The importance of a soundtrack to the general perception of a movie can not be understated. Very often the correct musical choice can be the difference between the tone of a scene connecting with an audience or falling flat, hence the level of importance and effort that goes into making sure that the musical choices are suitable for the movie.
This post will list a selection of movies that this writer feels perfectly demonstrate the importance of a soundtrack to a movie.
Layer Cake (2004, Sony Pictures)
Layer Cake is a reportedly the movie that got Daniel Craig the role of James Bond. In this fantastic British crime thriller, he plays the anonymous drug dealer who has been given one last job by his boss, played by Michael Gambon, just as he is planning an early retirement. Director Matthew Vaughn makes use of a perfectly chosen musical scores throughout the movie to create the dark grimy tone that is prevalent throughout the story.
Flight (2012, Paramount Pictures)
Denzel Washington plays the airline pilot, William Whitaker, in this acclaimed 2012 drama. Whitaker is initially lauded as a hero after managing to land a plane that suffers technical failure while in the air during a flight, saving all on board. However, subsequent blood tests begin to reveal a different side to the life of the pilot. At ever turn, the soundtrack expertly compliments the atmosphere that director, Robert Zemeckis, is attempting to create.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010, Universal Pictures)
Based on the series of graphic novels Scott Pilgrim created by Bryan Lee O’Malley, this 2010 comedy film directed by Edgar Wright quickly developed a cult following due to its excellent acting performances, sharp wit, and innovative storytelling. The soundtrack chosen to accompany the movie was a mix of original compositions for the movie and well known anthems that helped to make the viewer feel like they were watching a video game come to life.
Dreamgirls (2006, Dreamworks)
This 2006 romantic musical-comedy, inspired by the story of the Motown group The Supremes, contained one of the best movie soundtracks of that year. The movie contains outstanding vocal performances by Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, along with an assortment of others along with truly tremendous acting jobs.
Pitch Perfect (2012, Brownstone Productions)
This musical-comedy written by Kay Cannon and directed by Jason Moore was one of the surprise hits of 2012 as it follows the efforts of the college acapella group, The Barden Bellas, as they journey to compete at the Nationals. Excellent acting and fantastic vocal performances by Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, and Brittany Snow, among others, would quickly lead to this movie developing a strong fan following. For a movie like this it was important that the movie equips itself with an excellent soundtrack and thankfully this movie does just that with a soundtrack featuring the Jackson 5, Simple Minds, and others.