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.

Richard Brody: 26 Best Films of 2011

07 December 2011

Richard Brody: 26 Best Films of 2011, as published by The New Yorker

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012]

  1. The FutureMiranda July
  2. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  3. Film SocialismeJean-Luc Godard
  4. HugoMartin Scorsese
  5. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  6. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  7. PetitionZhao Liang
  8. Putty HillMatthew Porterfield
  9. Silver BulletsJoe Swanberg
  10. A Screaming ManMahamat-Saleh Haroun
  11. The InterruptersSteve James
  12. You All Are CaptainsOliver Laxe
  13. BellflowerEvan Glodell
  14. J. EdgarClint Eastwood
  15. Midnight in ParisWoody Allen
  16. TerriAzazel Jacobs
  17. ImpolexAlex Ross Perry
  18. MoneyballBennett Miller
  19. Road to NowhereMonte Hellman
  20. BridesmaidsNicole Holofcener
  21. The DescendantsAlexander Payne
  22. Uncle KentJoe Swanberg
  23. The Time That RemainsElia Suleiman
  24. Le HavreAki Kaurismäki
  25. The Skin I Live InPedro Almodóvar
  26. RestlessGus Van Sant

Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2011

07 December 2011

The Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2011

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012]

  1. James FerraroFar Side Virtual
  2. RustieGlass Swords
  3. Eliane RadigueTransamorem – Transmortem
  4. Hype WilliamsOne Nation
  5. The Beach BoysThe SMiLE Sessions
  6. Michael ChapmanThe Resurrection and Revenge of the Clayton Peacock
  7. DJ RashadJust A Taste
  8. Laurel HaloHour Logic
  9. Lou Reed & MetallicaLulu
  10. John Wall & Alex RogersWork 2006-2011
  11. Keiji Haino / Jim O’Rourke / Oren AmbarchiIn a Flash Everything Comes Together As One There Is No Need For A Subject
  12. Sun ArawAncient Romans
  13. Bill OrcuttHow the Thing Sings
  14. Oneohtrix Point NeverReplica
  15. Peaking Lights936
  16. CorruptedGarten Der Unberwusstheit
  17. Balam AcabWander/Wonder
  18. Ricardo Villalobos & Max LoderbauerRe: ECM
  19. Anti GPresents Kentje’sz Beatsz
  20. Thomas Ankersmit & Valerio TricoliForma II
  21. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  22. Cornelius CardewThe Great Learning
  23. ThundercatThe Golden Age of Apocalypse
  24. HeckerSpeculative Solution
  25. Andy StottWe Stay Together
  26. Ben UFORemix of Rinse 16
  27. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  28. Margaret DygasMargaret Dygas
  29. Jim O’RourkeOld News #5
  30. Various — Bangs & Works Vol. 2: The Best of Chicago Footwork
  31. EkoplekzIntrusive Incidentalz Vol 1
  32. Tim HeckerRavedeath, 1972
  33. The Advisory CircleAs The Crow Flies
  34. Miles DavisLive In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1
  35. Alexander TuckerDorwytch
  36. HelmCryptography
  37. John ChantlerThe Luminous Ground
  38. Ectoplasm GirlsTxN
  39. CindytalkHold Everything Dear
  40. Frank OceanNostalgia, Ultra
  41. KuedoSeverant
  42. StructureToad Blinker
  43. The FallErsatz GB
  44. Leyland KirbyIntrigue & Stuff Vol. 1
  45. Patrice & FriendsCashmere Sheets
  46. ZombyDedication
  47. Various — Music For Merce (1952-2009)
  48. Peter Evans QuintetGhosts
  49. Rrose x Bob OstertagMotormouth Variations
  50. Michael ChapmanTrainsongs: Guitar Compositions 1967-2010

Rolling Stone: 50 Best Albums of 2011

07 December 2011

Rolling Stone: 50 Best Albums of 2011

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012]

