Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. Year-end lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, we make no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Michael Sicinski: Top 12 Films of 2012

19 January 2013

Michael Sicinski: Top 12 Films of 2012 (limited to “poll-eligible” films)

[see also Top 50 Films of 2018, Top 30 Experimental Films of 2018, Top 25 Films of 2017, Top 10 Films of 2016, Top 12 Films of 2014, Top 10 Films of 2013]

  1. Holy MotorsLeos Carax
  2. Almayer’s FollyChantal Akerman
  3. ElenaAndrey Zvyagintsev
  4. Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson
  5. KeyholeGuy Maddin
  6. This is Not a FilmJafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  7. Keep the Lights OnIra Sachs
  8. Two Years at SeaBen Rivers
  9. Let the Bullets FlyJiang Wen
  10. The Day He ArrivesHong Sang-soo
  11. In Another CountryHong Sang-soo
  12. Oki’s MovieHong Sang-soo

Dan Sallitt: Favorite 18 Films of 2012

19 January 2013

Dan Sallitt: Favorite 18 Films of 2012 (limited to films that played at least one week in Manhattan for the first time in 2012)

[see also 2017]

  1. The Day He ArrivesHong Sang-soo
  2. MichaelMarkus Schleinzer
  3. The Kid with a BikeJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  4. Alms for a Blind HorseGurvinder Singh
  5. AmourMichael Haneke
  6. This Must Be the PlacePaolo Sorrentino
  7. Generation PVictor Ginzburg
  8. The Loneliest PlanetJulia Loktev
  9. AttenbergAthina Rachel Tsangari
  10. TabuMiguel Gomes
  11. Neighboring SoundsKleber Mendonça Filho
  12. The Deep Blue SeaTerence Davies

Cinema Scope: Top 15 Films of 2012

18 January 2013

Cinema Scope: Top 15 Films of 2012

[see also 2018, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2011]

  1. LeviathanLucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
  2. TabuMiguel Gomes
  3. Holy MotorsLeos Carax
  4. The MasterPaul Thomas Anderson
  5. Django UnchainedQuentin Tarantino
  6. ViolaMatías Piñeiro
  7. The Last Time I Saw MacaoJoão Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata
  8. autrement, la MolussieNicolas Rey
  9. Neighboring SoundsKleber Mendonça Filho
  10. Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson

Robert Christgau: Top 102 Albums of 2012

16 January 2013

Robert Christgau: Top 102 Albums of 2012 (which Christgau calls “The Dean’s List”)

[see also 2018, 2017]

  1. Neil Young & Crazy HorseAmericana
  2. DabkeSounds of the Syrian Houran
  3. Loudon Wainwright IIIOlder Than My Old Man Now
  4. PinkThe Truth About Love
  5. Todd SniderAgnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
  6. SkrillexBangarang
  7. HimanshuNehru Jackets
  8. The Mountain GoatsTranscendental Youth
  9. Various Artists — The Rough Guide to High Life
  10. Bruce SpringsteenWrecking Ball
  11. Azealia Banks1991
  12. Chris Berry & The Bayaka of YandoumbeListen . . . Oka!
  13. Lee RanaldoBetween the Times and the Tides
  14. The xxCoexist
  15. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel…
  16. Orchestra BaobabLa Belle Époque: Volume 2 1973-1976
  17. Kendrick Lamargood kid, m.A.A.d city
  18. KarantambaNdigal
  19. The Human HeartsAnother
  20. Homeboy SandmanFirst of a Living Breed
  21. Spoek MathamboFather Creeper
  22. Greenberger Greenberg CebarTell Me That Before
  23. Taylor SwiftRed
  24. SaigonThe Greatest Story Never Told: Chapter Two: Bread and Circuses
  25. SerengetiC.A.R.
  26. MiguelKaleidoscope Dream
  27. Homeboy SandmanThe Good Sun
  28. Omar SouleymanHaflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts
  29. PlugBack on Time
  30. Wreckless Eric & Amy RigbyA Working Museum
  31. HeemsWild Water Kingdom
  32. Elle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
  33. Standard FareOut of Sight, Out of Town
  34. The dB’sFalling Off the Sky
  35. A Place to Bury StrangersWorship
  36. Death GripsNo Love Deep Web
  37. Various Artists — The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia
  38. Leonard CohenOld Ideas
  39. JapandroidsCelebration Rock
  40. Frank OceanChannel Orange
  41. Beach HouseBloom
  42. Etta JamesThe Dreamer
  43. Donald FagenSunken Condos
  44. Best CoastThe Only Place
  45. Death GripsThe Money Store
  46. Ab-SoulControl System
  47. Iris DeMentSing the Delta
  48. Various Artists — Songs for Desert Refugees
  49. Saint EtienneWords and Music by Saint Etienne
  50. Tommy WomackNow What!
  51. Public EnemyMost of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp
  52. Big Baby GandhiNo1 2 Look Up 2
  53. Pet Shop BoysElysium
  54. Staff Benda BililiBouger Le Monde!
  55. Corin Tucker BandKill My Blues
  56. Carolyn MarkThe Queen of Vancouver Island
  57. s / s / sBeak & Claw
  58. Thomas AndersonThe Moon in Transit
  59. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
  60. Jamey JohnsonLiving for a Song: Tribute to Hank Cochran
  61. Various Artists — The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco
  62. Ani DiFranco¿Which Side Are You On?
  63. P.S. EliotSadie
  64. The CoupSorry to Bother You
  65. Sleigh BellsReign of Terror
  66. GiveBalkan Beat Box
  67. LukidLonely at the Top
  68. Big K.R.I.T.4Eva N a Day
  69. Low Cut ConnieCall Me Sylvia
  70. Kid Koala12 Bit Blues
  71. Pete SeegerThe Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960
  72. Macklemore & Ryan LewisThe Heist
  73. Moreno and L’Orch First Moja-OneSister Pili + 2
  74. BurialStreet Halo/Kindred
  75. Bhi BhimanBhiman
  76. Homeboy SandmanSubject: Matter
  77. Francis BebeyAfrican Electronic Music 1975-1982
  78. Nicki MinajPink Friday: Roman Reloaded: Deluxe Edition
  79. MadonnaMDNA
  80. Allo Darlin’Europe
  81. The Magnetic FieldsLove at the Bottom of the Sea
  82. Two FingersStunt Rhythms
  83. The Rolling StonesSome Girls: Deluxe Edition
  84. Dylan HicksSings Bolling Greene
  85. SerengetiKenny Dennis EP
  86. DobieNothing to Fear
  87. A Place to Bury StrangersOnwards to the Wall
  88. Clams CasinoInstrumental Mixtape
  89. Divine FitsA Thing Called Divine Fits
  90. Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
  91. Dobie…But Fear Itself
  92. Ned SubletteKiss You Down South
  93. Janka Nabay & the Bubu GangEn Yay Sah
  94. Royal Band de ThiésKadior Demb
  95. Amadou & MariamFolila
  96. Andre Williams & the SadiesNight and Day
  97. Khaira ArbyTchini Tchini
  98. Joan SorianoLa Familia Soriano
  99. Big Baby GandhiBig Fucking Baby
  100. LinkobanSuper Into On It
  101. Various Artists — The Original Sound of Cumbia
  102. Tha Grimm TeachazThere’s a Situation on the Homefront

