UPDATED: On December 28, the day after posting his initial best films of 2023 list, Barack Obama shared on Instagram that he saw Blitz Bazawule’s “The Color Purple” and has now added the Warner Bros. musical to his list.

EARLIER: Former President of the United States Barack Obama has taken a side in the Barbenheimer wars.

As has become a yearly tradition since leaving office in 2017, the former 44th President turned film producer unveiled his favorite movies that were released this year. And while Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is one of the 13 films he selected as his favorites, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” didn’t make the cut to enter the president’s Mojo Dojo Casa List. Perhaps he’s just too much of a Ken for the plastic Barbie World?

In his post revealing his list on December 27, Obama acknowledged the WGA and SAG strikes that occurred and shut down Hollywood this year, which ended in both guilds receiving new contracts from the AMPTP. Obama previously expressed his support for the guilds in November, saying the actors and writers came to agreements that “recognizes their worth and their work.”

“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 tweeted via his official account on Twitter/X. “Here are some films that reflect their hard work over the last year.”

As in years past, Obama included several movies — “Rustin,” “Leave the World Behind,” and “American Symphony” — produced by Higher Ground Productions, the film arm he established with his wife Michelle Obama in 2018. Obama acknowledged the conflict of interest in the post, writing: “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.”

Aside from the three Higher Ground movies, Obama listed ten movies from this year as his favorites. As in year’s past, the selection is a mix of both major Oscar hopefuls this year as while as some middlebrow fare. Aside from “Oppenheimer,” other films that made the list include: “The Holdovers,” “Blackberry,” “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Monster,” “Past Lives,” “Air,” “Polite Society,” and “A Thousand and One.” Four of the films appear on IndieWire’s own list of the 25 best films of the year — “Oppenheimer,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “A Thousand and One,” and “Past Lives,” which topped our list.

Read the complete list of Obama’s favorite films of 2023 below.

“Rustin” (Higher Ground Productions)

“Leave the World Behind” (Higher Ground Productions)

“American Symphony” (Higher Ground Productions)

“The Holdovers”



“American Fiction”

“Anatomy of a Fall”


“Past Lives”


“Polite Society”

“A Thousand and One”

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