The Top 10 Movies to Watch High

To celebrate 420, I’ve put together this list of the top 10 movies to watch high. How did I determine these films and their order? I did the very important journalistic work of watching them all at least once while stoned.

Old and new, funny and serious, mainstream and experimental — this list has a range of options for any high mood. It even has a documentary about a squirrel.

Enjoy! And let me know your favorites movies to watch high in the comments.

10. Now You See Me (2013)

Movies to Watch High: Jesse Eisenberg splays out a deck of cards

Jesse Eisenberg plays J. Daniel Atlas, part of a team of thieving illusionists, in Now You See Me. </em

To say the Now You See Me movies are about magic, is like saying Spider-Man is about entomology. The way magic — not wizard magic, like… card tricks — are used here is part heist movie, part superhero team-up. It’s absurd! And when stoned?? Delightful! The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because of a very 2013 moment of random transphobia that can (briefly) kill even the most magical high.

9. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis look at each other.

Look, I think the Wachowskis’ last film collaboration is underrated no matter your state of sobriety. But drugs can certainly heighten this operatic tale of flying Channing Tatum wolfman and Mila Kunis queen of bees. The Wachowskis know how to make a movie and while this may not be The Matrix, the craft on display is still enchanting — especially under the influence.

8. Blue Crush (2002)

Three women holding surfboards walk along the shallow water of the ocean.

While stoned, why not revisit a childhood favorite? Especially one with hot surfer girls? I mean, sure you’d also probably have a great time watching surfing clips on YouTube, but it’s even better when interrupted by moments of homoerotic friendship. Also I love that the male love interest in this is super supportive of the main character’s ambitions. Good vibes all around!

7. Old (2021)

Movies to watch high: A close up of Gael Garcia Bernal looking old.

From a beach with good vibes to the beach that makes you old. I watched this M. Night Shyamalan movie high right after finding a row of staples in my delivery nachos, so I did spend a lot of the movie thinking about how if I’d eaten quicker I might’ve died. Appropriate thoughts for a movie about mortality! Because the characters are rapidly aging, they’re often shot abstractly and it makes for a very overwhelming (in a good way!) high watch.

6. Drive-Away Dolls (2024)

Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan peak their heads around a doorway.

The lesbian community seems to be really split on this recent movie from Tricia Cooke and Ethan Coen. Personally, I loved it even when I first watched it sober. But it really clicked when I rewatched it high. It’s a fun romp that’s smart while not needing to be taken seriously! Whether you loved it or hated it, it might be worth a high rewatch. At the very least, drugs make Margaret Qualley’s accent feel on purpose.

5. Déja Vu (2006)

Movies to watch high: a close up of Denzel Washington on the phone.

Any of Tony Scott and Denzel Washington’s collaborations make for great high watches. Scott’s style is so frenetic and Washington’s acting is so grounding and it’s always dazzling. While Unstoppable might be my favorite, Déja Vù is the one that feels most appropriate with drugs. It’s a truly bonkers riff on Vertigo that might make you feel stoned even if you were sober.

4. The Collected Works of Barbara Hammer (1968-2018)

Black and white images of bodies and arms crossing.

Before my fellow cinephiles attack me, I think you should watch Barbara Hammer’s work sober too. I just also really love watching experimental cinema high! When I first started smoking, I’d go to the Anthology Film Archives and watch whatever random series they were doing. Hammer’s work is relatively hard to find online, but hey start with Dyketactics and No No Nooky T.V.

3. Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda as Barbarella with big hair looks over her shoulder

My root! Jane Fonda in Barbarella is a sex-positive space hero and she changed my life in my early puberty. While it may have a PG rating, this is a campy action movie that jumps from sexual encounter to sexual encounter. One of the first movies I ever watched high, this one holds a special place in my heart.

2. Perri (1957)

A close up of a squirrel

I love a nature documentary while high. But what about a nature documentary with a musical number about animals fucking? This live action Disney movie from 1957 has exactly that! Ostensibly following the adventures of Perri the squirrel, this is a documentary that tries to narrativize a kids movie out of its real footage. It’s short and weird and a true hidden gem.

1. Smiley Face (2007)

Movies to watch high: A close up of Anna Farris winking

The ultimate stoner movie. I largely avoided explicit stoner comedies on this list — no one needs me to tell them to watch Bill & Ted or Friday — but nothing could top this list other than Gregg Araki’s tale of a woman who accidentally eats way too many pot cupcakes. While the premise may seem like something out of a sitcom episode, Araki’s direction and Anna Farris’ lead performance turn Smiley Face into one of the greatest movies of all time. I’d say that’s true whether you’re high or sober, but I’ve never felt the need to watch this one without a little something.

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 538 articles for us.


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