film music


    The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2017, for the 14th annual IFMCA Awards. In a wide open field, the most nominated composers are Alexandre Desplat and Daniel Pemberton, who both received four nominations, Michael Giacchino, who received five nominations, and John Williams, who received six nominations for new work, plus an additional three for archival re-releases of some of his classic scores.

    56-year old Frenchman Alexandre Desplat is nominated for his work on two scores - director Guillermo Del Toro’s critically acclaimed monster movie romance “The Shape of Water,” and director Luc Besson’s epic space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” - and is one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year. IFMCA member James Southall said that “The Shape of Water” was “yet another from the top drawer of Desplat,” and went on to describe him as “one of the most consistently impressive film composers of the last couple of decades,” who has “managed to be so successful without having to water down his highly-distinctive musical voice at all”. Desplat previously received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. His other major scores in 2017 include director George Clooney’s satirical racial drama ‘”Suburbicon,” and the French-language comedy-drama “D”Après Une Histoire Vraie,” directed by Roman Polanski.

    Daniel Pemberton, the 40-year-old English composer, impressed IFMCA members particularly with his scores for two films: Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” about the true-life kidnapping of the grandson of billionaire J. Paul Getty in 1973, and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” an anarchic re-imagining of the early life of the mythical king growing up in Roman Britain, by director Guy Ritchie. Pemberton, who is also one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year, impressed IFMCA member Alan Rogers specifically, who heralded “King Arthur” as the “overall score of the year” and said that “the score is more rewarding with every listen”. Pemberton’s other significant works in 2017 include the political dramas “Molly’s Game” and “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” and an episode of the sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror” entitled “USS Callister”.

    50-year-old New Jersey-born Michael Giacchino is lauded for two scores: Pixar’s lavish animated Mexican-themed fantasy “Coco,” and the third film in the blockbuster Planet of the Apes trilogy, “War for the Planet of the Apes”. IFMCA member Mihnea Manduteanu said that “Coco” had “effervescence and passion” and was “inspirational, emotional and fun at the same time,” while IFMCA member James Southall said that “War for the Planet of the Apes” was “not just the best film music [Giacchino has] ever written” but that “the manner of the score, the construction of the dramatic narrative, [and] the very deliberate emotional prods … make it stand out as a special achievement”. Giacchino previously received Score of the Year honors in 2004 for “The Incredibles,” and in 2009 for “Up”. He is also one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year this year, having also written the scores for the intimate drama “The Book of Henry,” and the super hero sequel “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in 2017.

    Despite now being 86 years of age, John Williams continues to be a force in the world of film music. Both of Williams’s 2017 scores are nominated for Score of the Year: director Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” a political drama about the Pentagon Papers scandal that rocked Washington in the early 1970s, and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” director Rian Johnson’s blockbuster second installment in the new space fantasy series which has smashed box office records around the world. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen described “The Post” as “an exercise in Williams minimalism wholly appropriate for the context of the historical drama” with a finale full of “Williams’s typical French horn majesty, denoting the significance of the occasion”. Meanwhile, IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that “the two major new themes [in The Last Jedi] combine perfectly with the older material,” with Williams providing “more than enough variation on those themes for them to still feel fresh and exciting”. He went on to say that “the new action material, especially in the fathiers sequence, and during the final Crait battle, is wonderfully entertaining and musically creative” and that the entire score is “a nostalgia bomb of the highest order”. Williams - the fourth of the five nominees for Composer of the Year - previously received Score of the Year honors for “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, “War Horse” in 2011, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015.

    The fifth nominee for Score of the Year is Jonny Greeenwood’s music for the controversial and avant-garde romantic period drama “Phantom Thread,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. In describing the score, IFMCA member Jon Broxton wrote that it was a “quite masterful score from Greenwood, one which gets deeply under the skin of the damaged, potentially dangerous, but nevertheless mutually fulfilling relationship at the center of the story. The abstract, impressionistic, modernistic textures perfectly capture the torment that both characters at times feel, as well as their willful and often unpleasant personalities. Then, when he opens up his orchestra and performs the Phantom Thread theme with glorious melodrama, or when he writes elegant romantic music for what should be the dreadful finale, the whole thing simply soars”.

