What Were Barack Obama's Favorite Films and TV Shows of 2019?

President Obama has shared the list of his favorite films and shows of 2019, and it includes some of the year's biggest titles.

So, did you know that President Barack Obama's taste in art is pretty damn good?

Well, you would if you read his annual favorites lists that cover a variety of different forms of entertainment, including music, literature and yeah, cinema. Now that it's the final day of 2019, why not find out which films and TV shows piqued the interest of the former POTUS this year.

Check out which 18 films (and 3 TV shows) made it onto Obama's 2019 list.


  • American Factory; dir. Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar
  • Amazing Grace; dir. Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
  • Apollo 11; dir. Todd Douglas Miller
  • Ash is Purest White;  dir. Zhangke Jia
  • Atlantics; dir. Mati Diop
  • Birds of Passage;  dir. Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
  • Booksmart; dir. Olivia Wilde
  • Diane; dir. Kent Jones
  • The Farewell; dir. Lulu Wang
  • Ford v Ferrari;  dir. James Mangold
  • The Irishman; dir. Martin Scorsese
  • Just Mercy; dir. Destin Daniel Cretton
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco; dir. Joe Talbot
  • Little Women; dir. Greta Gerwig
  • Marriage Story; dir. Noah Baumbach
  • Parasite; dir. Bong Joon Ho
  • The Souvenir; dir. Joanna Hogg
  • Transit; dir. Christian Petzold

TV Shows

  • Fleabag: Season 2; created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • Unbelievable; created by Susannah GrantMichael ChabonAyelet Waldman
  • Watchmen; created by Damon Lindelof

The list includes popular Oscar contenders, like Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, Greta Gerwig's Little Women, Lulu Wang's The FarewellMartin Scorsese's The Irishman, and of course, Bong Joon Ho's massive hit Parasite.

However, Obama also named indie titles that quietly but powerfully stunned audiences, some of which easily make it on our own lists of favorite movies of the year, including Mati Diop's hauntingly visual ghost story Atlantics, the Birds of Passage, which our own Jon Fusco described as "Godfather' meets 'One Hundred Years of Solitude", and Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir, which won the Dramatic prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Which films and TV shows top your end-of-year lists? Let us know down in the comments.     

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


Obama? The president who promised he will shut down Guatanamo Bay detention camp, but who didn't ?

January 1, 2020 at 9:46AM

Franc Sanka
Director of Photography / Film and Photography Teacher

Who cares-

January 1, 2020 at 10:43AM, Edited January 1, 11:34AM

William Scherer
Writer/Director/Producer/Fine Art Aerial Photography

I'd like to hear what Obama thinks about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Coptic Christian whose short video “The Innocence of Muslims” Obama blames for the Sept. 11, 2012 attack at U.S. compounds in Libya. Last we heard living in a homeless shelter in Buena Park, CA. He has served time in prison, been shamed publicly by Obama's White House and threatened with death.

January 2, 2020 at 7:19AM

chip brandstetter
Filmmaker, Editor, Animator, Sound Design, Composer

According to Public records, Nakoula was charged in 1997 with the intent to make narcotic drugs, spent one year in jail, violated his 3 year probation on those charges in 2002 and spent another year in prison. then in 2010, he was federally charged with bank fraud, spent another year in prison, followed by a 5 year probation, one of the conditions of his probation was that he could not have access to the internet without approval from his probation officer. Which he violated in 2012 when he distributed the film you mentioned via Youtube under a false name. Prior to even all that, Nakoula had massive tax liens against him for failing to pay multiple business taxes well inti the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So it would appear that Nakoula's issues are that he cant seem to get out of his way.

January 2, 2020 at 10:15AM

Nicholas Ortiz

That's an important question in light of Iran's operatives attacking the US embassy after Obama empowered them $150,000,000,000 USD. Who cares?!!?! ... but I'm sure 13 Hours wasn't one of them.

January 2, 2020 at 9:17PM


This stupid question was asked while Obama was the current president and I thought to myself, “who f**king cares, he’s not a film critic!”. But this asshole hasn’t been president for 3 years. Why the hell would anyone give two sh*ts what this sorry excuse for a US president thinks about films?

Renee, you do know that our president is in fact Donald Trump and has been in and out of film/tv for nearly 30 years? I bet Donald Trump’s favorite films would be a hell of a lot more interesting than Obama’s politically correct, biased, extreme left wing, America hating, self exalting, pat me on the Obama back films. Here’s a little advice for you at Nofilmschool... get out of your left wing bubble. The general public doesn’t give a sh*t what any president or political person thinks or likes for films. If they think it will get them votes, well than thats the film they like. They will change their mind as soon as it’s been listed as another politically incorrect film that violates some group of 9 kids on a street corner who were offended and threw out a hashtag about the film.

Nobody cares.

January 3, 2020 at 10:35AM

D Jones
DP, Editor, Animator