Ask two people to list the best movies they’ve ever seen, and their lists will look completely different.
The reason is obvious. Everyone has their own tastes, and genres like thrillers, action flicks, sci-fi, and dramas are usually mutually exclusive.
Ask two people to list their favorite movies to watch when high, though, and you may see two similar lists. That’s because your brain on weed works very differently than it does when you’re sober.
It alters your thought processes. It releases dopamine and endorphins that make you feel happy. It may cause sensory distortions that make colors seem more vivid and special effects seem more special. And, of course, there are the giggling fits.
So two genres dominate most lists of flicks to enjoy while you’re stoned: weird, mind-blowing epics and, of course, comedies.
It also doesn’t hurt if weed plays a supporting role.
Here’s our list.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
First of all, this is one of the all-time classics, so you should watch it whether you’re high or not. But not only might this flick make more sense when you’re baked, the 1960s-era special effects will still blow you away more than 50 years later — and H.A.L.’s evil AI character may seem eerily realistic.
2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
There are lots of great comedies that revolve around weed. But if you thought that lines like “a whale’s vagina,” “I love lamp,” “60% of the time, it works every time,” “I’m in a glass case of emotion,” and “go fuck yourself, San Diego” were funny the first time around, just wait until you’re wasted.
3. The Matrix
Sure, the story is mind-boggling and thought-provoking, even more so when you watch this classic after a long smoke sesh. All of the special effects are amazing and take on extra dimensions when you’re baked. But if you thought Neo fighting more than 100 Agent Smiths was one of the best special effects scenes of all time, you won’t believe what it’s like after THC has had its way with your brain.
4. Pineapple Express
If you thought we weren’t going to include some stoner flicks on this list, you must be high. And if you are, that’s the perfect way to watch Rogen and Franco mug their way through efforts to survive drug lords and their henchmen, cops, angry parents, and other assorted bizarre situations. Pick up a quarter of Pineapple Express first, and you’ll enjoy the experience even more.
When you’re enjoying a trippy strain like Amnesia Haze, LSD, or Headband, you should choose a movie that lets you take full advantage — and that means vivid colors and bizarre, animated action. Fantasia came out more than 80 years ago and was aimed at kids, Disney fans, and music aficionados, but it’s the ideal visual and auditory companion for a psychedelic experience.
You may know director Christopher Nolan from the Dark Night trilogy, which are also decent choices to watch when you’re high. But his 2010 film Inception received eight Oscar nominations, and its action sequences, effects, and plot (infiltrating peoples’ dreams for evil purposes) can leave you wondering if you’re really still alive or just living in someone else’s dreams.
7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
And now for something completely different. (Python fans will get the reference.) Watching this classic 1970s comedy while stoned takes the bastardized story of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot — along with a killer rabbit and an animated cave monster — to bizarre and hilarious new heights.
There are times you don’t your mind to be blown; you don’t want to be transfixed by swirling colors and impressive special effects; you don’t need silly sight gags or pratfalls. Sometimes you just want to watch a movie you’ve seen a million times before, scream out the legendary lines along with your also-stoned friends, and cheer the gory finale. Scarface fits that bill 100%. (Also nominated: Godfather I and II. Skip Part III unless you want to laugh at how bad it is.)
Lots of stoner flicks with bathroom humor, dirty gags, and dumb jokes could have taken this spot, and we wouldn’t have argued with any of them. But how can you go wrong with a movie starring a pot-smoking teddy bear?
Trust us, the experience of watching this Disney classic is very different when you’re high than it was when you watched it with your toddlers. The artistic concept was to create a film that looked like it was painted with watercolors, and the result can play all sorts of wonderful tricks with a brain that’s functioning with THC on board.
Nothing takes weed-induced giggles to a higher level better than 90 minutes of excruciatingly bad puns and deliberately ridiculous action. This is one of the few movies where the jokes are funny every time you hear them — and we’re serious. Just don’t call us Shirley.
12. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
There’s a good reason why people have been getting stoned, dressing up, and going to midnight showings of this camp classic for fifty years. You can enjoy it just as much at home with a bowl of your favorite herb, and you don’t even have to get dressed as Dr. Frank-N.-Furter to do the time warp.
13. Kung Fu Hustle
No matter how many martial arts movies you’ve seen, you haven’t seen anything like this bizarre satire set in 1940s Shanghai. It features a landlady whose most effective weapon is her sonic scream, kung fu masters with bizarre techniques, and impressive choreography and visual effects. We first saw this flick sober, and it was terrific fun; it’s even better when you’re high.
14. and 15. (tie) The Big Lebowski and Up in Smoke
We couldn’t decide which characters are better when stoned: The Dude or Cheech and Chong. Whoever is your favorite, no party isn’t better with any of them — and of course, as Stewie Griffin reminded us, a bag of weed.
Best Movies to Watch While High: FAQ
Q: What’s the best trashy movie to watch when you’re high?
A: We’re partial to The Doom Generation, but that may be because we’re partial to Rose McGowan. You can’t go wrong with Femme Fatale, Wild Things, or Pretty Maids All In a Row, either.
Q: You left off the all-time best movie to watch when high: Reefer Madness.
A: True, but we consider this one in a class all its own. We’ve assumed that just about everyone has watched this sordid tale of “marihuana addiction” so many times that they’re searching for a different flick that will start them giggling and sparking up another bowl.