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The 10 best movies to fall asleep to – from Pineapple Express to Friday

These are the kinds of comfort movies that make it easy to doze off

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Columbia Pictures

If you’re a genuine movie lover, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time falling asleep in front of your  TV or streaming device. Falling asleep in front of a movie can feel like a failure, but there’s nothing wrong with snuggling up on the couch with a great movie and letting yourself doze off whenever you’re ready. It doesn’t necessarily speak to the movie’s quality; sometimes, you’re just tired, or you’re so familiar with the beats of a certain film that you can’t help but nod off.

There are some movies, though, that are especially great for sleeping. These are the movies that feel so comforting and warm that staying awake might be a challenge. Of course, you should try to watch every movie at least once all the way through. On a rewatch, though, you might find that these are the best movies to fall asleep to.

Pineapple Express (2008)

Pineapple Express
64%
6.9/10
r
111m
Genre
Action, Comedy, Crime
Stars
Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole
Directed by
David Gordon Green
Watch on Amazon
In his second big writing and starring hit after Superbad, Pineapple Express established a new era of Seth Rogen stoner comedy mixed with outright violence and absolute hilarity. A process server named Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) witnesses his next “client” brutally murder somebody in his home. When it turns out that the “client” is actually the top dog of the local underground marijuana industry, Dale and his regular dealer have to get lost or get angry. Full of quotable one-liners and unforgettable comedy moments, this legendary stoner flick is perfect for jumping in and out of and still getting a kick.
Watch Pineapple Express Trailer

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox
83%
7.9/10
87m
Genre
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Stars
George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman
Directed by
Wes Anderson
Watch on Amazon
Based on the Roald Dahl children’s book of the same name, Fantastic Mr. Fox is Wes Anderson’s first incredibly entertaining stop-motion film that truly showed us his maddening attention to detail. When a once-reformed fox reverts to his thieving habits, he must save his animal community friends and family from the potentially deadly repercussions he has directly incurred. Other than being a simple and fun story to follow, the visual artistry is enough to send you off to sleep with a beautiful palette of colors and textures to dream about.

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer
76%
7.7/10
95m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend
Directed by
Marc Webb
Watch on Hulu
A tale of self-discovery and reflection, (500) Days of Summer is a quirky romantic comedy that explores the path to true love and the difficult yet realistic obstacles that lay along the way. A hopelessly romantic greeting card writer, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with a co-worker who doesn’t believe in love. Offbeat and somehow also whimsical, the storyline jumps around a bit from past to present and future, making it easy to check out at any point and still get the general picture.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar
74%
8.6/10
pg-13
169m
Genre
Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Directed by
Christopher Nolan
Watch on Paramount+
In one of the most interesting and creative Christopher Nolan sci-fi films of our time, Interstellar is a beautiful and heart-wrenching adventure through time, space, and the human condition. When the world faces its end and Earth’s inhabitants are forced into farming to prevent starvation, a NASA physicist, Professor Brand (Michael Caine), inspires his daughter and a new team of astronauts to make one last journey into space to find a new home for humanity. Former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and the researchers must travel through a wormhole in space to destinations never thought reachable before. Despite being an epic space opera of incredible magnitude, the overall beauty and McConaughey’s smooth voice make it a good movie to fall asleep to.

The Wedding Singer (1998)

The Wedding Singer
97m
Genre
Romance, Comedy
Stars
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
Directed by
Frank Coraci
Watch on Amazon
One of the better romantic comedy movies of our generation, The Wedding Singer is a genuine and sweet story of boy meets but can’t have girl. When a low-income wedding singer is left at the altar by what he thinks is the love of his life, he must put the pieces of his heart back together. Luckily, he meets the charming Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), who makes the process much easier. Full of the classic Adam Sandler movie cameos and silly songs, this is a feel-good Valentine’s Day movie that is always good to come back to when feeling some romantic–but sleepy–giggles.

Avatar (2009)

Avatar
83%
7.8/10
pg-13
162m
Genre
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Stars
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Directed by
James Cameron
Watch on Disney+
A revolutionary visual spectacle in filmmaking, James Cameron’s Avatar had a theatrical release was unlike anything audiences had ever seen. What has come to be known basically as Pocahontas in space, a man enters and embeds himself into a completely new culture and falls in love with more than just the landscape and customs. While the story is thrilling and romantic, the real draw is the dreamlike colors and visual effects that will dance on your eyelids as you sweetly snooze.
Avatar | Official Trailer (HD) | 20th Century FOX

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
85%
8.4/10
pg
115m
Genre
Adventure, Action
Stars
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Directed by
Steven Spielberg
Watch on Paramount+
The incredible beginning of the enduring classic, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a Steven Spielberg film of monumental proportions. Archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) has been hired by the U.S. government to find the mythical Ark of the Covenant, attempting to stop Hitler’s supernatural Nazi forces from recovering it first. This is a movie that someone should have already seen before watching it to sleep, as it is a well-known action movie that keeps up the pace quite consistently. But for someone who has seen the movie many times already, it’s just another comfortable place to visit again before falling asleep.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day
72%
8.1/10
101m
Genre
Romance, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy
Stars
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Directed by
Harold Ramis
Watch on Amazon
In what is one of the best romantic comedies ever, Groundhog Day is arguably the best Bill Murray film in history, making it a film you can watch over and over and over again like there’s no tomorrow. When a brash and disillusioned TV weatherman travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day ceremony, he finds himself trapped in and reliving the same day over and over again, unable to discover why or how. Since the narrative follows a fairly repetitive series of events, falling in and out of sleep is quite easy and while still enjoying the great comedic timing of Bill Murray.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
94%
7.9/10
pg-13
120m
Genre
Adventure, Drama, Action, Romance
Stars
Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
Directed by
Ang Lee
Watch on Amazon
One of the best Kung Fu movies that employ a liberal usage of the “Wire-Fu” film aesthetic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a timeless feature from Ang Lee that redefines the sub-genre. A young and aristocratic woman named Jen (Ziyi Zhang) works to overthrow the oppression of society by denying her arranged marriage, choosing a life of crime on the run in the throes of true love with another. Meanwhile, a highly skilled and trained swordmaster named Yu (Michelle Yeoh), devoted to justice and honor, realizes she has let her life pass her by without experiencing her own true love story. Another movie full of wonderful colors and visual aesthetics, the music is also a kind that you might expect to hear in a yoga class or guided meditation.

Friday (1995)

Friday
91m
Genre
Comedy
Stars
Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long
Directed by
F. Gary Gray
Watch on Amazon
This comedy film is about two friends, Craig Jones (played by Ice Cube) and Smokey (played by Chris Tucker), living in South Central Los Angeles. The story unfolds over the course of a single Friday, packed with misadventures. Craig just got fired from his job, adding to his sense of aimlessness, and Smokey owes money to a local drug dealer named Big Worm, and accidentally ropes Craig into the situation. They scramble to come up with $200 by 10 p.m. that night to avoid facing the consequences. Friday is filled with a series of wacky encounters with characters like a flirtatious neighbor, a bully named Deebo, and even some overly religious figures. Craig deals with his overbearing girlfriend and his family’s constant nagging about finding a job. However, through it all, Craig and Smokey’s friendship is the core of the film. Their comedic banter and laid-back attitudes navigate them through the challenges of their day. Friday became a cult classic known for its quotable lines, relatable characters, and portrayal of a specific time and place in American culture.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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