The Best Netflix Movies to Watch When You’re Stoned
Screenshots via Netflix
A lot of questions come to mind when you’re high. Am I high right now? Wait, how did I get this high? What should I watch? More importantly, what should I eat? I wonder what my grade-school crush is doing with their life right now. I wonder what I’m doing with my life right now. Why is the “p” in pterodactyl silent? Is water wet itself, or does it just make things wet? What really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke?
We can’t really help with the vast majority of those questions, but we do have some answers for what you should watch on Netflix (US) while you’re high. We've also compiled the best shows to watch when you're stoned, the best action movies, best comedies, and best documentaries on Netflix, movies to watch when you're tripping, the best movies to watch when you're heartbroken, the finest Oscar-nominated movies new to Netflix, and movies on Netflix that pass the Bechdel test, so you have options if you're a picky stoner. Enjoy, where it's legal to do so, of course.
Stanley Kubrick’s final film is a paranoid sex drama filled with as many strange symbols and interpretations as a Hieronymus Bosch painting—but that’s not why it’s on this list. In all likelihood, you’ll never get a chance to smoke a joint with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. This is as close as it gets to doing that.
Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese conceptual artist who paints using exploding fireworks. Sky Ladder is a mesmerizing documentary about his bombastic creations, focusing primarily on his quest to build a thousand-foot floating ladder of gunpowder and light it on fire. Burn one and let your head explode as the artist attempts to build his enormous stairway to heaven.
It’s Gaspar Noé, what more do you need to know? Viewer discretion is advised.
John Dies at the End is a scuzzy sci-fi drug trip dealio that has “future cult classic” written all over it. It’s a twisted, unpredictable watch, perfect for riding out a bad high.
As Motherboard noted earlier this month, Slow TV hasn’t really caught on in the US yet, but it’s about time you added it to your stoned viewing queue. It’s basically just movie-length recordings of Norwegians doing mundane things like knitting, chopping wood, or riding the train. Though undoubtedly tedious, it’ll pleasantly lower your heart rate while you’re completely doinked out of your damn mind.
This visually-stunning “dieselpunk” fantasia watches like Sin City and The Iron Giant got caught in the industrial shredder at the stupid-factory. Still, Sky Captain is worth a watch just to see Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie struggle to keep straight faces as they save the world from an army of giant children’s toys. Tall, dark, and way too expensive for its own good, this is one you’ll remember fuzzily but fondly after watching with a head full of gas.
The 2012 Indian action/fantasy film Makkhi is a classic tale of boy-meets-girl, billionaire guy-gets-jealous, billionaire guy-kills-boy, and boy-is-reborn-as-a-housefly-who-seeks-revenge-on-billionaire-guy. It’s got several sequences of melodramatic action movie cliches acted out by a CG insect—in other words, a good pick for a blazed viewing.
I could listen to Werner Herzog read soup labels for an hour and a half and probably still be extremely entertained. (Actually, that would be great to watch while high.) Until my genius idea gets made, however, the silver-tongued German director’s chronicle of the history of the internet is a pretty trippy substitute.
If you consider Joe Rogan to be an aspirational figure, this is probably a movie for you to get high and “Woah, bro” with your bros to.
The Tribe is a Ukrainian film set in a boarding school for the deaf. The story is told exclusively through sign language without subtitles. It’s a brutal but gracefully shot movie, and, as Michael Nordine wrote for VICE in 2015, ”an exercise in both watching and listening to a movie in a new way.”
The premise of this movie is basically “You ever get high and feel like the whole world is watching you?” starring Ed Harris as your buzzkill dad and Jim Carrey as you.
Netflix has a slew of great food documentaries to watch while blazed (The Birth of Sake, Todo Sobre El Asado, Somm, and Barbeque to name just a few), but the critically acclaimed Jiro Dreams of Sushi is still probably the best option to watch while baked. It’s a poignant, thoughtful documentary, and there’s just no denying the appeal of watching the plating of glimmering sushi rolls scored to Philip Glass.
This quirky Japanese animated short film is like the movie version of playing with LEGO while high.
Few films so gently evoke the tender wonderment of having a childhood hero. Most people—including Wes Anderson fans—have a problem with The Life Aquatic’s stilted off-comedy and pretentiousness. Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re wrong. The joke no one appreciates is that Bill Murray is high as a helicopter the whole damn time. What this classic lacks in bombast and spectacle it makes up for with a soundtrack of Portuguese David Bowie by Seu Jorge and a climax that is downright magical. Just have a lot of weed on hand, because you won’t fully enjoy it unless you can sink into its ebbing, flowing pace.
If Andy Warhol embraced his inner Lana Del Rey, got high, and went to the beach with a 16 mm camera, you’d have The Endless Summer. Laid-back, effortlessly beautiful, and ever-so-slightly-homoerotic, this one’s a must-watch if you’re interested in surfing, the sea, the history of counterculture—or if you just want to watch something toasty while you’re getting toasted.
Snoop Dogg (Lion?) goes on a spiritual quest to Jamaica, and there’s lots and lots and lots of weed. It’s lit.
The Google description for this movie is “In 2092 the last mortal human (Jared Leto) on Earth reflects on his long past and thinks about the lives he might have led.” Now replace Jared Leto with yourself and reflect on all the brain cells you could’ve saved before the doinkpacolypse.
Seen everything on this list already? Why not check out our list of the best Netflix shows to watch while stoned. You’re welcome.
Feel free to yell at Peter Slattery on Twitter, and maybe he'll include your favorite movie next time.