20 Favorite Film Scores

Bad films can have good scores, and good films can have bad scores. A good score can elevate mediocre acting and a bad score can turn a poignant scene to mush. Most of these scores belong to films that I enjoy, though not all of them. But each of these perfectly capture the atmosphere and the spirit of the film, and the music evokes certain moments and images from the movie whenever I listen to it. And most importantly, this music stands on its own outside of the film, ultimately making it just really good music.

Amélie (Yann Tiersen)

American Beauty (Thomas Newman)

Being John Malkovich (Carter Burwell)

Casino Royale (Burt Bacharach)
Casino Royale

Charade (Henry Mancini)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Tan Dun)

Edward Scissorhands (Danny Elfman)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jon Brion)

The Fog of War (Philip Glass)

Ghost World (David Kitay)

The Godfather (Nino Rota)

The Hours (Philip Glass)

Igby Goes Down (Uwe Farhenkrog-Petersen)
Igby Goes Down soundtrack

In the Mood for Love (Shigeru Umebayashi)

North by Northwest (Bernard Herrmann)

The Piano (Michael Nyman)

Rabbit-Proof Fence (Peter Gabriel)

The Red Violin (John Corigliano)

The Royal Tenenbaums (Mark Mothersbaugh)

Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Zbigniew Preisner)