Half Baked
(Photo by Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection; Universal/courtesy Everett Collection.)

27 Essential Stoner Movies Ranked

Across the world over the last few months, people have been lighting up their rooms with the lights and sound of the movies, and as we arrive on this 4/20: 2020 Edition (a.k.a. The Smoke Break America Could Really Use), we’ve picked out the best nuggets from movie history for 27 Essential Stoner Movies.

Most of the movies here are overtly about marijuana and its attendant lifestyle and occasional risks: We’ve got counterculture classics (Up in Smoke, Easy Rider); mainstream hits (Pineapple Express, Friday); cult comedies (Wet Hot American Summer, Grandma’s Boy, Super Troopers); and stoner icons (Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Brad Pitt in True Romance, Dave Chapelle in Half-Baked).

Some movies didn’t necessarily set out to become stoner movies, but have built a grassroots reputation as immensely enjoyable under the influence. 1951’s Alice in Wonderland was a financial disaster for Disney, until its was re-released in the early ’70s after college students and flower children vibed on its vivid colors, silly characters, and random plot. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Grand Budapest Hotel likewise also draw in the easily distracted with their bright looks and aesthetics, and hold the attention with zippy storytelling and insanely clever editing.

And to reserve when you want to go to the loony bin: Cats, a fantasia of mutilated celebrities and big songs about absolutely nothing, which threatens to be a midnight classic for years to come.

If you’re seeking a trip guide, something to pair with whatever state you’re in, check out the 27 Essential Stoner Movies!

#27

Grandma's Boy (2006)
16%

#27
Adjusted Score: 17.452%
Critics Consensus: A gross-out comedy that's more gross than comedic, Grandma's Boy is lazy and unrewarding.
Synopsis: Alex, a 35-year-old video-game tester, is forced to move out of his apartment and in with his grandmother and her... [More]
Directed By: Nicholaus Goossen

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 18.427%
Critics Consensus: The movie isn't funny, the plot is too thin, and the production values feel more like a TV sitcom than a movie.
Synopsis: The startling effects of chemically induced short-term memory loss provide the backdrop for this resinous teen comedy. Jesse (Ashton Kutcher)... [More]
Directed By: Danny Leiner

#25

Cats (2019)
20%

#25
Adjusted Score: 33.853%
Critics Consensus: Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.
Synopsis: Universal Pictures and Working Title's Cats is a most-unexpected film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved smash musical "Cats" and... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#24

How High (2001)
26%

#24
Adjusted Score: 27.192%
Critics Consensus: How High is a sloppily constructed stoner movie filled with lame, vulgar jokes.
Synopsis: A pair of real-life multi-platinum rap artists star in this genial substance abuse comedy recalling the pro-marijuana work of Cheech... [More]
Directed By: Jesse Dylan

#23

Half Baked (1998)
29%

#23
Adjusted Score: 29.546%
Critics Consensus: You'd have to be high to dig Half Baked's half baked production and scattershot sense of humor -- although maybe that was the point of this Dave Chapelle-led joint.
Synopsis: It's dopey time, again, in this pat-addled buddy movie that will scare you straight with its lack of humor.... [More]
Directed By: Tamra Davis

#22

Super Troopers (2002)
35%

#22
Adjusted Score: 36.923%
Critics Consensus: A more-miss -than-hit affair, Super Troopers will most likely appeal to those looking for something silly.
Synopsis: A handful of state troopers are put in the uncomfortable position of having to actually enforce the law in this... [More]
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 37.807%
Critics Consensus: Wet Hot American Summer's incredibly talented cast is too often outmatched by a deeply silly script that misses its targets at least as often as it skewers them.
Synopsis: The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It's the last day before everyone goes back to the real world,... [More]
Directed By: David Wain

#20

Up in Smoke (1978)
50%

#20
Adjusted Score: 51.453%
Critics Consensus: Oft-quoted but undeniably flawed, Up In Smoke is a seminal piece of stoner cinema thanks to the likability of its two counterculture icons.
Synopsis: Then professional potheads Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong teamed up for Cheech & Chong: Up In Smoke, which features the... [More]
Directed By: Lou Adler, Tommy Chong

