Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. 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.

Film Comment: 50 Best Released Films of 2011

Film Comment: 50 Best Released Films of 2011 [poll of over 120 critics and film journalists]

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  3. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  4. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  5. A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg
  6. Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  7. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  8. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  9. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  10. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  11. Film Socialisme – Jean-Luc Godard
  12. Le Havre – Aki Kaurismäki
  13. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu – Andrei Ujica
  14. Le quattro volte – Michelangelo Frammartino
  15. The Descendants – Alexander Payne
  16. Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  17. A Brighter Summer Day – Edward Yang
  18. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
  19. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  20. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  21. Shame – Steve McQueen
  22. Drive – 
Nicolas Winding Refn
  23. Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog
  24. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  25. To Die Like a Man – João Pedro Rodrigues
  26. The Interrupters – Steve James
  27. The Artist
 – Michel Hazanavicius
  28. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  29. Aurora – Cristi Puiu
  30. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  31. The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodóvar
  32. City of Life and Death
 – Lu Chuan
  33. Contagion – Steven Soderbergh
  34. Of Gods and Men
 – Xavier Beauvois
  35. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  36. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  37. The Trip – Michael Winterbottom
  38. Moneyball – Bennett Miller
  39. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  40. The Future
 – Miranda July
  41. Incendies
 – Denis Villeneuve
  42. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  43. United Red Army – Koji Wakamatsu
  44. Road to Nowhere – Monte Hellman
  45. Tabloid – Errol Morris
  46. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt
  47. Terri
 – Azazel Jacobs
  48. J. Edgar – Clint Eastwood
  49. Jane Eyre – Cary Joji Fukunaga
  50. Pina
 – Wim Wenders

Nick Schager: Top 10 Films of 2011

Nick Schager: Top 10 Films of 2011 [also a participant in Slant’s round-up]

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  3. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  4. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  6. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  7. Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  8. Foreign Parts – Verena Paravel & J.P. Sniadecki
  9. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  10. Bellflower – Evan Glodell

Honorable Mention

  • The Adventures of Tintin – Steven Spielberg
  • Carnage – Roman Polanski
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog
  • A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg
  • Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  • The Sleeping Beauty – Catherine Breillat
  • Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  • Warrior – Gavin O’Connor

Ed Gonzalez: Top 10 Films of 2011

Ed Gonzalez: Top 10 Films of 2011 [also a participant in Slant’s round-up]

  1. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  2. A Brighter Summer Day – Edward Yang
  3. Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  4. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  5. Tomboy – Céline Schiamma
  6. Polytechnique – Denis Villeneuve
  7. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  8. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  9. Leap Year – Anand Tucker
  10. In the Family – Patrick Wang

Honorable Mention

  • Attack the Block – Joe Cornish
  • Beginners – Mike Mills
  • Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog
  • Final Destination 5 – Steven Quale
  • Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  • Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  • Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  • Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  • Sucker Punch – Zack Snyder

MSN: Top 10 Movies of 2011

MSN Entertainment [aka MSN Movies]: Top 10 Movies of 2011

  1. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  2. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  3. The Descendants – Alexander Payne
  4. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  5. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  6. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  7. A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg
  8. The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  9. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  10. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt

Total Film: 50 Best Movies of 2011

Total Film: 50 Best Movies of 2011 [based on UK release date]

