January 6, 2012

2011: The Restrospect: Top 5 Best Soundtracks

I'm feeling... musical!

We're about halfway done with the retrospect. After today, we'll be getting into more heavy stuff. But today, we're going to be talking about that one piece of film you can take with you wherever you go, long before the movie is available on home video.

2011 brought a lot in compelling scores. Though there was nothing quite as good as the best score from last year, there was plenty to like. I had a bit of a hard time narrowing this list down, even changing one of the entries as I wrote the damn thing. But, I brave the hardships and trials, and am ready to face your judgement. Here are Films From the Supermassive Black Hole's Top 5 Best Scores of 2011!

5. Super 8 (Michael Giacchino)

It sounds like the best John Williams score, but it's not John Williams. It sounds like the best John Williams score, but it's not John Williams. It sounds like the best John... oh, the hell with it! It sounds great, bringing to mind the Spielberg films of old. Sweeping and memorable, this is a wonderful example of an old-fashioned, classic tinged score.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Alexandre Desplat)

The Harry Potter scores have always been good, but as the franchise moved into darker and darker territory, the music got better and better, changing to fit the more mature tone, and gradually distancing itself from the kiddy tones of the initial Williams score. "Lily's Theme" is a haunting ode to the loss and sacrifice that the heroes are facing. "Courtyard Apocalypse" is a foreboding piece that wonderfully illustrates the chaos of the final battle. And "Voldemort's End" is about as epic as epic can get!

3. Drive (Cliff Martinez)

Infusing techno, rock, and other genres, the score to Drive is sort of this year's Tron: Legacy score, in that it's a score that takes a styles of popular music and melds it perfectly into a hyper-stylized film. The syth-poppy score fits the film like a well worn glove, beautifully accenting the 70s vibe the film is inhibiting. A score like this would be in a film where the main character wears a jacket with a giant, gold scorpion on the back. I mean, that's just fate, man.

2. Contagion (Cliff Martinez)

Same guy, same style. Like Drive, Contagion's score relies on synthetic beats and rhythms above all things, but where Contagion surpasses Drive is in its embrace of the atmosphere. Contagion was a pretty scary movie, and the music that went with it is pretty intense as well. "Get Us to the Front of the Line" is not something you want to be listening to alone at night.

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Wipe that shocked expression off your face. Did you expect anything else? Reznor and Ross deservedly won that Oscar for The Social Network, and even though they have no chance of winning this year, I'd say they deserve it even more. Let's be honest. Trent Reznor; he's a little fucked up. A little disturbed. A little twisted. So is the music he makes. And all three of those qualities are paramount in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. So... you know. Match made in heaven.

Also, "Immigrant Song"! There's a reason I can't stop listening to it!

And we are done with the silliness. Now we get into actors, directors, and the ultimate best and worst lists. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of 2011: The Retrospect, and be sure to check out everything you might have missed up to this point. Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to go geek out about Sundance again!!


  1. You know, everyone is buzzing about Drive and Dragon Tattoo soundtracks, but where's the love for the awsome Daft Punk Tron:Legacy soundtrack or the awsome Chemical Brothers Hanna soundtrack. Both of those made the films they belonged to even better. Good list otherwise.

  2. @Mike Lippert: I gave Tron: Legacy the top position in this list last year. Don't worry bro. I got you!

  3. Hey Guys,

    On January 12th, 2012 we’re hosting a live Q & A with Angelina Jolie to promote her film In the Land of Blood and Honey, her written and directorial debut. If you were interested in hosting the Live Broadcast of the Q & A on your website, as well as, getting some awesome In the Land of Blood and Honey swag, please feel free to email me and we can get you all set up! Don’t hesitate to come to me with any questions you may have about the event and I look forward to hearing back from you! Have a great day!

    Partner’s Hub Engagement Team

  4. Wow, did Tron really come out over a year ago? How misinformed to I now feel :P