Top Shelf Stoner Movies
Written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, Pineapple Express is a stoner action comedy that was released in 2008. The film stars Seth Rogan, James Franco and Danny McBride. It’s about a stoner and his weed dealer trying to flee town because they witnessed a murder done by a drug kingpin and a corrupt police officer. James Franco was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role of Saul, the goofy and lovable weed dealer. With a budget of 26 million dollars the movie grossed 102.4 million at the box office.
Friday is a 1995 stoner comedy film starring Ice Cube and Chris tucker. Ice Cube co-wrote the screenplay with DJ Pooh and it was Chris Tucker’s very first role in film. The movie chronicles the day in the life of two best friends, Craig and Smokey who live in South Central Los Angeles. Craig is bored because he just lost his job and Smokey spends his days selling and smoking weed. After Smokey smokes all of his inventory, he owes his crazy drug supplier 200 dollars by 10:00 p.m. or else the supplier is going to kill him and Craig. Ice Cube and DJ Pooh wrote Friday because prior films that portrayed the hood were often sad and frightening. Since it’s release it has become a cult comedy film, went on to become a movie franchise and spawned the internet meme “Bye Felicia”, that is a line of dialog in the movie.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is a 2004 stoner comedy about two roommates who smoke weed then decide to go to the fast food burger chain White Castle. When they find out their local White Castle has been replaced by another fast food restaurant, they decide to road trip to another White Castle in a different town to satisfy their munchies. Along the way, a series of comical misadventures take place; from picking up Neil Patrick Harris high on ecstasy to riding a cheetah. The film stars John Cho and Kal Penn with cameos by Neil Patrick Harris, Bobby Lee, Jaime Kennedy and Ryan Reynolds.
Half Baked is a 1998 stoner comedy starring and co-written by Dave Chapelle. It’s about a janitor and his group of stoner friends who start selling weed to raise 100,000 dollars to bail their friend out of jail, because he accidentally killed a cop’s diabetic horse by feeding it junk food. The janitor gets the weed from his work at a medical lab, but soon the local drug lord finds out they are cutting in on his profits and goes after them. The movie was a box office hit making 17.5 million dollars off a 8 million dollar budget.
Dude, Where’s my Car?
Directed by Danny Leiner (director of Harold & Kumar), Dude, Where’s My Car stars Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott. It’s about two stoner best friends who wake up hungover and can’t remember anything from the night before, including where they parked their car. Retracing their steps they encounter a series of hilarious characters and situations, including discovering two groups of aliens on earth. One that wants to protect earth and one that wants to destroy it. Film critics at the time gave the movie horrible reviews but it was a box office success and has since become a cult comedy.
Super High Me
Super High Me is a documentary about stoner comedian Doug Benson as he consumes weed for 30 days in a row, to see what affects it has on his body. Before he binges on bud, he must first take 30 days off smoking weed and also take medical tests to see what his body and health is like completely sober. Then after the 30 days on marijuana he takes the same medical tests to see the difference. Tests like the SAT, Psychic ESP, lung capacity, weight and even sperm count. Also, throughout the film there are interviews with patients, activists and politicians regarding the medical marijuana movement. The concept behind the film started as a joke that Doug Benson had in his stand up act. A few years before, the documentary Super Size Me came out about a guy who ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days to see what would happen to his health. Super Size Me was a smash hit and Benson wondered what would happen if he consumed weed for 30 days straight.
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 comedy film about a stoner named “The Dude” who is commissioned by a millionaire to deliver ransom money to get the millionaire’s trophy wife back from her kidnappers. After he and his Vietnam veteran friend botch the exchange, it sets off an assortment of events involving a bowling tournament, a stolen rug and German Nihilists. When the film was released it received mixed reviews and was not a box office success. However, overtime it has become a major cult classic. In 2014 it was put into the National Film Registry for it’s historical and cultural significance.
Made in 1936, Reefer Madness is a B-movie, propaganda film about what happens when high school students smoke marijuana at a party then become helplessly addicted to it. The plot deals with manslaughter, a hit and run, hallucinations, rape and suicide. It was first produced by a church group to educate parents about the “evils” of weed, then a producer by the name of Dwain Esper bought it and distributed it nationwide. The film had a second life in the 1970’s when marijuana legalization activists started showing it to college students as a joke. The film is very over the top and silly, even though it wasn’t meant to be that way. Now it is viewed as unintentional satire. It is considered by some critics to be one of the worst movies ever made.
Grandma’s Boy is about a 35 year old stoner named Alex. He works as a video game tester at a big company but in his free time he developments his own game. Alex is forced to live with his Grandma after Alex’s roommate spends all of their rent money. At work, Alex and his rival J.P. both have a crush on a girl named Samatha who is in charge of production on a new game they’re developing. Samantha rebuffs J.P.’s advances while she starts to fall for Alex. To get back at him, J.P. steals Alex’s video game he is developing and claims it as his own. The film generally received bad reviews and was not a box office hit, but over time it did very well in DVD sales. Grandma’s Boy won many “Stony Awards” from marijuana magazine High Times such as Best Stoner Movie and Best Pot Scene in Movie.
Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke
Released in 1978, Up in Smoke is considered to have started the stoner comedy genre. It stars the counterculture comical duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong in their first feature film. It is about a stoner whose parents give him an ultimatum to get a job or get out of the house. The plot consists of an episodic collection of whacky scenarios involving the two stoners being so high they can hardly function. The film was a huge success at the box office making 44.4 million dollars off of a 2 million dollar budget.