11 exhilarating film scores

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With appearances from James Horner and Hans Zimmer, this is music that goes straight for the jugular.

What makes a great film score? Is it music that plays out in sync with the action on the screen, or is it music that does more than just that? Music that rips its way into your head, carves great furrows in your brain, plants a flag in your mind and sends your imagination on a madcap ride of inspiration that has images flashing in front of you in a non-stop cascade and leaves you drooling onto the floor?

The music listed here is original, not classical compositions run through a synthesizer to make it modern, a la A Clockwork Orange. The scores on this list subscribe to the above idea throughout – they go straight for the jugular.

 

Starship Troopers

Yes, the book is better but what stands out about the film isn’t the story, or the acting – it’s Basil Poledouris’s fantastic soundtrack. The film opens with a jaunty little recruiting ground number that really is as cheesy as it sounds, but then it’s meant to be. The contrast between this and the militaristic Klendathu drop could not be any clearer. It’s the difference between a proud father watching as his son becomes the parade’s newest drummer boy and then sombrely watching 20 years later as he marches off to war.

 

Featured image: United Artists

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