  1. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  2. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  3. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  4. Blue Valentine – Derek Cianfrance
  5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  6. Kill List – Ben Wheatley
  7. Animal Kingdom – David Michôd
  8. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  9. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  10. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  11. The Guard – John Michael McDonagh
  12. Source Code – Duncan Jones
  13. True Grit – Joel & Ethan Coen
  14. Neds – Peter Mullan
  15. The Fighter – David O. Russell
  16. The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
  17. The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodóvar
  18. Tyrannosaur – Paddy Considine
  19. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  20. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  21. Senna – Asif Kapadia
  22. The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  23. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  24. Submarine – Richard Ayoade
  25. Snowtown – Justin Kurzel
  26. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – David Yates
  27. 127 Hours – Danny Boyle
  28. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  29. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt
  30. Attack the Block – Joe Cornish
  31. Moneyball – Bennett Miller
  32. The Adventures of Tintin – Steven Spielberg
  33. Thor – Kenneth Branagh
  34. Arrietty – Hiromasa Yonebayashi & Gary Rydstrom
  35. The Interrupters – Steve James
  36. X-Men: First Class – Matthew Vaughn
  37. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  38. Contagion – Steve Soderbergh
  39. Warrior – Gavin O’Connor
  40. How I Ended This Summer – Aleksey Popogrebskiy
  41. Crazy, Stupid, Love – Glenn Ficarra & John Requa
  42. 13 Assassins – Takashi Miike
  43. The Ides of March – George Clooney
  44. The Help – Tate Taylor
  45. 50/50 – Jonathan Levine
  46. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  47. Project Nim – James Marsh
  48. Essential Killing – Jerzy Skolimowski
  49. The Lincoln Lawyer – Brad Furman
  50. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – David Fincher

Web in Front: Best Albums of 2011

Web in Front: Best Albums of 2011

  1. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  2. Wye Oak – Civilian
  3. Nerves Junior – As Bright As Your Night Light
  4. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  5. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  6. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  7. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
  8. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  9. Cass McCombs – Wit’s End
  10. The Henry Clay People – This is a Desert EP
  11. [tie] Manhattan Murder Mystery – Manhattan Murder Mystery

MagicRPM: Top 15 Albums of 2011

MagicRPM [Magic, revue pop moderne]: Top 15 Albums of 2011

  1. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  2. Destroyer – Kaputt
  3. Baxter Dury – Happy Soup
  4. Metronomy – The English Riviera
  5. John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
  6. Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains – E Volo Love
  7. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  8. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  9. Connan Mockasin – Forever Dolphin Love
  10. Feist – Metals
  11. Maison Neuve – Joan
  12. Panda Bear – Tomboy
  13. Real Estate – Days
  14. Jean-Louis Murat – Grand Lièvre
  15. Skeletons – People

Noel Murray: Best Films of 2011

Noel Murray: Best 15 Films of 2011 [also a participant in A.V. Club’s round-up]

  1. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  2. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  3. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  4. The Future – Miranda July
  5. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  6. Tabloid – Errol Morris
  7. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  8. Terri – Azazel Jacobs
  9. The Tree Of Life – Terrence Malick
  10. Rango – Gore Verbinski
  11. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  12. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  13. Winnie The Pooh – Stephen J. Anderson & Don Hall
  14. Project Nim – James Marsh
  15. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams

The Next Five

  • House of Pleasures – Bertrand Bonello
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • The Catechism Cataclysm – Todd Rohal
  • Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt

Scott Tobias: Best Films of 2011

Scott Tobias: Best 15 Films of 2011 [also a participant in A.V. Club’s round-up]

  1. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  2. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  3. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  4. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  6. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  7. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  8. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  9. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  10. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  11. House of Pleasures – Bertrand Bonello
  12. Tabloid – Errol Morris
  13. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  14. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  15. The Interrupters – Steve James

The Next Five

  • Terri – Azazel Jacobs
  • Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  • Source Code – Duncan Jones
  • Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  • Attack the Block – Joe Cornish

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.

Pretty Much Amazing: 40 Best Albums of 2011

Pretty Much Amazing: 40 Best Albums of 2011

  1. Nerves Junior – As Bright As Your Night Light
  2. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  5. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  6. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  7. Panda Bear – Tomboy
  8. James Blake – James Blake
  9. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  10. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  11. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  12. Cults – Cults
  13. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  14. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  15. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
  16. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  17. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  18. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
  19. Drake – Take Care
  20. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  21. Destroyer – Kaputt
  22. Korallreven – An Album By Korallreven
  23. Zola Jesus – Conatus
  24. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  25. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
  26. Wilco – The Whole Love
  27. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – We’re New Here
  28. Active Child – You Are All I See
  29. Twin Sister – In Heaven
  30. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  31. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
  32. The Roots – undun
  33. Feist – Metals
  34. Beyoncé – 4
  35. Iceage – New Brigade
  36. Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise
  37. The Horrors – Skying
  38. Austra – Feel It Break
  39. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
  40. Wild Beasts – Smother