12 Best of Christmas: Best Original Scores of the Decade

by | Dec 23, 2019 | Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

For me, the experience of a great film is largely tied to its score. Now, there are plenty of great movies that use minimal music, but it’s pretty few and far between. A great score enhances a story ten fold and then lives inside you long after the credits role. Even more so, these great orchestral competitions represent the highest form of the musical arts and getting to experience a composer like Hans Zimmer or John Williams love is truly the modern equivalent to Beethoven or Bach. Which is why my list here is less about just how well some ambient score works in a film like Johan  Johannson’s superb work in ‘Arrival’ or Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow’s soundscape of a score for ‘Annihilation’ last year.

This list is about music and the best musical scores you can experience as music and with the film. Also, this is probably my most personal list, because I’ve spent more time listening to this music than watching or playing anything. Every album on here, including the ‘Best of the Rest’ section, could have been in the top twelve. So, I highly suggest listening to all this music and the masterful artists who composed it.

12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

11. Inside Out – Michael Giacchino 

10. The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat

9. Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

8. Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman

7. Creed – Ludwig Gorannson

6. The Theory of Everything – Johan Jóhannsson 

5. La La Land – Justin Hurwitz

4. Interstellar – Hans Zimmer

3. The Social Network – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

2. War Horse – John Williams


1. Man of Steel – Hans Zimmer


Best Individual Theme of the Decade

Marvel’s The Avengers – Alan Silvestri


Best of the Rest

Kubo and the Two Strings – Dario Marianelli 

Inception – Hans Zimmer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

The Tree of Life – Alexandre Desplat

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

The Dark Knight Rises – Hans Zimmer

The Master – Jonny Greenwood

Black Panther – Ludwig Gorannson

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Dan Romer & Ben Zeitlin

Jane Eyre – Dario Marianelli

The Revenant – Ryuichi Sakamoto

The Artist – Ludovic Bource

Cloud Atlas – Tom Tykwer, Johnny Kilmek, Reinhold Heil

First Man – Justin Hurwitz

Blade Runner 2049 – Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch

Skyfall – Thomas Newman

Hanna – The Chemical Brothers

Drive – Cliff Martinez

Hugo – Howard Shore

Like Crazy – Dustin O’Halloran

Super 8 – Michael Giacchino 

John Carter – Michael Giacchino 

Steve Jobs – Daniel Pemberton

Perks of Being a Wallflower – Michael Brook

The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat

Whiplash – Justin Hurwitz

W. E. – Abel Korzeniowski

Mad Max: Fury Road – Junkie XL

Carol – Carter Burwell

People Like Us – A. R. Rahmann

Water for Elephants – James Newton Howard

Little Women – Alexandre Desplat

Saving Mr. Banks – Thomas Newman

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Alexandre Desplat

Gone Girl – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

The Handmaiden – Cho Young Wook

Wonder Woman – Harry Gregson-Williams

King Arthur – Daniel Pemberton 

A Ghost Story – Daniel Hart

If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell 

1917 – Thomas Newman

Nathan Ligon