10 great scores and soundtracks

In memory of the late Johan Johansson, our writers choose their favourite movie music…


“Sicario is perhaps the late Jóhann Jóhannsson’s best work, his score fitting in perfectly with the film, a crime thriller on the war on drugs. The score is dark, brooding and unearthly and as Johannsson himself described it, like “the throbbing heart of a beast charging at you.”” – Oscar D. Huckle

Social Network:

“Deservedly winning an Oscar, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ electronic-heavy soundtrack brilliantly underscores the backdoor hacking and backstabbing of David Fincher’s modern epic, and contains a fantastic reimagining of Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King.” – Tom Hall


“Hans Zimmer’s magnum opus is strangely the most un-Hans Zimmer-y score he’s composed. No loud Inception BWAMMs and no epic The Dark Knight anthem. Instead, an organ guides us from the beautifully moving Stay to the nail-biting finale No Time For Caution. It’s a tragedy it didn’t win the Oscar.” – Dan Struthers

Baby Driver:

“Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was one of 2017’s biggest films. One of the main reasons for this was its fast-paced, retro soundtrack that accompanied the film’s chase scenes. With songs from The Beach Boys and Blur, the soundtrack was an instant hit amongst audiences and critics – as is evident in its Oscar nomination.” – James Mortishire

The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

“Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings is accompanied by Howard Shore’s equally epic score. The music elevates the story, ebbing and flowing as the plot does and injecting emotion into the world of Middle-earth. No fantasy film since has been able to match this achievement.” – Joel Shelley


“For a film whose title means “life out of balance,” Philip Glass provides a wild, frenetic and hypnotic score which employs his minimalist style to maximum effect. Using aggressively repetitive melodies and a spine-tingling choir, Glass fuses sound and image to translate the devastating quickness of modern life into a rapid surge of music.” – Liam Heitman-Rice

How to Train Your Dragon 2:

“How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a stunning development of John Powell’s own Celtic-inspired themes in the original DreamWorks animation. Flying With Mother is a particular treat which uses intricate choral melodies and layering to showcase the wonder of these creatures and Two New Alphas is simply epic.” – Joem Opiña

This Is Spinal Tap:

“This Is Spinal Tap’s soundtrack strikes a perfect balance; it pokes fun at the heavy metal scene without slipping into overt mockery. Comedic gems like Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight and Sex Farm are cleverly written to capture the spirit and silliness of the genre. They’re surprisingly catchy too!” – Charlie Hunt

Blade Runner 2049:

“With high expectations set by Vangelis’ iconic score for the original, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch certainly prevail. With the brooding, whirring and hypnotic synth motifs, this score strikes the perfect balance between being melodic and violent –particularly Mesa and Seawall – encapsulating the dark, dystopian and electric dream world of the film.” – Eva Wakeford

The Graduate:

“The Graduate (1968) helms one of the greatest soundtracks known to film, pairing Simon and Garfunkel’s music with that of Dave Grusin. The final scene is a masterclass in film: Benjamin and Elaine on the bus, their emotional state unclear; The Sound of Silence slowly fades in as their story slowly fades out.” – Alex Caesari


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January 2021
Latest Comments
  • Avatar
    Favourite song covers
    Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s
  • Avatar Scott B
    Favourite song covers
    Is this author 14 years old with absolutely zero knowledge on music? Has to be. Two out of three songs are irrelevant. Both by shitty bands. Who paid for this?…
  • Avatar theizzin
    Should we mourn GCSE poetry?
    Wonderful article! Very insightful and brilliantly communicated. I wasn't aware of this issue before, but this article has really brought it to light for me. Thank you very much!
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