From Oscar winners to deep catalog favorites, the “Top 30 Most-Watched Films of 2023 on Kanopy” includes box office winners, film critic hits and a few surprises drawn from Kanopy’s streaming content



SAN FRANCISCO – December 14, 2023 Kanopy, the free/no ads movie streaming service available through local libraries, colleges, universities and other institutions, has released its “Top 30 Most-Watched Films of 2023 on Kanopy” today.

Perhaps somewhat predictably, in the top two spots are the Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once (A24) and Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness (Neon). In third place, however, is the documentary The YouTube Effect, released by Drafthouse Films, in which Alex Winter explores the ascension and acceleration of YouTube, how it has changed and how we experience the world.

Because Kanopy film viewers must be either library card holders or part of an academic university community, it should be no surprise that several films are more academic. Coming in at #8 is Kubrick On Kubrick (Level 33 Entertainment), a filmmaker-centered documentary composed entirely of archival footage and photographs, accompanied by the voice of Stanley Kubrick, providing insights into the work of a master filmmaker.

At #10, the documentary film Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy (Kino Lorber) was directed by beloved filmmaker Nancy Buirski, who passed away earlier this year.

And in a film year that’s famous for stellar films about, by and/or heavily featuring women, coming in at #17 and #18 are The Quiet Girl (Neon) and Emily (Bleecker Street). The Quiet Girl is set in rural Ireland in 1981, when nine-year-old Cait is sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. Despite her troubles, she blossoms in their care but discovers one painful truth.

Emily – undoubtedly a favorite among liberal arts and literature students – imagines Emily Brontë’s own Gothic story that inspired her seminal novel, Wuthering Heights. Emily stars Emma Mackey, who was also a Barbie in Barbie (Warner Bros.), and Ms. Mackey has become a sought-after Hollywood actor.

In the category of real surprises – and perfectly demonstrating Kanopy’s depth of catalog and its appeal to audiences that appreciate historical dramas, period pieces, reflections on the past – is the 2013 TV movie The Wipers Times (Quiver Distribution), which is the WWI story of Captain Fred Roberts, who found a printing press in the ruins of Ypres and started publishing the satirical journal, The Wipers Times, which went on to become a huge success.

Rounding out the list in 30th place is Cat Daddies, a Brainstorm Media release proving that cat obsessions are not reserved only for the Internet. The charming film follows the lives of nine men whose lives have been significantly impacted by their unabashed love of cat ownership.

“Our team at Kanopy are not just tech pros; we’re huge film fans as well. We wanted to release our ‘Top 30 Most-Watched’ list in time for both the media to craft their end-of-year round-ups and also for the millions of film fans who use Kanopy to add these gems to their holiday watch lists,” said Jason Tyrrell, General Manager of Kanopy, a division of OverDrive.

“Unlike other places where you have to subscribe monthly or pay to view a film, our Kanopy service is free with your library card, courtesy of your participating local library, college or university. As such, we believe our movie-streaming service has its finger on the pulse of a unique swath of film lovers around the country.”

The complete “Top 30 Most-Watched Films of 2023 on Kanopy” list is as follows:

Film                                                           Distributor/Supplier

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once A24
2. Triangle of Sadness Neon
3. The YouTube Effect Drafthouse Films
4. Minari A24
5. The Green Knight A24
6. Best Sellers 1091 Media
7. Some Kind of Heaven Magnolia Pictures
8. Kubrick by Kubrick Level 33 Entertainment
9. EO The Criterion Collection
10. Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy Kino Lorber
11. Mr. Malcolm’s List Bleecker Street
12. Florence and the Uffizi Gallery Film Movement
13. The Mercy 1091 Media
14. A Love Song Bleecker Street
15. Bel Canto 1091 Media
16. The Quiet Girl Neon
17. Emily Bleecker Street
18. My Salinger Year IFC Films
19. Carmen Good Deed Entertainment
20. Creation Samuel Goldwyn Films
21. Death Comes to Pemberley PBS
22. Burton and Taylor BBC Studios
23. The Wipers Times Quiver Distribution
24. Learning to Drive Shout Studios
25. Six Minutes to Midnight IFC Films
26. The Forgotten Revolution Studios
27. Miss Julie Lionsgate
28. Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game Vertical Entertainment
29. Sam & Kate Vertical Entertainment
30. Cat Daddies Brainstorm Media

Kanopy is also the place to find a deep collection of free television show content. The following are “Kanopy’s 11 Most-Watched Television Programs of 2023:”

  1. Manhattan (Lionsgate)
  2. Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators (BBC Studios)
  3. SS-GB (BBC Studios)
  4. The Forsyte Saga (PBS)
  5. Alone (The History Channel)
  6. MotherFatherSon (BBC Studios)
  7. Father Brown (BBC Studios)
  8. A French Village (MHz Networks)
  9. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (BBC Studios)
  10. Call the Midwife (BBC Studios)
  11. Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games (MHz Networks)

And rounding “Kanopy’s Most-Watched of 2023” lists is the “Kanopy’s 11 Most-Watched Documentaries in 2023:”

  1. The YouTube Effect (Drafthouse Films)
  2. Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy (Kino Lorber)
  3. Kubrick by Kubrick (Level 33 Entertainment)
  4. Florence and the Uffizi Gallery (Film Movement)
  5. Some Kind of Heaven (Magnolia Pictures)
  6. Cat Daddies (Brainstorm Media)
  7. Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (Neon)
  8. Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (IFC Films)
  9. Moonage Daydream (Neon)
  10. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Neon)
  11. Cow (IFC Films)

Explore more of Kanopy’s catalog.


About Kanopy

Kanopy is the leading video streaming service providing films that matter through public libraries and colleges worldwide. Kanopy has 30,000+ films in its catalog. Partnering with filmmakers and film and video distributors, Kanopy offers access to wide-ranging, engaging narratives, insightful documentaries, and riveting television and instructional series. Suppliers include BBC, Criterion, NEON, Samuel Goldwyn, HISTORY, A&E, The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, A24 and IFC Films. Kanopy’s ad-free platform is available via browser and on iOS, Android, and all major streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV. OverDrive’s acquisition of Kanopy in 2021 brought together the largest catalog of premium ebooks, audiobooks, and streaming video content for thousands of public libraries, colleges, and universities.

Media Contact:

Susan Roth

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