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The Internet Is Distraught Over Barack Obama’s Fave Movies of 2023 — And Which Ones He Snubbed

The Internet Is Distraught Over Barack Obama’s Best Movies Picks — And Which Ones He Snubbed
Barack Obama. Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Update 12/29/23, 10:42 a.m.:

Barack Obama added one last movie to his favorites of 2023 list in the final days of the year — but alas, it’s still not Saltburn.

“Update: I just saw The Color Purple and loved it,” the former president, 62, tweeted on Thursday, December 28. “I’m adding it to this list as one of my favorite movies of the year.”

Obama also dropped a list of his favorite songs of the year, but it wasn’t quite as divisive as his movie picks (even though it didn’t include a single song from the Barbie soundtrack). “Here are some of my favorite songs from this year,” he tweeted on Friday, December 29. “Let me know if there are any artists or songs I should check out.”

The list included “America Has a Problem” by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, “Vampire Empire” by Big Thief, “I Remember Everything” by Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves, “Cobra” by Megan Thee Stallion and more.

Original story continues below:

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.

The Internet Is Distraught Over Barack Obama’s Best Movies Picks — And Which Ones He Snubbed
Emilio Utrabo / MEGA
Barbie and M3gan

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“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.”

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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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