BEST 10 MOVIES TO WATCH WHILE YOU ARE STONED, CURATED BY A FILMMAKER

Note that the name of this list is “Best 10 Movies to Watch While You are Stoned” and not “10 Best Stoner Movies”. While most lists out there are based 100% on “Stoner Movies” there are key elements that is being left out… Of course that having a good laugh with relatable stoner jokes is one of the best parts of watching a movie while you are high.

But something that is often overlooked is that aside from the visual experience, a good movie takes you along on the hero’s journey. Elements like VFX, animation, cinematography, sound design, writing, directing… along with many others. All come together to deliver a surreal experience.

Hence this is a list where we explore different genres, ranging from comedies, to animation, psychological thrillers, sci-fi and drama. It’s important to mention that here we are equally appreciating all of these movies for their artistic values and not representing them in a competitive manner. 

Let us know which are your favorites in the comments.


True Romance

Director: Tony Scott
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Genre: Action & Adventure, Dark Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
Stars: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson.
Movie Info:
In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.
Why it made the list?

If you haven’t watched true romance, you are in for a wild ride… This is the perfect example of a movie that takes you on a journey. Combining many genres in a tasteful and exciting way. It is also interesting to see Tarantino’s writing brought to screen by a different director, which gives the film a Tarantino soul with a fresh feel, in this case brought to life by Tony Scott.

Fun facts:

Many tend to think that Tarantino’s first film was Reservoir Dogs, but his first feature was actually True Romance. The young director/writer has always had a passion for crime films and it shows in True Romance.
- The character of Brad Pitt in True Romance actually inspired James Franco’s character in Pineapple Express.
- Tarantino sold the screenplay for a mere $50,000, which was the minimum amount permitted by the WGA at the time. He used part of that money to purchase the Chevelle Malibu driven by John Travolta's character in 1994's "Pulp Fiction."

The Big Lebowski

Director: Joel Cohen
Writer: Ethan Cohen, Joel Cohen
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Satire
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne More, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymor Hoffman, Tara Reid & more…

Movie Info:
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Why it made the list?
There was just no way not to include “The Dude” who is perfectly portrayed in an outstanding performance by Jeff Bridges. If you are into black comedy, this masterpiece by the Cohen brothers will hit the spot.

Fun facts:

The Coen Brothers primarily based the Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) on a man named Jeff Dowd, who helped distribute their first film, Blood Simple, in 1984. Like the stoner character in the movie, Dowd was a member of the anti-war group the Seattle Seven and actually called himself “The Dude.”
- In real life, actor Jeff Bridges plays guitar in a band called The Abiders, which is named after the above mentioned “the Dude abides” line from the movie.
- The dude spawned his own religion… According to its official website, the core tenet of Dudeism is that “everything is just, like, your opinion, man.” You can also join the ranks of the over 220,000 Dudeist ministers ordained worldwide.

Trance 

Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Joe Ahearne and John Hodge
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Stars: James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson & Danny Sapany.
Movie Info: 
Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars, but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang's leader Frank (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon's psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon's broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.
Why it made the list?
Two words: Trippy AF. If you haven’t watched this film, we recommend avoiding spoilers. So… Don’t watch the trailer! You’ll have to trust us on this, Danny Boyle will keep you miss-guessing whats going to happen next throughout the whole film, and thats the beauty of it.

The director of 'Slumdog Millionaire' and '127 Hours' takes a vacation from uplift and delivers a twisty, sexy neo-noir - Time Magazine

 

What We Do in The Shadows

Director: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement
Writers: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Stars: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement

 

Movie Info:
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS chronicles the adventures of four vampire roommates trying to get by in a modern world that's not always hospitable to the undead. Clement and Waititi, creators of the HBO hit series "Flight of the Conchords," co-wrote, co-directed, and co-star in this hilarious send-up in which an endearingly unhip quartet of friends reveal to us or, rather, to the documentary crew that's filming them, the details of their daily-make that nightly-routine. Ranging in age from 183 to 8,000, and in appearance from adorably youthful to Nosferatu-crusty, they squabble over household chores, struggle to keep up with the latest trends in technology and fashion, antagonize the local werewolves, cruise clubs for lovely ladies, and deal with the rigors of living on a very, very strict diet.

 

Why it made the list?
This might not be your stereotypical stoner comedy, but boy it’s hilarious. This brilliant mockumentary ties all of the elements to deliver one of the funniest and most original movies of the latest years.

 

Fun Facts:
Late in the film, an ambulance arrives after a moment in the park turns gruesome. Originally, Waititi and Clement wanted to cut the scene as they were afraid it would be too complicated. They eventually decided to film the scene at the last minute, and enlisted the help of a real ambulance and crew of paramedics to do so. Apparently, they were happy to be part of the movie, on the condition they would have to leave immediately if a real emergency occurred during filming.

  

Good Boys

Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Writers: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brandy Noon
 
Movie Info: 
Three 6th grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited kissing party.

 

Why it made the list?
This fresh comedy produced by Seth Rogen might offend some people out there, and while it’s understandable. We can also confidently claim that there aren’t many movies that will make you laugh this hard.

 

Dr. Strange

Director: Scott Derrickson
Genre: Action and Adventure

 

Movie Info:
Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

Why it made the list?
Trippy VFX. Out of all marvel movies Dr. Strange is probably the one with the most psychedelic visual effects out there. Yes, it’s a big commercial film but that doesn’t take anything away from the film. Which has a strong story, brilliant acting and the effects are just insane. I guess that’s what a 165M budget will get you.

