Year-End Lists

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

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2015

To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2015 (an annual poll published by The Village Voice)

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  3. Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
  4. Grimes – Art Angels
  5. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
  6. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
  7. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
  8. Kamasi Washington – The Epic
  9. Jamie xx – In Colour
  10. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
  11. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
  12. Tame Impala – Currents
  13. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
  14. Miguel – Wildheart
  15. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
  16. Joanna Newsom – Divers
  17. Future – DS2
  18. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  19. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
  20. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
  21. various artists – Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  22. Hop Along – Painted Shut
  23. Björk – Vulnicura
  24. Chris Stapleton – Traveller
  25. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
  26. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album
  27. Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down…
  28. Torres – Sprinter
  29. Dawn Richard – Blackheart
  30. Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete
  31. Shamir – Ratchet
  32. Young Thug – Barter 6
  33. Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
  34. Mbongwana Star – From Kinshasa
  35. Adele – 25
  36. Ashley Monroe – The Blade
  37. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
  38. Beach House – Depression Cherry
  39. Jazmine Sullivan – Reality Show
  40. Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife
  41. Chvrches – Every Open Eye
  42. D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah
  43. Wilco – Star Wars
  44. Royal Headache – High
  45. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
  46. Low – Ones and Sixes
  47. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
  48. Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
  49. Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night
  50. Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy
  51. James McMurtry – Complicated Game
  52. Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow Is My Turn
  53. Blur – The Magic Whip
  54. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
  55. DJ Esco & Future – 56 Nights
  56. Dr. Dre – Compton
  57. Destroyer – Poison Season
  58. [tie] The Internet – Ego Death
  59. Viet Cong – Viet Cong
  60. Colleen Green – I Want to Grow Up
  61. Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
  62. Bully – Feels Like
  63. Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again
  64. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  65. A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP
  66. Arca – Mutant
  67. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass
  68. Algiers – Algiers
  69. Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There
  70. Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle
  71. Downtown Boys – Full Communism
  72. Susanne Sundfør – Ten Love Songs
  73. The Sonics – This Is the Sonics
  74. Heems – Eat Pray Thug
  75. [tie] New Order – Music Complete
  76. Floating Points – Elaenia
  77. Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
  78. Holly Herndon – Platform
  79. FFS – FFS
  80. Joan Shelley – Over and Even
  81. Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs
  82. HEALTH – Death Magic
  83. Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood
  84. [tie] Laurie Anderson – Heart of a Dog
  85. My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
  86. Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966
  87. Jeremih – Late Nights: The Album
  88. John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
  89. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
  90. Jeffrey Lewis – Manhattan
  91. Ryan Adams – 1989
  92. Janet Jackson – Unbreakable
  93. [tie] The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ
  94. JD McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll
  95. Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
  96. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
  97. Beauty Pill – Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are
  98. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
  99. Screaming Females – Rose Mountain
  100. Tenement – Predatory Headlights

Glenn Kenny: 47 Noteworthy Films of 2015

Glenn Kenny: 47 Noteworthy Films (released in the United States in 2015)

  1. Hard to Be a God – Aleksey German
  2. Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
  3. Girlhood – Céline Sciamma
  4. Horse Money – Pedro Costa
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  6. Heart of a Dog – Laurie Anderson
  7. Heaven Knows What – Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie
  8. Brooklyn – John Crowley
  9. The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
  10. Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
  11. Ex Machina – Alex Garland
  12. Phoenix – Christian Petzold
  13. Son of Saul – László Nemes
  14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – J.J. Abrams
  15. The Assassin – Hou Hsiao-Hsien
  16. Inside Out – Pete Docter
  17. Carol – Todd Haynes
  18. The Mend – John Magary
  19. Timbuktu – Abderrahmane Sissako
  20. Creed – Ryan Coogler
  21. Fort Tilden – Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers
  22. Clouds of Sils Maria – Olivier Assayas
  23. The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu
  24. Magic Mike XXL – Gregory Jacobs
  25. The Forbidden Room – Guy Maddin
  26. Experimenter – Michael Almereyda
  27. Queen of Earth – Alex Ross Perry
  28. Hitchcock/Truffaut – Kent Jones
  29. Democrats – Camilla Nielsson
  30. Field Niggas – Khalik Allah
  31. Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg
  32. Eden – Mia Hansen-Løve
  33. Mistress America – Noah Baumbach
  34. Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro
  35. Grandma – Paul Weitz
  36. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – Christopher McQuarrie
  37. Trainwreck – Judd Apatow
  38. Blackhat – Michael Mann
  39. The Martian – Ridley Scott
  40. Love & Mercy – Bill Pohlad
  41. Tangerine – Sean Baker
  42. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy
  43. The Duke of Burgundy – Peter Strickland
  44. The Big Short – Adam McKay
  45. Ant-Man – Peyton Reed
  46. I’ll See You in My Dreams – Brett Haley
  47. Ballet 422 – Jody Lee Lipes

