Top 5 albums
1 Radiohead - In_Rainbows
Just instantly sounded better than everything I'd heard for months - and for once in our instant preview/early release/download era, an album felt like an event.
2 Devandra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Love the 70s laid-back vibe here, traversing rock, folk and tropicalia effortlessly.
3 LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Beyond the hipster hype, an album with something to say, and a fresh way of saying it.
4 Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Warm rock, the perfect soundtrack to a snow-bound expedition. Great solos too.
5 Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
They disappointed live, but any album that kicks off with a good 7 minutes of slow-burning driving music is a winner round these parts.
Justice - +
Demented production, great inventive dance/pop that felt like it could only have been released in 2007.
OK, it's a compilation of post-Tropicalia freak-outs from 70s Brazilian, but most of it was new to me this year.
Burial - Untrue
Intriguing dubstep with soul
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Bit like eating a whole chocolate cake after a while, but still great in small chunks.
Top 5 gigs
1 The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang - The O2 August 26
They still rule. Billed as the last-ever tour too, glad to have finally caught them.
2 Prince - 3121 - The O2, August 31
Unstoppable showmanship, amazing guitar, huge catalogue of hits to draw on.
3 Wilco - Shepherd's Bush Empire, May 20
Possibly even better live than on record.
4 Beastie Boys - Brixton Academy, September 4
Good to see the BBs again, still got the skills to pay the bills.
5 Black Mountain - Cargo, December 5
Great introduction to a band I'd only heard on one track before - might have been higher in this list if I'd been able to sing along more.
Also: Cornelius/Matmos - Royal Festival Hall
Laptops, psychedelia, rock-outs and pure pop. RFH refurb works too.
The Vitamin Trip reunion, Joyce Is Not Here, September, Hong Kong
Just about pulled it all together again after ten years.
Top 5 films
1 Inland Empire
Unhinged Lynch. Not sure there's anywhere for him to go after this, but it's hard to beat for showing the extremes of cinema possibility; great performance from Laura Dern too.
2 The Lives Of Others
Brutally sharp in its dissection of recent state madness, and the ways people surprise and disappoint.
4 Knocked Up
Great way to play both sides of the romcom gender split.
Enjoyed the tight scale and execution of this MySpace generation Rear Window.
Most Disappointing threequel - Shrek The Third
Sucked as much as the first two rocked.
Ghost Ship - Menomena
Ponytail - Panda Bear
I Got Lost - Dinosaur Jr
Tenderoni - Chromeo
Love Your Man, Love Your Woman - The Broken Family Band
Veni Vidi Vici (Diplo Mix) - Black Lips
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance - Black Kids
Is There A Ghost? - Band Of Horses
Top 5 TV shows
1 The Wire - FX/HBO
Just gets better and better. Does it really have to be the last series next time round?
2 Heroes - Sci-Fi/BBC2/NBC
Took a while to put everything in place, but this was one of the most fun shows around this year.
3 Entourage - ITV2/HBO
Vince and the gang are on a roll.
4 Flight Of The Conchords - BBC4/HBO
Jokes? Present. Songs? Present. Something new worth quoting.
5 30 Rock, Five/NBC
Didn't think this would be as funny as it is - Alec Baldwin's timing is great.
20th Dec 2007 - Tumblr5
Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.
31st Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Rise of Skywalker
Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.
22nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.
15th Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.
2nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.
28th Nov 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.
24th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.
16th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.
3rd Nov 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.
13th Oct 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.
5th Oct 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.
5th Oct 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Into the Spider-Verse
Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.
21st Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.
22nd Aug 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.
14th Aug 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.
13th Jul 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before
13th Jul 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.
30th Jun 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.
16th Jun 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.
31st May 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.
7th May 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.
28th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.
27th Apr 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.
12th Apr 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.
6th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.
1st Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.
28th Mar 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.
25th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.
25th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.
19th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.
17th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.
11th Mar 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.
2nd Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.
1st Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Second Part
It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.
23rd Feb 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.
26th Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.
20th Jan 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.
3rd Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.
27th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.
15th Dec 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.
24th Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.
21st Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews