How High

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How High
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJesse Dylan
Written byDustin Abraham
Produced by
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byLarry Bock
Music byRockwilder
Jersey Films
Native Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • December 21, 2001 (2001-12-21)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12–20 million[1][2]
Box office$31.3 million[2]

How High is a 2001 American stoner comedy film starring Method Man and Redman, written by Dustin Lee Abraham, and director Jesse Dylan's debut feature film.

In the film, Redman and Method Man portray two cannabis users who are visited by the ghost of a deceased friend after smoking his ashes. The ghost helps with their exams, and they receive scholarships to Harvard University. The film received generally negative reviews from critics.[3][4]


Two underachieving potheads, Silas (Method Man) and Jamal (Redman) are visited by the ghost of Silas's recent deceased friend Ivory (Chuck Deezy). Ivory was cremated and Silas used his ashes as fertilizer for a new batch of marijuana. While sitting in the parking lot before taking their "THC" (Testing for Higher Credentials, a parody of the SAT and an allusion to tetrahydrocannabinol) exams for college, Silas has his marijuana but no cigar while Jamal has a cigar but nothing left to smoke, leading them to team up in Silas's car.

They soon discover that smoking Silas's new batch summons the ghost of the recently deceased Ivory, visible to just the two of them. Ivory tells them the test answers as they take the test and they both score perfect scores. Several dubious colleges offer the pair scholarships, but none of them are appealing. Eventually, Chancellor Huntley (Fred Willard) suggests the two apply to Harvard University.

Once there, they meet Bart (Chris Elwood), captain of the rowing team, his girlfriend Lauren (Lark Voorhies), I Need Money (Al Shearer), and their roommates Jeffrey (Justin Urich) and Tuan (Trieu Tran). Once they are settled in, they visit Dean Carl Cain (Obba Babatundé) who tells them that per the terms of their scholarship, they must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in order to remain, or else face expulsion.

Jamal joins the rowing team hoping to outrank Bart. Silas enrolls in a botany class to develop his "herbal" skills, and they both enroll in black history. Throughout the semester, they pass every test with the help of Ivory. Silas continues to woo and study with Lauren, while Jamal dates the U.S. vice president's (Jeffrey Jones) daughter Jamie (Essence Atkins).

Also during the first half of the semester, they pull pranks and steal, which angers Bart, Jeffrey (who is pledging for a Final Club), and Dean Cain. Things go downhill after Silas and Jamal's raucous Halloween party. At the party, Gerald (T. J. Thyne), the volunteer officer whose bicycle was stolen and crushed by I Need Money, steals and smokes the Ivory plant, leaving the pair without access to Ivory.

Silas begins working on a truth serum for his Botany class, using plant extracts. Silas concludes that, if his experiment works, he will earn an A in Botany, and a guarantee of a next semester. His experiment fails numerous times. Before midterms Jamal suggests they go to a graveyard, dig up a "smart dead guy", and smoke his remains which they attempted to do so with John Quincy Adams. Whereas Silas suggests simply that they study hard for a few hours a day while high. They try Silas's plan, but it does not pan out, as they end up failing almost all of their midterm exams.

Desperate to stay in Harvard, they try Jamal's plan, but it proves fruitless, as well. Meanwhile, Gerald, who has morphed into a complete stoner, sees Ivory during one of his binges, and, at Ivory's behest, returns the remnants of the Ivory plant to Jamal and Silas. Due to Gerald's abuse of the plant very little remains and Jamal and Silas continue to fail their classes, which pleases Dean Cain.

With the last final exam approaching, Jamal and Silas resign themselves to give up. However, Jeffrey reminds Silas of his guarantee of another semester if he can successfully fix his truth serum experiment. Silas ultimately does, having found a solution in which the last of Ivory's leaves could be used to counteract nausea.

Nonetheless, because of their low grades, Jamal and Silas do not receive an invitation to the Harvard Alumni party. Dean Cain, clearly thrilled with this result, tells Bart he does not have to worry about the pair showing up or staying in Harvard. However, that changes when Jamie invites them both as her dates, as her father is an alumnus. At the party, Silas makes things a bit more interesting by testing out his truth serum experiment, which proves successful.