    The fifth composer vying for the title of Composer of the Year is Benjamin Wallfisch, whose astonishing work in 2017 included writing the music for the horror sequel “Annabelle: Creation,” the sweeping historical drama “Bitter Harvest,” the atmospheric thriller “A Cure for Wellness,” the new adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” and the optimistic and celebratory documentary “Mully,” as well as working with Hans Zimmer on “Blade Runner 2049” and “Dunkirk”. IFMCA member Kaya Savas called “It” “the backbone that makes us emotionally connect to our protagonists”. IFMCA member Ley Bricknell described “A Cure for Wellness” as “totally compelling” with “an overwhelming sense of fear and madness”. IFMCA member Peter Simons said that “Bitter Harvest” was a “rich orchestral score with lush themes … a wonderful pastoral tone to it, and a gorgeous main theme”.

    Each year the IFMCA goes out of its way to recognize emerging talent in the film music world, and this year is no exception. The nominees in the Breakthrough Composer of the Year category are a diverse and exciting group. American composer Michael Abels wrote the Swahili-inflected score for the racially charged cult horror hit “Get Out”. German composer Anne-Kathrin Dern wrote two vastly different but no less impressive scores – one for the sweeping Chinese drama “The Jade Pendant,” and one for the German children’s film “Hexe Lilli Rettet Weihnachten”. Cypriot composer George Kallis had three enormously impressive scores in 2017, including the children’s fantasy “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” the historical drama “The Black Prince,” and the Russian fantasy epic “Posledni Bogatyr/The Last Warrior”. Spanish composer Alejandro Vivas joined the ever-growing list of outstanding Iberian musicians with his score for the WWII drama “El Jugador de Ajedrez/The Chess Player,” while Brit Christopher Willis channeled Prokofiev and Shostakovich in his score for the satirical comedy “The Death of Stalin”.

    As it has in previous years, the IFMCA takes pride in honoring composers from across the film music world; in addition to the ones already mentioned, this year’s international nominees include French composer Cyrille Aufort (“Knock,” Comedy), French composer Olivier Derivière (“Get Even,” Game), French composer Pascal Gaigne (“Plan de Fuga,” Action/Adventure/Thriller), Spanish composer David García Díaz (“Rime,” Game), Argentine composer Federico Jusid (“Tiempos de Guerra,” Television), and Japanese composers Yôko Kanno (“Onna Jôshu Naotora,” Television) and Yasunori Mitsuda (“Valkyria: Azure Revolution,” Game).

    Also worth noting in 2017 is the larger number of women composers and film music professionals amongst the nominees; in addition to breakthrough composer nominee Anne-Kathrin Dern and television nominee Yôko Kanno, other female nominees include Rachel Portman (“Their Finest,” Comedy) and Debbie Wiseman (“Live at the Barbican,” Compilation), as well as writer Julie Kirgo, Sony Classical album producer Laura Zsank, and graphic designer Kay Marshall.

    Several other composers are receiving their first ever IFMCA Award nominations this year, including Andrew Cottee (“The Orville,” Television), David Fleming (“Blue Planet II,” Documentary), Philip Glass (“Jane,” Documentary), and Steve Mazzaro (“The Boss Baby,” Composition).

    The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 14th IFMCA Awards on February 22, 2018.




    • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
    • THE POST, music by John Williams
    • THE SHAPE OF WATER, music by Alexandre Desplat
    • STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
    • WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino






    • ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, music by Daniel Pemberton
    • DARKEST HOUR, music by Dario Marianelli
    • MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, music by Patrick Doyle
    • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
    • THE POST, music by John Williams


    • THE DEATH OF STALIN, music by Christopher Willis
    • DOWNSIZING, music by Rolfe Kent
    • KNOCK, music by Cyrille Aufort
    • PADDINGTON 2, music by Dario Marianelli
    • THEIR FINEST, music by Rachel Portman


    • A CURE FOR WELLNESS, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
    • JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, music by Henry Jackman
    • KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, music by Daniel Pemberton
    • PLAN DE FUGA, music by Pascal Gaigne
    • THE RENDEZVOUS, music by Austin Wintory


    • GET OUT, music by Michael Abels
    • THE SHAPE OF WATER, music by Alexandre Desplat
    • STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
    • VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, music by Alexandre Desplat
    • WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino


    • CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE, music by Theodore Shapiro
    • COCO, music by Michael Giacchino
    • THE EMOJI MOVIE, music by Patrick Doyle
    • FERDINAND, music by John Powell
    • LOVING VINCENT, music by Clint Mansell


    • BLUE PLANET II, music by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea, and David Fleming
    • BOSTON, music by Jeff Beal
    • EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY, music by Alex Heffes
    • JANE, music by Philip Glass
    • MULLY, music by Benjamin Wallfisch


    • ALIAS GRACE, music by Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna
    • GAME OF THRONES, music by Ramin Djawadi
    • ONNA JÔSHU NAOTORA, music by Yôko Kanno
    • THE ORVILLE, music by Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee
    • TIEMPOS DE GUERRA, music by Federico Jusid


    • DEFORMERS, music by Austin Wintory
    • DIVIDE, music by Chris Tilton
    • GET EVEN, music by Olivier Deriviére
    • RIME, music by David García Díaz
    • VALKYRIA: AZURE REVOLUTION, music by Yasunori Mitsuda


    • BEN-HUR, music by Miklós Rózsa; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by James Fitzpatrick, Gareth Bevan, and Nic Finch (Tadlow)
    • CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)
    • DAMNATION ALLEY, music by Jerry Goldsmith; album produced by Nick Redman and Mike Matessino; liner notes by Julie Kirgo; album art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)
    • DUEL IN THE SUN, music by Dimitri Tiomkin; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Jim Titus (Tadlow/Prometheus)
    • E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino and Bruce Botnick; liner notes by Mike Matessino; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)


    • CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Kay Marshall and Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)
    • DEBBIE WISEMAN: LIVE AT THE BARBICAN, music by Debbie Wiseman; The Orchestra of the Guildhall School conducted by Debbie Wiseman; album produced by Debbie Wiseman, Reynold Da Silva, David Stoner, and Pete Compton; liner notes by Debbie Wiseman; album art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen)
    • JOHN WILLIAMS AND STEVEN SPIELBERG: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, music by John Williams; album produced by Laura Zsaka and Jamie Richardson; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Amelia Tubb (Sony Classical)
    • THRILLER, music by Jerry Goldsmith; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Leigh Phillips; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Matthew Wright and Nic Finch (Tadlow)
    • THE WILD WILD WEST, music by Various Composers; album produced by Jon Burlingame; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)


    • CALDERA RECORDS, Stephan Eicke
    • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson
    • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
    • QUARTET RECORDS, José M. Benitez
    • TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick


    • “End Credits” from WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino
    • “Finale” from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, music by John Williams
    • “Growing Up in Londinium” from KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, music by Daniel Pemberton
    • “Justice” from MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, music by Patrick Doyle
    • “Love” from THE BOSS BABY, music by Hans Zimmer, Steve Mazzaro, and Conrad Pope


    The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting about original film, television and game music.

    Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

    Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s "Arrival" in 2016, John Williams’s "Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.

    For more information about the International Film Music Critics Association go to, visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @ifmca, or contact us at

  • Best of the Decade in Film Music (2000-2009)

    How does one work through hundreds and thousands of scores to arrive at just one or two that were important?  Do you look for what was popular?  Maybe it is best to consider what was really good in a film even if no one may ever hear the music again.  Or perhaps we look at our own personal preferences to see just what CDs popped up again over time in the player?  There can be any number of ways to wade through the many different scores of the past decade.  Some scores might be important because they were breakouts for a particular composer, but in the long run, it is music that might have a longer lasting impact on film music or even music that might just still be heard regularly in the public conscious.  Re-issues and future generations will determine eventually what the really worthy musical accompaniments were and as some films fade and others are rediscovered we all may find an undiscovered treasure.


    I’ve been writing about film music for over a decade now in various forums from print to website to blog and each year tried to wade through all the music I had heard to settle on at least 5 scores that stood out.  As is often the case, many of these rarely match up with those noted during award seasons, though when the potential nominee lists are disclosed most all of the scores I felt worthy were at least among them.


    Film music is also quite geographic in its appeal.  What an American film music writer might find fascinating may not appeal to fans in other markets.  That is why following other notices at festivals and foreign award circles always exciting.  The problem is that much of that music is either not available or hard to come by anyway.  Still, to come to my list (which will always change with each new perspective and with time) I decided to return to my files and first review each year’s score releases and try to pull one or two scores from each year over the past decade.  I compared these choices with the ones I made at the end of each year to help fine tune my “final” choices.  The selections then are carefully chosen, even though they might at times seem arbitrary.  I decided to bold those which seemed to be slightly more popular or which have appeared to have a bit more staying power.



