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. We note, of course, that it's not even December, yet. People. People! Lists are crashing down upon us unusually early. But here we go…

Month: January, 2013

Dan Sallitt: Favorite 18 Films of 2012

The-Day-He-Arrives

Dan Sallitt: Favorite 18 Films of 2012 (limited to films that played at least one week in Manhattan for the first time in 2012)

  1. The Day He Arrives – Hong Sang-soo
  2. Michael – Markus Schleinzer
  3. The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  4. Alms for a Blind Horse – Gurvinder Singh
  5. Amour – Michael Haneke
  6. This Must Be the Place – Paolo Sorrentino
  7. Generation P – Victor Ginzburg
  8. The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev
  9. Attenberg – Athina Rachel Tsangari
  10. Tabu – Miguel Gomes
  11. Neighboring Sounds – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  12. The Deep Blue Sea – Terence Davies

Runners-up

  • Bernie – Richard Linklater
  • The Avengers – Joss Whedon
  • Goodbye First Love – Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Happy Few [Four Lovers] – Antony Cordier
  • Artificial Paradises – Yulene Olaizola
  • and maybe even Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik

Cinema Scope: Top 15 Films of 2012

Leviathan

Cinema Scope: Top 15 Films of 2012 [see also 2017, 2014, 2013, 2011]

  1. Leviathan – Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
  2. Tabu – Miguel Gomes
  3. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  4. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  5. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
  6. Viola – Matías Piñeiro
  7. The Last Time I Saw Macao – João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata
  8. autrement, la Molussie – Nicolas Rey
  9. Neighboring Sounds – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  10. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson

Honourable Mentions

  • Barbara – Christian Petzold
  • Bestiaire – Denis Côté
  • Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg
  • In Another Country – Hong Sang-soo
  • Room 237 – Rodney Ascher

Robert Christgau: Top 20 Singles of 2012

Bruce Springsteen - We Take Care of Our Own

Robert Christgau: Top 20 Singles of 2012

  1. Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”
  2. Psy – “Gangnam Style”
  3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Oh Susannah”
  4. Himanshu – “Womyn”
  5. Pink – “The Truth About Love”
  6. Skrillex – “Bangarang”
  7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love”
  8. Miguel – “Adorn”
  9. Willie Nelson – “Roll Me Up”
  10. Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby – “Do You Remember That?”
  11. Etta James – “Cigarettes and Coffee”
  12. Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go ‘Round”
  13. Azealia Banks – “1991”
  14. Elle Varner – “Refill”
  15. Saint Etienne – “Tonight”
  16. Pussy Riot – “Putin Lights Up the Fires”
  17. Homeboy Sandman – “Not Really”
  18. Himanshu – “NYC Cops”
  19. The Human Hearts – “Not Just When We Kiss”
  20. Ned Sublette – “Kiss You Down South”

Robert Christgau: Top 102 Albums of 2012

Neil Young with Crazy Horse - Americana

Robert Christgau: Top 102 Albums of 2012 (which Christgau calls “The Dean’s List”)

