Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

The Best Movie Soundtracks and Cuts of 2012

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood December 31, 2012 at 5:17PM

With the power to bolster a flailing scene, add emotional complexity, and round out a film, the soundtracks and scores of 2012 were often as good (or better) than the films that contained them. Below is a sampling of the best soundtracks of 2012, scores and compilations -- with a highlighted track embedded at the end of the post.
1
Silver Linings Playbook

With the power to bolster a flailing scene, add emotional complexity, and round out a film, the soundtracks and scores of 2012 were often as good (or better) than the films that contained them.  Below is a sampling of the best soundtracks of 2012, scores and compilations -- with a highlighted track embedded at the end of the post.

Fiona Apple

Reliable connoisseurs of the cross-over between music and movies, The Playlist listed "The Master," "Anna Karenina," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," the plucky soundtrack of "Celeste and Jesse Forever," Nick Urata's elated score of "Ruby Sparks," Fiona Apple's "Dull Tool" for Apatow's "This is Forty," and Hans Zimmer's showy turn in "The Dark Knight Rises" among their favorites of 2012. Their full list of Best Film Soundtracks and Scores here as well their Best Movie Music Movements here.

MTV highlighted mostly teen-targeted fare: "The Hunger Games," "Pitch Perfect," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," as well as some heavier

Hunger Games

scores including "Cloud Atlas" (one of the director trio, Tom Tykwer helped to score this), Howard Shore's work in "The Hobbit," Desplat's score for "Argo" and John Williams' work on "Lincoln."

"Les Miserables" factored first on EW's list, followed by "The Hunger Games," "Marley," the mid-nineties heavy soundtrack from "The Avengers," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Man with Iron Firsts," with high praise for "Pitch Perfect," described as a soundtrack that "Glee" could envy.  They also had a Worst of 2012 which strictly included movies centered around music: "Magic Mike," "Sparkle," "Joyful Noise," and "Rock of Ages."

Head below for highlights from the best of 2012's soundtracks and scores:

The score for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," by Dan Rohmer and director Benh Zeitlin, is entrancing, complex, and soulful - clearly a part of the film's general vision as it helps guide us through the perspective of young Hush Puppy.

Searching for Sugarman

Listen: the haunting "Once There Was a Hushpuppy."

"Silver Lining's Playbook" featured a comical use of Stevie Wonder, as well Alabama Shakes, Led Zeppelin, the late Dave Brubeck, the Lumineers, and some scoring by Danny Elfman. The soundtrack makes you want to train for a low-level dancing competition with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively.

Highlight: the superb capsule of rock via "Fell in Love with a Girl" from The White Stripes.

Music docs should simultaneously recall the best of the musicians while introducing you to older obscurities. "Shut Up and Play the Hits," about LCD Soundsystem, did this skillfully, but it was director Malik Bendjelloul's "Searching for Sugarman" documentary that stood out.  The documentary contrasted Sixto Diaz Rodriguez's popularity in South Africa with his obscurity in his home, the States.  Bendjelloul's documentary ultimately prompted recognition of Rodriguez stateside and music tour.

Highlight: the gorgeous "Crucify Your Mind."

"Lawless" featured eclectic folksy and rocking mix that could stand apart from John Hillcoat's movie, no doubt due to the involvement of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis both from the Bad Seeds (Nick Cave helped to write the script).  The soundtrack features covers of a range of musicians from Townes Van Zandt to the Velvet Underground.


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.