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2012

15 January 2013

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2012 (an annual poll of critics, published by The Village Voice)

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011]

  1. Frank OceanChannel Orange
  2. Kendrick Lamargood kid, m.A.A.d city
  3. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel…
  4. JapandroidsCelebration Rock
  5. MiguelKaleidoscope Dream
  6. Tame ImpalaLonerism
  7. SwansThe Seer
  8. Killer MikeR.A.P. Music
  9. GrimesVisions
  10. Beach HouseBloom
  11. Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
  12. Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
  13. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
  14. Father John MistyFear Fun
  15. Bruce SpringsteenWrecking Ball
  16. Bob DylanTempest
  17. Taylor SwiftRed
  18. FuturePluto
  19. Alabama ShakesBoys & Girls
  20. Sharon Van EttenTramp
  21. Dr. JohnLocked Down
  22. Leonard CohenOld Ideas
  23. Cat PowerSun
  24. BaronessYellow & Green
  25. Scott WalkerBish Bosch
  26. El-PCancer 4 Cure
  27. Grizzly BearShields
  28. ChromaticsKill for Love
  29. Andy StottLuxury Problems
  30. Jessie WareDevotion
  31. Neil Young & Crazy HorsePsychedelic Pill
  32. Loudon Wainwright IIIOlder Than My Old Man Now
  33. The Mountain GoatsTranscendental Youth
  34. SpiritualizedSweet Heart, Sweet Light
  35. Bat for LashesThe Haunted Man
  36. Godspeed You! Black Emperor‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  37. Julia HolterEkstasis
  38. Hot ChipIn Our Heads
  39. Carly Rae JepsenKiss
  40. Todd SniderAgnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
  41. fun.Some Nights
  42. Bob MouldSilver Age
  43. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind
  44. Kelly HoganI Like to Keep Myself in Pain
  45. Death GripsThe Money Store
  46. Purity RingShrines
  47. Nada SurfThe Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
  48. Iris DeMentSing the Delta
  49. The xxCoexist
  50. The MenOpen Your Heart
  51. Jens LekmanI Know What Love Isn’t
  52. Titus AndronicusLocal Business
  53. GoatWorld Music
  54. Lana Del ReyBorn to Die
  55. Allo Darlin’Europe
  56. MetzMetz
  57. Neneh Cherry & the ThingThe Cherry Thing
  58. PallbearerSorrow and Extinction
  59. BurialKindred
  60. Sleigh BellsReign of Terror
  61. Ariel PinkMature Themes
  62. NasLife is Good
  63. Robert Glasper ExperimentBlack Radio
  64. Flying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes
  65. Laurel HaloQuarantine
  66. LiarsWixiw
  67. Divine FitsA Thing Called Divine Fits
  68. Action Bronson & Party SuppliesBlue Chips
  69. Redd KrossResearching the Blues
  70. ActressR.I.P.
  71. King TuffKing Tuff
  72. Dean Blunt & Inga CopelandBlack is Beautiful
  73. LambchopMr. M
  74. WalkmenHeaven
  75. The CoupSorry to Bother You
  76. Neil Young & Crazy HorseAmericana
  77. First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar
  78. Twin ShadowConfess
  79. Avett BrothersThe Carpenter
  80. RushClockwork Angels
  81. Vijay IyerAccelerando
  82. Dinosaur Jr.I Bet on Sky
  83. David Byrne & St. VincentLove this Giant
  84. SantigoldMaster of My Make-Believe
  85. Le1fDark York
  86. Elle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
  87. CanThe Lost Tapes
  88. Saint EtienneWords and Music by Saint Etienne
  89. Ke$haWarrior
  90. Donald FagenSunken Condos
  91. THEESatisfactionAwe Naturale
  92. Ty SegallTwins
  93. Dwight Yoakam3 Pears
  94. Patti SmithBanga
  95. Matthew E. WhiteBig Inner
  96. Nicki MinajPink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  97. Best CoastThe Only Place
  98. Kathleen EdwardsVoyageur
  99. J.D. McPhersonSigns & Signifiers
  100. The dB’sFalling Off the Sky