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.

Austin Town Hall: Top 100 Albums of 2012

06 January 2013

Austin Town Hall: Top 100 Albums of 2012

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2011]

  1. Terry MaltsKilling Time
  2. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
  3. Sea PinksFreak Waves
  4. The Tallest Man on EarthThere’s No Leaving Now
  5. Gentleman Jesse & His MenLeaving Atlanta
  6. I Was a KingYou Love It Here
  7. WalkmenHeaven
  8. Cats on FireAll Blackshirts to Me
  9. Grizzly BearShields
  10. Twin ShadowConfess
  11. Mystery JetsRadlands
  12. The MenOpen Your Heart
  13. Royal HeadacheRoyal Headache
  14. WoodsBend Beyond
  15. Grass WidowInternal Logic
  16. Beach HouseBloom
  17. Standard FareOut of Sight, Out of Town
  18. HunxHairdresser Blues
  19. Wild NothingNocturne
  20. Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
  21. The Fresh & OnlysLong Slow Dance
  22. ChromaticsKill for Love
  23. Tame ImpalaLonerism
  24. Eternal SummersCorrect Behavior
  25. Sharon Van EttenTramp
  26. LiteratureArab Spring
  27. Magic TrickRuler of the Night
  28. The IntelligenceEverybody’s Got It Easy But Me
  29. Punks On MarsBad Expectations
  30. Nude BeachII
  31. ExloversMoth
  32. Cult of YouthLove Will Prevail
  33. Frankie RoseInterstellar
  34. DIIVOshin
  35. Black MarbleA Different Arrangement
  36. Letting Up Despite Great FaultsUntogether
  37. The BankeesHome
  38. Bear In HeavenI Love You, It’s Cool
  39. Thee Oh SeesPutrifiers II
  40. Mac DeMarco2
  41. PlateausPlateaus
  42. Still FlyinOn a Bedroom Wall
  43. JBMStray Ashes
  44. Andrew BirdHands of Glory
  45. Ariel PinkMature Themes
  46. Deep TimeDeep Time
  47. Sonic AvenuesTelevision Youth
  48. Field MusicPlumb
  49. Crystal CastlesIII
  50. TanlinesMixed Emotions
  51. HospitalityHospitality
  52. The Wedding PresentValentina
  53. OBN IIIsOBN IIIs
  54. Cat PowerSun
  55. Jens LekmanI Know What Love Isn’t
  56. The Wave PicturesLong Black Cars
  57. Two Wounded BirdsTwo Wounded Birds
  58. The xxCoexist
  59. Bat for LashesThe Haunted Man
  60. Hot ChipIn Our Heads
  61. HologramsHolograms
  62. GravenhurstThe Ghost in Daylight
  63. BowerbirdsThe Clearing
  64. Screaming FemalesUgly
  65. The Daredevil Christopher WrightThe Nature of Things
  66. We Can’t Enjoy OurselvesMake a Mess of Sacred Ground
  67. Mind SpidersMeltdown
  68. Dana BuoySummer Bodies
  69. Teen DazeAll of Us Together
  70. Allo Darlin’Europe
  71. A.C. NewmanShut Down the Streets
  72. Grape StreetA Date With You
  73. White WiresWWIII
  74. La SeraSees the Light
  75. White ArrowsDry Land is Not a Myth
  76. Dot DashWinter Garden Light
  77. Pop SinglesAll Gone
  78. The Eastern SeaPlague
  79. Woolen KitsFour Girls
  80. King TuffKing Tuff
  81. Natural ChildHard in Heaven
  82. Evans the DeathEvans the Death
  83. Ty Segall BandSlaughterhouse
  84. The Calm Blue SeaArrivals & Departures
  85. The BabiesOur House on the Hill
  86. Parquet CourtsLight Up Gold
  87. Titus AndronicusLocal Business
  88. Unnatural HelpersLand Grab
  89. VolcanoPinata
  90. The MemoriesThe Memories
  91. Beachwood SparksTarnished Gold
  92. Daughn GibsonAll Hell
  93. The PharmacyStoned and Alone
  94. Big Wave RidersLife Less Ordinary
  95. So Many WizardsWarm Nothing
  96. CrocodilesEndless Flowers
  97. MetzMetz
  98. Saint MotelVoyeur
  99. Junk CultureWild Quiet
  100. Lace CurtainsThe Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness

Billboard: 10 Best Albums of 2012

03 January 2013

Billboard: 10 Best Albums of 2012 (as voted by Billboard staff)

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011]

