Movie soundtracks have a huge impact on the viewing experience of any film and they can either enhance or diminish the overall value of a feature length movie. Fitting songs by famous or indie bands can make a movie scene that much better and memorable.
A scene has a much larger impact if the music that is playing in the background adds to the overall feel of that particular cinematic moment. There are many iconic movie soundtracks that we have encountered over the years and this is exactly what we are discussing with this list. The list will contain movies that have some of the best soundtracks and songs that fit the scenes perfectly.
Since the list contains multiple genres and types of music, the ranking is pretty subjective and depends on personal preference. Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy these soundtracks, regardless of your taste in music, as they are truly epic, especially in the context of the movie.
Let’s take a look at these quintessential tracks and learn a little bit more about them, as well as the movies that they are in.
6. Suicide Squad, 2016
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
- Music composed by: Steven Price
Suicide Squad’s album has made for a great soundtrack that goes excellently with the theme of the movie. This action film that compiles some of the best villains of the DC universe has earned a huge following last year and this is partially thanks to the soundtrack that accompanies the film.
The first trailer for the movie already created a lot of hype around the project. We saw Robbie Margot’s Harley Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot for the first time with Heathens by Twenty-one pilots playing in the background. Many people already felt that this movie is not only going to be very enjoyable, but the soundtrack that follows it is also going to be epic!
Songs such as Sucker for Pain, Without Me and Purple Lamborghini can be heard throughout the movie. Panic! at the Disco also did a great rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and there are many other songs that completely fit every scene. The introduction of each of the characters is also a memorable moment, with excellent music playing in the background.
Suicide Squad is truly worth watching, regardless if you like superhero movies or not, as it is more of an action film, rather than anything else.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
- Music composed by: Tyler Bates
Suicide Squad was a great DC movie, but let’s not forget about their big rival, Marvel. These two brands have always been in a constant battle over who is the king of comics. In 2014, Marvel has introduced a whole new side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when they presented this ragtag team of “superheroes” who accidentally get put together.
There are multiple lovable characters, such as Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill aka Star-Lord and the two CGI companions Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel). The team faces a foe that threatens the whole galaxy and they even encounter one of the Infinity Stones. Since this movie received a spot on the list, the soundtrack has to be exquisite as well.
The album entitled Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is truly awesome! The first scene that we see sets the mood of the movie, as Star-Lord nonchalantly enters a cave and approaches the treasure that he is there for. As he dances, kicks alien rodents away and even uses one as a microphone, Come And Get Your Love is playing in the background. He uses a Sony Walkman to listen to the soundtrack that actually plays a role in his character development from a young age.
The movie itself is great, with an amazing soundtrack consisting of songs, such as Hooked on a Feeling, Escape (The Piña Colada Song), Moonage Daydream and many others. Get the film to truly appreciate the songs as they require the movie’s context.
4. Drive, 2011
- Genre: Crime, Drama
- Music composed by: Cliff Martinez
Drive is a fantastic cinematic experience, especially with the added music. This crime-drama shows us the life of the “Driver” who is a stunt driver by day and a heist driver at night. He is one of the best when it comes to driving and this leads to him getting in a shady band of people.
He also befriends her neighbor and her kid and once this family is threatened, he steps up. Ryan Gosling plays the role perfectly and the electronic-pop style of the soundtrack is truly unique and sets every scene perfectly. The style of the soundtrack can only be described as retro, with a kind of an 80’s vibe.
The opening credits feature Nightcall by the French electronic musician Kavinsky and introduce us to the overall theme of the film. If you like the opening credit song, you are probably going to like the rest as well. TheTick Of The Clock by The Chromatics, Under Your Spell by Desire and A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth can also be heard. In addition to these songs, Cliff Martinez also composed many songs that are used in the soundtrack of the film.
3. Saturday Night Fever, 1977
- Genre: Drama, Music
- Music composed by: David Shire
Saturday Night Fever features a young John Travolta in the role of Tony Manero, a regular guy from Brooklyn who is a master dancer on the dance floor. The opening credits have since become a classic, as John Travolta(read more about him here) is strolling down the road with Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees playing.
This has been reused and parodied so many times since the release of the movie that it has made the music and the scene that much popular. The soundtrack features multiple songs by Bee Gees, such as How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Jive Talkin’ and of course More Than A Woman. Dancing can be seen throughout the movie as it is the main plot of it.
Travolta did an amazing job, as not only that he portrayed the character of Tony perfectly, but he has some great moves in his repertoire too. There are many references to this movie in pop culture. For example, the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft uses Travolta’s choreography for the dance of one of the races that are playable. It has also been a running joke and anybody who wanted a cheap laugh in the 90’s only needed to mention Travolta or the movie.
Of course, over the years this movie has gathered a cult following and has become a classic, mainly because of Travolta’s dance skills and the accompanying songs. If you want to experience the movie in its fullest potential, order it from Amazon below!
2. Pulp Fiction, 1994
- Genre: Crime, Drama
- Music composed by: Quentin Tarantino
Tarantino has made so many great movies, such as the Kill Bill trilogy, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, The Hateful Eight and the list goes on! Of course, one of his best works is the 1994 drama, Pulp Fiction. As we expect from a Tarantino movie, the characters in this film are all relatable and interesting and the songs he cherry picked for the movie are intriguing as well.
