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 Movies

Scott Tobias: Best Films of 2011

16 December 2011

Scott Tobias: Best Films of 2011 [also a participant in The A.V. Club’s round-up] NOTE: Tobias has posted an extended overview of 2011 (“the best year for movies since I started reviewing movies professionally back in 1998”) that includes a number of honorable mentions. We’d update the list above — since we normally favor the personal write-ups over ballot submissions — but it’s not clear where a few of “The Next Five” fit into the new overall list, which (probably unintentionally) omits the Nichols, Jones, and Feig films. But go read the post, anyway, and don’t worry about anything except the unfortunate limit that Netflix places on the size of your queue.

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

  1. Meek’s CutoffKelly Reichardt
  2. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  3. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  4. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  6. Martha Marcy May MarleneSean Durkin
  7. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  8. WeekendAndrew Haigh
  9. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  10. The ArborClio Barnard
  11. House of PleasuresBertrand Bonello
  12. TabloidErrol Morris
  13. HugoMartin Scorsese
  14. Tuesday, After ChristmasRadu Muntean
  15. The InterruptersSteve James

Roger Ebert: Best Films of 2011

15 December 2011

Roger Ebert: Best Films of 2011, as published by The Chicago Sun-Times, among films that opened in Chicago in 2011, excluding documentaries

[see also 2012]

  1. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  2. ShameSteve McQueen
  3. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  4. HugoMartin Scorsese
  5. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  6. KinyarwandaAlrick Brown
  7. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  8. Midnight in ParisWoody Allen
  9. Le HavreAki Kaurismäki
  10. The ArtistMichel Hazanavicius
  11. MelancholiaLars von Trier
  12. TerriAzazel Jacobs
  13. The DescendantsAlexander Payne
  14. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  15. Martha Marcy May MarleneSean Durkin
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2David Yates
  17. TrustDavid Schwimmer
  18. Live, Above AllOliver Schmitz
  19. The Mill and the CrossLech Majewski
  20. Another EarthMike Cahill

Dana Stevens: Top 10 Movies of 2011

15 December 2011

Dana Stevens: Top 10 Movies of 2011, as published by Slate, alphabetically

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

Keith Uhlich: Best Films of 2011

15 December 2011

Keith Uhlich: Best Films of 2011, as published by Time Out New York

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

  1. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  2. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  3. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  4. Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyTomas Alfredson
  5. PsychohydrographyPeter Bo Rappmund
  6. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  7. To Die Like a ManJoão Pedro Rodrigues
  8. PoetryLee Chang-dong
  9. Agrarian UtopiaUruphong Raksasad
  10. Sucker PunchZack Snyder
  11. Nostalgia for the LightPatricio Guzmán
  12. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  13. Mysteries of LisbonRaoul Ruiz
  14. The Adventures of TintinSteven Spielberg
  15. Of Gods and MenXavier Beauvois
  16. Winnie the PoohStephen J. Anderson
  17. Jane EyreCary Fukunaga
  18. The Way BackPeter Weir
  19. Arthur ChristmasSarah Smith
  20. TyrannosaurPaddy Considine

Joshua Rothkopf: Best Films of 2011

15 December 2011

Joshua Rothkopf: Best Films of 2011, as published by Time Out New York

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

  1. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  2. ShameSteve McQueen
  3. We Need to Talk About KevinLynne Ramsay
  4. 13 AssassinsTakashi Miike
  5. The TripMichael Winterbottom
  6. CoriolanusRalph Fiennes
  7. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  8. IncendiesDenis Villeneuve
  9. My PerestroikaRobin Hessman
  10. Attack the BlockJoe Cornish
  11. SennaAsif Kapadia
  12. MoneyballBennett Miller
  13. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  14. Higher GroundVera Farmiga
  15. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2David Yates
  17. KaboomGregg Araki
  18. ContagionSteven Soderbergh
  19. Young AdultJason Reitman
  20. The ArtistMichel Hazanavicius

David Fear: Best Films of 2011

15 December 2011

David Fear: Best Films of 2011, as published by Time Out New York

[see also 2018, 2017, 2012]

