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.

2011

Skandies: 20 Best Films of 2011

28 February 2012

Skandies: 20 Best Films of 2011 [a poll of about 40 cinephiles]

  1. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  2. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  3. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  4. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  5. House of Pleasures (aka House of Tolerance)Bertrand Bonello
  6. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  7. MelancholiaLars von Trier
  8. Meek’s CutoffKelly Reichardt
  9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  10. Martha Marcy May MarleneSean Durkin
  11. Tuesday, After ChristmasRadu Muntean
  12. Of Gods and MenXavier Beauvois
  13. The ArborClio Barnard
  14. Putty HillMatthew Porterfield
  15. BeginnersMike Mills
  16. MoneyballBennett Miller
  17. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  18. ShameSteve McQueen
  19. HugoMartin Scorsese
  20. We Need to Talk About KevinLynne Ramsay

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2011

19 January 2012

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2011 (an annual poll of critics, published by The Village Voice)

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

  1. Tune-YardsWhokill
  2. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  3. Jay-Z and Kanye WestWatch the Throne
  4. Wild FlagWild Flag
  5. Tom WaitsBad as Me
  6. Adele21
  7. DestroyerKaputt
  8. DrakeTake Care
  9. Bon IverBon Iver
  10. Shabazz PalacesBlack Up
  11. Fucked UpDavid Comes to Life
  12. St. VincentStrange Mercy
  13. The WeekndHouse of Balloons
  14. Paul SimonSo Beautiful or So What
  15. EMAPast Life Martyred Saints
  16. Frank OceanNostalgia, Ultra
  17. The RootsUndun
  18. Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
  19. M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  20. Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo
  21. The Black KeysEl Camino
  22. WilcoThe Whole Love
  23. Pistol AnniesHell on Heels
  24. YuckYuck
  25. GirlsFather, Son, Holy Ghost
  26. Beyoncé4
  27. Gillian WelchThe Harrow & The Harvest
  28. Danny BrownXXX
  29. The DecemberistsThe King is Dead
  30. Lady GagaBorn This Way
  31. Bill CallahanApocalypse
  32. Real EstateDays
  33. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  34. James BlakeJames Blake
  35. Oneohtrix Point NeverReplica
  36. Tim HeckerRavedeath, 1972
  37. Kate Bush50 Words for Snow
  38. Lykke LiWounded Rhymes
  39. Raphael SaadiqStone Rollin’
  40. Wye OakCivilian
  41. Ryan Adams and the CardinalsAshes & Fire
  42. Colin StetsonNew History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
  43. TV on the RadioNine Types of Light
  44. Kendrick LamarSection.80
  45. The Beach BoysThe SMiLE Sessions
  46. Stephen Malkmus and the JicksMirror Traffic
  47. MastodonThe Hunter
  48. Das RacistRelax
  49. The War on DrugsSlave Ambient
  50. Charles BradleyNo Time for Dreaming
  51. Gang Gang DanceEye Contact
  52. Katy BOn A Mission
  53. Britney SpearsFemme Fatale
  54. Foo FightersWasting Light
  55. Dum Dum GirlsOnly in Dreams
  56. IceageNew Brigade
  57. The MenLeave Home
  58. Joy FormidableThe Big Roar
  59. FeistMetals
  60. Florence + The MachineCeremonials
  61. Clams CasinoInstrumental Mixtape
  62. Atlas SoundParallax
  63. Fountains of WayneSky Full of Holes
  64. My Morning JacketCircuital
  65. The Mountain GoatsAll Eternals Deck
  66. Nicolas JaarSpace is Only Noise
  67. Big KRITReturn of 4Eva
  68. The AntlersBurst Apart
  69. Panda BearTomboy
  70. TinariwenTassili
  71. KillsBlood Pressures
  72. LowC’mon
  73. R.E.M.Collapse Into Now
  74. Demdike StareTryptych
  75. Nick LoweThe Old Magic
  76. Hayes CarllKMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)
  77. Beastie BoysHot Sauce Committee Part Two
  78. Matana RobertsCOIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres
  79. Zola JesusConatus
  80. The HorrorsSkying
  81. White DenimD
  82. Washed OutWithin and Without
  83. Pains of Being Pure at HeartBelong
  84. The CaretakerAn Empty Bliss Beyond This World
  85. AustraFeel It Break
  86. Julianna BarwickThe Magic Place
  87. Miranda LambertFour the Record
  88. LiturgyAesthethica
  89. ElbowBuild a Rocket Boys!
  90. Laura MarlingA Creature I Don’t Know
  91. CultsCults
  92. DJ QuikThe Book of David
  93. A$AP RockyLIVE.LOVE.A$AP
  94. Lou Reed & MetallicaLulu
  95. The FeeliesHere Before
  96. GrouperA I A
  97. Eric ChurchChief
  98. Tyler, The CreatorGoblin
  99. BraidsNative Speaker
  100. Ty SegallGoodbye Bread