The soundtrack consists of songs from various artists, such as Jungle Boogie by Kool & the Gang, Let’s Stay Together by Al Green and others. Uma Thurman dancing to Urge Overkill’s Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon is a moment that we are not going to forget!
Of course, her dance with John Travolta’s Vincent Vega is also an engaging scene that has You Never Can Tell playing in the background. This score was composed by Tarantino and it shows that he is truly a legendary director. The scene starts off with the two taking their shoes off and proceeding to dance, creating a truly amazing scene. We already saw that John Travolta can move and he shows us once again that he has not forgotten his moves from Saturday Night Fever.
If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction yet, I do not know what you are waiting for. Of course, there might be many that would gladly re-watch the film, as it is truly a unique Tarantino experience. If you are interested, check it out below on Amazon.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey, 2015
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
- Music composed by: Danny Elfman
This 2015 movie based on the book by E. L. James with the same name has hundreds of millions of fans around the globe. Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) interviews the billionaire businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and she is immediately charmed by him.
The two start seeing each other and once she goes home with him, Christian shows Anastasia his secret room that is filled with BDSM equipment and her life immediately takes a huge turn. There are some very erotic scenes in the movie and each of them has an equally hot soundtrack.
Not only that the movie has sold millions of copies around the world, as well as in cinema tickets, but the soundtrack itself is also very popular. The main reason behind this is that it is masterfully compiled by Danny Elfman. This music composer has already worked on a plethora of great movies, such as Good Will Hunting, Silver Linings Playbook, Corpse Bride and many others.
Each movie has a great soundtrack, showing that he is truly a master when it comes to movie songs. Fifty Shades of Grey has some fantastic songs playing under each scene and some of the songs have also gained popularity on their own.
Earned It by The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do and Crazy in Love (2014 Remix) by Beyoncé are all famous songs that appear in the film. There are also a few songs that Danny Elfman himself composed, such as Ana and Christian and the cleverly entitled “Did That Hurt?”
Watching the first movie is highly advised, especially if you want to hear some amazing music. The sequel, Fifty Shades Darker has also come out in 2017 and the soundtrack is once again composed by Danny Elfman. Zayn’s and Taylor Swift’s I Don’t Wanna Live Forever already has millions of views on YouTube and for a very good reason!
The Lion King, 1994
- Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
- Music composer: Hans Zimmer
We could have chosen any Disney animated movie, as most of them have unique and iconic soundtracks but we have chosen the 1994 classic, The Lion King. This animated movie is kind of an exception, as the soundtrack is not composed of different songs from different bands, but rather by a symphonic orchestra choreographed by the legendary soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer.
Not only that all of the songs fit the animated movie perfectly, but they hit home on the emotional spectrum too, as they truly enhance sentimental moments by tenfold. Of course, when the moment needs to be uplifting and fun, it delivers in that aspect too. The iconic soundtrack that started this beautifully animated film off is used in popular culture to this day.
We are talking about Circle of Life, of course. Additionally, everybody knows exactly what Hakuna Matata means, as Timon and Pumba so generously explained it to us. And how could we forget the villainous Scar’s song, Be Prepared. This was the first time we truly understood the intentions of this dreadful character. All of the songs reflect on the scene perfectly and we are left to enjoy the masterpiece that Hans Zimmer has composed.
The Lion King is one of the best and most iconic animated movies and the soundtrack is no different.
John Wick, 2014
- Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
- Music composed by: Tyler Bates
This 2014 action thriller that features Keanu Reeves has taken audiences by storm, as nobody expected the movie to be so thrilling. The story revolves around the ex-assassin, John Wick who has retired from the killing business until Iosef Tarasov (played by Alfie Allen) decides to take away John’s only memento of his beloved wife.
This is when he decides that he wants to take revenge and starts hunting down the assassins that stand between him and Alfie’s character. The scores that Tyler Bates chose totally fit every scene. The music makes the scenes where John Wick goes around head shooting everybody that much more epic!
I only have to mention the club scene and people who have watched the movie will know exactly what I am talking about. This is one of the best scenes in the movie and watching John do his magic with an amazing soundtrack in the background is a one-of-a-kind experience.
The soundtrack consists of a myriad of great songs, most of which were composed by Tyler Bates. Songs such as Story of Wick, Assassins, Lure the Wolf and Warehouse Smack Down is only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, there are also songs that are performed by individual bands and DJs, such as Le Castle Vania’s The Red Circle and Kaleida’s Think.
John Wick is a phenomenal action movie that is recommended to everybody. If you want to see epic scenes with Keanu Reeves kicking some ass, get the movie by clicking the button below and you are surely going to have a lot of fun.
As you have seen, we have focused on movies that have an overall great soundtrack, rather than one distinguished song. We have also tried our best to exclude symphonic soundtracks, as they deserve a list of their own.
Hopefully, you have found the movie and/or soundtrack that you have been looking for. If there are films that you haven’t seen yet, be sure to follow the links that we have provided as they truly offer the best possible deals. Join us next time when we discuss yet another fascinating topic!