Tuesday, May 25, 2010

20 Best Film Scores of the 2000's

When it comes to things I love about movies, the musical scores the accompany films always ranks among my most beloved factors. Their ability to make or break a scene, build or crush a world, it's just mind blowing and amazing. And, while so many musical scores have become streamlined in recent years for big budget action films, I would like to take the time to point out those that helped defined this past decade. The ones that most attach themselves to my particular tastes. So, sit back, hit the play button and just enjoy these works of musical art.

Get your ears ready and continue on!

Each selection is accompanied by a select piece representing not only my favorite part, but much of the varying tones the scores encompassed (when possible).

So, here they are without further ado!

Unbreakable, Composed By: James Newton Howard
Selected Piece - Visions


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Composed By: Tan Dun
Selected Piece - Silk Road


Road to Perdition, Composed By: Thomas Newman
Selected Piece - Cathedral


Catch Me if You Can, Composed By: John Williams
Selected Piece - Catch Me if You Can


Up, Composed By: Michael Giacchino
Selected Piece - Married Life


Sunshine, Composed By: John Murphy
Selected Piece - Surface of the Sun


WALL-E, Composed By: Thomas Newman
Selected Piece - Define Dancing:


In Bruges, Composed By: Carter Burwell

Selected Piece - Shootout:


Requiem for a Dream, Composed By: Clint Mansell
Selected Piece - Requiem for a Dream


Gladiator, Composed By: Hans Zimmer
Selected Piece - Now We are Free:


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Composed By: Howard Shore
Selected Piece - Return of the King


Apocalytpo, Composed By: James Horner
Selected Piece - The Story Teller's Dream


The Dark Knight, Composed By: Hans Zimmer
Selected Piece - Agent of Chaos


Bubba Ho-Tep, Composed By: Brian Tyler
Selected Piece - All is Well


3:10 to Yuma, Composed By: Marco Beltrami
Selected Piece - Chinese Democracy




V for Vendetta, Composed By: Dario Marianelli
Selected Piece - The Red Diary



Amelie, Composed By: Yann Tiersen
Selected Piece - La Valse D'Amelie (Piano)


The Fountain, Composed By: Clint Mansell
Selected Piece - Together We Will Live Forever


The Assassination of Jesse James..., Composed By: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Selected Piece - Song for Bob


Cast Away, Composed By: Alan Silvestri
Selected Piece - Main Theme (End Credits)



Alrighty, that about wraps it up, hope you enjoyed my selections. No matter what you think of the 2000's, there was some amazing scores produced that decade. To be honest, this list could go on to 100, but I had to draw the line somewhere!

12 better thoughts:

Tom said...

Nice selections. I think Gladiator and Amelie are my favorites.

Jake said...

Some excellent choices. Catch Me if You Can, Up and Sunshine are three of my favorites (nice of you to group them together like that). I would also come down strongly in favor of Angelo Badalamenti's Mulholland Dr. score (one of the most perfectly atmospheric ever made). And this came out this year instead of 00-09, but Alexandre Desplat's glockenspiel-heavy, Bernard Herrmann-like yet way more subdued piece for The Ghost Writer was exemplary. (Luckily, I can submit his also sterling work on Birth instead). Bruno Coulais' Coraline score was the best part of an amazing film.

I'm bummed that I don't have more foreign scores for this decade. Zbigniew Preisner was so far ahead of everyone in the '90s with his work on Kieslowski's films that I know there's great work out there that I just haven't spotlighted.

I will say, though, that I think the best scoring of the decade belonged to no film but to the TV show Battlestar Galactica, whose Bear McCreary made just about the most original and evolving score ever made for television. It went from a very limited, mostly percussive sound in the first season to a mish-mash of orchestral composition, Celtic balladry, world music and even flashes of acid rock. I have never heard anything like it, on television or otherwise. Michael Giacchino deserves a mention, also, for Lost, but I feel that his ability to pierce the heart of anything was overly exploited by writers who barely gave the show genuine heart after the first few seasons and thus blared the score to manipulate people. But that's not his fault, now is it?

Robert said...