    Dun: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Zimmer: Gladiator


    There is no denying the long reverberation of Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator.  It either was the most amazing thing you heard, or the bane that plagued film music for the entire decade.  There is no denying its staying power and familiarity in some form.  However, I would still choose Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as a score that really caught my attention and introduced one of many hybrid cultural scores where West and East came together in an engaging musical narrative.  It is Zimmer’s score though that will be remembered more I think.




    Shore: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    Williams: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


    The first real year of the new millennium found two composers at the top of their game writing music that should be around in some form for years to come.  Howard Shore’s epic scores for The Lord of the Rings trilogy is really a crowning achievement—a Star Wars score for the new millennium.  Alongside his music is that by John Williams for the first Harry Potter film.  Never have so many children been so enthralled by music to the point that they recognize themes from this film to this day.  “Hedwig’s Theme” may be one of the last tunes standing for orchestral concerts into the future when all is said and done.  It helps both these scores that there was such a phenomenal success for the films as well. 



    Bernstein: Far From Heaven

    Shore: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


    You will see Shore’s name again for 2003 as these scores are all superb and unique on their own.  Elmer Bernstein’s essentially last score was a great one.  Too bad Far From Heaven just did not get the audience that might have enjoyed this master’s finest score that recalls his masterful To Kill a Mockingbird. 



    T. Newman: Finding Nemo

    Shore: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


    In 2003, film music fans may have only slightly overlooked the appearance of a new composer, Alexandre Desplat.  His score for Girl With A Pearl Earring finds its way into my CD player often and it was an important score to raise awareness of his talent here in the states.  Shore crowned his work with great glory as he tied up every possible loose end for The Return of the King.  Finding Nemo allowed Thomas Newman to introduce his unique musical accompaniment in an animated setting in a way that was quite striking and seemed to work very well.



    Debney: The Passion of the Christ

    Giacchino: The Incredibles

    Isham: Crash


    This was another banner year for film music.  Silvestri’s music for The Polar Express might allow him to enjoy many happy residuals off the song “Believe” alone.  So we will be hearing some of this music for a long time even though it probably is not the year’s “best.”  Michael Giacchino’s score for The Incredibles, with its very Barry-ish Bond sound, was really a great effort that seems to have skyrocketed him into high profile projects.  Giacchino’s work in video games prepared him to be the sort of chameleon that Hollywood often requires but as we are discovering, he also has a fascinating gift for thematic development and can write a pretty great action cue.  John Debney’s The Passion of the Christ also raised awareness of his talents and is a fascinating dramatic score to an otherwise overwrought film.  Mark Isham’s music for Crash, a film released the next year, is an amazing and powerful example of electronic music and sound design that superbly captured the dramatic narrative of this film.  Again, it’s long reaching effects may not matter, but critically speaking it deserves a spot at least on the second half of a best of a decade list.



    Williams: Memoirs of a Geisha

    Zimmer/Howard: Batman Begins


    John Williams’ score for Memoirs of a Geisha was one of the most anticipated compositions of 2005 by a host of admirers.  If for no other reason than its amazing orchestration, this score really stands out.  Some of its themes may also find their way into a wider appreciation.  I had a chance to see Williams conduct selections from this piece in Boston and was struck by how much subtlety there is in this music.  On the other end, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard teamed up for a reboot of the Batman franchise.  I struggle with including this score, but it is an intriguing meld of two musical styles that did move superhero films away from the sort of action theme driven music we were growing accustomed to in these sorts of films.  There is a darkness these two composers found that managed to be even deeper than Elfman’s Batman—an equally important score as well and a personal favorite.  Phillipe Rombi’s music for Joyeux Noel caught me completely off guard, as did this masterfully engaging film.  It was a score and film I recommended to many friends that year and definitely one of those under-the-radar musical experiences.



