5 Best Movies to Watch High
Some of the best movies to watch high aren’t the first ones to spring to mind. Now, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the ‘Stoner’ subset of movies: your How High’s and your Half Baked’s, etc. However, there are a plethora of films that are elevated to entirely new heights of entertainment potential that aren’t centred around, focused on, or even inclusive of the devil’s lettuce. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of films (in no particular order) that, whilst great on their own, are even more spectacular if you can enjoy them nice and stoned.
We won’t be including any films that are tailor-made for stoners so, no Pineapple Express, no Harold and Kumar, that’s a list in and of itself. Instead, we’ll be focusing on those movies that complement a high particularly well because of their visuals, concepts, themes or even just a great soundtrack. So roll up and buckle in, here we go!
One Man’s Take on the Best Movies to Watch High
The Cabin in the Woods
Starting off with a personal favourite of mine, The Cabin in the Woods is a 2011 horror/comedy produced by none other than Joss Whedon and starring an ensemble cast including Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, and Kristen Connelly. Part satire, part pastiche and all laughs, it follows a group of college students who head to the eponymous cabin only to find themselves subject to the machinations of a shady government agency/cult.
Whilst hilarious even when dead sober, the setting and more importantly the twists and turns are even more engaging if you’re baked. One character in particular resonates extra hard with the stoner subset for reasons that become obvious from his first seconds on screen – collapsible bong disguised as a travel coffee mug anyone? Packed to the brim with meta references and commentaries on the horror genre, this is the kind of movie that feels like a 90-minute inside joke between you and the director.
Probably best enjoyed with a nice, light Sativa strain (so you don’t fall asleep 25 minutes in and miss the really good parts), the visuals are also super impressive toward the end with one scene in particular comprised of straight up balls-to-the-wall insanity that will send your weed-addled brain through the ringer!
Let’s be honest – this entire list could be comprised entirely of Nicholas Cage movies. From Con Air to The Wicker Man, the guy is an absolute goldmine of fantastic movies to watch when stoned, be they genuine classics or just so-bad-it’s-good guilty pleasures, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice! That being said, there is something truly special about Face/Off. Cage plays a psychotic, sexually obsessive (peach anyone?) terrorist called Castor Troy who goes up (faces off, geddit?) against John Travolta’s intense, straight-laced FBI agent with a grudge, Sean Archer.
As subtle as a roundhouse kick to the face, the crux of the movie is genuinely about the two swapping their literal faces and lives in order for Archer to foil Troy’s plan for a deadly terrorist attack. One of John Woo’s best Hollywood movies, this film is action incarnate, from the insane choreography to the frankly ludicrous number of bullets fired across its 2+ hour runtime, you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Getting high and watching Face/Off is a truly mind-blowing experience. Intense, hilarious, and absolutely ridiculous, it is a recipe for pure enjoyment. Being high just makes you even more receptive to the insanity going on in pretty much every scene. The dialogue pops even more, the over-the-top acting is even more hilarious and, more than anything, rising action set pieces are guaranteed to leave you slack jawed in amazement. It’s of the best movies to watch when high on a nice heavy Indica: it balances out the ridiculous levels of adrenaline you’ll be pumping out during the shootouts but to each their own. One thing is for certain though: they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to…
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This one kind of slipped under most people’s radar for some reason. Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan star in this 2004 hard-boiled, pulp detective comedy/thriller. A thief turned opportunistic actor teams up with a cantankerous PI to solve a murder mystery. The lynchpin of this film, aside from the scathingly witty comedic writing, is the brilliant chemistry between the leads. Downey Jr and Kilmer, in particular, steal every single scene they share with a combination of witty banter, blistering insults and perfectly timed physical comedy.
If you’re a fan of sharp, comedic dialogue, this is the film for you. The character exchanges and the voiceover/narration from RDJ really make this a film to be enjoyed for what’s said as much as what’s shown. The setting is fairly understated – or, at least, as much as Hollywood can be seen as ‘understated’. It is a genuinely hilarious and charming piece of filmmaking, anchored by characterisation and conversation more than anything else.
Best to sit back and chill to this with an Indica-heavy hybrid. You’ll definitely want to be nice and baked but not so physically chilled that you don’t pay attention to the dialogue and only laugh at the slapstick elements. Still, you don’t want to be so cerebral that you spend minutes digesting every line of dialogue! A hybrid should keep things balanced. Your mileage may vary but whatever kinda high you want to be, this film will certainly accommodate!
Being John Malkovich
There are still parts of me that are convinced that this entire film is a figment of my imagination. There’s surreal, then there’s surreal and then there’s Being John Malkovich. The title, as metaphorical as it may sound, is as accurate as Snakes on a Plane. It stars John Cusack as a down-on-his-luck puppeteer with incredibly quick fingers who lands an office job. In said office (the strangest office in the world I might add), he finds a tiny door which, when entered, puts you inside John Malkovich’s head, seeing through his eyes for a time before you get ungraciously dumped into a roadside ditch…so, yeah.
Absolutely hilarious, insane and superbly written with brilliantly committed performances from the entire cast, this movie is definitely best watched high. Some scenes are almost too weird to be true and somehow the movie just keeps one-upping itself. Cameron Diaz (with some truly crazy hair), Katherine Keener and John Cusack manage to bring a somewhat grounded element to an otherwise ludicrous premise, showing genuinely relatable human faults (albeit somewhat exaggerated) and John Malkovich himself is fantastic, seemingly the only character in the film that recognises the absurdity of his situation in any realistic way.
This film has Sativa written all over it. The themes, setting and a number of the scenes (monkey PTSD flashback, and the incredible ‘Malkovich’ dinner scene spring to mind) are absolutely hilarious and a good, strong head high is just going to massively increase your appreciation for the absolute madness that takes place over the course of the film.
Yet another one of my all-time favourite movies, Starship Troopers wears a lot of hats. Part action adventure, part coming-of-age tale, part biting satirical commentary on the military industrial complex with a very healthy dose of late 90’s cheese, this film, released in 1997, is everything you could want to experience visually when you’re high.
Based on the book of the same name, and set in the relatively distant future, it follows a group of teenagers (mainly Johnny Rico) from Buenos Aires as they graduate high school and join various branches of Earth’s military to combat the ‘Bugs’ – literal giant bugs that fly, crawl, burrow and slash their way through Earth’s defenders.
Some impressive practical effects and some half-decent CGI make the imagery and setting seem much more immersive, especially with a brain filled with THC. The characters are larger-than-life stereotypes (the jock, the girl next door, the OTT drill sergeant) and its use of faux propaganda a la Uncle Sam is brilliantly used in a satirical context to elevate what could easily be an entertaining 2 hours into a surprisingly poignant piece of political comedy (if you choose to see it that way). Would you like to know more…?
I tend to lean more toward Sativa for Starship Troopers. The comedy seems to shine a little more when you’re high too, so if the subtle nuances of political philosophy don’t immediately present themselves, it’s probably the weed.
Now, this is just one stoner’s list of films and everyone has their own taste. We just hope it gave you a few new suggestions. What are your personal best movies to watch high? Let us know in the comments below!