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 50 Best Books of 2015

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 50 Best Books of 2015

Fiction

  • Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie
  • Brush Back – Sara Paretsky
  • Did You Ever Have a Family – Bill Clegg
  • Eyes: Novellas and Stories – William H. Gass
  • Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  • Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years – Thomas Mallon
  • The First Bad Man – Miranda July
  • Fortune Smiles: Stories – Adam Johnson
  • Girl Waits with Gun – Amy Stewart
  • God Help the Child – Toni Morrison
  • A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
  • Golden Age – Jane Smiley
  • A History of Loneliness – John Boyne
  • In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume
  • Inside the O’Briens – Lisa Genova
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • Marry, Kiss, Kill – Anne Flett-Giordano
  • Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf
  • Purity – Jonathan Franzen
  • The Secret Chord – Geraldine Brooks
  • Shanghai Redemption – Qiu Xiaolong
  • A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler
  • The State We’re In: Maine Stories – Ann Beattie
  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights – Salman Rushdie
  • The Whites – Richard Price (as Harry Brandt)

Nonfiction

  • Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 – Bruce Hoffman
  • The Art of Memoir – Mary Karr
  • Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine – Damon Tweedy
  • Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land – Sandy Tolan
  • Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America – T.J. Stiles
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania – Erik Larson
  • Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush – Jon Meacham
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic – Sam Quinones
  • F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature – William J. Maxwell
  • The Ferguson Report: Department of Justice Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department – United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
  • The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and The Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom – Blaine Harden
  • H Is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
  • Katrina: After the Flood – Gary Rivlin
  • Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig – Mark Essig
  • My Life on the Road – Gloria Steinem
  • On the Move: A Life – Oliver Sacks
  • Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story – David Maraniss
  • The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey – Rinker Buck
  • Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis – Robert D. Putnam
  • Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game – Bob Gibson and Lonnie Wheeler
  • The Unsubstantial Air: American Fliers in the First World War – Samuel Hynes
  • Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader – Robert Middlekauff
  • Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped – Garry Kasparov
  • Young Eliot: From St. Louis to The Waste Land – Robert Crawford

BuzzFeed: 16 Best Poetry Books of 2015

BuzzFeed Books: 16 Best Poetry Books of 2015

  1. Voyage of the Sable Venus: and Other Poems – Robin Coste Lewis
  2. Oracle – Cate Marvin
  3. Reconnaissance – Carl Phillips
  4. Felicity – Mary Oliver
  5. Application for Release from the Dream – Tony Hoagland
  6. Boy With Thorn – Rickey Laurentiis
  7. Bright Dead Things – Ada Limón
  8. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude – Ross Gay
  9. Notes on the Assemblage – Juan Felipe Herrera
  10. Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts – Lawrence Raab
  11. The Uses of the Body – Deborah Landau
  12. How to Be Drawn – Terrance Hayes
  13. Shipbreaking – Robin Beth Schaer
  14. Wild Hundreds – Nate Marshall
  15. Sentences and Rain – Elaine Equi
  16. My Feelings – Nick Flynn