  1. Frank OceanChannel Orange
  2. Kendrick Lamargood kid, m.A.A.d city
  3. MiguelKaleidoscope Dream
  4. Jessie WareDevotion
  5. Taylor SwiftRed
  6. Beach HouseBloom
  7. Bruce SpringsteenWrecking Ball
  8. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
  9. Cat PowerSun
  10. alt-JAn Awesome Wave

Glenn Kenny: 25 Best Films of 2012

03 January 2013

Glenn Kenny: 25 Best Films of 2012

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

  1. The MasterPaul Thomas Anderson
  2. The Turin HorseBéla Tarr
  3. Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson
  4. Zero Dark ThirtyKathryn Bigelow
  5. The Kid with a BikeJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  6. CosmopolisDavid Cronenberg
  7. LincolnSteven Spielberg
  8. LooperRian Johnson
  9. Holy MotorsLeos Carax
  10. TabuMiguel Gomes
  11. This is Not a FilmJafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  12. Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaNuri Bilge Ceylan
  13. ParaNormanChris Butler & Sam Fell
  14. Hello, I Must Be GoingTodd Louisa
  15. AmourMichael Haneke
  16. FlightRobert Zemeckis
  17. BernieRichard Linklater
  18. Not Fade AwayDavid Chase
  19. Beasts of the Southern WildBenh Zeitlin
  20. SkyfallSam Mendes
  21. The Dark Knight RisesChristopher Nolan
  22. Damsels in DistressWhit Stillman
  23. Goodbye First LoveMia Hansen-Løve
  24. PrometheusRidley Scott
  25. Red Hook SummerSpike Lee

Darren Hughes: 10 Best Films of 2012

03 January 2013

Darren Hughes: 10 Best Films of 2012 (as published at Long Pauses, where he also has lists of favorite unreleased films, favorite discoveries, and “Movie Recommendations for People Who Don’t Like the Kinds of Movies I Like”)

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

  1. The Loneliest PlanetJulia Loktev
  2. Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaNuri Bilge Ceylan
  3. BarbaraChristian Petzold
  4. Almayer’s FollyChantal Akerman
  5. Holy MotorsLeos Carax
  6. The Day He ArrivesHong Sang-soo
  7. A Burning Hot SummerPhilippe Garrel
  8. HaywireSteven Soderbergh
  9. The Kid with a BikeJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  10. Neighboring SoundsKleber Mendonça Filho

Film Comment: 50 Best Films of 2012

03 January 2013

Film Comment: 50 Best Films of 2012

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

  1. Holy MotorsLeos Carax
  2. The MasterPaul Thomas Anderson
  3. Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson
  4. This is Not a FilmJafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  5. AmourMichael Haneke
  6. The Turin HorseBéla Tarr
  7. The Kid with a BikeJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  8. Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaNuri Bilge Ceylan
  9. LincolnSteven Spielberg
  10. Zero Dark ThirtyKathryn Bigelow
  11. TabuMiguel Gomes
  12. The Deep Blue SeaTerence Davies
  13. BernieRichard Linklater
  14. Beasts of the Southern WildBenh Zeitlin
  15. CosmopolisDavid Cronenberg
  16. BarbaraChristian Petzold
  17. The Loneliest PlanetJulia Loktev
  18. Silver Linings PlaybookDavid O. Russell
  19. Oslo, August 31stJoachim Trier
  20. Neighboring SoundsKleber Mendonça Filho
  21. Django UnchainedQuentin Tarantino
  22. Almayer’s FollyChantal Akerman
  23. Magic MikeSteven Soderbergh
  24. ArgoBen Affleck
  25. AttenbergAthina Rachel Tsangari
  26. The Color WheelAlex Ross Perry
  27. Rust and BoneJacques Audiard
  28. Killer JoeWilliam Friedkin
  29. LooperRian Johnson
  30. Life of PiAng Lee
  31. A Man VanishesShohei Imamura
  32. SkyfallSam Mendes
  33. The GatekeepersDror Moreh
  34. ElenaAndrey Zvyagintsev
  35. HaywireSteven Soderbergh
  36. Damsels in DistressWhit Stillman
  37. AbendlandNikolaus Geyrhalter
  38. Two Years at SeaBen Rivers
  39. How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDSDavid France
  40. Keep the Lights OnIra Sachs
  41. A Burning Hot SummerPhilippe Garrel
  42. Miss BalaGerardo Naranjo
  43. FootnoteJoseph Cedar
  44. ComplianceCraig Zobel
  45. AlpsYorgos Lanthimos
  46. Kill ListBen Wheatley
  47. Farewell, My QueenBenoît Jacquot
  48. In Another CountryHong Sang-soo
  49. The Dark Knight RisesChristopher Nolan
  50. The Day He ArrivesHong Sang-soo