 

Fun Facts:
While filming Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch would sometimes go to comic book stores in costume and buy an actual Doctor Strange comic.
- Stephen Strange received training at an Eastern monastery before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. Benedict Cumberbatch volunteered as an English teacher at a Buddhist monastery for a year in Darjeeling, India. He described that the experience was very heartfelt and had a great impact on his life and sought to use this experience in preparing for the role.
- Director Scott Derrickson is a big fan of Doctor Strange and spent his own money on a concept video he pitched to Marvel so that he could get the job of directing the film.

 

Super Troopers 

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Writers: Broken Lizard Comedy Group (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik StolhanskeAll of whom starred in the film)
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Andre Vippolis, Paul Soter, Marisa Coughlan & more…

 

Movie Info:
Five Vermont state troopers, avid pranksters with a knack for screwing up, try to save their jobs and out-do the local police department by solving a crime.

 

Why it made the list?
You could definitely categorize this as a “Stoner Classic” which is why it couldn’t be left out. We can all agree the humor is on the goofy side, not to use another word… but man it just works.

 

Fun Facts:

THE OPENING SCENE WAS BASED IN REALITY.

The college kid (Geoffrey Arend) who was forced to eat drugs to get rid of evidence came straight out of the lives of some friends of the Broken Lizard guys. Border guards at the U.S.-Canada border found a joint in their Winnebago. When they were all asked to step out of the vehicle, one friend ate a stash of mushrooms meant for 10 guys. He tripped for two days.
 

Wall E

Director: Andrew Staton
Writers: Andrew Staton, Pete Docter
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Movie Info:
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

 

Why it made the list?
As adults we often overlook animated features or “kids movies” but something to keep in mind is that animation is not limited to any bounds of reality whatsoever. Which often makes for the most original concepts and exceptional creative expression. We love this film because it addresses a real issue in the world right now which is pollution. Delivered by the iconic studio PIXAR. The visuals are stunning but the sound design in this movie is noteworthy, there are long stretches where there is no dialog present and just by the sounds that the robots emit, we are able to understand them in an emotional way.

 

Fun Facts:
 - WALL-E Was Voiced By The Guy Who Played R2-D2… Sound designer Ben Burtt was given the massive task of creating the voice for the movie's main character.
- WALL-E Is Named After Walt Disney
- Originally, the film was called Trash Planet and had a much different plot and tone. "It was about a family of aliens going on a summer vacation on a planet and it’s supposed to be a resort and there’s this tiny little robot that drives them nuts," co-writer Jim Reardon explained of the original movie."John [Lasseter] passed on it but the idea of a lone, solitary robot on a planet full of trash really struck something in [director] Andrew [Stanton]. And he thought he could make it into a love story.”

 

Rock N’ Rolla

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie
Genre: Action Crime Film
Stars: Gerard Buttler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden & more…

 

Movie Info:
Small-time crooks One Two and Mumbles decide to legitimately invest in some prime real estate and find themselves out of their depth and in debt to old-school London gangster Lenny Cole. Cole himself is in the middle of a business deal with a Russian gangster, but when his accountant tips off One Two and Mumbles to the details of an upcoming big-money business transaction, the two scallywags swoop in and steal the cash.

 

Why it made the list?
Rock N’ Rolla delivers an explosive story, filled with action and black humour at times. Guy Ritchie’s dynamic style of directing, gives the film a strong and distinctive style when comparing it to other Hollywood action films.   
 
Fun Facts:
 - On the day of filming the sex scene, Gerard Butler had a nasty throat infection and Thandie Newton refused to kiss him. Guy Ritchie then improvised and revised the scene into the very funny montage.
According to director Guy Ritchie, this is the first in a trilogy. Before the credits, there is a title card that reads "The Wild Bunch will return in The Real RockNRolla", hinting that this will be the title of the next instalment.
- The character Uri (Karel Roden) appears to be inspired by real-life Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. He physically resembles Abramovich and conducts a business meeting at a soccer stadium which echoes Abramovich's status as owner of Chelsea FC.

 

PaPrika

Director: Satoshi Kon
Writers: Yasutaka Tutsui, Seishi Minakami
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tory Emori, Katsunosuke

 

Movie Info:

When a machine (DC Mini) that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Paprika, if it can be boiled down in this way, is, ultimately, about two things: dreams and identity. It's also about how technology impacts both these things. Ultimately, though, the DC Mini is merely the vehicle that allows Kon to explore how our subconscious and conscious minds struggle with who we were, who we are, and who we wish to be. 

Why it made the list?
If you’ve ever watched Nolan’s Inception… Well you are in for a treat. Paprika has a similar plot and there are even a lot of scenes and shots that resemble Inception’s. The one thing to consider is that Paprika was released 4 years earlier than Inception. If you can get past the fact that you are about to watch a Japanese Anime, you are about to experience a masterpiece of modern animation. Which is so remarkable that it’s essence now lives inside the live action movie “Inception”

 

Fun Facts:
 - At the world premiere at Venice Film Festival 2006 (Sept. 2, 2006), the screening was followed by a five-minute standing ovation.

 

 Curated by Filmmaker Fernando Madero (@madero_films)

 

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