Barack Obama Shares His Favorite Movies Of 2023

Discover the cinematic gems that made it to the top of his list and get a front-row seat to the former president’s reel favorites. 

As we wave goodbye to 2023, Barack Obama continues his annual tradition of unveiling his top movie picks for the year. 

Breaking away from the conventional, the former President of the United States has once again treated us to a glimpse of his cinematic preferences. Here are his annual favorites.

READ ALSO: True Cinema: 5 Critically-Acclaimed Movies To Watch For 2024 Awards Season

Reel Talk: Barack Obama Shares His Favorite Movies Of 2023
Barack Obama/Photo via Instagram @barackobama

Obama’s Top Picks

Kicking off the list are the gems from Obama’s own production house, Higher Ground. 

He unabashedly admits his bias, asserting, “I’m biased since these movies were produced by Higher Ground. But these are in fact three of the best films I saw this year.” 

The trio – Rustin, starring the brilliant Colman Domingo as civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. 

Leave the World Behind, an enigmatic tale featuring Ethan Hawke, Julia Roberts, and Mahershala Ali in an apocalyptic setting. 

Movie poster of film "Leave the World Behind"
Photo via Instagram @netflixfilm

And lastly, American Symphony, a poignant journey with musician Jon Batiste and his life partner Suleika Jaouad – all bear the Higher Ground stamp.

READ ALSO: Beyond Eat, Pray, Love: Julia Roberts Shares Three Gems Of Beauty And Life Wisdom That Deserve Our Attention

2023: Oppenheimer, Air, and More

Taking to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Obama gushed about his favorites. 

He also tipped his hat to the positive industry transformations. 

“Earlier this year, writers and actors went on strike to advocate for better working conditions and protections. It led to important changes that will transform the industry for the better.”

Obama’s cinematic journey extends beyond his own productions. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, with Cillian Murphy essaying the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, found a spot in his heart. 

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy/Photo via Instagram @oppenheimermovie

Ben Affleck’s directorial venture Air, delving into the origins of the iconic Air Jordan basketball silhouette, also scored a nod. 

A.V. Rockwell’s A Thousand and One, a gripping tale of a woman liberating her son from the foster care system, resonated deeply with the former President. 

Blockbuster Picks

There are also other gems that earned a coveted spot in Obama’s movie repertoire this year. 

Some of those are The Holdovers, Blackberry, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Monster, Past Lives, and Polite Society.  

A glance back at Obama’s favorites from the previous year reveals a diverse palette. This includes the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, the mind-bending Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the introspective Aftersun.

The cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once
The cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once/Photo via Instagram @everythingeverywheremovie

Book Highlights

It’s not just the silver screen that captures Obama’s attention; he also graciously shared his literary highlights of 2023. 

The list includes Safiya Sinclair’s How to Say Babylon and Patricia Evangelista’s Some People Need Killing

Also Paul Harding’s This Other Eden, and James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store.

As the new year kicks in, follow Obama’s lead and dive into movies and books. It’s not just fun – it’s good for your brain! Watching cool films and reading awesome books sparks your creativity and helps you see things in new ways. 

So, go ahead, enjoy the magic of stories. Maybe by the end of the year, you’ll have a list just like Obama’s!

Barack Obama smiling.
Photo via Instagram @barackobama

Banner photo via Instagram @michelleobama.

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