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Movies of 2015

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Movies of 2015

  1. In Jackson Heights – Frederick Wiseman
  2. Carol – Todd Haynes
  3. The Assassin – Hou Hsiao-Hsien
  4. Clouds of Sils Maria – Olivier Assayas
  5. Timbuktu – Abderrahmane Sissako
  6. Hard to Be a God – Aleksey German
  7. Arabian Nights – Miguel Gomes
  8. The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer
  9. Eastern Boys – Robin Campillo
  10. Horse Money – Pedro Costa

San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2015

San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2015

Fiction

  • Fortune Smiles: Stories – Adam Johnson
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories – Lucia Berlin
  • The Sellout – Paul Beatty
  • The Story of the Lost Child: Book 4, The Neapolitan Novels: “Maturity, Old Age” – Elena Ferrante
  • The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories – Anthony Marra

Nonfiction

  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life – William Finnegan
  • Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America – Jill Leovy
  • H Is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
  • Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga – Pamela Newkirk

Harper’s Bazaar: 15 Best Books of 2015

Harper’s Bazaar: 15 Best Books of 2015

  1. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. Purity – Jonathan Franzen
  3. M Train – Patti Smith
  4. God Help the Child – Toni Morrison
  5. Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  6. My Life on the Road – Gloria Steinem
  7. Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  8. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights – Salman Rushdie
  9. City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg
  10. My Journey – Donna Karan
  11. Beauty Is a Wound – Eka Kurniawan
  12. The Book of Lost and Found – Lucy Foley
  13. A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories – Lucia Berlin
  14. The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins
  15. The Folded Clock: A Diary – Heidi Julavits

David Hudson: Top 17 Films of 2015

The Assassin - Hou Hsiao-Hsien

David Hudson: Top 17 Films of 2015 (as published by Fandor’s Keyframe Daily)

  1. The Assassin – Hou Hsiao-Hsien
  2. Carol – Todd Haynes
  3. Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
  4. Jafar Panahi’s Taxi – Jafar Panahi
  5. Cemetery of Splendour – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  7. The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer
  8. 45 Years – Andrew Haigh
  9. Victoria – Sebastian Schipper
  10. The Forbidden Room – Guy Maddin

Honorable Mentions

  • Arabian Nights – Miguel Gomes
  • Mountains May Depart – Jia Zhang-ke
  • Ex Machina – Alex Garland
  • Counting – Jem Cohen
  • Eisenstein in Guanajuato – Peter Greenaway
  • Results – Andrew Bujalski
  • Naz & Maalik – Jay Dockendorf

Alison Willmore: 19 Best Movies of 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road - George Miller

Alison Willmore: 19 Best Movies of 2015 (as published by BuzzFeed)

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
  3. Carol – Todd Haynes
  4. Phoenix – Christian Petzold
  5. Creed – Ryan Coogler
  6. Jafar Panahi’s Taxi – Jafar Panahi
  7. It Follows – David Robert Mitchell
  8. Ex Machina – Alex Garland
  9. Eden – Mia Hansen-Løve
  10. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy
  11. Heaven Knows What – Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie
  12. The Martian – Ridley Scott
  13. What We Do in the Shadows – Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
  14. The Duke of Burgundy – Peter Strickland
  15. Blind – Eskil Vogt
  16. Tangerine – Sean Baker
  17. 45 Years – Andrew Haigh
  18. Wild Tales – Damián Szifrón
  19. The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Marielle Heller

Kansas City Star: 11 Best Poetry Books of 2015

The Kansas City Star: 11 Best Poetry Books of 2015

  • Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings – Joy Harjo
  • Felicity – Mary Oliver
  • How to Be Drawn – Terrance Hayes
  • The Last Two Seconds – Mary Jo Bang
  • Memories – Lang Leav
  • My Secret Wars of 1984 – Dennis Etzel Jr
  • Report to the Department of the Interior – Diane Glancy
  • Scattered at Sea – Amy Gerstler
  • A Small Story about the Sky – Alberto Ríos
  • Twelve Clocks – Julie Sophia Paegle
  • War of the Foxes – Richard Siken