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.

Alan Sepinwall: 21 Best TV Shows of 2016

Alan Sepinwall: 21 Best TV Shows of 2016, as published by Uproxx

  1. Horace and Pete
  2. The Americans
  3. O.J.: Made in America
  4. [tie] The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  5. BoJack Horseman
  6. Rectify
  7. Atlanta
  8. Veep
  9. Fleabag
  10. Better Call Saul
  11. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  12. Halt and Catch Fire
  13. Orange is the New Black
  14. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  15. Better Things
  16. Girls
  17. American Crime
  18. Transparent
  19. Catastrophe
  20. Game of Thrones
  21. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Sarah Begley: Top 20 Books of 2016

Sarah Begley: Top 20 Books of 2016 (as published by Time)

Fiction

  1. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
  2. Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson
  3. Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
  4. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  5. All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
  6. Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett
  7. Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  8. The Trespasser – Tana French
  9. My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  10. Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer

Nonfiction

  1. March: Book Three – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  2. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis – J.D. Vance
  3. You’ll Grow Out of It – Jessi Klein
  4. Known and Strange Things: Essays – Teju Cole
  5. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race – Margot Lee Shetterly
  6. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin
  7. Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
  8. Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul – James McBride
  9. The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era – Akhil Reed Amar
  10. Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape – Peggy Orenstein

Daniel D’Addario: Top 10 TV Shows of 2016

Daniel D’Addario: Top 10 TV Shows of 2016, as published by Time

  1. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  2. The Girlfriend Experience
  3. The Americans
  4. Late Night with Seth Meyers
  5. Atlanta
  6. O.J.: Made in America
  7. Better Call Saul
  8. Veep
  9. Speechless
  10. Love

Stephanie Zacharek: Top 20 Movies of 2016

Moonlight - Barry Jenkins

Stephanie Zacharek: Top 20 Movies of 2016, as published by Time

  1. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  2. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch
  3. Loving – Jeff Nichols
  4. Elle – Paul Verhoeven
  5. Silence – Martin Scorsese
  6. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  7. Tower – Keith Maitland
  8. La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  9. Everybody Wants Some!! – Richard Linklater
  10. The Shallows – Jaume Collet-Serra

Honorable Mentions

  • Things to Come – Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
  • Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt
  • Hell or High Water – David Mackenzie
  • The Nice Guys – Shane Black
  • The Fits – Anna Rose Holmer
  • 20th Century Women – Mike Mills
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
  • Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone

Dennis Cooper: 23 Favorite Poetry Books of 2016

Cheer Up, Femme Fatal - Kim Yideum

Dennis Cooper: 23 Favorite Poetry Books of 2016 (“in no order”)

  • Two Teenagers – John Colasacco
  • Overpour – Jane Wong
  • Safe Space – Jos Charles
  • The Song Of The Dead – Pierre Reverdy
  • Avant Gauze – Christine Friedlander
  • Commotion of the Birds: New Poems – John Ashbery
  • Calamities – Renee Gladman
  • In the Empire of the Air: The Poems of Donald Britton – Donald Britton
  • George Washington: Poems – Adam Fitzgerald
  • Olio – Tyehimba Jess
  • Witch Hunt – Juliet Escoria
  • Cheer Up, Femme Fatal – Kim Yideum
  • Poem Without Suffering – Josef Kaplan
  • Certain Magical Acts – Alice Notley
  • Alien Weaving – Will Alexander
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong
  • The City Keeps: Selected and New Poems 1966-2014 – John Godfrey
  • Burn Book – Felix Bernstein
  • Come In Alone – Anselm Berrigan
  • Shorthand and Electric Language Stars – Stephanie Gray
  • Invisible Oligarchs – Bill Berkson
  • Marys of the Sea – Joanna C Valente
  • The Age of Reasons: Uncollected Poems 1969–1982 – Ted Greenwald

Nicole Brenez: 5 Best Films of 2016

Blanche - Marc Hurtado

Nicole Brenez: 5 Best Films of 2016 (as submitted to the Sight & Sound poll)

  • Blanche – Marc Hurtado
  • Bangkok Joyride – Ing K
  • Welcome to Madagascar – Franssou Prenant
  • I Will Pay for Your Story – Lech Kowalski
  • Hinterlands – Scott Barley

