Barbie, Spider-Verse, Oppenheimer, The Last of Us



The “Barbenheimer” craze continues with Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” being named among AFI Awards 2023 top 10 best films of the year. Netflix led studios with two movies making the list — Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro” and Todd Haynes’ black comedy “May December.”

With an eclectic mix of critically acclaimed and consumer friendly titles, the list of top movies also includes films by newcomers (Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction” and Celine Song’s “Past Lives”), veterans (Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers”) and stylish visionaries (Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” and Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”).

The AFI honors contribute to momentum in various awards campaigns as the holiday break looms, as voters catch up on screening multiple titles. A strong bellwether for the Oscars’ best picture category, some of the notable omissions include Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” Ava DuVernay’s “Origin,” Blitz Bazawule’s “The Color Purple” and Ben Affleck’s “Air.” The AFI top 10 typically averages between seven and eight movies translating to best picture nominations in the last decade.

Internationally produced films don’t typically qualify for the top 10 listings, which would explain the omissions of Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

On the TV side, networks FX and Max (formerly HBO) led the charge with two programs each.

FX nabbed spots for its Emmy comedy series frontrunner “The Bear” and the final season of “Reservation Dogs.” Max brought in its top two drama series contenders — the video game adaptation of “The Last of Us” and the final season of “Succession.”

Heartwarming and fun shows such as ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” Amazon Freevee’s “Jury Duty” and Peacock’s “Poker Face” also made the cut. Rounding out the list were shows encompassing incredible ensembles: Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” and Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.”

“As our nation and our world continue to navigate difficult times, AFI is honored to shine a proper light upon these works of art that lift us up and, ultimately, lead us to empathy,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. “That we do so without competition is AFI’s hallmark, and we are proud to gather this community of artists together – as one – to celebrate their extraordinary contributions to our time.”

The American Film Institute selections are made by jury of AFI Trustees, artist, critics and scholars that deemed their picks as culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements.

The ceremony will take place on Jan. 12, in the midst of the Oscar nomination voting period.

The full list is below.

AFI Top 10 Motion Pictures of the Year

  • “American Fiction” (MGM)
  • “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)
  • “The Holdovers” (Focus Features)
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)
  • “Maestro” (Netflix)
  • “May December” (Netflix)
  • “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Past Lives” (A24)
  • “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

AFI Top 10 Television Programs of the Year

  • “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • “The Bear” (FX)
  • “Beef” (Netflix)
  • “Jury Duty” (Amazon Freevee)
  • “The Last of Us” (Max)
  • “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)
  • “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
  • “Poker Face” (Peacock)
  • “Reservation Dogs” (FX)
  • “Succession” (Max)


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