  1. Adele21
  2. Jay-Z and Kanye WestWatch the Throne
  3. Paul SimonSo Beautiful or So What
  4. Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
  5. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  6. Lady GagaBorn This Way
  7. The DecemberistsThe King is Dead
  8. WilcoThe Whole Love
  9. Wild FlagWild Flag
  10. Robbie RobertsonHow To Become Clairvoyant
  11. My Morning JacketCircuital
  12. The Black KeysEl Camino
  13. Tune-YardsWhokill
  14. Beastie BoysHot Sauce Committee Part Two
  15. Cage the ElephantThank You, Happy Birthday
  16. R.E.M.Collapse Into Now
  17. TV on the RadioNine Types of Light
  18. FeistMetals
  19. Eric ChurchChief
  20. Foo FightersWasting Light
  21. Bon IverBon Iver
  22. DrakeTake Care
  23. Tom WaitsBad as Me
  24. Frank OceanNostalgia, Ultra
  25. Beyoncé4
  26. St. VincentStrange Mercy
  27. Florence + The MachineCeremonials
  28. Das RacistRelax
  29. Pistol AnniesHell on Heels
  30. Tom Morello: The NightwatchmanWorld Wide Rebel Songs
  31. Miranda LambertFour the Record
  32. Big K.R.I.T.Return of 4Eva
  33. Josh T PearsonLast of the Country Gentlemen
  34. SuperHeavySuperHeavy
  35. DawesNothing is Wrong
  36. Stephen Malkmus and the JicksMirror Traffic
  37. Panda BearTomboy
  38. MastodonThe Hunter
  39. Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo
  40. Gary Clark Jr.The Bright Lights
  41. Little DragonRitual Union
  42. DestroyerKaputt
  43. KillsBlood Pressures
  44. Raphael SaadiqStone Rollin’
  45. Tedeschi Trucks BandRevelator
  46. White DenimD
  47. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  48. Charles BradleyNo Time for Dreaming
  49. WavvesLife Sux
  50. The Lonely IslandTurtleneck & Chain

NME: Best Albums of 2011

07 December 2011

NME: Best Albums of 2011

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012]

  1. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  2. MetronomyThe English Riviera
  3. The HorrorsSkying
  4. Wild BeastsSmother
  5. Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo
  6. Arctic MonkeysSuck It and See
  7. St. VincentStrange Mercy
  8. Katy BOn A Mission
  9. Tune-YardsWhokill
  10. WU LYFGo Tell Fire to the Mountain
  11. Anna CalviAnna Calvi
  12. ScumAgain Into Eyes
  13. SuunsZeroes QC
  14. The VaccinesWhat Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
  15. Wild FlagWild Flag
  16. Bombay Bicycle ClubA Different Kind of Fix
  17. BattlesGloss Drop
  18. Cat’s EyesCat’s Eyes
  19. Laura MarlingA Creature I Don’t Know
  20. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  21. KasabianVelociraptor!
  22. Noah & The WhaleLast Night on Earth
  23. YuckYuck
  24. Big TalkBig Talk
  25. PLANNINGTOROCKW
  26. GirlsFather, Son, Holy Ghost
  27. Black LipsArabia Mountain
  28. The FieldLooping State of Mind
  29. Smith WesternsDye It Blonde
  30. Friendly FiresPala
  31. Florence + The MachineCeremonials
  32. Alex TurnerSubmarine OST
  33. JusticeAudio,Video,Disco
  34. Unknown Mortal OrchestraUnknown Mortal Orchestra
  35. TV on the RadioNine Types of Light
  36. IceageNew Brigade
  37. White DenimD
  38. BjörkBiophilia
  39. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsNoel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  40. Cold CaveCherish the Light Years
  41. Death GripsExmilitary
  42. Patrick WolfLupercalia
  43. Foo FightersWasting Light
  44. DestroyerKaputt
  45. AustraFeel It Break
  46. Bon IverBon Iver
  47. Real EstateDays
  48. Slow ClubParadise
  49. SBTRKTSBTRKT
  50. Jay-Z and Kanye WestWatch the Throne

Benjamin Schwarz: Books of the Year 2011

06 December 2011

The Atlantic’s literary editor, Benjamin Schwarz, chooses the best five books of 2011:

[see also 2012]