15 Dumb Movies Which Are Secretly Smart

6. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

Film Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle 2004 Kumar Kal Penn Tshirts I Love Bush Tshirt
New Line Cinema

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was marketed like any other stoner comedy, but what truly separated it from the pack was its unexpectedly socially conscious through-line.

Yes, the movie is full of low-brow dick and weed jokes, but it also fully engages with the oppressed status of its minority characters - Chinese-American and Indian-American respectively (John Cho and Kal Penn) - and felt massively ahead of its time in that regard.

This is a film built on subverting expectations, particularly as it pertains to the racial stereotypes associated with its protagonists but also black men, attractive white women, Jews and, well, just about everybody.

It is a perfect example of wrapping some genuinely insightful and important ideas around a premise that's more palatable and marketable to the mainstream.

If you came for the stoner gags you'd leave satisfied, but maybe you also had your mind expanded a little in other ways.

The sequels are also pretty great and only upend stereotypes with an even more reckless abandon. If you took one look at the poster for this movie and sniffed at it, maybe think again.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.