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, 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

  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 published by The Village Voice)

  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