    Mansell: The Fountain

    Navarette: Pan’s Labyrinth

    Shore: The Departed


    This year felt like we were in the midst of some sort of transition.  The big fantasy series were off and running with more of the same musical styles and smaller dramatic scores seemed to be a worthy focus.  Clint Mansell’s approach in The Fountain then came as a bit of a refreshing surprise for many film music fans.  Though a score I perhaps do not care for as much as I should, I think it caught the ears of many people—and likely will fade with time to be re-evaluated later.  Javier Navarette seemed to appear from nowhere for the fascinating film Pan’s Labyrinth.  Though fans of director del Toro and Spanish film music fans already knew what a great composer he was anyway.  There is something deeply fascinating and engaging in this score even though it too may fade from public memory.  Howard Shore’s dance-like theme for The Departed is definitely catchy and might enter into popular performance over time.  The CD itself continues to be a favorite, if often overly monothematic listen.



    Giacchino: Ratatouille

    Marianelli: Atonement


    Two scores this year were critically interesting though will be more for aficionados.  The first of these is Marco Beltrami’s 3:10 to Yuma—a score that was hardly used in its film but which on CD gives us a great opportunity to truly enjoy the composer’s melding of personal style and update on Morricone (which he had already done in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada in 2005).  The other was the return of David Shire for Zodiac.  The latter’s CD release really allowed listeners to hear how detailed and intricate this score was overall.  Giacchino’s delightfully French-like confection for Ratatouille continues to be a favorite score of mine.  He managed to write a song that actually felt like we already knew it!  The music itself continued to be wonderfully engaging without being overly melodramatic.  Atonement often felt like an overly-long film to me, but thank goodness for Dario Marianelli’s amazing musical underscoring that continues to be an engaging listen all its own.  There are moments of this score that actually make the film stronger and more moving that happen in such seemingly effortless ways that one is swept away.  The reality is that neither of these two picks may ever have much staying power, but they will be important scores in the oeuvre of these composers.



    Newman, T: Wall-E


    It gets a bit harder as we get to the past couple of years to think objectively about music in film.  In this year, Thomas Newman’s Wall-E is a standout score—even though most remember the use of music from Hello, Dolly!.  Newman’s score has to carry an animated film with little or no dialogue and does so without drawing much attention to itself.  It also felt in this score that the composer was filling out his orchestra a bit more in the traditional sense while maintaining his unique musical voice.  Others may have additional favorites here as well.  The return of Indiana Jones may have had a lot of interest for fans musically, but if we are honest Williams’ score for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull while fun, and probably memorable in many respects, is a great score because he’s a master composer whose been doing this sort of thing for some time.  Compare the sound of this score with Raiders of the Lost Ark and you will note a lot more interesting orchestration.



    Giacchino: Star Trek

    Horner: Avatar


    The last year of the decade turned out to have a lot more interesting film music than we might have hoped.  Christopher Young’s score for Drag Me To Hell is probably the best horror score he’s done since his Hellraiser days even if it is different.  The full orchestral score here with its insistent violin solos, organ, and tri-tone musical components makes for an exciting genre listen.  Nicholas Hooper’s score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also a fine effort in the fantasy genre with a theme that apparently got cut out of the final film itself but which informed the entire score making for a more integrated and fascinating listen on its own.  Marvin Hamlisch even returned to surprise us with The Informant! and some fans might have sensed the spirit of Jerry Goldsmith hanging over Beltrami’s excellent score for Knowing.  But as we end the decade, it is Giacchino’s music for Star Trek’s reboot that will likely enter the public consciousness.  As will his wonderful waltz from Up.  James Horner’s music for Avatar will also have a longer shelf life by the sheer magnitude of people that are seeing this film, though it remains to be seen if it will capture the musical imagination beyond the current excitement.  It is interesting to me that the two final picks I have come down to, at least today, turn out to be by people who feel like composers to me.  That is people who utilize the latest technology but who seem to understand fully the idea of harmony, orchestration, thematic writing, and dramatic underscoring while maintaining distinct musical voices.  Sometimes it is the latter that becomes our greatest expectation for new music while often serving to cause the greatest controversy or discussion among fans.

    These 21 scores are for me some of the most interesting film music as well as some of the most accessible.  The difficulty in coming up with such “best of” lists is that you run the risk of not choosing some people’s favorite score.  But for those looking to have a sampling of some of our finest film music from the past decade, few of the above suggestions should disappoint.  Here’s to a whole new decade of great film music!