Weed and stoner movies go together like…well, there really is nothing that compares to the synergy between marijuana’s effects and moving lights on a screen. Feeding off each other, and seemingly making each one more potent, weed and movies together is a match made in stoner heaven. And if the movie happens to be related to marijuana or marijuana culture in any way – no matter how tenuous the connection may be – the combo is all the more enjoyable.
There have been countless stoner movies over the years, and many will no doubt argue that the best were made before the millennium. After all, the 1970s and 1980s were the heyday of stoner classics as the slew of Cheech and Chong movies, Fast Times in Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, and so many others. For the undisputed classics, many would say that you really would have to take a jaunt back to pre-2000 cinema.
That being said, the millennial film industry has done its share in upholding the stoner movie tradition admirably. A number of more recent releases hold up well when compared to the well-loved classics, and some may even shape up to be future classics in their own right. Here are some of the more noteworthy stoner movies of the 21st century so far.
1. How High (2001)
Starring Redman and Method Man, How High is a fun-filled romp into the magical and surreal world of marijuana. With a bit of quality homegrown fertilized by the remains of their buddy Ivory, Silas and Jamal embark on a trip that ends up with them getting admitted into Harvard…with the help of their aforementioned buddy’s ghost.
2. Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
This one just barely eked into the 21st century, which is a good thing because it is a definite classic. The recurring line serves both as the title and the key plot point of this outrageous and sometimes bizarre comedy that will undoubtedly have you glued to your seat in between bong rips.
3. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Another undisputable 21st century classic, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is probably responsible for selling more White Castle burgers than the fast-food joint’s owners would care to admit. Basically paying homage to the munchies and detailing the lengths that stoners will go to appease them, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle offers everything that makes stoner movies so enjoyable.
4. Pineapple Express (2008)
When Pineapple Express came out in 2008, it sent the clear message that the stoner movie genre is alive and well. Revolving around the legendary “Pineapple Express” strain which has since become the stuff of stoner lore and reality, the flick brings together real-life buddies Seth Rogan and James Franco, both of whom are probably no strangers to weed, on- and off-screen.
5. Smiley Face (2007)
In marked contrast to most other stoner movies, Smiley Face takes a decidedly more negative view of the kind bud. Nevertheless, the story of a young actress who ‘accidently’ polishes off an entire batch of pot brownies is just too good to pass up. Starring Anna Faris in an unlikely role that she nevertheless pulls off admirably, Smiley Face is a worthy addition to any stoner’s movie queue.