  1. Neil Young With Crazy Horse – Americana
  2. Dabke – Sounds of the Syrian Houran
  3. Loudon Wainwright III – Older Than My Old Man Now
  4. Pink – The Truth About Love
  5. Todd Snider – Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
  6. Skrillex – Bangarang
  7. Himanshu – Nehru Jackets
  8. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
  9. Various Artists – The Rough Guide to High Life
  10. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
  11. Azealia Banks – 1991
  12. Chris Berry & The Bayaka of Yandoumbe – Listen . . . Oka!
  13. Lee Ranaldo – Between the Times and the Tides
  14. The xx – Coexist
  15. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
  16. Orchestra Baobab – La Belle Époque: Volume 2 1973-1976
  17. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
  18. Karantamba – Ndigal
  19. The Human Hearts – Another
  20. Homeboy Sandman – First of a Living Breed
  21. Spoek Mathambo – Father Creeper
  22. Greenberger Greenberg Cebar – Tell Me That Before
  23. Taylor Swift – Red
  24. Saigon – The Greatest Story Never Told: Chapter Two: Bread and Circuses
  25. Serengeti – C.A.R.
  26. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
  27. Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun
  28. Omar Souleyman – Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts
  29. Plug – Back on Time
  30. Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby – A Working Museum
  31. Heems – Wild Water Kingdom
  32. Elle Varner – Perfectly Imperfect
  33. Standard Fare – Out of Sight, Out of Town
  34. The dB’s – Falling Off the Sky
  35. A Place to Bury Strangers – Worship
  36. Death Grips – No Love Deep Web
  37. Various Artists – The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia
  38. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
  39. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  40. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
  41. Beach House – Bloom
  42. Etta James – The Dreamer
  43. Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos
  44. Best Coast – The Only Place
  45. Death Grips – The Money Store
  46. Ab-Soul – Control System
  47. Iris DeMent – Sing the Delta
  48. Various Artists – Songs for Desert Refugees
  49. Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne
  50. Tommy Womack – Now What!
  51. Public Enemy – Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp
  52. Big Baby Gandhi – No1 2 Look Up 2
  53. Pet Shop Boys – Elysium
  54. Staff Benda Bilili – Bouger Le Monde
  55. Corin Tucker Band – Kill My Blues
  56. Carolyn Mark – The Queen of Vancouver Island
  57. s / s / s – Beak & Claw
  58. Thomas Anderson – The Moon in Transit
  59. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
  60. Jamey Johnson – Livin’ for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran
  61. Various Artists – The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco
  62. Ani DiFranco – ¿Which Side Are You On?
  63. P.S. Eliot – Sadie
  64. The Coup – Sorry to Bother You
  65. Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
  66. Give – Balkan Beat Box
  67. Lukid – Lonely at the Top
  68. Big K.R.I.T. – 4Eva N a Day
  69. Low Cut Connie – Call Me Sylvia
  70. Kid Koala – 12 Bit Blues
  71. Pete Seeger – The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960
  72. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
  73. Moreno and L’Orch First Moja-One – Sister Pili + 2
  74. Burial – Street Halo/Kindred
  75. Bhi Bhiman – Bhiman
  76. Homeboy Sandman – Subject: Matter
  77. Francis Bebey – African Electronic Music 1975-1982
  78. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: Deluxe Edition
  79. Madonna – MDNA
  80. Allo Darlin’ – Europe
  81. The Magnetic Fields – Love at the Bottom of the Sea
  82. Two Fingers – Stunt Rhythms
  83. The Rolling Stones – Some Girls: Deluxe Edition
  84. Dylan Hicks – Sings Bolling Greene
  85. Serengeti – Kenny Dennis EP
  86. Dobie – Nothing to Fear
  87. A Place to Bury Strangers – Onwards to the Wall
  88. Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape
  89. Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
  90. Jack White – Blunderbuss
  91. Dobie – …But Fear Itself
  92. Ned Sublette – Kiss You Down South
  93. Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang – En Yay Sah
  94. Royal Band de Thiés – Kadior Demb
  95. Amadou & Mariam – Folila
  96. Andre Williams & the Sadies – Night and Day
  97. Khaira Arby – Tchini Tchini
  98. Joan Soriano – La Familia Soriano
  99. Big Baby Gandhi – Big Fucking Baby
  100. Linkoban – Super Into On It
  101. Various Artists – The Original Sound of Cumbia
  102. Tha Grimm Teachaz – There’s a Situation on the Homefront

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2012

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2012 (an annual poll of critics, published by The Village Voice) [see also: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011]

  1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
  2. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
  3. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
  4. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  5. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
  6. Tame Impala – Lonerism
  7. Swans – The Seer
  8. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
  9. Grimes – Visions
  10. Beach House – Bloom
  11. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan
  12. Jack White – Blunderbuss
  13. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
  14. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
  15. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
  16. Bob Dylan – Tempest
  17. Taylor Swift – Red
  18. Future – Pluto
  19. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
  20. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
  21. Dr. John – Locked Down
  22. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
  23. Cat Power – Sun
  24. Baroness – Yellow & Green
  25. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
  26. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
  27. Grizzly Bear – Shields
  28. Chromatics – Kill for Love
  29. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems
  30. Jessie Ware – Devotion
  31. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
  32. Loudon Wainwright III – Older Than My Old Man Now
  33. Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
  34. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  35. Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
  36. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  37. Julia Holter – Ekstasis
  38. Hot Chip – In Our Heads
  39. Carly Rae Jepsen – Kiss
  40. Todd Snider – Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
  41. fun. – Some Nights
  42. Bob Mould – Silver Age
  43. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
  44. Kelly Hogan – I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
  45. Death Grips – The Money Store
  46. Purity Ring – Shrines
  47. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
  48. Iris DeMent – Sing the Delta
  49. The xx – Coexist
  50. The Men – Open Your Heart
  51. Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t
  52. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
  53. Goat – World Music
  54. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
  55. Allo Darlin’ – Europe
  56. Metz – Metz
  57. Neneh Cherry & the Thing – The Cherry Thing
  58. Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
  59. Burial – Kindred
  60. Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
  61. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes
  62. Nas – Life Is Good
  63. Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
  64. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
  65. Laurel Halo – Quarantine
  66. Liars – Wixiw
  67. Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
  68. Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips
  69. Redd Kross – Researching the Blues
  70. Actress – R.I.P.
  71. King Tuff – King Tuff
  72. Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland – Black Is Beautiful
  73. Lambchop – Mr. M
  74. Walkmen – Heaven
  75. The Coup – Sorry to Bother You
  76. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Americana
  77. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
  78. Twin Shadow – Confess
  79. Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
  80. Rush – Clockwork Angels
  81. Vijay Iyer – Accelerando
  82. Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet on Sky
  83. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  84. Santigold – Master of My Make-Believe
  85. Le1f – Dark York
  86. Elle Varner – Perfectly Imperfect
  87. Can – The Lost Tapes
  88. Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne
  89. Ke$ha – Warrior
  90. Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos
  91. THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE
  92. Ty Segall – Twins
  93. Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears
  94. Patti Smith – Banga
  95. Matthew E. White – Big Inner
  96. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  97. Best Coast – The Only Place
  98. Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
  99. J.D. McPherson – Signs & Signifiers
  100. The dB’s – Falling Off the Sky

