Pineapple Express Movie Poster Image

Pineapple Express

Violent stoner comedy is funny, but NOT for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters are consumed by drugs and drug culture. Corrupt police officers figure into the story. An Asian gang is portrayed in a simplistic light, with clichéd "Asian" music played when they're on screen.


Extensive, extreme, and near-constant violence, including beatings, shootings, stabbings, fistfights, and explosions. Characters are shot at close range on-screen, hit with coffee pots, crushed by cars, struck by cars, caught in explosions, tortured, and beaten. A character is shot in the ear, with extensive shots of the wound; a criminal's foot is vaporized by a shotgun blast. Several sequences portray heavy armaments and handguns as cool and nifty, with hyper-cut montages showing characters selecting, loading, and posing with weapons.


A 26-year-old character has an 18-year-old girlfriend who's still in high school; kissing; lots of discussion of sex in frank, coarse terms.


Extensive, constant, and inventive, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "balls," "c--k," dick," "p---y," "vagina," "boobies," "a--hole," "c--ksucker," "pee," "prick," "motherf---er," "titties," "turd," "snatch," "butthole," "handjob," "bitch," "dips--t," and "boner."


Some brands mentioned and shown on screen, including Old Milwaukee, Newcastle Brown Ale, Fruit Roll-Ups, and British Knights sneakers. Some TV shows and films re mentioned, including 227 and Krull.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Constant on screen use and discussion of marijuana. Joints, bongs, and pipes are employed. Saul is a drug dealer, albeit one with scruples; when a customer asks him if he has any Percocet for sale, he rebuffs the customer and derides him. To raise getaway funds, the lead characters sell marijuana to schoolchildren after letting them sample it. Characters smoke marijuana and then drive, as well as smoke marijuana while driving. Characters drink wine and beer. A lead character does suggest that, in life-threatening circumstances, it might not be the best idea to be perpetually stoned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, from the opening scene, this "hard R" comedy -- which teens will want to see thanks to the presence of Knocked Up star Seth Rogen -- is suffused in a heavy cloud of marijuana smoke. One of the lead characters is a pot dealer, and the other smokes it habitually; pot is also sold to schoolchildren. There's also lots more violence than in most comedies from producer Judd Apatow, as well as constant strong language (including "f--k," and "s--t"). All of that said, one character does come to regret and reject his pot use, and dope-dealing higher-ups are portrayed as brutal, vicious criminals and murderers.

What's the story?

Process server Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) gets through his tedious work by smoking marijuana -- constantly. He's excited to pick up a powerful new strain of dope called "Pineapple Express" from his dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco). En route to deliver a summons -- coincidentally, to Ted (Gary Cole), the man who supplies the bigger dealer that Saul gets his weed from -- Dale is smoking a joint in his car when he witnesses a murder. Startled, he throws the joint out the window and drives away. But the distinctive quality and scent of the weed means that the killers can -- and will -- track Dale down through Saul. So both of them have to go on the run. ...

Is it any good?


Wildly funny and completely inappropriate, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS combines ribald, marijuana-fueled comedy with action and violence. Imagine a Cheech and Chong film directed by Quentin Tarantino, and you'll have a general idea of the feel of the film. Written by star Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also wrote Superbad, Pineapple Express offers a similar blend of meatheaded male bonding and foulmouthed comedy; of course, in Superbad, the teen heroes were facing humiliation and the opposite sex, not death and dismemberment. (An interesting aside: In a GQ article about Rogen, Pineapple Express producer Judd Apatow offered his own anti-pot take on the film, noting that he feels the movie "is clearly a story about how pot leads to Asian gangs trying to murder you.")

Pineapple Express has plenty of action and broad jokes (a car chase gone wrong is wildly funny), but it's the interplay between Rogen and Franco that makes the film truly worthwhile. Rogen is short-fused, irritated, and frustrated; Franco is so laid back he's nearly in a coma. Both actors shade what could have been one-note performances with nice moments of depth that make the comedy even funnier -- Rogen's Dale steps up and does the right thing on several occasions, while Franco's Saul shows glimmers of self-awareness and self-doubt through the thick haze of reefer smoke he lives in. Director David Gordon Green's prior films (All the Real Girls, Undertow, Snow Angels) have been art-house hits, but Pineapple Express may make him a mainstream success; similarly, it's safe to say that this will be Franco's biggest movie ever without the words "Spider" or "Man" in the title. Pineapple Express's mix of blunts and body count won't be for everyone, but also much more of a movie than it looks like, brilliantly mocking and celebrating buddy-action movies while giving Rogen and Franco great lines and great characters. Funny, funky, and fresh, Pineapple Express may be one of the standout comedies of 2008.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the real-life consequences of drug use. Do you think this movie sincerely depicts the negative consequences of marijuana use, or does it glamorize it and make it seem acceptable, even cool? What message does that send to teens who see the movie? Families can also talk about how this movie is similar to and different from others in the "Judd Apatow school" of humor. Why do you think his style of comedy is so popular?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 6, 2008
DVD/Streaming release date:January 5, 2009
Cast:Gary Cole, James Franco, Seth Rogen
Director:David Gordon Green
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence.

This review of Pineapple Express was written by

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Adult Written bylouisa1 February 24, 2015

stoner flick is definatly not for kids!

this is one of the most grown up movies i have ever seen, it has constant drug use, (the whole film is based on drugs.) a lot of violence (a man is shot severeal times in the stomach, a man is hit by a car, a part of a man ear is shot off (gore), a woman is shot severeal times then a car crushes her, there is one scene where there is a freqeunt use of violence (kicking, punching, hair pulling etc, another man is shot severeal times, and at the end a two men are fighting (punches gun shots etc) followed by an explosion) the swearing includes (f**k, co** d**k etc) i don't know what else to say except, it's funny and if your an adult i hope you enjow
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byStanford0114 December 11, 2014
Hilarious, great cast, not that inappropriate. Just as violent as any PG-13 action movie.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byxoxojillianxo October 20, 2012


What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking