious serial killers. In a rescue attempt, Tucker and Dale get one of the girls from the group to their house and are being nice to her, but the gloomy look of their cabin’s surroundings leads the students to think that they’re some cult-based killers. What ensues is a comedy of errors amid rescue attempts and hospitality that’s being offered to the “kidnapped” girl. Bloody, gory, dark and funny as hell, ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’ will definitely get you “high” on a dose of laughter.
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11. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
Hunter S. Thompson is one of the most well-known American journalists of the 20th century. Thompson is famous for introducing the style of writing which came to be known as “gonzo journalism” where the journalist himself becomes the center of the things he is supposed to write about. The story of ‘Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas’ is based on Thompson’s novel of the same name, with the central character of Raoul Duke based on the writer himself. The film follows Duke as he goes with his lawyer to Las Vegas to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race. Once there, everything turns into a misadventure for the duo since all they are busy with is doing drugs and contemplating how the hippie movement crash-landed after the 1960s. Johnny Depp is brilliant in portraying a character based upon his personal friend Thompson. The hysteria he brings to the character and maintains throughout the film is simply brilliant. Benicio del Toro is equally exquisite in his portrayal of Duke’s lawyer, Dr. Gonzo.
10. Udta Punjab (2016)
One of the best Bollywood films in recent years, ‘Udta Punjab’ is set in the Indian state of Punjab which has been going through a massive drug problem for quite a few years now. This film vividly depicts the widespread use of narcotics in the state by following the lives of some characters across the film. First, we meet a Punjabi musician whose use of cocaine affects his creativity. His manager sends him to a farm where a girl called Kumari Pinky gets caught up in another serious drug-related matter. Fighting against this social problem are Preet Sahni, a doctor and Sartaj Singh, a policeman. The film connects the lives of these four characters in what becomes a brilliant thriller as well as a powerful social drama. An impressive screenplay laced with doses of black humor coupled with powerful performances by the four leading actors makes ‘Udta Punjab’ a must-watch.
9. Brahman Naman (2016)
Netflix’s first Indian original movie is a story about four losers, neither of whom can manage to get a girlfriend or convince their parents that they are grown up to make their own decisions. All they are good at are quizzing, drinking, and thinking about sex (of which they don’t get any) all the time. The film is set in the 1980s in the south Indian city of Bangalore. These four boys do get a chance to be by themselves when they visit Kolkata for the finals of a national-level quiz, but misadventure follows them there as well. Despite being a sex comedy, the best part of this film is that it never glorifies sexual objectification, and ultimately shows how entitled Indian upper-caste men can be. This is exactly why the director Quashiq Mukherjee highlights the leading character’s cast, that he is a “Brahman”, in the title of the film.
8. Special Correspondents (2016)
Written and directed by Ricky Gervais, this Netflix original comedy film is the story of radio journalist Frank Bonneville (Eric Bana) and sound technician Ian Finch (Gervais), both of whom are assigned to visit Ecuador and cover the political uprising that is taking place in the country. When it comes to light that Finch has lost both their passports, the two men decide to hide in a cafe owned by a Spanish couple and fake their reports from there. In order to sensationalize their news, they invent a man called Emilio Santiago Alvarez and say that he is closely linked to the uprising that is taking place. This alerts the U.S. government who think that these two Americans might be in danger. Things soon begin to escalate out of hand as Bonneville and Finch worry that they will be found out. While Gervais’ humor is on point, it does not penetrate deep into social problems or any serious concerns for that matter. Be that as it may, ‘Special Correspondents’ remains a highly entertaining film.
7. Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019)
Zack Galifianakis’ comedy talk show ‘Between Two Ferns’ had gained immense popularity on YouTube before Netflix decided to order a movie on the same. The film centers around Galifianakis, who plays himself and hosts ‘Between Two Ferns’ on public access television. However, when comedian Will Ferrell sees the show, he decides to upload it to his comedy platform Funny Or Die. Galifianakis and the show become a laughing stock after this, but he does get a chance to interview numerous celebrities all across America. The film follows Galifianakis and his many misadventures as he goes about the country and meets a number of well-known faces. If you have been a fan of the original YouTube show, you will have no problem understanding or relating to the humor of the film. Galifianakis’ deadpan humor works well with the ridiculous situations he finds himself in.