Pazz & Jop: Top 50 Singles of 2012

Carly-Rae-Jepsen---Call-Me-Maybe

Pazz & Jop: Top 50 Singles of 2012 (an annual poll published by The Village Voice)

  1. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
  2. Miguel – “Adorn”
  3. Usher – “Climax”
  4. Frank Ocean – “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You”
  5. [tie] Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”
  6. Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
  7. Solange – “Losing You”
  8. Gotye (ft. Kimbra) – “Somebody That I Used to Know” *
  9. Kanye West (ft. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz) – “Mercy”
  10. Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
  11. Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
  12. Psy – “Gangnam Style”
  13. Grimes – “Oblivion”
  14. fun. (ft. Janelle Monae) – “We Are Young”
  15. Icona Pop (ft. Charli XCX) – “I Love It”
  16. [tie] fun. – “Some Nights”
  17. [tie] Sky Ferreira – “Everything Is Embarrassing”
  18. M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
  19. Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”
  20. Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
  21. Drake (ft. Rihanna) – “Take Care” *
  22. Todd Terje – “Inspector Norse”
  23. [tie] Ke$ha – “Die Young”
  24. [tie] Frank Ocean – “Bad Religion”
  25. Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
  26. [tie] Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
  27. [tie] Grimes – “Genesis”
  28. [tie] Santigold – “Disparate Youth”
  29. [tie] Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go ‘Round”
  30. Chairlift – “I Belong in Your Arms” **
  31. [tie] Juicy J (ft. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) – “Bandz a Make Her Dance”
  32. [tie] Nicki Minaj (ft. 2 Chainz) – “Beez in the Trap”
  33. Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
  34. [tie] Bat for Lashes – “Laura”
  35. Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”
  36. [tie] Passion Pit – “Take a Walk”
  37. [tie] Killer Mike – “Reagan”
  38. [tie] First Aid Kit – “Emmylou”
  39. Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”
  40. [tie] Bob Dylan – “Duquesne Whistle”
  41. [tie] Future – “Turn on the Lights”
  42. [tie] Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines”
  43. [tie] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop”
  44. Cloud Nothings – “Stay Useless”
  45. [tie] Nicki Minaj – “Starships”
  46. [tie] Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
  47. [tie] Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
  48. [tie] Beach House – “Myth”
  49. [tie] Kanye West (ft. Jay-Z and Big Sean) – “Clique”
  50. [tie] Kendrick Lamar (ft. Gunplay) – “Cartoon & Cereal”

Kristopher Tapley: Top 10 Films of 2012

The-Grey

Kristopher Tapley: Top 10 Films of 2012 (as published by HitFix)

  1. The Grey – Joe Carnahan
  2. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  3. Looper – Rian Johnson
  4. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
  5. Amour – Michael Haneke
  6. Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  7. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  8. Argo – Ben Affleck
  9. The Queen of Versailles – Lauren Greenfield
  10. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson

Dennis Harvey: Top 25 Narrative Films of 2012

In-Darkness

Dennis Harvey: Top 25 Narrative Films of 2012 (alphabetically, as published by The SF Bay Guardian, which also includes his top 10 documentaries)

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  • Bernie – Richard Linklater
  • The Eye of the Storm – Fred Schepisi
  • Fat Kid Rules the World – Matthew Lillard
  • Footnote – Joseph Cedar
  • Girl Walk // All Day – Jacob Krupnick
  • Hermano – Marcel Rasquin
  • Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  • The Hunter – David Nettheim
  • In Darkness – Agnieszka Holland – pictured
  • Keep the Lights On – Ira Sachs
  • Klown – Mikkel Nørgaard
  • Life of Pi – Ang Lee
  • Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  • The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Michael – Markus Schleinzer
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • Natural Selection – Robbie Pickering
  • Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  • Safety Not Guaranteed – Colin Trevorrow
  • Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
  • Sister – Ursula Meier
  • Skyfall – Sam Mendes
  • 21 Jump Street – Phil Lord and Chris Miller
  • Wreck-It Ralph – Rich Moore

David Denby: 11 Best Films of 2012

Lincoln - Steven Spielberg

David Denby: 11 Best Films of 2012 (as extracted from his year-end roundup in The New Yorker, with some reflection of their implied order)

  • Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  • Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  • Argo – Ben Affleck
  • This is 40 – Judd Apatow
  • Arbitrage – Nicholas Jarecki
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Detropia – Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
  • The Central Park Five – Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon
  • The Gatekeepers – Dror Moreh

Anthony Lane: 8 Best Films of 2012

The-Turin-Horse

Anthony Lane: 8 Best Films of 2012 (as extracted from his year-end roundup in The New Yorker, with some reflection of their implied order, and omitting the films that Lane describes as “lustreless” save for a particular performance)

  • The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr
  • Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  • The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  • The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • Skyfall – Sam Mendes
  • Looper – Rian Johnson
  • Argo – Ben Affleck