This 4/20, we’re celebrating the best intersections of weed and pop culture. After reading through this list of the best weed movies, be sure to also check out the 50 Best Stoner Albums to Give You a Contact High and Country Music’s Complicated Relationship with Weed in 10 Songs.
Assembling a list of the best weed movies ever is a bit tricky, considering that the difference between a film that happens to be a great celebration of smoking marijuana and a genuinely great film can be pretty vast. Yet there’s a sweet spot to be found here, as exemplified by the movies listed below, which range from dreamy mysteries to sweet and chill comedies to wild descents into madness.
In the 2000s, marijuana legalization efforts — and more importantly, the financial success of comedies like Knocked Up and Pineapple Express — led to an explosion of weed-friendly features concerned less about the law and more about a good time. While this gave us a wide range of options from that decade, there are still plenty of films from the 20th century below, because while every generation might like to believe that they’ve discovered drugs, the fact is that people have been getting high for a lot longer than they’ve been making movies.
Thus, some of the best films on this list come from a time when it might not have been legal, but it sure as hell was popular. And even if you don’t personally partake, you can appreciate the impact that pot has had on our culture. Doesn’t matter if you toke up before watching — the contact high will be real.
— Liz Shannon Miller
Senior Entertainment Editor
Editor’s Note: Elevate your watching experience while you view these classics by checking out the 4/20 sale on the Consequence Shop, where all CBD, Delta-8, and THC-O products and accessories are buy one, get one 25% off now through April 30th, 2023. You can also pre-order the new GWAR Bud of Gods line, New Dank Ages, featuring all sorts of CBD treats and merch.
25. Ganjasaurus Rex (1987)
Grab your funniest friends and dust off your Mystery Science Theater 3000 impressions — Ganjasaurus Rex is the best worst movie you’ve never seen. A prehistoric terror is awakened by helicopters from the War on Drugs, and the world’s only hope is a ragtag band of pot farmers. The budget is as small as Rex is big, and the monster’s roar is very clearly an unedited man saying, “Roar!” Honestly, it’s one of the more convincing performances. But this satire of Reaganism and the militarization of police has enough conviction in its own goofy premise to make Ganjasuarus Rex worth a watch. — Wren Graves
24. Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
In 2000’s Dude, Where’s My Car?, Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott are on another level of himbo irreverence. As they waltz around Southern California looking for their vehicle, they encounter a series of wacky characters that are somehow more outlandish than them: aliens in disguise looking for a device called the “transfunctioner,” a weird UFO cult leader named “Zoltan,” a French ostrich farmer, and several more eccentric figures. Now serving as a cult film and a time capsule to the early 2000s’ low-hanging humor and overall foolishness, the best moment of Dude, Where’s My Car? arrives when the duo realizes they got tattoos on their backs the previous night: One says “dude,” the other says “sweet.” Our modern-day Abbott and Costello end up asking each other repeatedly what their tattoos say, ending up in a cyclical, escalating argument that will still have you in stitches. — Paolo Ragusa
23. Magical Mystery Tour (1968)
Psychedelic, grandiose, but a little messy, The Beatles crafted a haphazard drug-fueled fever dream, in which The Fab Four embark on a coach bus tour through the English countryside — until hijinks ensue at the hands of rogue magicians. Magical Mystery Tour was largely improvised, and it shows within the tangled web of sketches and jumbled plotlines. The saving grace of the film comes from the music: Hits such as “I Am the Walrus,” “All My Loving,” and “Hello, Goodbye” are all performed throughout the movie. – Grace Ann Natanawan
22. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
Have you ever wondered what the titular heroes of Beavis and Butt-Heat would do without their television? The 1996 movie answers that question: Go on an epic quest for another. Along the way they are entangled in a plot by Muddy Grimes (Bruce Willis) to kill his wife (Demi Moore), they meet a pair of former roadies who might very well be their fathers, Beavis accidentally ingests way too much peyote, and they never, ever score. In the end they end up right back where they began. It’s Homer’s Odyssey if Odysseus’s wife were a television and Odysseus himself were two horny idiots. — W. Graves
21. Knocked Up (2007)
Key to Judd Apatow’s breakthrough comedy hit Knocked Up is the odd couple pairing at its center, with tightly-wound Allison (Katherine Heigl) and stoner Ben (Seth Rogen) doing their best to figure out if they can make unplanned parenthood work. But many of the film’s funniest scenes come from Ben’s equally stoned friends (an ensemble including Apatow stalwarts Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr, and Charlyne Yi). From the development of a website devoted to celebrity nudity to outlandish bets to a house-wide epidemic of pinkeye, there’s something relatable and also enviable about watching the gang just hang out in a crappy Valley living room. All that, plus Pete (Paul Rudd) and Ben’s hallucinogen-fueled hotel room freakout, ensures this film’s status as a 420 must-see. — L.S. Miller