The big day has finally come; the one quarantine has needlessly prepared you for. April 20 is the date marked on every green-thumb’s calendar, and for good reason, but this year, things are different. Being that it is 2020, the whole month of April is 420, so you can celebrate the dank date all month-long. Further, with lockdown restrictions in place, you can enjoy 420 from the comfort of your own home without the fear that someone is going to call you into work or drop by for an unexpected visit. If you feel like you just want to zone out and enjoy the moment, hitting the blunt isn’t always recommended (or legal), but hey, we can’t stop you from making your own decisions. What we can recommend, however, is settling in for a night of solid entertainment.
One of the biggest and best parts about the weed community is just how into it everyone seems to be. It seems like marijuana shirts are everywhere and you can’t ignore that Bob Marley’s face is still walking amongst us, printed to the front of some stoner’s chest. If you want to make the most of 420 this year, we’ve got you covered. So, crack out the Cheetos and strap yourself in, it’s time to celebrate the magic of stoner cinema.
Here is a list of the 12 best stoner movies to watch this 420.
1. Pineapple Express
Probably the best stoner movie to come out this millennium, Pineapple Express is Seth Rogan and James Franco at their absolute peak. When disenchanted process server, Dale (Seth Rogen), witnesses a murder at the hands of his drug dealer Saul’s (James Franco) supplier, the pair must reluctantly work together to stay alive. Get ready for ninjas, Rosie Perez, a Daewoo Lanos, Craig Robinson, and a whole lot of green.
Release date: 7 August 2008 (Australia)
Director: David Gordon Green
Featured song: Pineapple Express
Box office: 102.4 million USD
Budget: 27 million USD
2. How High
Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man and Redman took their reputation for blunt-smoking and put it on the big screen for all to see in this 2001college hit. The pair play smokers who go to Harvard and tear it up after acing their college entrance exams with the help of a nerdy friend. How High isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, but it’s a fun ride.
Initial release: 21 December 2001 (USA)
Director: Jesse Dylan
Box office: 31.28 million USD
Budget: 12 million USD
3. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
One of the best stoner movies of all time, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a time-travelling journey through dimensions (sound familiar). When high school buddies Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) fall in danger of failing their history class, they receive help from Rufus (George Carlin), a traveller from a future. With the use of Rufus’ time machine, Bill and Ted travel to various points in history, returning with important figures to help them complete their final history presentation. Excellent!
Release date: 18 January 1990 (Australia)
Director: Stephen Herek
Film series: Bill & Ted
Box office: 40.5 million USD
Screenplay: Ed Solomon, Chris Matheson
If you were wondering if Friday was one of the best stoner movies out there, all you need to do is look at the character’s names. Craig and Smokey spend their time wishing their day was more eventful. When encounters with their neighbours spice things up, they’ll rue the day they wish for more excitement.
Release date: 5 October 1995 (Australia)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Featured song: Friday
Box office: 28.2 million USD
Screenplay: Ice Cube, DJ Pooh
5. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Fuelled by an insatiable desire for a different kind of munchies, stoners Harold and Kumar go on what can only be described as a mythical quest to the famed White Castle fast-food restaurant. Crazy obstacles stand in their way as they encounter cops, drug dealers, other smokers and Neil Patrick Harris.
Initial release: 20 May 2004 (Columbus)
Director: Danny Leiner
Featured song: Hold On
Budget: 9 million USD
Film series: Harold & Kumar
6. Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie
The best stoner move from the best stoner due of all time. Cheech and Chong essentially launched this form of comedy into the mainstream and Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie is their crowning achievement. After Cheech loses his job, the two pot enthusiasts find themselves out on the streets, searching for a new income. When Cheech’s cousin, Red shows up, things get a little out of control.
Initial release: 18 July 1980 (USA)
Director: Tommy Chong
Box office: 41.7 million USD
Film series: Up in Smoke
Screenplay: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
7. Grandma’s Boy
Video games, weed, chicken nuggets and a tiger on the loose. Grandma’s Boy is the best stoner movie you’ve never heard of. What’s more, it’s brought to you by the team behind Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. Also, sex with old ladies, be warned.
Initial release: 6 January 2006 (USA)
Director: Nicholaus Goossen
Budget: 5 million USD
Screenplay: Allen Covert, Nick Swardson, Barry Wernick
Producers: Allen Covert, Nick Swardson
8. Soul Plane
A crushed velvet plane and Snoop Dogg as the pilot, what could go wrong with this luxury balling airline? Soul Plane tells the story of Nashawn Wade, who, after after a horrible in-flight experience, sues an airline and receives a huge compensation. With wads of cash at his disposal, Nashawn makes his own airline, complete with high-flying hilarity.
Release date: 18 November 2004 (Australia)
Director: Jessy Terrero
Box office: 14.8 million USD
Budget: 16 million USD
Screenplay: Bo Zenga, Chuck Wilson
9. The Night Before
This weed movie is a holiday treat. Three friends celebrating one final night of holiday shenanigans before submitting themselves to adulthood, run into a boatload of trouble in New York City. The dynamic between leads, Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie is great. Worth it just for Seth Rogan’s drug-induced freak-out scene in a catholic church on Christmas.
Initial release: 20 November 2015 (USA)
Director: Jonathan Levine
Budget: $25–33 million
Narrator: Tracy Morgan
Box office: 52.4 million USD
10. Dude, Where’s My Car?
Often overlooked on these sorts of lists, Dude, Where’s My Car is a playbook on how to execute the best stoner movie. Cults, brainwashing, aliens and year’s supply of pudding star in this Ashton Kutcher, Seann William-Scott classic.
Release date: 29 March 2001 (Australia)
Director: Danny Leiner
Screenplay: Philip Stark
Budget: 13 million USD
Box office: 73.2 million USD
Seth MacFarlane, director of Family Guy, plays a profane, bong hitting teddy bear brought to life by a child’s wish. When best friend John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg tries to grow up and move on, the Thunder Buddies come unstuck.
Release date: 5 July 2012 (Australia)
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Sequel: Ted 2
Featured song: Everybody Needs a Best Friend
Narrator: Patrick Stewart
12. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Easily one of the best stoner movies of our generation, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is severely underrated. Kevin Smith, the guy that brought us Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma steps in to tell the tale of two potheads on a quest to prevent their likeness from being turned into a movie. The plot is barely strung together, but it’s worth watching just for Ben Affleck’s cameo.
Initial release: 24 August 2001 (USA)
Director: Kevin Smith
How is the biggest stoner of all time?
It's a debatable question, but among popular culture, Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are regarded as the biggest weed fans.
What was the first stoner movie?
Stoner movies have been around since the late 1970s, however, Up in Smoke is widely regarded as the earliest incarnation of the genre.
What is the best stoner movie on Netflix?
While Netflix has a range of films in the genre, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is the most popular.
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The Dank History of 420: How Cannabis Culture Was Created