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.

Anti Lists

This site eschews numerical analysis but also embraces the admittedly arbitrariness of list-making. It’s a thin beam on which to perch. Two cases in point that we can’t resist but that somehow defy — admirably — the simplicity of linear list-making:

Miriam Bale says “I’m making a list, just for you…” and posts a provocative list of films and tangible pairings to Twitter. Thank you.

Emily Nussbaum hates lists, annually in The New Yorker. This year she declares the first- and second-best TV shows of the year simply enough, but somehow we can’t accurately flatten that declaration into a list on this site. You’ll have to click through.

Ann Hornaday: 26 Best Movies of 2016

Ann Hornaday: 26 Best Movies of 2016 (as published by the Washington Post)

  1. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  2. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  3. Hell or High Water – David Mackenzie
  4. The Confirmation – Bob Nelson
  5. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  6. Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  7. La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  8. Lemonade – Beyoncé Knowles Carter and Kahlil Joseph with Jonas Åkerlund, Melina Matsoukas, Dikayl Rimmasch, Mark Romanek and Tod Tourso
  9. 13th – Ava DuVernay
  10. Southside with You – Richard Tanne

“…had I not been constrained by numerical obstinacy”

  • Loving – Jeff Nichols
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • The Fits – Anna Rose Holmer
  • A Bigger Splash – Luca Guadagnino
  • Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  • Sully – Clint Eastwood
  • Captain Fantastic – Matt Ross
  • Paterson – Jim Jarmusch
  • Eye in the Sky – Gavin Hood
  • Hail, Caesar! – Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Last Days in the Desert – Rodrigo García
  • I Am Not Your Negro – Raoul Peck
  • Tower – Keith Maitland
  • Weiner – Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg
  • The Eagle Huntress – Otto Bell
  • Jackie – Pablo Larraín

Slant: 50 Best Films of 2016

Toni Erdmann - Maren Ade

Slant Magazine: 50 Best Films of 2016

  1. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  2. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  3. Happy Hour – Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
  4. Cemetery of Splendour – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  5. Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  6. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch
  7. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  8. Cameraperson – Kirsten Johnson
  9. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  10. The Treasure – Corneliu Porumboiu
  11. Right Now, Wrong Then – Hong Sang-soo
  12. No Home Movie – Chantal Akerman
  13. Knight of Cups – Terrence Malick
  14. Sunset Song – Terence Davies
  15. The Love Witch – Anna Biller
  16. Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  17. Everybody Wants Some!! – Richard Linklater
  18. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
  19. The Illinois Parables – Deborah Stratman
  20. Homo sapiens – Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  21. Kate Plays Christine – Robert Greene
  22. The Academy of Muses – José Luis Guerín
  23. Fire at Sea – Gianfranco Rosi
  24. Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) – Abbas Fahdel
  25. The Neon Demon – Nicolas Winding Refn
  26. Kaili Blues – Bi Gan
  27. In the Shadow of Women – Philippe Garrel
  28. Aquarius – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  29. Neon Bull – Gabriel Mascaro
  30. Hail, Caesar! – Joel & Ethan Coen
  31. The Other Side – Roberto Minervini
  32. The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos
  33. Wiener-Dog – Todd Solondz
  34. 20th Century Women – Mike Mills
  35. Mia Madre – Nanni Moretti
  36. Aferim! – Radu Jude
  37. The Fits – Anna Rose Holmer
  38. Midnight Special – Jeff Nichols
  39. Little Men – Ira Sachs
  40. Cosmos – Andrzej Zulawski
  41. Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party – Stephen Cone
  42. Do Not Resist – Craig Atkinson
  43. The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook
  44. Mountains May Depart – Jia Zhang-ke
  45. Demon – Marcin Wrona
  46. Creepy – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  47. Things to Come – Mia Hansen-Løve
  48. I Am Not Madame Bovary – Feng Xiaogang
  49. 13th – Ava DuVernay
  50. Fort Buchanan – Benjamin Crotty

A.V. Club: 21 Best Albums of 2016

A.V. Club: 21 Best Albums of 2016

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  3. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  4. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  5. The Hotelier – Goodness
  6. White Lung – Paradise
  7. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  8. Mitski – Puberty 2
  9. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  10. Joyce Manor – Cody
  11. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  12. Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann
  13. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  14. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
  15. Lydia Loveless – Real
  16. Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
  17. Touché Amoré – Stage Four
  18. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  19. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  20. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  21. [tie] Martha – Blisters In the Pit of My Heart

Amy Taubin: 10 Best Films of 2016

Bruce Conner retrospective

Amy Taubin: 10 Best Films of 2016 (as published by Artforum)

  1. Bruce Conner: It’s All True (exhibition and retrospective) at Museum of Modern Art, New York
  2. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  3. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  4. Everything Else – Natalia Almada
  5. I Am Not Your Negro – Raoul Peck
  6. O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman
  7. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea – Dash Shaw
  8. Tempestad – Tatiana Huezo
  9. Sand Storm – Elite Zexer
  10. Command and Control – Robert Kenner