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Lewya

Top 10 film scores of the 21st century so far?

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The only limitation is that we are limiting ourselves to one film per composer here. I just saw this list from Indiewire where they listed the top 25 film scores from the century so far and decided to make my own list: http://www.indiewire.com/2018/02/best-movie-scores-21st-century-1201918634/ - I only agree with few of their picks. To not list Newman, Hisaishi or Goldenthal in the top 25 is for me insane in particular.

 

My top 10 film scores of the 21st century (so far):

 

Brother - Joe Hisaishi

Samsara - Michael Stearns

A.I. Artificial Intelligence - John Williams

The Lord of the Rings - Howard Shore

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Thomas Newman

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within - Elliot Goldenthal

Inception - Hans Zimmer

The Miners' Hymns - Jóhann Jóhannsson

Mission to Mars - Ennio Morricone

Solaris - Cliff Martinez

 

What would your top 10 look like? Also, what are the most overrated and underrated film scores of the century so far?

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Best scores of the 21st century?

 

In no particular order

 

1) Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence by John Williams

3) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by John Williams

4) War Horse by John Williams

5) Lincoln by John Williams

6) Celeste by Lena Raine

7) Signs by James Newton Howard

8) Living in the Age of Airplanes by James Horner

9) LOST by Michael Giacchino

10) Matrix Reloaded by Don Davis

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Going by your criteria, I have so far come up with a subjective six:

Memoirs of a Geisha, by John Williams

The Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore

Finding Nemo by Thomas Newman

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Tan Dun

Jane Eyre by Dario Marianelli

How To Train Your Dragon by John Powell

 

1 minute ago, Jay said:

Best scores of the 21st century?

 

In no particular order

 

1) Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence by John Williams

3) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by John Williams

4) War Horse by John Williams

5) Lincoln by John Williams

6) Celeste by Lena Raine

7) Signs by James Newton Howard

8) Living in the Age of Airplanes by James Horner

9) LOST by Michael Giacchino

10) Matrix Reloaded by Don Davis

Ah, but he says one film per composer.  Makes things a challenge.

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3 minutes ago, Jay said:

Best scores of the 21st century?

No, best FILM scores of the 21st century, limited to one film per composer. Lost isn't qualified for instance, otherwise I would mention Angels in America as Thomas Newman's finest 21st century score, but that's television thus it isn't qualified.

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14 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

Ah, but he says one film per composer.  Makes things a challenge.

 

Oh, missed that part

 

Williams - Harry Potter

Shore - LOTR

Raine - Celeste

JNH - Signs

Horner - Airplanes

Giacchino - LOST

Davis - Reloaded

McCreary - Battlestar Galactica

Tilton - SimCity

Tyler - Now You See Me

 

 

 

10 minutes ago, Lewya said:

No, best FILM scores of the 21st century, limited to one film per composer. Lost isn't qualified for instance, otherwise I would mention Angels in America as Thomas Newman's finest 21st century score, but that's television thus it isn't qualified.

 

Oi, so many restrictions!  What makes Celeste or SimCity or Battlestar Galactica or LOST less worthy of attention because they were composed for a different medium?

 

Well with your new criteria

 

Williams - Harry Potter

Shore - LOTR

JNH - Signs

Horner - Airplanes

Giacchino - Tomorrowland

Davis - Reloaded

Tyler - Now You See Me

Elfman - Wanted

Perez Del Mar - The Red Turtle

Levi - Under the Skin

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28 minutes ago, Jay said:

Jesus christ so many restrictions!  What makes Celeste or SimCity or Battlestar Galactica or LOST less worthy of attention because they were composed for a different medium?

I didn't say telvision scores or game scores were less worthy - it isn't the case (at least one television score would make my list had I not specifically asked for film scores in particular), I was just interested in what people would mention as the top 10 FILM scores of the century (limited to one film per composer). No other reason than that, just wanted to see which 10 films (limited to one per composer) people would single out as having the best scores.

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The limitation of one film per composer certainly reduces the amount of great choices, but here are some scores that would be on my list:

 

Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (best score of the century so far, in my opinion)

Michael Giacchino's Up

John Williams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hans Zimmer's Interstellar

Justin Hurwitz's La La Land

Alexandre Desplat's Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Limited to one film per composer to make things a bit more interesting and challenging, otherwise I am sure several posters would mention several Williams's scores on their lists - something I would too had we not limited ourselves to one film per composer. I'd probably have three Williams's scores in my top 10 (A.I, Geisha and Sith) without the limitation, but it is more interesting this way :)

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If you want to limit it to one score per composer, it's not an honest Top 10 because the drop in quality beyond the top 5 composers is too steep. The second best score by a top 5 or top 3 composer is still better than the rest. So, I won't limit myself in this list like that.