Cinema Scope: Top Ten Films of 2011

13 January 2012

Cinema Scope: Top Ten Films of 2011

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

  1. This is Not a FilmJafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  2. The Turin HorseBéla Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky
  3. House of Pleasures [L’Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close] [House of Tolerance]Bertrand Bonello
  4. DreilebenChristian Petzold, Dominik Graf, Christoph Hochhäuser
  5. Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaNuri Bilge Ceylan
  6. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  7. Kill ListBen Wheatley
  8. It’s the Earth Not the MoonGonçalo Tocha
  9. Sleeping SicknessUlrich Köhler
  10. The Kid with a BikeJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

Margaret Wappler: Top 10 Albums of 2011

12 January 2012

Margaret Wappler: Top 10 Albums of 2011, as published by The Los Angeles Times

  1. Tune-YardsWhokill
  2. Bill CallahanApocalypse
  3. DestroyerKaputt
  4. FeistMetals
  5. Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
  6. Shabazz PalacesBlack Up
  7. Laura MarlingA Creature I Don’t Know
  8. Paul SimonSo Beautiful or So What
  9. Eleanor FriedbergerLast Summer
  10. Real EstateDays

Todd Martens: Top 15 Albums of 2011

12 January 2012

Todd Martens: Top 15 Albums of 2011, as published by The Los Angeles Times

  1. Le ButcherettesSin Sin Sin
  2. Van HuntWhat Were You Hoping For?
  3. Fucked UpDavid Comes to Life
  4. The RootsUndun
  5. Anna CalviAnna Calvi
  6. Raphael SaadiqStone Rollin’
  7. WilcoThe Whole Love
  8. Wild FlagWild Flag
  9. Bewitched HandsBirds & Drums
  10. Lydia LovelessIndestructible Machine
  11. Tune-YardsWhokill
  12. FeistMetals
  13. Drive-By TruckersGo-Go Boots
  14. Shabazz PalacesBlack Up
  15. The FeeliesHere Before

Bleep: Top 10 Albums of 2011

10 January 2012

Bleep: Top 10 Albums of 2011

  1. ByetoneSyMeta
  2. RustieGlass Swords
  3. John MausWe Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
  4. pattenGLAQJO XAACSSO
  5. MartynGhost People
  6. Peaking Lights936
  7. SurgeonBreaking the Frame
  8. Roll The DiceIn Dust
  9. Nicolas JaarSpace is Only Noise
  10. Roly PorterAftertime

Hot Press: Top 30 Albums of 2011

10 January 2012

Hot Press: Top 30 Albums of 2011

  1. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  2. Tom WaitsBad as Me
  3. Lisa HanniganPassenger
  4. Bon IverBon Iver
  5. The HorrorsSkying
  6. Cashier No. 9To the Death of Fun
  7. ElbowBuild a Rocket Boys!
  8. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  9. Wild BeastsSmother
  10. BjörkBiophilia
  11. Kate Bush50 Words for Snow
  12. M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  13. PugwashThe Olympus Sound
  14. Lady GagaBorn This Way
  15. WilcoThe Whole Love
  16. James BlakeJames Blake
  17. The CoronasCloser To You
  18. Arctic MonkeysSuck It and See
  19. Florence + The MachineCeremonials
  20. FeistMetals
  21. Jay-Z and Kanye WestWatch the Throne
  22. The MinutesMarcata
  23. Lykke LiWounded Rhymes
  24. Childish GambinoCamp
  25. Anna CalviAnna Calvi
  26. We Cut CornersToday I Realised I Could Walk Home Backwards
  27. SBTRKTSBTRKT
  28. Snow PatrolFallen Empires
  29. The WeekndHouse of Balloons
  30. The WaterboysAn Appointment with Mr. Yeats