  1. ShameSteve McQueen
  2. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  3. Tuesday, After ChristmasRadu Muntean
  4. MoneyballBennett Miller
  5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  6. Cold WeatherAaron Katz
  7. IncendiesDenis Villeneuve
  8. SennaAsif Kapadia
  9. The TripMichael Winterbottom
  10. My JoySergei Loznitsa
  11. The ArborClio Barnard
  12. Meek’s CutoffKelly Reichardt
  13. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975Göran Olsson
  14. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  15. The InterruptersSteve James
  16. 13 AssassinsTakashi Miike
  17. The FutureMiranda July
  18. Le HavreAki Kaurismäki
  19. RampartOren Moverman
  20. DriveNicolas Winding Refn

Slant: 25 Best Films of 2011

15 December 2011

Slant Magazine: 25 Best Films of 2011 [individual ballots and near-misses]

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

  1. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  2. A Brighter Summer DayEdward Yang
  3. Mysteries of LisbonRaoul Ruiz
  4. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  5. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  6. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  7. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesApichatpong Weerasethakul
  8. Tuesday, After ChristmasRadu Muntean
  9. Nostalgia for the LightPatricio Guzmán
  10. PoetryLee Chang-dong
  11. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  12. Film SocialismeJean-Luc Godard
  13. In the FamilyPatrick Wang
  14. TomboyCéline Sciamma
  15. BeginnersMike Mills
  16. El Sicario, Room 164Gianfranco Rosi
  17. A Dangerous MethodDavid Cronenberg
  18. Leap YearMichael Rowe
  19. Meek’s CutoffKelly Reichardt
  20. Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyTomas Alfredson
  21. The Time That RemainsElia Suleiman
  22. Extraordinary StoriesMariano Llinás
  23. The Skin I Live InPedro Almodóvar
  24. HugoMartin Scorsese
  25. Of Gods and MenXavier Beauvois

    The Next 25

  1. The InterruptersSteve James
  2. To Die Like a ManJoão Pedro Rodrigues
  3. Le HavreAki Kaurismäki
  4. PetitionZhao Liang
  5. A Useful LifeFederico Veiroj
  6. PolytechniqueDenis Villeneuve
  7. Midnight in ParisWoody Allen
  8. BellflowerEvan Glodell
  9. Love ExposureSion Sono
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2David Yates
  11. Putty HillMatthew Porterfield
  12. Road to NowhereMonte Hellman
  13. Cave of Forgotten DreamsWerner Herzog
  14. IncendiesDenis Villeneuve
  15. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  16. The DescendantsAlexander Payne
  17. The Mouth of the WolfPietro Marcello
  18. Foreign PartsVerena Paravel & J.P. Sniadecki
  19. Elite Squad: The Enemy WithinJosé Padilha
  20. The InheritorsEugenio Polgovsky
  21. MelancholiaLars von Trier
  22. SennaAsif Kapadia
  23. CarnageRoman Polanski
  24. BridesmaidsPaul Feig
  25. HeartbeatsXavier Dolan

Stephen Holden: Top 10 Movies of 2011

15 December 2011

Stephen Holden: Top 10 Movies of 2011, as published by The New York Times

[see also 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012]

  1. The DescendantsAlexander Payne
  2. Of Gods and MenXavier Beauvois
  3. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  4. Margin CallJ.C. Chandor
  5. MelancholiaLars von Trier
  6. We Were HereDavid Weissman
  7. IncendiesDenis Villeneuve
  8. A Dangerous MethodDavid Cronenberg
  9. Certified CopyAbbas Kiarostami
  10. MoneyballBennett Miller

Kristopher Tapley: Best Films of 2011

14 December 2011

Kristopher Tapley: Best Films of 2011, as published by HitFix

[see also 2012]

  1. MargaretKenneth Lonergan
  2. The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick
  3. DriveNicolas Winding Refn
  4. RampartOren Moverman
  5. ShameSteve McQueen
  6. Martha Marcy May MarleneSean Durkin
  7. A SeparationAsghar Farhadi
  8. The Adventures of TintinSteven Spielberg
  9. Take ShelterJeff Nichols
  10. RangoGore Verbinski

Anne Thompson: Top Ten Films of 2011

14 December 2011

Anne Thompson: Top Ten Films of 2011, as published by IndieWire

[see also 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015]

  1. PinaWim Wenders
  2. WeekendAndrew Haigh
  3. MelancholiaLars von Trier
  4. The DescendantsAlexander Payne
  5. Rise of the Planet of the ApesRupert Wyatt
  6. I Saw the DevilKim Ji-woon
  7. A Dangerous MethodDavid Cronenberg
  8. Jane EyreCary Fukunaga
  9. Win WinTom McCarthy
  10. Take ShelterJeff Nichols