Best of Lists

Each best of the year list was created in early January of the following year. 2014 is the only list where I tried to stay faithful to the eligibility rules that critics’ polls use for the sake of a consistent pool of qualifying movies. Beginning in 2015, I opened up the field to anything: undistributed, shorts, TV, video essays. The only rule I’m committed to now is that, using an idea of Dan Sallitt’s, the movie should feel like something from the present, not the past. Edward Yang’s 1986 film The Terrorizers received its first U.S. release in 2016, but it fits poorly on a list of new movies since it was originally shot too far in the past.

2014
1. Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz, Philippines, 2013)
2. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, United States, 2014)
3. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, France/Switzerland, 2014)
4. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan, 2013)
5. Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium, 2014)
6. Love Is Strange (Ira Sachs, United States, 2014)
7. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, United Kingdom, 2013)
8. Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (Josephine Decker, United States, 2014)
9. Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France, 2013)
10. Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier, Denmark, 2014)
11. Birdman (Alejandro González Iñarritu, United States, 2014)
12. Closed Curtain (Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2013)
13. Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, South Korea/United States, 2013)
14. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia, 2014)
15. The Immigrant (James Gray, United States, 2013)
16. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, 2013)
17. Story of My Death (Albert Serra, Spain, 2013)
18. Himizu (Sion Sono, Japan, 2011)
19. Palo Alto (Gia Coppola, United States, 2013)
20. Policeman (Nadav Lapid, Israel, 2011)

2015
1. So’s Nephew by Remes (thanx to Michael Snow) by Jorrie Penn Croft (Jennifer Proctor, United States, 2015)
2. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, 2014)
3. Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, France, 2014)
4. Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, United States, 2015)
5. Field Niggas (Khalik Allah, United States, 2015)
6. Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie, United States, 2014)
7. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, Germany, 2014)
8. The Knick Season 2 (Steven Soderbergh, United States, 2015)
9. The Mend (John Magary, United States, 2014)
10. Joy of Man’s Desiring (Denis Côté, Canada, 2014)
11. American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, United States, 2015)
12. Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs, United States, 2015)
13. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach, United States, 2015)
14. A Thousand Suns (Mati Diop, Senegal, 2013)
15. Creed (Ryan Coogler, United States, 2015)
16. Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, United States, 2015)
17. Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann, United Kingdom, 2014)
18. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/China, 2015)
19. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, United States, 2014)
20. When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 2013)
21. The Adventures of the Married Couple (Keywan Karimi, Iran, 2013)
22. Uncertain Terms (Nathan Silver, United States, 2014)
23. Inside Out (Pete Docter, United States, 2015)

2016
1. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan, China, 2015)
2. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada, 2015)
3. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, United States, 2016)
4. White Nights on the Pier (Paul Vecchiali, France, 2014)
5. Cemetery of Splendor (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2015)
6. Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke, China, 2015)
7. Kill Zone 2 (Soi Cheang, Hong Kong/China, 2015)
8. Neon Bull (Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil, 2015)
9. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, United States, 2016)
10. The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2015)
11. 88:88 (Isiah Medina, Canada, 2015)
12. Disorder (Alice Winocour, France, 2015)
13. 45 7 Broadway (Tomonari Nishikawa, United States, 2013)
14. Something Between Us (Jodie Mack, United States, 2016)
15. Tower (Keith Maitland, United States, 2016)
16. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, United States, 2016)
17. Ixcanul (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, 2015)
18. Creepy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2016)
19. Ne me quitte pas (Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden, Belgium, 2013)
20. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes, Portugal, 2015)
21. O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, United States, 2016)
22. Our Sunhi (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2013)
23. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, United States, 2016)
24. Wiener-Dog (Todd Solondz, United States, 2016)
25. The Love Witch (Anna Biller, United States, 2016)
26. Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece, 2015)
27. Poet on a Business Trip (Ju Anqi, China, 2015)

2017
1. Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, United States, 2017)
2. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, United Kingdom, 2017)
3. The Illinois Parables (Deborah Stratman, United States, 2016)
4. Silence (Martin Scorsese, United States, 2016)
5. Three Sisters (Wang Bing, Hong Kong/France, 2012)
6. Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh, United States, 2017)
7. A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, United Kingdom, 2016)
8. Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, Romania, 2016)
9. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, France, 2016)
10. By the Time It Gets Dark (Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand, 2016)
11. John from (João Nicolau, Portugal, 2015)
12. A Ghost Story (David Lowery, United States, 2017)
13. Kendrick Lamar Music Videos for HUMBLE. and LOVE. (Dave Meyers & The Little Homies, United States, 2017)
14. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler, United States, 2017)
15. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, United States, 2016)
16. Behemoth (Zhao Liang, China, 2015)
17. Mrs. Fang (Wang Bing, China, 2017)
18. The Death of Louis XIV (Albert Serra, France, 2016)
19. The Future Perfect (Nele Wohlatz, Argentina, 2016)
20. Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro, United States/Argentina, 2016)
21. Wasteland No. 1 – Ardent, Verdant (Jodie Mack, United States, 2017)
22. Nathan for You Season 4 (Nathan Fielder, United States, 2017)
23. The Lost City of Z (James Gray, United States, 2016)
24. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, United States, 2016)
25. Slack Bay (Bruno Dumont, France, 2016)
26. The Untamed (Amat Escalante, Mexico, 2016)
27. The Graduation (Claire Simon, France, 2016)
28. Columbus (Kogonada, United States, 2017)
29. My Journey Through French Cinema (Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2016)
30. The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig, United States, 2016)

21st century so far (compiled August 2016)
1. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky, Hungary, 2011)
2. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, Russia, 2002)
3. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, United States, 2013)
4. Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz, Philippines, 2013)
5. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu (Andrei Ujica, Romania, 2011)
6. Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, Sweden, 2000)
7. La Captive (Chantal Akerman, Belgium, 2000)
8. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada, 2015)
9. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, United States, 2007)
10. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan, 2013)

Top 10 Publications of English-Language Film Criticism
Alphabetical. This list will change as my preferences do. (Added January 2018)

1. Artforum
2. The Brooklyn Rail
3. Cinema Scope
4. Criterion
5. Film Comment
6. La Furia Umana
7. LOLA
8. The Metrograph Edition
9. MUBI’s Notebook
10. Reverse Shot