Absolutely amazing choices! I don't agree with all but music is so subjective that it doesn't matter at all what I think. Haha! I think my favorites are definitely Crouching Tiger and Wall-E.

SugaryCynic said...

Oh, Michael Giacchino, you and your "making grown men weep with your montage music"! Good, varied choices, I really love the music in Amelie and Catch Me If You Can (also hooray for Bubba Ho-Tep!) Personally, I think Sherlock Holmes should be up there, it's Zimmer's best yet but either way, great list.

MovieNut14 said...

No love for Moon? :(

Yojimbo_5 said...

I would also include Jerry Goldsmith's opening operatic piece for "The Sum of All Fears," Giacchino's music for "Ratatouille" (or, at least, "The Incredibles"), and a bit more Desplat (maybe "The Queen?"). You can't have enough Newmans (any of them!) on a "best of...list." I have to admit, Zimmer's music leaves me cold, but I thought his score for "Sherlock Holmes" was one of last year's best.

Andrew Robinson said...

I'm offended that There Will be Blood didn't make this list... that is one of the greatest scores of all time

Simon said...

In Bruges' is amazing.

Mat Viola said...

Nice list. As a connoisseur of film scores, however, I feel obliged to add a few more that deserve mention:

The Claim by Michael Nyman

In the Mood for Love by Michael Galasso & Shigeru Umebayashi

Mulholland Dr. by Angelo Badalamenti

A Beautiful Mind by James Horner

Nowhere in Africa by Niki Reiser

28 Days Later by John Murphy

The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Alexandre Desplat

Sinbad - Legend of the Seven Seas by Harry Gregson-Williams

Birth by Alexandre Desplat

2046 by Shigeru Umebayashi

Howl’s Moving Castle by Joe Hisaishi

The Village by James Newton Howard

The Incredibles by Michael Giacchino

Letter from an Unknown Woman by Lin Hai

Brokeback Mountain by Gustavo Santaolalla

Exiled by Dave Klotz & Guy Zerafa

There will be Blood by Jonny Greenwood

Ratatouille by Michael Giacchino

Transformers by Steve Jablonsky

Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez

Lust, Caution by Alexandre Desplat

Cloverfield by Michael Giacchino

The Hurt Locker by Marco Beltrami

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Alexandre Desplat

Speed Racer by Michael Giacchino

Drag Me to Hell by Christopher Young

Lesbian Vampire Killers by Debbie Wiseman

The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Alexandre Desplat

Star Trek by Michael Giacchino

Moon by Clint Mansell

The International by Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek & Tom Tykwer

The Road by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Cheri Alexandre Desplat

Coco Before Chanel by Alexandre Desplat

A Single Man by Abel Korzeniowski

Coraline by Bruno Coulais


Okay, I'll stop now...

Castor said...

Superb collection of movie soundtracks! Loved most of them and rediscovered the 3:10 to Yuma one! As you know, the Gladiator one is one of my favorite.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I like this post because it has little in common with the list I did way back when. Diverse choices, which I like.

Univarn said...

@Tom Yeah those are just incredibly memorable. Especially Gladiator which heavily influenced scores of the decade.

@Jake I'm still holding off on watching Mulholland Dr. so it got left off the list for that reason. I know I should watch it, but I can't bring myself to do it.

@Robert Music is so incredibly subjective. But you can't go wrong with CT and WE

@Sugary thanks for the comment. Giacchino really surprised me last year with Up & Star Trek. Both excellent jobs. Besides we all know Bubbah Ho-Tep is awesome.

@gMan I can say it just missed the list.

@Simon most definitely.

@Mat Thanks for your comment. There were tons I wanted to add, but I had to draw the line somewhere (I started at 10, then 15, then 20, I could have gone on forever). From your list I'd say 28 Days Later was the score I had the most difficulty leaving off. But I do absolutely love Moon, A Single Man, Lust, Caution, & In the Mood for Love scores.

@Castor Awesome, 3:10 to Yuma was one that I really connected with, glad you "rediscovered" it.

@Andrew Good. I did aim for diversity, both in origin, and type.

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