James Horner (1953-2015) - an obituary

James Horner The film music world has been rocked by the sudden loss of one of its titans. James Horner, illustrious composer of such sweeping works as Titanic, Braveheart and Avatar, has tragically died at the age of 61. Our James Horner obituary looks at his career highlights. More...

Still Alice by Ilan Eshkeri

Ilan Eshkeri The score of Still Alice matches the central performance by Julianne Moore as a linguistics professor diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The music by composer Ilan Eshkeri is scored intimately for piano and small string ensemble, and captures the story's tragedy while avoiding schmaltz. More...

Paper Planes by Nigel Westlake

Nigel Westlake A box office hit in Australia, Paper Planes marks Babe composer Nigel Westlake's return to the world of film scoring. It's incredibly satisfying to see a composer like Nigel Westlake honouring the richly entertaining sound of beloved family film scores, but at the same time this is clearly no mere pastiche but a personal, deeply felt piece of work. More...

Jupiter Ascending by Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino In terms of its scope, complexity and ambition, Jupiter Ascending ranks as one of Michael Giacchino's most impressive soundtrack achievements to date. As ever, the composer gloriously resurrects the sound of innumerable classic film scores, from Star Wars to Star Trek and beyond. Frankly the score belongs in a much better movie. More...

The Theory of Everything - Johannsson

Johann Johannsson The Theory of Everything is a fine film score and most deserving of its Oscar nomination. It's entirely to composer Johann Johannsson's credit that his score is both subtle and highly engaging, gently enhancing the movie whilst allowing Redmayne and Jones' excellent performances to stand out. More...

The Giver by Marco Beltrami

Marco Beltrami In a double-bill of Marco Beltrami scores this month, we look at the composer's score for The Giver based on a novel by Lois Lowry. Both meditative and melodic, Beltrami's music is clearly inspired by the spiritual aspects of the film and he responds with one of the most beautiful scores of his career to date. More...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Tyler

Brian Tyler Though the movie may have been lacking, Brian Tyler's score for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is deliciously over the top as though to compensate. The composer manages to extract a sense of fun and wonder out of a frankly duff film. More...

John Williams: The Witches of Eastwick

John Williams In our second review for this Halloween, we look at the fabulous music score for The Witches of Eastwick. Though not typical of John Williams' output, it displays the composer's versatility. Like Jack Nicholson, Williams seems to delight in his dark side, and plays things larger than life. More...

Far From Heaven by Elmer Bernstein

Elmer Bernstein Far From Heaven in 2002 was one of Elmer Bernstein's last film scores. With a modern subject matter, the film harks back in style to the 1950s and Bernstein's pitch perfect score marks the end of an outstanding career and the end of an era for film music. More...

Chinatown by Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith When he passed 10 years ago, Jerry Goldsmith left the world with a wonderful legacy of film score masterpieces. Composed in only 10 days, Chinatown is one of the very best, with its haunting yet doomed love theme, and a vivid sense of corruption in 1930s Los Angeles. More...

Maleficent by James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard Maleficent is a welcome return to the fantasy genre for composer James Newton Howard, who has crafted a film score which is orchestrally rich and laced with multi-faceted choral work. The contrasting moods and themes have a hidden depth to be savoured with repeated listening. More...

Avengers: Age of Ultron - Tyler/Elfman

Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman It seems a strange move to have 2 composers Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman adapting some of the themes from a 3rd composer Alan Silvestri. However against all the odds, the music for Avengers: Age of Ultron is genuinely entertaining and could help to accompany the franchise into new directions. More...

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Murray Gold The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular concerts are a true celebration of music from the TV series since 2005 all by resident composer Murray Gold. With on-screen highlights from TV episodes, monsters strutting on stage and all introduced by 5th Doctor Peter Davison, this show has everything a fan could ask for. More...

Cinderella by Patrick Doyle

Patrick Doyle and Kenneth Branagh The enduring partnership of Kenneth Branagh and Patrick Doyle does it again in the Disney live-action version of Cinderella. The partnership's approach is utterly consistent: tell the story simply and directly. The resulting score is enchanting and nostalgic with a perfect touch of modern sparkle. More...

The Duke of Burgundy by Cat's Eyes

Cat's Eyes The Duke of Burgundy is the debut film score of duo Cat's Eyes formed as recently as 2011. Both film and score have been conceived as a knowing pastiche of 70s Euro soft core dramas, and the music forms a skilfully atmospheric, beautiful and emotional score that honours an oft-overlooked era of film music. More...

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Henry Jackman Pastiche scores can be hard to pull off, yet Kingsman is pitched at just the right level, thanks to composers Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson. Their music gives the film a sense of tongue in cheek fun, yet dramatically robust enough to lend a sense of excitement and tension where necessary. More...

Inherent Vice - by Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood returns for a third collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Inherent Vice is his most accessible score to date, being more firmly rooted in melody. However like the best film noir scores it possesses an elusive, haunting quality that lingers in the mind. More...

The Imitation Game - Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat The Imitation Game is one of two scores receiving multiple award nominations this year for composer Alexandre Desplat. The music seems to reflect Alan Turing's analytical skills, yet there's a sense of sadness pervading the score that's achingly moving, with the most poignant moments shining through with genuine compassion. More...

The Homesman - Marco Beltrami

Marco Beltrami Composer Marco Beltrami matches the vision of director Tommy Lee Jones by looking at a traditional genre The Western in a new way. The Homesman (both film and score) merges the harshness of the American Landscape with the spirit of the people who had to establish themselves within it. More...

Mimic by Marco Beltrami

Marco Beltrami As we approach halloween, let's take a fresh listen to an early score by a modern master of the horror genre, Marco Beltrami. His music for Mimic easily delivers on the scares while providing an intelligent mix of thematic and rhythmic ideas. More...

John Powell: How to Train Your Dragon 2

John Powell Expectations were high after the success of John Powell's score to "How to Train Your Dragon". It's therefore wonderful to report that How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a fine follow-up, building on the original's strengths while introducing a host of new ideas. It all adds up to a rich canvas of music that effortlessly conveys the film's narrative. More...

Joel McNeely: A Million Ways to Die...

Joel McNeely A Million Ways to Die in the West is one of the biggest recent scores by composer Joel McNeely. The composer rises to the challenge with a straight yet fun score in the best traditions of the genre, referencing the great Western composers such as Bernstein and Morricone. More...

Transcendence by Mychael Danna

Mychael Danna The score for Transcendence by composer Mychael Danna should have a much longer shelf-life than the movie. Its rich mixture of electronic and orchestral elements is a textbook example of how to combine the two disciplines with intelligence and subtlety. More...

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