The Top 28 Stoner Movies of All Time

5. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Director: Joel Coen
Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Box office: $18 million
Plot: Jeff Lebowski (Bridges) just wants to smoke pot and bowl with his buddies, but when he gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity his life goes spectacularly off the rails. John Turturro's bowling character stars in the follow-up, The Jesus Rolls (2019). The directing and writing team of Joel and Ethan Coen went on to win Oscars for Fargo and No County for Old Men.


4. Dazed and Confused (1993)

Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Rory Cochrane
Box office: $7.9 million
Plot: The last day of high school in Austin in 1976 is time for hijinks and a lot of weed. Like Diner, many of the actors in this stoner comedy classic went on to big careers, including McConaughey, Affleck, Posey, Cochrane, Joey Lauren Adams and Milla Jovovich. Linklater's baseball film Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) is a followup, but not an actual sequel to Dazed and Confused. In 2015, Linklater's Boyhood received three Academy Award nominations.


3. Reefer Madness (1936)

Director: Louis Gasnier
Cast: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Thelma White
Box office: NA
Plot: The granddaddy of exploitation drug movies hastened marijuana prohibition one year later with its sordid depiction of young people wantonly smoking reefers. Andy Fickman's Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) was originally produced for off-Broadway and then filmed by Showtime.


2. Up in Smoke (1978)

Director: Lou Adler
Cast: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Stacey Keach
Box office: $44.3 million
Plot: A Chinese-American and a Mexican-American founded the stoner comedy with outrageous pot props (huge joints), a van made of hemp and general weed-themed hilarity. The dopey duo followed with Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980), Nice Dreams (1981), Things Are Tough All Over (1982), Still Smokin (1983), Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984) and Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie (2013).


1. Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper
Cast: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Box office: $123,276
Plot: Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) go looking for America as they road trip on motorcycles from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Along the way they meet George (Nicholson) who they teach how to smoke a joint during the famous campfire scene. It received two Oscar nominations, a rarity for stoner films. Hopper followed with the disastrous Last Movie (1971), but rebounded with roles in Apocalypse Now! (1979) and Blue Velvet (1986).

Source: Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide (2011) by Steve Bloom and Shirley Halperin.


Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.