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10 Best Scores

Everyone knows the importance of film music in conveying a film's emotion, giving the visuals more oomph and making everything a good 30% more awesome. Here are the catchiest, most melodic, and most gosh-darn impressive results...

Slumdog Millionaire (2009) Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
""O... Saya", the collaboration between Rahman and Sri Lankan electro star M. I. A.; Jai Ho, the joyous Bollywood anthem which is performed by the cast over the film's end credits; and Paper Planes, M. I. A.'s 2007 track that Boyle loves so much he shot a sequence to match its lyrics. Thanks to this trio of exuberant stand-outs, this deserves a place next to Trainspotting in the pantheon of Great Movie Soundtracks - despite that cheesy CD cover." - Nick De Semlyen

Let The Right One In (2009) Let The Right One In (2009)
"At the core of Tomas Alfredson's romantic horror film is a piercing melancholy that rests upon this hauntingly beautiful score by Johan Sderqvist. The composer, who has rarely worked outside his native Sweden, not only exquisitely captures the story's rich emotions (the tender string movements of Eli And Oscar), but masterfully weaves in utterly chilling moments (Virginia Is Bitten) in an impressively subtle way." - Danny Graydon

All The Pretty Horses (2001) All The Pretty Horses (2001)
"Containing some of the most expressive strumming this side of Paris, Texas, All The Pretty Horses boasts an effortless simplicity that far outstrips the quality of the movie it accompanies. Supplying much of the emotional work that should have been present in the performances, the score-writing troika of Stuart, Wilkinson and Paxton (with a credit like that, they should set up a solicitor's firm) have fashioned music that is rooted firmly in Western traditions, yet never sounds like parody." - Ian Freer

Gladiator (2000) Gladiator (2000)
"For a battle sequence track in a film called Gladiator, certain rules must be obeyed. One: the track must be called something obvious... The Battle, for instance. Two: it should contain a heroic and action-packed mixture of foundation-shaking brass and military drumming. And three: it must make small hairs stand to attention and stir even in nine-stone weaklings a bloodlust for glory that knows no bounds. Fear ye not, The Battle, for so it is named, delivers. As unforgettable as a slack-eyed head on a spike, this is as moving, musically, as a slick combo of Holst's Mars and Miklos Rozsa's Ben-Hur chariot race scene." - Neil Jeffries

Lord of the Rings 2001-2003

Lord of the Rings 2001-2003Lord of the Rings 2001-2003
Lord of the Rings 2001-2003
Fellowship of the Ring: "LOTR is chock-a-bloc with action cues, but rarely does it boast standard adventure fanfares; this is savage, violent stuff with pounding brass, driving percussion and urgent strings calling the shots." - Ian Freer

The Two Towers: "Emiliana Torrini's hauntingly Bjork-esque vocals on the tragic Gollum's Song provide a magnificent finale to what will undoubtedly be a modern masterpiece of film music." - Ian Freer

The Return of the King: "With a stunning musical finale to Tolkien's epic fantasy, Howard Shore not only completes his masterpiece, but also delivers possibly the finest film score of the last 20 years." - Danny Graydon


The Hours (2003) The Hours (2003)
"The pice de rsistance is undoubtedly the eight-minute title track, The Hours, in which Glass' three leitmotifs collide beautifully, culminating in a flawless union. Superb, and certainly worthy of an Oscar." - Danny Graydon

Atonement (2007 Atonement (2007)
"Sympathetic and stingingly bitter at every turn, Marianelli has not only managed to catch the various nuances of Ian McEwan's novel to perfection, but has also written his own film for the listener. Absolutely stunning; you need to buy this immediately." - Kat Brown

Mission: Impossible III (2006) Mission: Impossible III (2006)
"While any music for an M:I film is anchored, Bond-like, on Schifrin's immortal theme, Giacchino's hugely muscular, brass-dominated score - thanks to a mighty 112-piece orchestra - has impressively succeeded where his predecessors Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer fell short: providing an underscore as bold, energetic and thrilling as Schifrin's original." - Danny Graydon

Amores Perros (2001) Amores Perros (2001)
"The Amores Perros soundtrack will make you feel many things. It will inspire elevated romantic feelings (Nachapop's acoustic anthem, Lucha de Gigantes or any of Gustavo Santaolalla's evocative score); it might induce barely supressed rage (Control Machete's compelling Si Senor) or even trick you into dancing like a lagered-up loon (Celia Cruz's infectious samba La Vida Es Un Carnaval). And it will doubtless make you wish you were Latino, or at least could speak Spanish. But most of all, this fantastically varied, brilliantly sequenced compilation will make you feel cool." - Colin Kennedy

O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)
When the Coen Brothers produced their bluegrass Odyssey, Empire in its wisdom gave the resulting, mega-selling and totally ace soundtrack one star. Our bad. This is a gorgeous, whimsical and witty mix of bluegrass plucking and the occasional bit of soaring melody, and the songs soundtrack, with its endlessly catchy songs, is arguably better.

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