Movie soundtracks are among my favourite things about movies. A really great one can completely elevate the movie and immerse you into its world, whereas a terrible one can ruin even the best scenes. While there is no specific theme to this list, one thing is that most of them (with one glaring exception) are ones I liked better than the movie.
5. “The Road to El Dorado” (Hans Zimmer & John Powell, 2000)
The movie itself was one that I found quite entertaining. Tulio and Miguel are hilarious and their bromance is kind of amazing. However, the movie is quite musical, and without those elements, it would hardly be as fun as it is. Elton John and Tim Rice provide us with such songs as The Trail We Blaze and many more. However, my favourite tracks are those provided by Zimmer and Powell, which capture and complement the setting very nicely, but still allow you to feel as the main characters are, having just stumbled upon this strange, new land.
4. Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” (Hans Zimmer, 2009, 2011)
While the merits of the movies themselves may be questionable (I think they’re fine; die-hard Holmes fans may disagree), their soundtracks are quite good. Zimmer’s tracks may well be what Holmes would be if he was a musical score. Zimmer apparently used odd instruments, such as broken pianos and squeeky violins, giving the score a rough and slightly chaotic feel. Listening to it is almost like listening to what’s happening inside Holmes’ mind.
3. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (Hans Zimmer ft. Rodrigo y Gabriella, 2011)
By now, I’m sure you can tell who my favourite composer is, however, the reason On Stranger Tides made the cut is mostly because of Zimmer’s collabarators for this track, the duo of Rodrigo y Gabriella. As a movie, On Stranger Tides suffers from many flaws, and it is my least favourite of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Its soundtrack, on the other hand, is an excellent embodiment of what the movies were before, and what they were supposed to become. Rodrigo y Gabriella are magic with flamenco guitars, and they use them to give you the creepiest music accompanying the demon mermaids, or lively escape music.
2. “The Hunger Games” (James Newton Howard, 2012)
The Hunger Games was a pretty great movie; the characters were portrayed well, and the movie was loyal to the book for the most part. However, I found that the movie did not really show us the world properly. Sure, we got glimpses and nice shots, but we could have seen much more – the score made up for that, though. One example that sticks out in my mind is the music when Katniss and Peeta enter the Capitol. The music is haunting and slightly disturbing, a contrast to the swarm of happy Capitol residents welcoming them. Another, much more obvious, way in which the score brings Panem to life is their national anthem, Horn of the Plenty. The score is also complimented by a soundtrack full of music from several artists, all of which perfectly embody Suzanne Collins’ world.
1. “The Lord of the Rings” (Howard Shore, 2001 – 2003, 2012)
I don’t think I need to explain this one. The soundtracks of the “Lord of the Rings” movies were among the first things that grabbed my attention (Gollum being the other!) when I watched them recently. Yes, I missed out on twelve years of listening to this soundtrack. Howard Shore does an amazing job of incorporating everything Middle Earth into his soundtrack, and it is just fantastic, and I’m not even talking about the amazing songs by the likes of Enya, Annie Lennox, and Neil Finn, who are also quite phenomenal.