best movie soundtracks

Music is one of the most powerful tools in cinema – it can elevate a story, allowing us to understand a character or experience a world we otherwise would not have. From sweeping scores to haunting chorals, the best movie soundtracks can turn an ordinary story into something unforgettable.

Composers like John Williams, Max Steiner, and Maurice Jarre crafted some of the most influential film scores ever written. While some of their masterpieces have become staples of modern cinema, others go largely unnoticed.

1. The Lion King

The Lion King is one of the most beloved and influential animated films ever created. It’s still considered a classic today, and its original soundtrack has endured throughout the years.

The film is primarily about guilt and redemption, with Simba, the lion cub who grew up to become king, forced to believe that he was the cause of his father’s death. Eventually, Simba finds peace and comfort through a series of adventures with Nala, the young girl he adores.

But the movie isn’t perfect, as it veers toward a darker and more serious tone than other recent Disney films. The film’s opening sequence is gorgeous and awe-inspiring, with computer-generated herds of zebra and elephant rushing across a wide African landscape towards Pride Rock.

2. The Graduate

The original soundtrack for Mike Nichols’ 1967 comedy-drama, The Graduate, is an unforgettable achievement. Simon & Garfunkel’s music is an important part of the film’s success.

The film, which was adapted from the novel of the same name by Charles Webb, reflected the angst of Baby Boomers who felt disillusioned with the society they grew up in. The soundtrack matched the mood of the movie, featuring an array of well-known songs by Simon & Garfunkel.

The album also featured a number of new compositions from Dave Grusin. The composer’s insertion numbers are a lot of fun, and they play up the film’s comedic spirit. The tunes included on The Graduate’s soundtrack range from the peppy “The Singleman Party Foxtrot” to the bouncy “A Great Effect.”

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Return of the King was the third film in the Lord of the Rings series and was directed by Peter Jackson. It was released in 2003.

The story begins with a flashback to the time when Gollum, a hobbit-like creature known as Smeagol, first came across the One Ring and stole it from his cousin Deagol. The Ring was a talisman that allowed Frodo to see things through the eyes of the Dark Lord Sauron, who had created it from a combination of magic and technology.

While Aragorn and Elrond prepare for battle, Aragorn hears a dream about his wife Arwen dying at Sauron’s power. In response, Aragorn drops the seeing stone, which smashes the Evenstar and prevents Mordor from retaking Minas Tirith.

4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Howard Shore, whose work has won him an Academy Award for his Lord of the Rings scores, returns to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It’s a much darker film than the previous two, eschewing some of its comedy action and embracing themes involving obsession and corruption.

The soundtrack is dense, compositionally complex, and thematically rich. In particular, it bridges the gap between the original Hobbit films and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, referencing and building upon themes established in the first movie, and foreshadowing music that appears later on in the latter movies.

One track that’s particularly interesting is Quest for Erebor, a short piece that explores a range of emotions from sadness to hope to adventure and danger. It’s a great example of how the composer can use different musical elements to create a full picture.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens is the first of Disney’s new trilogy of Star Wars films, and John Williams’ score is a big part of that. He drew heavily from themes from the original trilogy, but also wrote some brand-new material that would seem instantly familiar to fans.

The soundtrack is packed with music from the saga, and it’s a big hit. It contains everything from the famous Force theme to the love theme for Han Solo and Princess Leia.

As well as the themes, there’s a lot of action-heavy music designed to tie different parts of the story together. This means that the soundtrack is incredibly well-crafted, and it’s the best Star Wars score we’ve heard since Return of the Jedi.

6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The original soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the crown jewel of the trilogy. Composed, orchestrated and conducted by Howard Shore, the score is a whirlwind of memorable motifs that pay homage to the films predecessors while delivering plenty of action and emotion in equal measure.

The most impressive feat was bringing a full sized orchestra and choir to the table, along with some innovative instrumentation. This includes a double fiddle, invented and crafted specifically for the film. The score was lauded by music aficionados as the best in the series, snagging numerous awards and accolades. The soundtrack also received a few high-tech bonus features like a DVD with a montage of the movie’s most notable moments, an exclusive Lord of the Rings supertrailer and a page of 18 stamps that commemorate the epic fantasy trilogy.

7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Star Wars is a series of films based on a sci-fi fantasy universe. The series was a great success, and it has now gone on to become one of the best movie franchises ever made.

The original soundtrack for the film was composed by John Williams and was released on hologram vinyl in 2016. It is a great soundtrack that has received much praise from critics.

The soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a good one that features a variety of themes that are used throughout the film. It also includes a few classic songs that are played throughout the film as well. It is an excellent soundtrack that has won several awards. It is also a great album that is a must have for any movie lover! It is one of the best soundtracks that has been released.

8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

There’s no shortage of amazing music to love in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the animated film that explores the multiverse that’s home to a diverse collection of Spider-Mans. And in the hands of directing triumvirate Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, the possibilities of that multiverse are used to full capacity.

It’s a smart, raucous, self-referential adventure that manages to embrace the requisite heart that makes the various iterations of Spider-Man such beloved fan favorites over the years. And it’s all done without any awkwardness, preening, or preaching.

And that’s where this movie really shines. It’s a rare superhero movie that manages to take the internal responsibilities of a superhero story and execute them effortlessly. It’s a miracle that’s been achieved here, and it’s a wonder that we haven’t seen more of this kind of storytelling before.

9. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Twihards will more-or-less love this faithful adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s final book, which wallows in melodrama and asks haters to root for bloody death in order to save Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).

Director Bill Condon, who previously made Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters, takes on this supernatural psychomelodrama with aplomb. He does a great job of mixing in romance, drama and a few of the action-filled fight scenes that have become hallmarks of the series.

But the story is punctuated by a few disturbing moments that can be difficult for younger viewers to deal with. In particular, there’s a horrendous pregnancy that Bella experiences.

10. The Beatles: Help!

The Beatles were one of the most famous rock and roll bands of all time. Their popularity and influence spread across the globe, spawning numerous hit songs and revolutionizing the way music was made.

The group was comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They were multi-instrumentalists who introduced exotic instruments like ukuleles, Indian sitars, flutes, and tampur drums into the rock n’ roll sound.

After a few hits, their popularity began to wane, and the group retreated inwards. The album helped them achieve that goal.