Best Film Scores

by mrethanf | created - 20 Nov 2017 | updated - 11 months ago | Public
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1. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty in postwar New York City transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant youngest son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,744,288 | Gross: $134.97M

Dark and haunting when it portrays the ugliness of the business of death, but ultimately beautiful and romantic when surrounding the family. Filled with warm brass and cold strings, the score of the Godfather trilogy is a sweeping and perfect representation of the unprecedented achievment in film

2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,301,482 | Gross: $322.74M

Immediately bursting with booming and triumphant brass that leaves an unprecedented footprint in the world of cinema and American culture, the score of the Star Wars is all at once atmospheric, proud, sweeping, romantic, intimidating, and haunting.

3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 394,128 | Gross: $435.11M

John Williams masterful score demonstrates the fear of the unknown, the joy of childhood, as well as the pain of saying goodbye. Whether its with the whimsical woodwinds or the adventurous brass or mysterious strings the score of ET always evokes emotion.

4. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 643,749 | Gross: $32.00M

Scored exclusively with strings the score of Psycho creates an extreme amount of tension and acts as another character creating a terrifying and tense atmosphere until the full force of Bernard Herrmann's orchestra slices through the screen in moments of sheer terror.

5. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 615,699 | Gross: $188.37M

Hans Zimmers masterful score for Dunkirk is a grand achievement, with a constantly escalating brass section that offers intensity with every moment and strings that makes everything more tense the audience is always on their toes dreading what horrific fate is in store for the soldiers on the screen until the screen explodes with a wall of brass that makes the audiences heart drop. But just when the score makes you think something is about to go horribly wrong, these beautifully resonant chords that bring tears to your eyes

6. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Long Island, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 573,071 | Gross: $260.00M

7. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,679,622 | Gross: $188.02M

8. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O., but his tragic past may doom the project and his team to disaster.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 2,226,614 | Gross: $292.58M

9. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

92 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer in 1930s Los Angeles finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 314,931 | Gross: $8.49M

10. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former San Francisco police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with the hauntingly beautiful woman he has been hired to trail, who may be deeply disturbed.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 389,402 | Gross: $3.20M

11. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 2,484,569 | Gross: $534.86M

12. North by Northwest (1959)

Approved | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

98 Metascore

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and falls for a woman whose loyalties he begins to doubt.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 317,783 | Gross: $13.28M

13. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,294,580 | Gross: $96.90M

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,748,384 | Gross: $377.85M

15. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 228 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 284,376 | Gross: $44.82M

16. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 932,160 | Gross: $248.16M

17. Ratatouille (2007)

G | 111 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

96 Metascore

A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous Paris restaurant.

Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava | Stars: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm

Votes: 684,504 | Gross: $206.45M

18. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

78-year-old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his house equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson | Stars: Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 996,648 | Gross: $293.00M

19. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG | 122 min | Drama

97 Metascore

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Votes: 105,496 | Gross: $8.00M

20. Phantom Thread (2017)

R | 130 min | Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Julie Vollono

Votes: 124,841 | Gross: $21.02M

21. The Social Network (2010)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

95 Metascore

As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara

Votes: 671,236 | Gross: $96.96M

22. First Man (2018)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

84 Metascore

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler

Votes: 181,942 | Gross: $44.94M

23. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 46,053 | Gross: $4.36M

24. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 780,134 | Gross: $28.26M

25. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 737,939 | Gross: $32.87M

26. La La Land (2016)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

94 Metascore

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 553,660 | Gross: $151.10M

27. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

95 Metascore

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering tabloid journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 71,114 | Gross: $19.52M

28. The Leopard (1963)

PG | 186 min | Drama, History

100 Metascore

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860s Sicily.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Paolo Stoppa

Votes: 25,150

29. Tenet (2020)

PG-13 | 150 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

69 Metascore

Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Juhan Ulfsak

Votes: 449,644 | Gross: $58.46M

30. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 558,536 | Gross: $40.22M

31. The Third Man (1949)

Approved | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 167,701 | Gross: $0.45M



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