Among the lessons taught by Richard Linklater in Dazed and Confused—the importance of specific locations, how much deeper nostalgia cuts when it isn't whitewashed, what Matthew McConaughey likes about high-school girls—the most trenchant in this era of slack improv is that stoner comedy doesn't have to be sloppy. This is a movie of laser-Floyd precision, each scene meandering to a specific purpose, like a symphony in 420 time. It has the ecstasy of youth: It feels like the filmmakers, like dopily wise Dawson, wanted to "look back and say that I did the best I could while I was stuck in this place." Academy.

  • Best paired with: Laurelwood Tree Hugger Porter.
  • Also showing: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Laurelhurst), Grease 2 (Bagdad, 9 pm Thursday, Aug. 18).