Iconic themes & a palpable atmosphere of darkness add up to create one of Elfman's absolutely finest efforts; Prince detracts only slightly.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
Luminous, achingly beautiful score by Son Lux perfectly underlines this story of loss & pain.
A strange dissonant score from Bensi & Jurrian rumbles out of the string section (mostly) and evokes Hermann to perfection; much of the dread and off-kilter atmosphere of the film comes from the striking score.
Get On Up
Nowhere is Chadwick Boseman's performance as James Brown more spectacular than in the riveting, astounding musical sequences, where he, and other cast members, dance like maniacs to Brown's original recordings; a rehearsal of Cold Sweat, a lengthy Paris concert and the final scene, an aching performance of Try Me, are of particular note.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A strange assemblage of pre-existing songs & minimal, haunting compositions the music adds immeasurably here.
Alexandre Desplat creates a memorable score, filled with taut suspense pieces, rousing action moments and quiet, meditative compositions; the film also weaves in pre-existing music to perfection. See the railway bridge for the former; the HALO jump for the latter.
Inside Llewyn Davis
T-Bone Burnett heads up another fantastic Coen Brothers soundtrack; the folk music that runs through the film is absolutely perfect. Fare Thee Well is the most beautiful movie song of the year & letting Dylan close the film is a masterstroke.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Elfman again returns with a fantastic achievement, both score and song suite. The songs here are catchy, witty, brilliant and instantly iconic. Elfman at near best.
The Shawshank Redemption
Yes, the film features one of the finest uses of Mozart this side of Amadeus, but let's not overlook Newman's luminous score; he reaches past the usual darkness of a prison movie to create a work of surpassing beauty, perhaps his finest score.
Tale of an obsessive jazz drummer and his abusive teacher couldn't help but have riveting music; the band performances are wonderful and when the music is used for dramatics, as in a late night rehearsal sequence featuring three drummers trying to learn a single part, it's gripping. The final scene nails the simultaneous terror and exhilaration of performing music live better than any movie I've ever seen.