#19
Adjusted Score: 53.38%
Critics Consensus: Visually creative, but also aimless, repetitive, and devoid of character development.
Synopsis: Journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr Gonzo drive from LA to Las Vegas on a drugs binge. They nominally... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#18
Adjusted Score: 55.826%
Critics Consensus: Tenacious D fan will find this movie hilarious; everybody else will see only a low-brow concept movie and a small assembly of jokes stretched past the 100 minute mark.
Synopsis: In this musical comedy-adventure starring self-proclaimed greatest band in the world Tenacious D, a pair of aspiring rock superstars attempt... [More]
Directed By: Liam Lynch

#17

Scary Movie (2000)
53%

#17
Adjusted Score: 56.854%
Critics Consensus: Critics say Scary Movie overloads on crudity and grossness to get its laughs.
Synopsis: From the minds that brought you "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," "In Living Color" and "Don't Be A Menace In... [More]
Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

#16

Smiley Face (2007)
67%

#16
Adjusted Score: 67.372%
Critics Consensus: Although many of the jokes have been done before, Anna Faris's bright performance and Gregg Araki's sharp direction make Smiley Face more than your average stoner comedy.
Synopsis: Jane F, an unsuccessful slacker actress, is having a bad day. And it's getting more outrageous and comically surreal by... [More]
Directed By: Gregg Araki

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 75.496%
Critics Consensus: Both funny and scatter shot, this loose-knit action/buddy/stoner comedy bridges genres and keeps a steady tempo of low ball laughs.
Synopsis: Critically acclaimed director David Gordon Green takes a break from the brooding drama that defined such early efforts as George... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#14

Ted (2012)
69%

#14
Adjusted Score: 76.868%
Critics Consensus: Ted's "romance versus bromance" plot is familiar, but the film's held aloft by the high-concept central premise and a very funny (albeit inconsistent) script.
Synopsis: Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as... [More]
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

#13
Adjusted Score: 77.85%
Critics Consensus: The likable leads and subversion of racial stereotypes elevate Harold and Kumar above the typical stoner comedy.
Synopsis: Directed by Danny Leiner, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle follows the life-changing (and mind-altering) journey of Korean-American investment... [More]
Directed By: Danny Leiner

#12

Inherent Vice (2015)
74%

#12
Adjusted Score: 83.372%
Critics Consensus: Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: "Inherent Vice," is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#11

Friday (1995)
78%

#11
Adjusted Score: 79.08%
Critics Consensus: What Friday might lack in taut construction or directorial flair, it more than makes up with its vibrant (albeit consistently crass) humor and the charming, energetic performances of its leads.
Synopsis: Hard-core rapper Ice Cube, after appearing in such hard-hitting films as Boyz 'N the Hood and Higher Learning, played his... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#10
Adjusted Score: 82.334%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#9
Adjusted Score: 83.438%
Critics Consensus: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work.
Synopsis: When a couple air-headed rock-star wannabes are faced with the break-up of their band as a result of poor grades,... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 85.518%
Critics Consensus: A good introduction to Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice in Wonderland boasts some of the Disney canon's most surreal and twisted images.
Synopsis: This Disney feature-length cartoon combines the most entertaining elements of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.... [More]

#7
Adjusted Score: 90.09%
Critics Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.
Synopsis: Based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's Oni Press comic book of the same name, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World follows the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#6

The Big Lebowski (1998)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 88.634%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
Synopsis: The plot of this Raymond Chandler-esque comedy crime caper from the Coen Brothers (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) pivots around... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#5

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#5
Adjusted Score: 91.544%
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.
Synopsis: The comedy This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#4

Easy Rider (1969)
86%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92.281%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
Synopsis: After scoring cocaine in Mexico, then re-selling it in California, two bikers set off on a cross-country trek to New... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Hopper

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 103.108%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
Synopsis: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 96.61%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#1

True Romance (1993)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96.966%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by Quentin Tarantino's savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott's True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.
Synopsis: Quentin Tarantino scripted this wild and wooly blend of action and dark comedy, which reached theaters a year before his... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

