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Standout movie scores & soundtracks

A. Bannister
 
Koyaanisqatsi
Koyaanisqatsi
"Perhaps Philip Glass's finest film work. Rich and complex and at the same time simple and austere."
American Beauty
American Beauty
"It may be short, but it's a true gem. Intriguing instrumental choices (almost all played by Newman himself), this score perfectly matches the quirky beauty of the film it accompanies."
The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line
"A statuesque yet stirring score for a film dedicated to the contrast between war and nature. And you thought Zimmer was all horns, horns, horns."
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [Complete Recordings] [3CD + DVD]
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [Complete Recordings] [3CD + DVD]
"A staggering range of emotions and textures in what I think will be considered Shore's masterpiece. The hobbit and elven themes and thrilling make this stand out way above the other two films' scores."
2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey
"A soundtrack of extremes: The stolidly tonal pieces by the Strausses butt uneasily up against the dissonant Ligeti choruses, creating a vision of a future both comfortable and incomprehensibly alien."
Amelie [Original Score]
Amelie [Original Score]
"Culled from Tiersen's back catalogue this may be, but this ever-ebullient score is a ray of sunshine on my iPod."
About A Boy
About A Boy
"This is both a score and a proper Badly Drawn Boy album. Mostly upbeat, with a certain slacker charm about it. There's even a jolly Christmas song!"
The Thing (Original Score)
The Thing (Original Score)
"A stark, claustrophic sting of a score. Insectile strings and stripped-down synths puncture the freezing gloom with icicles of dread. The best horror score bar none."
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88765407812
"Simultaneously captivating and epic, this score is also deeply evocative of its time and place without once bowing to cliché. It's hard to overstate the power of Yo-Yo Ma's sublime cello work here."
The Music of Candyman
The Music of Candyman
"More first-rate Glass, with powerfully melancholic organ work and a wordless full-force choir. The score transforms Candyman from clever slasher flick into a compellingly rich and subtle tragedy."
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
"Infinitely more subtle and mature than Williams's score for Star Wars. A work of great beauty, full of dissonant colour and harmonic light, every bit as awe-inspiring as the film itself."
Gattaca
Gattaca
"A tremendously sad score, with old-fashioned lush strings providing the perfect counterpoint to the film's high-concept hyper-futurism."
Edward Scissorhands: Original Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK]
Edward Scissorhands: Original Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK]
"Elfman at his most magical. Enchanting music-box prettiness that stays on just the right side of twee."