Best of the year: 2012's best movies, theater, music and more

Time Out's critics pick the highlights of 2012—including movies, music, theater, restaurants, art, books, comedy and more—in our review of the best of the year.

If consuming contemporary culture may sometimes feel like training a fire hose at your face, consider this a refreshing, thirst-quenching glass of water. Our critics have picked the top albums, concerts, exhibitions, theater, performances, restaurants and books of 2012, so you can catch up on whatever you missed, or remember the best of the year. Plus, because you don't want to be left out of a good hate-filled conversation, we've picked our worst of the past 366 days as well.

Best of the year: 2012

Best things to do and places to go of 2012

Our critics and readers have chosen the best things to do in NYC, including parties, shops, parks, live-music venues, shows and more. What are you waiting for?

Best movies of 2012

The year in cinema was filled with moments of exhilaration (Zero Dark Thirty), revulsion (This Means War) and all emotions in between (you’ll see).

Best theater of 2012

A slew of splendid Broadway revivals and boundary-busting experiments Off Broadway made for a great year.

Best music of 2012

Frank Ocean approached consensus in a fractious year for music.

Five game-changing restaurants of 2012

As we reflect on another year of flashy culinary debuts, these new arrivals stand out, having made their mark on NYC’s fiercely competitive dining scene.

Best art of 2012

From Cindy Sherman at MoMA to the Whitney Biennial, it’s been a year of hits and misses.

Best books of 2012

Our favorite titles this year boasted big ideas, lingered on lonely lives and presented authors' creative visions of history.

Best of LGBT New York 2012

Despite a few low points, it was—as it always is—a good year to be gay in New York.

Best nightlife of 2012

In the NYC nightlife world, it’s all about the parties—and the music.

Best comedy of 2012

New stand-up venues, classic sketch and big benefits make the year in comedy bright.

Best opera and classical music of 2012

Dog Days and Debussy seized the spotlight with vital, surprising sounds.

Best dance of 2012

Judson’s 50th, the Whitney Biennial and Justin Peck added up to a gratifying year—but what’s with the BAM Fisher?

  1. 2012
  2. 2011
  3. 2010
  4. 2009
  5. 2008
  6. 2007
  7. 2005