At Lauren's presentation at the alumni party of Benjamin Franklin's artifacts, she shocks everyone with her discovery: the artifacts turn out to be a bong. Ivory even shows up with Benjamin Franklin to confirm the bong's authenticity. Dean Cain is outraged by this finding, but the Chancellor decides that he has had it with the Dean and fires him. Jamal and Silas are proud that the serum worked, a celebration that was almost short-lived, as Dean Cain returns and unsuccessfully attempts to kill them both with an axe as revenge. He is eventually apprehended by Secret Service. At the end, Jamal and Silas are able to stay, Jamal and Jamie get approval of Jamie's father to date, and Lauren leaves Bart for Silas because Bart "can't satisfy her".



Box office[edit]

How High collected $7.1 million during its opening weekend, ranking in fifth place below The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Ocean's Eleven, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Vanilla Sky.[5]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, How High has an approval rating of 26% based on 57 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "How High is a sloppily constructed stoner movie filled with lame, vulgar jokes."[3] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 29 based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Mike Clark of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four. He concluded that it did not have enough material "to sustain its 91 minutes" but did have enough "low-grade laughs" for its target audience.[6]

Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Graham noted that "It looks like a movie somebody hallucinated and put up on the screen". He praised some humorous scenes such as the exhumation of John Quincy Adams, but criticized an abrupt ending.[7]

Entertainment Weekly rated it third in their "Best Stoner Movie" top ten list.[8] It also won the Stony Award for Best Stoner Movie in 2002.[9]

Home media[edit]

How High was released on DVD and VHS on May 21, 2002.[10]



In October 2008, Redman revealed that a script for the sequel was in the middle of being written, stating that "we wanna represent all the smokers", believing that since How High, no one has done justice on a stoner film.[11] In April 2009, it was reported that Redman blames Universal Pictures for the film's delay, stating: "They're not opening that money door for us to shoot it. We promoted the shit out of that movie. We got the whole world waiting for a How High 2."[12]

In December 2010, Redman confirmed that Universal Pictures was indeed holding the rights to How High, so the chances of How High 2 coming out are slim.[13] In April 2013, Method Man told TMZ that the script was being written by Dustin Lee Abraham, who wrote the first one, but it all would depend on Universal if the film would happen.[14] In November 2015, Redman stated How High 2 would be released in 2017.[15]

In 2017, there was a written script, confirmed by Matt "M-80" Markoff.[16] Redman stated that the script is being rewritten, and he expected production to begin late 2017, early 2018; he also stated he and Method Man could move on to something other than the sequel. The two men confirmed they would not reprise their roles in the sequel because "the business wasn't right".[17]

The sequel was greenlit by MTV and Universal 1440 Entertainment in June 2018. The film takes place in Atlanta and production began September 25, 2018, starring Lil' Yachty and DC Young Fly. MTV announced How High 2 would premiere on April 20, 2019, with Mike Epps reprising his role as Baby Powder.[18]


  1. ^ "How High (2001) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  2. ^ a b How High at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ a b "How High (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  4. ^ a b "How High". Metacritic.
  5. ^ "'Fellowship' lords over weekend box-office as No. 1". The Signal. December 24, 2001. p. 30. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023 – via Open access icon
  6. ^ Clark, Mike (December 20, 2001). "'How High': Weed it and weep, stoners". USA Today. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Graham, Bob (December 21, 2001). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening today". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (August 6, 2004). "Joint Ventures". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 2, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  9. ^ "DAILY NEWS: Showtime's "Lift"; Stony Winners; and "Spooky" Plans". IndieWire. 7 March 2002. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  10. ^ Churnin, Nancy (May 17, 2002). "Pooh charms in 25th anniversary video edition". Knight Ridder. The Greenville News. p. 73. Archived from the original on May 6, 2023. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Open access icon
  11. ^ Cyrus Langhorne (14 October 2008). "New York: Redman Promises Fans New "Blackout" Album, "How High" Sequel Archived 2008-11-15 at the Wayback Machine". SOHH. Accessed 27 November 2008.
  12. ^ Danica Dow (April 26, 2009. "Exclusive: SOHH Exclusive: Redman Blames Universal For "How High 2" Delay, "They're Not Opening That Money Door"". SOHH. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  13. ^ "[Watch Now] Redman Gives Live Interview on". Xxlmag.Com. April 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Lilah, Rose (17 April 2013). "Method Man Gives Update On Status Of". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Redman Reveals 'How High 2' Might Soar Into Theaters In 2017". Vibe. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Method Man & Redman's "How High 2" Still In The Works". 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  17. ^[dead link][better source needed]
  18. ^ Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2019). "'How High 2': Mike Epps To Reprise Baby Powder Role In MTV Sequel; Premiere Date Set". Deadline Hollywood.

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