Sasha Frere-Jones: 100 Favorite Albums of 2016

T.C.R. - Sleaford Mods

Sasha Frere-Jones: 100 Favorite Albums of 2016. See his spreadsheet for color codes and tiers; we’ve separated anything highlighted with “fire engine red,” which means “an exceptional thing.” Otherwise, albums are listed chronologically.

exceptional

  • David Bowie – Blackstar
  • Yves De Mey – Drawn with Shadow Pens
  • Rihanna – Anti
  • Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  • Emmy the Great – Second Love
  • Sunwatchers – Sunwatchers
  • Metá Metá – MM3
  • Beyoncé – Lemonade
  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  • Horse Lords – Interventions
  • Autechre – elseq 1-5
  • Abul Mogard – Works
  • Mitski – Puberty 2
  • Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
  • 75 Dollar Bill – Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
  • The Avalanches – Wildflower
  • Vince Staples – Prima Donna
  • Julius Eastman – Femenine
  • Helado Negro – Private Energy
  • Sleaford Mods – T.C.R.
  • A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  • Mika Vainio – Mannerlaatta
  • Air Cushion Finish – Flink

stayed with me

  • Roly Porter – Third Law
  • Wet – Don’t You
  • Meyers – Negative Space (1981–2014)
  • SUGAI KEN – On the Quakefish
  • Clark – The Last Panthers
  • Vijay Iyer & Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
  • Jan St. Werner – Felder (Fiepblatter Catalogue #4)
  • Lucy Dacus – No Burden
  • Tashi Dorji & Shane Parish – Expecting
  • Chris Abrahams – Fluid to the Influence
  • Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  • ROM – Possible Mountain
  • Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
  • Jochen Arbeit, Günter Schickert & Schneider TM – ASS
  • You’re Me – Plant Cell Division
  • Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
  • Driftmachine – Colliding Contours
  • Julianna Barwick – Will
  • Jim O’Rourke – Steamroom 29
  • Maren Morris – Hero
  • Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat
  • Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger
  • Boobs of DOOM – (((WHITE NOISE)))
  • Brandy Clark – Big Day in a Small Town
  • KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  • Swans – The Glowing Man
  • David Toop – Entities Inertias Faint Beings
  • Jeff Parker – The New Breed
  • Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  • Noname – Telefone
  • M. Geddes Gengras – Interior Architecture
  • Unearth Noise – Prayer and Resonance
  • TOBACCO – Sweatbox Dynasty
  • Convextion – 2845
  • Aethenor – Hazel
  • Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
  • Princess Nokia – 1992
  • Daniel Lanois – Goodbye to Language
  • Jan Jelinek & Masayoshi Fujita – Schaum
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Biosphere – Departed Glories
  • Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  • Luisa Maita – Fio da Memória
  • Solange – A Seat at the Table
  • Innercity Ensemble – III
  • Monolake – VLSI
  • Hanno Leichtmann / Valerio Tricoli – The Future of Discipline
  • The Orb – COW / Chill Out, World!
  • Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere
  • Botany – Deepak Verbera
  • Kassem Mosse – Disclosure
  • Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  • D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.
  • Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth
  • Faka – Bottoms Revenge
  • Casino Versus Japan – Frozen Geometry
  • NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  • Ricardo Villalobos & Oren Ambarchi – Hubris Variation
  • Jay Glass Dubs – New Teeth for an Old Country
  • Mantra Percussion – Michael Gordon: Timber Remixed
  • various artists – Greek Composers of Electronic Music in Sci Fi Soundscapes
  • Qasim Naqv – Chronology
  • Streiber – The Whispering Awakening
  • Hexa – Factory Photographs
  • Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  • Willie Lane – A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth of Willie Lane
  • Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
  • Radian – On Dark Silent Off
  • Mirko – LP1
  • Conrad Schnitzler & Pyrolator – Con-Struct
  • Pinkcourtesyphone – Taking into Account Only a Portion of Your Emotions
  • Mike Majkowski – Swimming in Light
  • Demdike Stare – Wonderland
  • Rob Noyes – The Feudal Spirit
  • Sendai – Ground and Figure
  • Cindytalk – The Labyrinth of the Straight Line