Love them or hate them, drugs are the centerpoint of a big ‘ole wrap of awesome movies that anyone from the hardline straight edger to the Snoop Dogg-level stoner can love… and loads of them are available at your streaming pleasure on Netflix.
From the hard-hitting dramas that gut punch you with the tragedy of the drug trade to hilarious weed-fueled romps, Netflix has a wide variety of movies that might just blow your perception of controlled substances right out the window.
The Netflix Hardhitters
The movies below are definitely not feel-good Sunday afternoon Netflix viewing and you’ll probably want to refrain from rolling up a blunt — if it’s legal in your state, of course — to take in these epics that showcase the dark side of drug use.
1. Enter the Void
Who Does It Star? Nathaniel Brown, Paz De La Huerta, Cyril Roy and Olly Alexander
After an American drug dealer who has emigrated to Tokyo to ply his trade is betrayed by his so-called ‘best friend’ and killed in a police raid we are treated to an unsettling psychedelic voyage through the afterlife.
With some seriously unsettling camera angles (including one vagina’s-eye view that you might want to avoid watching with your parents) and a tale of a lost soul seeking some sort of resurrection, Enter The Void is a nightmarish journey that echoes a bad trip.
Who Does It Star? Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald
One of the most iconic drug movies of all time, Trainspotting‘s uncompromisingly dark look at heroin addicts in Edinburgh, Scotland attempts to drag viewers into the filthy, sweaty bowels of addiction.
Ewan McGregor’s character Mark Renton realizes that drugs are destroying his life and chooses to flee the bad influences and temptations that surround him by fleeing to London where he truly learns that you cannot run away from your problems.
3. City Of God
Who Does It Star? Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva and Jonathan Haagensen.
Hands down one of the most powerful movies about drugs I have ever watched, City Of God explores the all-consuming influence of the drug trade in the favelas of Rio De Janeiro on the people who live there, whether they want to be involved or not.
Following two poor youngsters whose lives become intertwined despite choosing entirely different paths, City Of God holds no punches in the way it depicts how poverty fuels desperation in 1970s Brazil.
Featuring an amateur photographer named Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) who documents the violence drugs have stirred up in his neighborhood and José ‘Zé’ Pequeno (Leandro Firmino), an ambitious drug dealer who will stop at nothing to drum up his fame, this movie really puts a personal spin on the term ‘turf war.’
Who Does it Star? Orlando Bloom, Forest Whitaker, Conrad Kemp, Inge Beckmann and Tinarie van Wyk Loots
Following the investigation of the savage murder of a young white woman in South Africa, the plot of Zulu becomes more and more sinister as officers investigate a dangerous new street drug named ‘tik.’
Along with the murder, tik seems to be connected with the disappearance of black street children and as the dedicated officers dig into the sordid case, the drug turns out to be more evil than they could possible imagine.
Funtime Netflix Romps
5. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Who Does It Star? Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jeff Anderson and Shannon Elizabeth.
After being introduced as the enigmatic wall-leaning pot dealers in Kevin Smith’s Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob finally get their turn in the spotlight in this hilarious stoner comedy about big corporations fucking over the little guy.
Jay and Silent Bob are initially thrilled to learn that a Bluntman and Chronic movie, based on the blazed antics of their comic book counterparts, is being made but the mood swiftly changes when they realize they will get none of the royalties.
With a well-justified “if we can’t have it, nobody can” attitude the pair go about sabotaging the movie in any way they can think of with results that bring the lols all the way.
6. Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke
Who Does It Star? Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Strother Martin and Edie Adams.
Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke might be the granddaddy of stoner comedy, but that doesn’t mean it’s too old to get on the Netflix bandwagon!
This buddy comedy sees Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) doing a runner from his uptight parents and hitting the road to do what he loves best, smoking da ‘erb and playing drums.
He eventually meets his big stoner soulmate in the form of Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Martin) and the pair undergo trials including an arrest, deportation to Tijuana and smoking dog shit (yes, really) to compete in a rock band contest with an unforgettable song.
7. High Road
Who Does It Star? James Pumphrey, Abby Elliott, Dylan O’Brien, Lizzy Caplan and Rich Fulcher.
High Road follows a young dude who is spreading himself thin between his three passions. His band, his girlfriend and dealing weed. Sadly for Glen “Fitz” Fitzgerald (James Pumphrey), he is apparently not so great at the dealing part and he ends up attempting to escape arrest after a drug bust with unexpected consequences.
An improvised comedy, High Road was praised for its innovative style at the 2011 Newport Beach Film Festival and won an honor for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking. The rest is Netflix history!
8. Growing Op
Who Does It Star? Steven Yaffee, Jon Cor, Wallace Langham, Rosanna Arquette and Katie Boland.
A hilarious Canadian indie comedy that also happens to be available on American Netflix, Growing Op follows a home-schooled teen who meets the girl of his dreams… who also happens to be a wildly popular alumni of the local high school.
The son of marijuana-growing hippies with a penchant for hugs, rainbows and butterflies that’s a little too much for him to handle, Quinn (Steven Yaffee) soon realizes that maybe his off-the-wall family might just be the sanest people in the suburbs…
9. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Who Does it Star: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin and Gary Busey.
Constantly oscillating between the nightmarish and the euphoric effects of a whole suitcase full of drugs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is probably the first flick that pops into your head when you think “drug movie.”
With one of the performances of Johnny Depp’s career and Hunter S. Thompson’s helter-skelter storytelling keeping the breakneck pace, this surreal and jolting journey through casinos and opulent hotels is a cult classic everyone should see.
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