Best and most influential (no order):

 

1. Fellowship Of The Ring

2. Return Of The King

3. Desolation Of Smaug

4. Spider-Man (Elfman)

5. The Dark Knight

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

7. LOST

8. Tron Legacy

9. Revenge Of The Sith

10. Inception

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Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Interstellar

Road To Perdition

Ratatouille

Signs

The Tree Of Life

Horton Hears A Who!

3:10 To Yuma

The Fountain

 

 

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8 hours ago, Lewya said:

Limited to one film per composer to make things a bit more interesting and challenging, otherwise I am sure several posters would mention several Williams's scores on their lists - something I would too had we not limited ourselves to one film per composer. I'd probably have three Williams's scores in my top 10 (A.I, Geisha and Sith) without the limitation, but it is more interesting this way :)

 

Absolutely agreed. The more specific parameters you set up, the more challenging and fun it is to assemble a list. I'll have to think about this myself; I don't think I've ever done a top 10 of the 21st century in this fashion. I'll get back to you.

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  1. Fellowship of the Ring: Shore 
  2. Philosopher's stone: Williams 
  3. How to train your Dragon: Powell
  4. Pirates of the caribbean at words end: Zimmer
  5. The Avangers: Silvestri
  6. Peter Pan: Howard 
  7. Spider Man: Giacchino
  8. Age of Ultron: Elfman
  9. Deathly Hallows part 2: Desplet 

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Can't give ten, but here's seven I could agree to as 'for sures':

  • The Lord of the Rings - Howard Shore
  • Artificial Intelligence - John Williams
  • Interstellar - Hans Zimmer
  • TRON: Legacy - Daft Punk
  • UP - Michael Giacchino
  • How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
  • Kubo and the Two Strings - Dario Marianelli 

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In no particular order:

THE LORD OF THE RINGS,

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN,

TRON:LEGACY,

THE MATRIX RELOADED/REVOLUTIONS,

INTERSTELLAR

THE HATEFUL 8,

TRAFFIC,

SIGNS,

THE CIRCLE,

ANGELS IN AMERICA.

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If you follow the limitations then you cannot have the best 10 scores of this young century. Its as simple as that. John Williams, James Horner, and James Newton Howard each have multiple entries.

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11 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

If you follow the limitations then you cannot have the best 10 scores of this young century. Its as simple as that. John Williams, James Horner, and James Newton Howard each have multiple entries.

Yes, you can have a top 10 (limited to one film per composer), how difficult is that to understand? I totally disagree with what you write, only Williams would have multiple entries in the top 10 if we hadn't limit ourselves to one per composer (ok, Shore would have more than one entry too for me), the others simply haven't written good enough music imo. I don't see how Horner etc can have multiple entries on any list at all. This is precisely one of the reasons I limited it to one per composer, otherwise I was afraid that there would be certain fanboy tendencies shining through some lists, like say only listing three composers to take up the entire list - as if their efforts would be better than the rest, then I would argue that people simply haven't heard enough and/or aren't open-minded enough.

5 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

Revolt Richard. 

Even the original post says Lord of the Rings making no distinction between 3 different scores. Overrated Imho

Fine, I admit making the error of counting the entire trilogy as one entry, The Fellowship of the Ring then.

20 hours ago, Sharky said:

Road to Perdition

A.I.

Interstellar

The Skin I live In

Fellowship of the Ring

The Childhood of a Leader

There Will Be Blood

Arrival

Femme Fatale

Mission to Mars

Interesting list, I haven't heard The Skin I Live In and Femme Fatale. I am a pretty big fan of Sakamoto, so I will have to check it out. There Will Be Blood would make my top 25, it is in my list of honorable mentions. Road to Perdition is the second-best Newman film score from this century thus far for me (I am not counting Angels in America, because that's television, otherwise that would be his best score) - I picked The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel over Road to Perdition. As with Jóhannsson, I prefer The Miners' Hymns over Arrival (and Sicario), but Arrival is a nice pick.

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Signs, King King, Drag me to Hell, Avatar, Amazing Spiderman,  Legend of Zorro, Up (even a blind pig finds an acorn), Sorcerer's Stone, The Force Awakens, War Horse.

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if I limit myself to just one composer, I come up with this (I haven't listened to much soundtracks of this century)
 

-A.I. - Williams

-Lord of the Rings (i am not sure which film) - Shore

-A Single Man - Korzeniowski

-The Passion of Christ-Debney

-The Hours-Glass

-Final Fantasy - Goldenthal

-Howl's moving Castle - Hisaishi

-Atonement - Marianelli

-The Village-Howard

-There will be blood-Greenwood

 

 

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