6. The Legend of Cocaine Island (2018)
‘The Legend Of Cocaine Island’ is a documentary film, but it packs a powerful punch enough to give you the thrills you might expect from a feature production. The reason behind this is mainly the fact that ‘The Legend Of Cocaine Island’ recreates Florida-based business Rodney Hyden’s journey in order to come across some quick money when the 2008 financial crisis destroys his business. He wants to locate a bag of cocaine worth around $2 million somewhere in the Caribbean shore. Some undercover cops send him a picture of a bag and convince him that it is full of cocaine. They then wait patiently to arrest Hyden once he meets them to share the profits. This documentary shows us how desperate some people became after the economic crisis in order to save their lives from drifting down the drain. Highly entertaining with comical moments interspersed between the drama, this is a film you must check out.
5. Grass Is Greener (2019)
Netflix has always been a company that manages to come up with content that is relevant for its time and is also something that will interest a large section of its viewers. The documentary ‘Grass Is Greener’ is something which a number of people are sure to be interested in since it deals with the history of marijuana in America, its socio-cultural effects, and how the government has always been after the users and distributors of the same. The film also points out to us how the crackdown on marijuana has been a racist ploy that has destroyed the lives of many young black males by putting them behind the bars. The documentary features interviews of influential people like Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Sen Dog, DMC, and others who put forward their own views regarding the United States’ culture around marijuana.
4. Trainspotting (1996)
The film which established Danny Boyle as a major voice in the world of cinema, ‘Trainspotting’, centers around a young man called Mark Renton. He is a heroin addict living in Edinburgh, and most of his days are spent in trying to hustle some cash in order to pay for his addiction. His three friends, Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie are also losers like him who do not care to do anything constructive. In order to change the course of his life, Renton leaves this drug-fuelled existence to start life afresh in London. However, his good-for-nothing friends follow him there and end up screwing up all of his plans. The film’s humor is its strongest suit. John Hodge’s screenplay is laced with a penetrating glance that sees into the drug problems eating away the lives of the suburban youth.
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
If you have always wanted to watch a stoner war film, it simply doesn’t get better than this. ‘The Men Who Stare At Goats’ is a film by Grant Heslov and is based on the nonfictional book of the same name written by Jon Ronson. The story begins with a journalist called Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) who wants to cover the war in Kuwait. However, when he comes across former soldier Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) and listens to his story, Wilton realizes that he has hit the jackpot. The story then moves to a flashback where we see that Cassady is a part of a major plan devised by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), one of his seniors in the army. The soldiers under him later begin to claim that they are able to kill goats just by staring at them. After telling him this story, Lyn takes Bob to Iraq in order to find Django, and once there, another round of adventures follow. The film is a satirical look at men whose minds have been eroded away by always living under the fear of hostility. Clooney’s performance in the film is simply outstanding.
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2. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (2006)
Based on the TV series ‘Trailer Park Boys’, this series centers around the characters of Julian, and his two friends Ricky and Bubbles. All of them live in a trailer park, but the dream of a better lifestyle. However, instead of working for the same, these boys plan to rob an ATM machine to get rich. Their plan backfires and though Bubbles escapes, Ricky and Julian are sent to jail for a period of 18 months. When the two of them return, they team up with Bubbles once again and decide to carry out one big robbery, which they refer to as “The Big Dirty”, after which they can give up their criminal lives. Do not expect any lofty ideas from the film, but be sure of the fact that it is hilarious and you will have a great time watching it. It does justice to the original TV shows and did go a long way in popularizing the characters to audiences across the world.
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1. Winter Of Our Dreams (1981)
‘The Winter Of Our Dreams’ is the story of a man called Rob. He owns a bookshop and lives a pretty monotonous existence. When he comes to know that one of his college friends called Lisa has committed suicide, Rob has a feeling that there was foul play involved and decides to investigate the matter. However, this investigation brings him face-to-face with a heroin-addicted prostitute called Lou. He takes pity on her and decides to help her turn her life around. Rob does have a wife, but their open relationship has allowed her to be busy with her own lover. Despite this, Rob’s secure lifestyle is naturally jeopardized by the presence of Lou. Now he has to decide whether he wants all these problems in his life or wants to go back to his earlier life. This movie somewhat suffers because of Bryan Brown’s unconvincing performance in the leading role but is otherwise a pretty intense watch.
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