I can’t remember the first time I went to the movies with family members on Christmas. But I can tell you that every time I do it, I become more convinced that it’s the move for the holidays. After opening presents Christmas morning, everyone puts on the cozy socks and itchy scarves they got as gifts and will probably never wear again, heads to a bustling street or mall, and gets to take a fucking break from quality time to stare at a giant, beautiful screen. As an added bonus, everyone’s watching the same movie, which means you’ll have at least one low-stakes topic of conversation that everyone can partake in that evening, regardless of generation or viewpoint.
As we all know, movie theaters and the people who love them were the real victims of quarantine, which meant last year was sadly a movie-less (and, for many, family-less) holiday season. But now you can mask-up, get boosted, and venture back to the movies.
And on top of that, you can discreetly get stoned before going to the movies, one of the most pleasurable experiences known to humankind and a nice way to mellow out amid the holiday chaos. So here are five films you can go see this holiday season, along with a weed and local movie theater recommendation for each.
The Matrix Resurrections
After nearly 20 years without a new Matrix installment, Keanu Reeves and (some of) the gang are back at it again, questioning the nature of reality and exploring some not-so-subtle gender themes. This is the kind of film that can unite Gen-X and millennial fans, as well as Zoomers who are wise to Reeves’ status as internet boyfriend. It’ll also give your boomer parents a chance to opine about how tech and social media are changing society, an insight you can assure them nobody has ever had before.
WEED PAIRING: The Matrix is trippy as hell, so I say go all-out and pair it with a nice, strong gummy—perhaps Oregon’s own Wyld brand.
WHERE TO WATCH: This franchise can get you questioning what is real, especially while stoned out of your fucking mind. Best, then, to see it somewhere cozy and familiar, like Laurelhurst Theater.
House of Gucci
Look, there’s a scene in this film where Selma Hayek plays a psychic who helps Lady Gaga, who’s decked out in leather dyke couture, negotiate with two buffoonish hitmen. If that doesn’t convince you to see it, then you and I clearly have vastly different values. Besides, it’s based on a true story, so you and your loved ones can spoil it for each other by looking up all the historical inaccuracies on Wikipedia afterward.
WEED PAIRING: This is a long, at times meandering movie, so you’ll need to work to maintain a buzz. Try sneaking in a THC-laced drink, like a seltzer from Magic Number, and mixing it into your Cherry Coke slushie.
WHERE TO WATCH: You might be inspired to do a little shopping—or at least window shopping—after watching this one, so consider seeing it at a theater near a mall or shopping center, like the Regal Fox Tower.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest release looks to be decidedly less weird than Phantom Thread, and its 1970s nostalgia play should make it a crowd pleaser with older relatives. Plus, it’s got the third HAIM sister and Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s son in the starring roles, and I just think that’s nice.
WEED PAIRING: Stick with the movie’s retro theme and sneak a hand-rolled joint with your siblings or cousins before heading to the theater.
WHERE TO WATCH: A director like Anderson ought to be seen in a proper theater, so try and catch it at the Hollywood if it ends up showing there.
If you’ve got a child under 10 in your holiday posse, your options for moviegoing narrow significantly. I watched the first Sing, and I’ll never get that hour and 50 minutes of my life back. This is no Pixar prestige animation; it’s pure kid-bait, with some crass, hacky bits meant to appeal to parents, and song covers that’ll make you yearn for The Masked Singer. In other words, it might be the finest stoner film ever made.
WEED PAIRING: Go ahead and grab an indica for this one—it’s really okay if you fall asleep and miss a few scenes.
WHERE TO WATCH: Somewhere with big, comfy recliner seats and insurmountable buckets of popcorn.
A Hallmark-Type Christmas MovieWe’ve reached the peak form of a certain type of holiday movie. You know, the kind that Lifetime originated, Hallmark perfected, and Netflix contorted to within an inch of its life. If you just aren’t feeling the theater—or if you and your partner are looking for some low-key fun one night this holiday season—there are countless options for you to stream. I’m partial to Netflix’s Christmas Switch cinematic universe myself.
WEED PAIRING: If you’ve got the type of cool-ass family that does bong rips together, now is the time to take advantage of that.
WHERE TO WATCH: On your couch.