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.

Month: January, 2012

Austin Powell: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Austin Powell: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by The Austin Chronicle]

  1. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  2. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  3. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Cotonou Club
  4. Wilco – The Whole Love
  5. Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen
  6. Yuck – Yuck
  7. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  8. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  9. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  10. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints

Dennis Harvey: Favorite Films of 2011

Dennis Harvey: Favorite Films of 2011 [as published by San Francisco Bay Guardian], alphabetically

Documentaries

  • American Teacher – Vanessa Roth & Brian McGinn
  • The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  • Buck – Ciny Meehl
  • The Last Lions – Dereck Joubert
  • My Perestroika – Robin Hessman [pictured]
  • Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  • Pianomania – Robert Cibis & Lilian Franck
  • Pina – Wim Wenders
  • Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure – Matthew Bate
  • Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression – Max Good
  • We Were Here – David Weissman & Bill Weber)

Narrative Features

  • The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  • Ceremony – Max Winkler
  • Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  • The Descendants – Alexander Payne
  • Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Happy, Happy – Anne Sewitsky
  • Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  • I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive – Claude Miller & Nathan Miller
  • Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  • Machotaildrop – Corey Adams & Alex Craig
  • The Mill and the Cross – Lech Majewski
  • The Names of Love – Michel Leclerc
  • Oka! – Lavinia Currier
  • Rango – Gore Verbinski
  • A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  • The Strange Case of Angelica – Manoel de Oliveira
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil – Eli Craig
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  • Young Adult – Jason Reitman

Mark Morford: Top 10 Most Awesome Records of 2011

Mark Morford: Top 10 Most Awesome Records of 2011 [as published by SFGate]

  1. [“Nope, nothing.”]
  2. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place [pictured]
  3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  4. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  5. Massive Attack vs. Burial – Four Walls
  6. [tie] Burial – Street Halo EP
  7. [tie] Burial, Four Tet, and Thom Yorke – 12″ single
  8. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care
  9. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
  10. The Field – Looping State of Mind
  11. Rival Sons – Pressure & Time
  12. Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!

Sean Burns: Top 10 Films of 2011

Sean Burns: Top 10 Films of 2011 [as published by Philadelphia Weekly]

  1. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  2. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  3. Carnage – Roman Polanski
  4. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  5. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  6. Shame – Steve McQueen
  7. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  8. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  9. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  10. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen

Matt Prigge: Top Ten Films of 2011

Matt Prigge: Top Ten Films of 2011 [as published by Philadelphia Weekly] [more commentary]

  1. House of Pleasures (aka House of Tolerance) – Bertrand Bonello
  2. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  3. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  4. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  5. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  6. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  7. Rubber – Quentin Dupleux
  8. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  10. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean

Almost!

  • Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  • Putty Hill – Matthew Porterfield
  • The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  • Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  • Contagion – Steven Soderbergh
  • The Future – Miranda July
  • Cold Weather – Aaron Katz
  • Bellflower – Evan Glodell
  • Shit Year – Cam Archer
  • maybe Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – Brad Bird

Empire: Top 20 Films of 2011

Empire: Top 20 Films of 2011 [by UK release date]

  1. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  2. Senna – Asif Kapadia
  3. The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – David Yates
  5. The Artist – Michel Hazanivicius
  6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  7. True Grit – Joel & Ethan Coen
  8. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt
  10. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  11. Blue Valentine – Derek Clanfrance
  12. The Fighter – David O. Russell
  13. Hanna – Joe Wright
  14. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  15. The Inbetweeners Movie – Ben Palmer
  16. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  17. Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  18. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  19. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – Steven Spielberg
  20. Fast Five – Paul Lim

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Films of 2011

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Films of 2011

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  3. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  4. Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  5. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  6. Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  7. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu – Andrei Ujica
  8. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  9. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  10. Historias extraordinarias – Mariano Llinás

Les Inrocks: 100 Best Songs of 2011

Les Inrockuptibles: The 100 Best Songs of 2011 [also: albums and movies]