Tag Cloud

FOX FXX crime thriller Action quibi natural history WGN Super Bowl Martial Arts Mary poppins Columbia Pictures Tubi Trophy Talk VICE Film Festival spinoff psychological thriller directors Sneak Peek First Reviews anime twilight Tumblr blockbuster Winter TV TV renewals what to watch MSNBC Fantasy TCA Winter 2020 Schedule golden globes Sundance Now adventure spider-man Endgame adaptation Peacock New York Comic Con series TIFF Song of Ice and Fire spain Marvel Television 2016 sports Interview sag awards Kids & Family 007 20th Century Fox AMC Best and Worst PaleyFest VH1 transformers disaster werewolf Apple TV+ zero dark thirty 21st Century Fox TCM green book Esquire Nominations Masterpiece The Purge Avengers mockumentary Western universal monsters The Witch Amazon Prime latino LGBT cars IFC Films PBS CBS All Access NYCC Opinion National Geographic batman Sci-Fi Lifetime Dark Horse Comics Spike Paramount Network Valentine's Day Comic Book discovery BET Grammys San Diego Comic-Con 4/20 critics MCU Film CMT Black History Month Binge Guide Pet Sematary dceu Reality Competition Music cancelled TV series Discovery Channel dramedy theme song cancelled television Awards Holidays Nickelodeon Black Mirror Certified Fresh witnail comiccon versus science fiction best Spring TV blaxploitation SDCC foreign Warner Bros. Ghostbusters 2017 Watching Series Cannes X-Men tv talk Disney Channel canceled name the review breaking bad Writers Guild of America Teen Vudu mutant animated YouTube Red Star Trek Pride Month concert TV Land Sony Pictures Mary Tyler Moore comics vampires finale Comics on TV toy story Box Office police drama romantic comedy sitcom Christmas E! crossover The Arrangement Rocky Television Academy Hulu DC Comics Election Brie Larson Showtime Walt Disney Pictures comic American Society of Cinematographers streaming BBC America Superheroe Britbox Paramount Pop movie BET Awards rotten movies we love BBC One game of thrones teaser cancelled TV shows Oscars Shudder See It Skip It HBO Go harry potter Thanksgiving supernatural cartoon 2019 BAFTA Amazon Prime Video franchise indiana jones cancelled unscripted SXSW cops dragons RT History satire Lifetime Christmas movies Infographic children's TV war jamie lee curtis 45 Ellie Kemper cats Freeform Podcast biography Epix chucky Cosplay diversity Amazon USA Network PlayStation dogs Trailer Amazon Studios award winner Star Wars reviews sequel Logo christmas movies festivals Year in Review Toys Pixar social media Photos Mary Poppins Returns Character Guide boxoffice Horror Chilling Adventures of Sabrina joker Crunchyroll Premiere Dates slashers docudrama Family Pop TV Marvel APB cinemax stoner Ovation Captain marvel CW Seed Turner Lionsgate The CW video on demand YA Mindy Kaling Shondaland El Rey Pirates asian-american Travel Channel movies 2015 elevated horror serial killer television E3 reboot Sundance TV Marvel Studios Baby Yoda Country FX on Hulu HBO Max aliens Netflix Creative Arts Emmys DC streaming service indie stand-up comedy Syfy OneApp child's play Turner Classic Movies CBS TruTV DGA spanish language comedies First Look MTV DC Universe Rocketman halloween revenge Funimation binge Awards Tour DirecTV Bravo political drama thriller Starz President Tarantino Polls and Games dark 24 frames south america a nightmare on elm street Rom-Com Netflix Christmas movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ESPN 2020 Heroines Superheroes Tomatazos Women's History Month Arrowverse miniseries Hallmark strong female leads video casting Hallmark Christmas movies Mystery true crime YouTube crime drama singing competition TNT Food Network WarnerMedia parents talk show documentary canceled TV shows richard e. Grant romance History politics Disney Plus Comedy Central Holiday die hard Summer Hear Us Out Crackle TV TCA cults based on movie free movies Stephen King anthology cooking Academy Awards Comedy FX nature hispanic Acorn TV Fox News TBS 2018 game show Video Games mission: impossible Adult Swim Set visit Spectrum Originals Rock hist news book GIFs zombies OWN scary movies psycho A&E Musicals TCA 2017 criterion Fall TV Quiz documentaries Biopics SundanceTV Apple TV Plus Animation Nat Geo USA screen actors guild facebook justice league RT21 Drama The Walking Dead Lucasfilm GoT TLC Red Carpet GLAAD Trivia Musical Classic Film independent VOD LGBTQ films travel IFC technology Calendar medical drama Universal Chernobyl spy thriller Emmy Nominations Sundance BBC 71st Emmy Awards Reality screenings Mudbound Winners period drama renewed TV shows ratings Disney+ Disney Plus crime Disney streaming service all-time ghosts HBO YouTube Premium NBC doctor who robots Emmys Disney dc space ABC Family Apple zombie A24 ITV ABC Marathons Elton John kids CNN Cartoon Network composers historical drama Countdown Anna Paquin Extras