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Internet Reacts to Barack Obama’s Best Movies of 2023 List

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Barack Obama dropped his annual favorite movies list — and the internet has some thoughts.

“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,” the former president, 62, wrote via X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, December 28. “Here are some films that reflect their hard work over the last year — including some like Rustin, American Symphony, and Leave the World Behind that we were proud to release through @HGMedia. What films did I miss?”

Obama shared a total of 13 different films, ranking Rustin, Leave the World Behind and American Symphony as his top three picks. All three of those projects were created by his and wife Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground. In his post, Barack admitted he was “biased” toward the films he produced but was adamant those three films were still the “best” ones he saw this year.

As for movies not made by his company, Barack also mentioned The Holdovers, Blackberry, Oppenheimer, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Monster, Past Lives, Air, Polite Society and A Thousand and One as his other favorites. But the politician’s list notably excluded some of the most-discussed films of the year, including Killers of the Flower Moon, Saltburn and Barbie, and the internet was outraged.

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Warner Bros./Universal (2) This is a Top 20 Movies of 2023 post, so obviously we must start with … Taylor Swift. Seriously. Go back to October, when the devastating SAG-AFTRA strike was still in full throttle. High-profile projects like Dune 2 had been jettisoned to 2024; the films that were being released couldn’t benefit from […]

“Not a Barbie girl in a Barbie world I see,” one user replied, while another shared, “Leaving Barbie off the list while having Leave the World Behind as a top 3 movie might be the worst thing former US president Barack Obama has ever done.”

As for Saltburn, many users were surprised that Barack didn’t include Emerald Fennell’s thriller starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi. Some fans teased that he must not have seen the movie, which could be the only possible reason why it was excluded.

“Quick! I need someone to give Obama a copy of Saltburn to add to his silly little list!” one user joked via X, while another retorted, “Clearly Obama didn’t watch Saltburn.”

Related: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Relationship Timeline

When Michelle Obama met Barack Obama in 1989 at the Chicago law firm where they both worked, it was not exactly love at first sight — even though he was quite popular around the office. “In my experience, you put a suit on any half-intelligent Black man and white people tended to go bonkers,” she […]

This isn’t the first time that Barack has faced backlash for his film preferences. He has released a list of his favorite movies every year since 2018 and has included critically acclaimed pictures from around the world. In the past, he’s left off Oscar-winning movies like Green Book and CODA.

In addition to movies, Barack also announced his favorite books he’s read this year. His list included James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life, Benjamin Labatut’s The Maniac, Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water, Matthew Desmond’s Poverty, by America and more.

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