The Best Sci-Fi Movies To Watch When You’re Seriously Stoned

The Best Sci-Fi Movies To Watch When You’re Seriously Stoned

Marijuana can make a bad movie good and a good movie great. But it’s got to be the right movie, one with ideas you can explore more deeply, or absurdity you can appreciate more naturally. The balance is delicate, just like picking the right kind of weed. And as 4/20 has recently passed, we’ve created a new list of films to watch when you want to get sci-high.

2001: A Space Odyssey

A staple. The first film you think of. Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece has it all. The visuals are gorgeous. The music is wonderful. The concepts are fascinating and intense, and though the pacing might be a little slow depending on your high, once things kick in it all becomes almost too much to handle.

Truly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sci-fi film more suited to an elevated mind.

Galaxy Quest

Stoned sci-fi movies can’t just be relegated to the serious, though. Laughter and wackiness are a huge bonus and few films are funnier or more wonderful than Galaxy Quest. The cult take on fan and science fiction culture is incredibly smart and engaging, as well as extremely funny.

It’s a movie you just watch with a big, dumb, smile on your face the entire time. And that’s even if you’re not stoned.


Few sci-fi films demand as much in-depth conversation and breakdowns as Shane Carruth’s mind-bending time travel tale. The film’s labyrinthian plot is incredibly fascinating and it would be a real challenge to get baked and try to figure out how everything actually works.

Shit, it’s a challenge when you’re not high. Plus, it’s so complex that even when you get it, you really aren’t sure if you get it, so the conversation never ends.

Mars Attacks!

Basically any Tim Burton movie could fit well on this list, but Mars Attacks kind of checks all the boxes. Beautiful, colourful visuals? Check. Over-the-top performances? Check. Hilarious cameos? Check. Frighteningly plausible plot? Check. Off the wall moments you rewind to rewatch? Check. I could go on all day. Ack ack!


While in an elevated mindset, pretty much anything with cloning in it might blow your mind (“How many of that guy are there??”), but Duncan Jones’ directorial debut will fuck you up. You might want to make sure you’re in a good mood before diving into this one though because it’s so inherently sad.

The more we learn about Sam Rockwell’s character and his unsettlingly lonely job on the moon, the bigger the story gets, but also more upsetting and fascinating. Also, Kevin Spacey’s voice at the companion AI now adds another level of creepiness.

Space Jam

The greatest basketball player in the world decides to retire and play baseball, but is recruited by Looney Tunes to defeat monsters who have stolen the basketball skills of the NBA’s best superstars. I mean, what else do you need to say? Space Jam is a ridiculous, funny, colourful movie featuring two stars who would be awesome and captivating no matter your level of sobriety, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Bonus points for being oh so ’90s.


Christopher Nolan’s Inception isn’t about getting high but, if you think about it, it could be. The whole movie centres on a process where you get so deep into your own mind you can literally get lost. Sound familiar? Plus it’s got a great cast and lots of awesome action and incredibly trippy special effects. It’s basically a pot popcorn film.

Jupiter Ascending

Rising up the ranks of “So Bad It’s Good” movies is this 2015 film by the Wachowskis about a part-dog alien (Channing Tatum) who falls in love with an Earth janitor (Mila Kunis) who is actually an intergalactic princess.

It’s a super-dumb movie, but it looks great (most of the time) and features one of the weirdest, most scenery-chewing performances ever by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne. There are good things in Jupiter Ascending, though, so pot can either help you find them, or laugh at all the bad.


After 2001: A Space Odyssey, the other must-have on this list is David Lynch’s Dune. First of all, it’s unapologetically ’80s, and that just works really well when you’re high. It’s also wonderfully dense and filled with heady ideas, weird music, big set pieces, and infinite plot potential.

You could spend hours analysing Frank Herbert’s wonderful world and imagining what could have been had this movie been a success, or you can just marvel at the costumes, special effects, and utterly out-there setting. (Bonus: Consider making it a double feature with Jodorowsky’s Dune, a documentary about an even trippier version of Dune that didn’t get made.)

Deep Blue Sea

“Deepest, bluest, my hat is like a shark fin.” So go the immortal lyrics of LL Cool J, not just a star in this human vs. shark wonder, but the artist of the film’s outstanding closing credit song. The whole movie is just straight ridiculous, like Jaws for Dummies, but it’s consistently and unintentionally hilarious throughout, culminating with that LL Cool J tune as the perfect punctuation on a truly wild movie.

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

Yes, it’s a kids movie, but nothing quite messes with your mind like thinking about what it would be like to shrink down to a size that’s nearly impossible to see with the human eye. It also helps that the practical effects don’t hold up, which makes everything odder and creepier. Also, Rick Moranis is always a delight in any state, mind-altered or otherwise.

Speed Racer

Bright flashing lights in all the colours of the rainbow, right, blasted constantly at your eyes and brain for over two hours? The Wachowskis’ wonderful, lavish, never-in-a-million-years-going to be successful adaptation of the 1960s anime TV series is a movie everyone who tokes needs to put on their to-do list.

John Goodman fights ninjas, tricked-out cars have weapons like bee-launchers in them, there’s a monkey hopped up on candy… and those races. Even when you see them you might not be able to believe them.


This one is a little out of left field, but really all you need to know is that it features Sean Connery wearing a red diaper and it begins with a giant, floating stone head that screams “THE GUN IS GOOD, THE PENIS IS EVIL” at people, and then gets weirder from there, if you can believe it.