Rip It Up: 10 Best Albums of 2011

10 January 2012

Rip It Up: 10 Best Albums of 2011

  1. PJ HarveyLet England Shake
  2. SBTRKTSBTRKT
  3. KasabianVelociraptor!
  4. Azari & IIIAzari & III
  5. The HorrorsSkying
  6. Foo FightersWasting Light
  7. The Black KeysEl Camino
  8. Arctic MonkeysSuck It and See
  9. The JezabelsPrisoner
  10. Cut CopyZonoscope

Guitar World: Top 50 Albums of 2011

10 January 2012

Guitar World: Top 50 Albums of 2011

  1. Foo FightersWasting Light
  2. OpethHeritage
  3. Asking AlexandriaReckless & Relentless
  4. AnthraxWorship Music
  5. MastodonThe Hunter
  6. Joe BonamassaDust Bowl
  7. Children of BodomRelentless Reckless Forever
  8. MegadethTH1RT3EN
  9. Cage the ElephantThank You, Happy Birthday
  10. Dream TheaterA Dramatic Turn of Events
  11. Black Veil BridesSet the World on Fire
  12. Black Country Communion2
  13. Red Hot Chili PeppersI’m With You
  14. Animals As LeadersWeightless
  15. Machine HeadUnto the Locust
  16. Gregg AllmanLow Country Blues
  17. Explosions in the SkyTake Care, Take Care, Take Care
  18. RadioheadThe King of Limbs
  19. Of Mice & MenThe Flood
  20. Warren HaynesMan in Motion
  21. Falling In ReverseThe Drug in Me Is You
  22. WilcoThe Whole Love
  23. Protest the HeroScurrilous
  24. KornThe Path of Totality
  25. Brad PaisleyThis Is Country Music
  26. SkeletonwitchForever Abomination
  27. Tedeschi Trucks BandRevelator
  28. Iced EarthDystopia
  29. Russian CirclesEmpros
  30. Kenny Wayne ShepherdHow I Go
  31. Black Dahlia MurderRitual
  32. PrimusGreen Naugahyde
  33. Steel PantherBalls Out
  34. Jane’s AddictionThe Great Escape Artist
  35. Jimmie VaughanPlays More Blues, Ballads & Favorites
  36. The Black KeysEl Camino
  37. The Human AbstractDigital Veil
  38. RevocationChaos of Forms
  39. The CarsMove Like This
  40. George Thorogood and the Destroyers2120 South Michigan Ave.
  41. The Devil Wears PradaDead Throne
  42. Stephen Malkmus and the JicksMirror Traffic
  43. DecapitatedCarnival is Forever
  44. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsNoel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  45. TexturesDualism
  46. ChickenfootChickenfoot III
  47. Gang of FourContent
  48. Five Finger Death PunchAmerican Capitalist
  49. Brian SetzerSetzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!
  50. TriviumIn Waves

Margaret Moser: Top 10 Albums of 2011

10 January 2012

Margaret Moser: Top 10 Albums of 2011, as published by The Austin Chronicle

  1. Lucinda WilliamsBlessed
  2. The DecemberistsThe King is Dead
  3. Adele21
  4. Tom WaitsBad as Me
  5. The Civil WarsBarton Hollow
  6. The Black KeysEl Camino
  7. Cornell DupreeI’m Alright
  8. Amy WinehouseLioness: Hidden Treasures
  9. Gregg AllmanLow Country Blues
  10. Gillian WelchThe Harrow & The Harvest