  1. Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”
  2. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
  3. Metronomy – “The Looks”
  4. The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
  5. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”
  6. Miles Kane – “Closer”
  7. The Rapture – “How Deep is Your Love?”
  8. WU LYF – “Dirt”
  9. The Kills – “Satellite”
  10. SBTRKT – “Wildfire”
  11. Massive Attack & Burial – “Four Walls”
  12. Beirut – “Santa Fe”
  13. Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”
  14. Yelle – “Safari Disco Club”
  15. Cults – “Go Outside”
  16. The Weeknd – “House of Balloons”
  17. Blood Orange – “Sutphin Boulevard”
  18. Drake – “Take Care”
  19. Girls – “Vomit”
  20. Theophilus London – “Wine and Chocolates”
  21. Das Racist – “Michael Jackson”
  22. Other Lives – “For 12”
  23. Baxter Dury – “Claire”
  24. Zomby – “Natalia’s Song”
  25. Yuksek – “On a Train”
  26. Woodkid – “Iron”
  27. Cass McCombs – “County Line”
  28. Hanni El Khatib – “Dead Wrong”
  29. François & the Atlas Mountains – “Les Plus Beaux”
  30. Cyril Mokaïesh – “Communiste”
  31. Africa Hitech – “Our Luv”
  32. Black Lips – “Modern Art”
  33. College featuring Electric Youth – “A Real Hero”
  34. Zulu Winter – “Let’s Move Back to Front”
  35. Breton – “Governing Ice”
  36. Justice – “Audio, Video, Disco”
  37. Juveniles – “We Are Young”
  38. Beyonce – “Run the World (Girls)”
  39. Orelsan – “Suicide Social”
  40. Elbow – “Lippy Kids”
  41. Feist – “How Come You Never Go There”
  42. James Blake – “The Wilhelm Scream”
  43. PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake”
  44. Portugal. The Man – “So America”
  45. John Maus – “Hey Moon”
  46. Arctic Monkeys – “She’s Thunderstorms”
  47. Lykke Li – “Youth Knows No Pain”
  48. PLANNINGTOROCK – “Doorway”
  49. Cat’s Eyes – “I’m Not Stupid”
  50. Iron & Wine – “Tree by the River”
  51. Timber Timbre – “Black Water”
  52. Mansfield.TYA – “Logic Coco”
  53. Jonathan Wilson – “Waters Down”
  54. Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
  55. Kim – “Radio Lee Doo”
  56. Bon Iver – “Calgary”
  57. Is Tropical – “Land of the Nod”
  58. Connan Mockasin – “Forever Dolphin Love”
  59. Fleet Foxes – “Lorelai”
  60. Keren Ann – “My Name is Trouble”
  61. The Drums – “In the Cold”
  62. Tamikrest – “Aratan N Tinariwen”
  63. dEUS – “Keep You Close”
  64. Apparat – “Song of Los”
  65. Diagrams – “Antelope”
  66. Oh Land – “White Nights”
  67. Concrete Knives – “Brand New Start”
  68. Hyetal – “Black Black Black”
  69. Wilco – “Might”
  70. La Femme – “Paris 2012”
  71. Brent Cash – “I Wish I Were a Song”
  72. Spector – “Never Fade Away”
  73. Dengue Fever – “Cement SLeepers”
  74. Givers – “Up Up Up”
  75. Outlines – “Cannot Think”
  76. Joakim – “Forever Young”
  77. Miossec – “Chanson pour un homme couvert de femmes”
  78. Alex Winston – “Choice Notes”
  79. Class Actress – “Weekend”
  80. Jay-Jay Johansson – “On the Other Side”
  81. Smith & Burrows – “When the Thames Froze”
  82. Sayem featuring Le Prince Miiaou – “436 Seconds of Happiness”
  83. Holy Ghost! – “Do It Again”
  84. Gruff Rhys – “Honey All Over”
  85. Manceau – “Whisper”
  86. Rome – “Two Against One”
  87. The Antlers – “French Exit”
  88. Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”
  89. Shabazz Palaces – “Are You? Can You? Were You?”
  90. Rover – “Aqualast”
  91. King Krule – “The Noose of Jah City”
  92. Holy Other – “With U”
  93. Camille – “L’Etourderie”
  94. Stuck in the SOund – “Bankruptcy”
  95. The Horrors – “Still Life”
  96. The Narcoleptic Dancers – “Life Goes On”
  97. Slow Club – “Two Cousins”
  98. Dillon – “You Are My Winter”
  99. Louise Attaque – “Du Monde Tout Autour”
  100. Hollie Cook – “That Very Night”

Les Inrocks: 20 Best Films of 2011

Les Inrockuptibles: 20 Best Films of 2011 [also: albums and songs]

  1. House of Pleasures [L’Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close] [House of Tolerance] – Bertrand Bonello
  2. The Strange Case of Angelica [L’Etrange Affaire Angélica] – Manoel de Oliveira
  3. How Do You Know [Comment savoir] – James Brooks
  4. The Skin I Live In [La pile que habito] – Pedro Almodóvar
  5. Declaration of War [La guerre es déclarée] – Valérie Donzelli
  6. Last Screening [Dernière séance] – Laurent Achard
  7. Pater – Alain Cavalier
  8. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  9. Essential Killing – Jerzy Skolimowski
  10. Midnight in Paris [Minuit à Paris] – Woody Allen
  11. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  12. Attenberg – Athina Rachel Tsangari
  13. Bridesmaids [Mes meilleures amies] – Paul Feig
  14. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  15. Hahaha – Hong Sang-soo
  16. The Beloved [Les bien-aimés] – Christophe Honoré
  17. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  18. Sweetgrass – Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Ilisa Barbash
  19. Le Havre – Aki Kaurismäki
  20. We Have a Pope [Habemus papam] – Nanni Moretti
  21. [tie] Outside Satan [Hors Satan] – Bruno Dumont

Ryland Walker Knight & Brian Darr: A Curated Look-Back at 2011

As we gather these year-end lists, we sometimes come across pieces that don’t fit neatly into our linear structure of “Best Whatnots of 2011.” Usually our scouring, list-seeking rover just moves on to listier terrain.

But sometimes we flag such entries for ourselves, and maybe we ought to share them from time to time. Here’s a gem. Please see Bang Bang, a compilation of short posts that look back at the movies and other enthusiasms of twenty-bang-bang, curated by noted cinephiles Ryland Walker Knight and Brian Darr.