It’s a story that is utterly tripped-out on its own, obsessed with machismo, sex, immortality, violence… and is incomprehensible to even the most lucid of minds. If you aren’t, there’s more than enough straight-up madness that you may not be able to close your eyes.

Total Recall

Total Recall is another kind of obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s unworthy. Like other films on this list, it has pretty much everything you’d want to watch while stoned: A ridiculous, overly complex plot. Lots of crazy visuals and special effects.

Great action and one-liners. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gross creatures and wacky sci-fi tech. And, of course, an open ending that’s ripe for debate or pondering by yourself for hours on end. Just make sure you don’t have anywhere to be for a while.

We could go on all day, honestly. Barbarella, Plan 9 from Outer Space, A.I., Battlefield Earth… there are so many (and again, head here for more). What would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!


  • Deep Blue Sea. We increased their brain mass. As a side effect, the sharks got smarter.

    Such a ridiculously stupid and at the same time fun movie.

    Is this article in response to all the news lately surrounding a push for legalisation?

    • I gotta say though, I’m starting to get a little over this open-to-interpretation-what-does-it-all-mean-Basil ending trend in the Sci-fi genre at the moment.
      For gods sake, climb in the bloody heavy loader and kill the damn alien already.

      The whole multi dimensional life form thing was pretty crazy to see though, some fantastic effects.

    • Every time I see it I wonder if it’s just flat out bad, or good-bad or just an awesome movie I didn’t know about. I will honour our ANZACs by getting blazed and watching it tomorrow.

      • Saw Ice Pirates for the first time last week. Definitely in the so bad it’s almost good category.
        You can almost imagine the exec meetings “‘Star Wars’ is huge. We MUST have our own version”
        Shockingly shithouse special effects, particularly the robots, which basically look like they were made by a primary school art teacher, with sound effects that are obviously meant to be be like R2D2 but made by someone with access to one crappy children’s Casio keyboard as their only audio tool.
        Being baked AF definitely helped me get to the end.
        Oh, and all the incredibly badly judged offensive sexist jokes that would NEVER get released nowadays. Almost worth it for that alone.
        But be prepared to cringe. A lot.
        But I kinda like that when I’m baked.

  • Kotaku, marijuana is still a prohibited drug under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) so it’s a little irresponsible for you to endorse films to watch ‘when you’re high’.

        • You must have a lot of time on your hands if you’re wringing your hands over people smoking weed and watching tv.

          • Complete opposite actually but it is unethical for Kotaku to endorse illegal activity. If the law changes then go for gold.

          • Complete opposite actually but it is unethical for Kotaku to endorse illegal activity. If the law changes then go for gold.

          • That’s not really the case. Ethics and religious teachings provide the basis for many of our laws. Criminal law proscribing such activities as murder, theft, assault etc are derived from almost universal religious/ethical teachings. Where there is more of a grey area is where the law permits unethical behaviour such as pollution, amassing of capital at the expense of the poor, etc.

          • Religious morals form the basis for the maintenance of order. Law is simply the maintenance of order and a reflection of accepted (often outdated) morality. Denying abortions is, to my mind, unethical. Preventing people from snap strikes is unethical. These are laws, but they change because people oppose that law or challenge the order. Ethics is underlined by the challenge to order, not the blind acceptance of the status quo.

            Ethics and what is law are not inherently intertwined. If I were to murder a bad person it might be ethical, but I would be held to account under the law. Society by and large takes it that fair treatment is ethical, but law doesn’t universally account for this or opposes it in many cases. In this instance, I would say it is more ethical to talk about fun things on weed than it is to avoid it because of stupid laws that are rarely applied and taken by many to be redundant.

    • It’s a criminal offence in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania as well. Penalties are usually not as harsh as the “harder” drugs, but regardless, I agree that it’s pretty irresponsible to seemingly endorse any activity that breaks the law.

    • Oh, FFS don’t read it if you don’t like it.
      It may not be legal in Australia but a HIGE percentage of the population do it.
      Or are you just shit stirring.
      I say give me an article on this every week.
      I play baked every night.
      Doesn’t hurt you one little F**king bit.
      Get off your high horse.

      • You might want to read up on the effects of long-term cannabis use on mental and physical health…

  • Not to be mean but I’m pretty sure one doesn’t need to be stoned before watching Dune nor Speed Racer.

    They both basically show what the world looks like when one is stoned!


  • I haven’t partaken in many years now, but can confirm Speed Racer was a favourite of ours! I forgot that it even existed.

  • Armageddon all the way. It’s got everything. Asteroids, explosions, Liv Tyler, space dementia, Bruce freaking Willis, A pre-Transformers Michael Bay who still kinda cared, questionable SFX, Steve Buscemi, flashing lights, bright colours and if you partake enough it’s INTENSE. Good times.

  • Excellent advice. Not just for mature movie buffs, but also for all the young readers here who are considering taking up drug use for the first time.

  • Oh shit I forgot Aliens. Watching this by myself high when I was a teenager cemented it as my favourite movie of all time. Shit is intense. It really has it all, some mystery, a little space exploration , fucking awesome weapons, gore, great looking aliens , androids, and by God people there’s basically a poor man’s mech at the end against an alien queen. $$$$$$

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