For a while now, I've been meaning to compile a list of films to watch because they have a score that stands out for a particular reason. I'm keen that this isn't just a list of films with technically brilliant scores, and also doesn't just include films because the music is pleasant - I want to include films where the music works on as many levels as possible. The list is a mixture of my own choices as well as suggestions (some of which I haven't seen, indicated by an *asterisk) from others in the film and tv industry.

My plan is to keep it as a live page; where new scores are added over time. I'm keen to hear suggestions, too, so if there's a film score you think is brilliant that I've not included, let me know on social media through any of the links below.


THE LIST

*The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) Bernard Herrmann

*Vertigo (1958) Bernard Herrmann

*Farenheit 451 (1966) Bernard Herrmann

*Planet of the Apes (1968) Jerry Goldsmith

The Godfather (1972) Nino Rota

*Chinatown (1974) Jerry Goldsmith

*The Parallax View (1974) Michael Small

*Taxi Driver (1976) Bernard Herrmann

*Alien (1979) Jerry Goldsmith

*The Shining (1980) Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) John Williams

*The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) Michael Small

Blade Runner (1982) Vangelis

*Poltergeist (1982) Jerry Goldsmith

The Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-90) Alan Silvestri

*Out of Africa (1985) John Barry

*The Mission (1986) Ennio Morricone

*Platoon (1986) Georges Delerue

*Batman (1989) Danny Elfman

*Edward Scissorhands (1990) Danny Elfman

*Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) Brad Fiedel

*1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) Vangelis

*Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Wojciech Kilar

Forrest Gump (1994) Alan Silvestri

THe Shawshank Redemption (1994) Thomas Newman

*Crimson Tide (1995) Hans Zimmer

*Heat (1995) Elliot Goldenthal

*The English Patient (1996) Gabriel Yared

*Wag the Dog (1997) Mark Knopfler

*Gattaca (1997) Michael Nyman

The Matrix (1999) Don Davis

American Beauty (1999) Thomas Newman

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Gabriel Yared

*The Straight Story (1999) Angelo Badalamenti

*Unbreakable (2000) James Newton Howard

Gladiator (2000) Hans Zimmer

*Almost Famous (2000) Nancy Wilson

*Traffic (2000) Cliff Martinez

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Dun Tan

A Beautiful mind (2001) James Horner

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-03) Howard Shore

*Amelie (2001) Yann Tiersen

*Donnie Darko (2001) Michael Andrews

*Black Hawk Down (2001) Hans Zimmer

*Talk to Her (2002) Alberto Iglesias

*Insomnia (2002) David Julyan

The Bourne Trilogy (2002-07) John Powell

*Road to Perdition (2002) Thomas Newman

*Solaris (2002) Cliff Martinez

Minority Report (2002) John Williams

Finding Nemo (2003) Thomas Newman

Lost in Translation (2003) Kevin Shields

*Cold Mountain (2003) Gabriel Yared

*The Last Samurai (2003) Hans Zimmer

*The Passion of the Christ (2004) John Debney

The Incredibles (2004) Michael Giacchino

*Howl's moving Castle (2004) Joe Hisaishi

The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-12) Hans Zimmer

*Pride & Prejudice (2005) Dario Marianelli

*Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) John Williams

The Fountain (2006) Clint Mansell

The Holiday (2006) Hans Zimmer

*There Will be Blood (2007) Jonny Greenwood

Ratatouille (2007) Michael Giacchino

No Country for Old Men (2007) Carter Burwell

*The assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Atonement (2007) Dario Marianelli

Wall-E (2008) Thomas Newman

*Knowing (2009) Marco Beltrami

Avatar (2009) James Horner

*A Single Man (2009) Abel Korzeniowski

*How to Train your Dragon (2010-14) John Powell

Black Swan (2010) Clint Mansell

Inception (2010) Hans Zimmer

The Social Network (2010) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

*Jane Eyre (2011) Dario Marianelli

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011) Alberto Iglesias

*We bought a zoo (2011) Jónsi

*DREDD (2012) Paul Leonard-Morgan

*The Road (2012) Nick Cave And Warren Ellis

*Oblivion (2013) Anthony Gonzalez with Joseph Trapanese

*Blue Ruin (2013) Brooke Blair and Will Blair

Gravity (2013) Stephen Price

*Under the Skin (2013) Mica Levi

*Girlhood (2014) Para One

*It Follows (2014) Disasterpeace

*The Two Faces of January (2014) Alberto Iglesias

*I Origins (2014) Will Bates and Phil Mossman

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Antonio Sanchez

The Imitation Game (2014) Alexandre Desplat

The Theory of Everything (2014) Jóhann Jóhannsson

*Whiplash (2014) Justin Hurwitz

*Crimson Peak (2015) Fernando Velázquez

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) John Williams

*Miles Ahead (2015) Robert Glasper

*10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Bear McCreary

Arrival (2016) Jóhann Jóhannsson

*Jackie (2016) Mica Levi

*Nocturnal Animals (2016) Abel Korzeniowski

La la Land (2016) Justin Hurwitz

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