How Music Influences Your Favorite Movies

One of my absolute favorite things about watching a movie is the effect the soundtrack has on the experience. Music has a way of making or breaking a movie, even if you don’t initially realize it. 

I decided to do something a little different this week. I’m stepping back from my perch of music connoisseur and giving you some of the most talked-about movies straight from the source, my lovely friends and followers. I dropped a post asking them all to give me some of their favorite movies based on their soundtracks, movies that wouldn’t be the same without that perfectly crafted score. Almost immediately responses were pouring in, with answers ranging from way too indie for my knowledge to some classic favorites. I sorted through the many (so so many) responses and picked some of the most talked-about, or just really interesting choices, and here they are.

The by far most mentioned movies were ‘Baby Driver’, ‘LaLa Land’, ‘Interstellar’, and of course the cinematic masterpiece, ‘Shrek’. There is a big range here, going from drama to romance to comedy, but all of them are great for the same reason, their score. The artistry used to enhance ‘Baby Driver’ with fade-ins and outs of music is what makes that movie so unique. The beautiful numbers in ‘LaLa Land’ tell the story of right people wrong time (and absolutely tear your heart apart in the process). The dramatic effect of the ‘Interstellar’ score adds so much more to what is an already intense film. Or just the perfect and hilarious picks of songs in ‘Shrek’ that make the movie what it is. It’s something we usually don’t take time to think about, but completely changes your opinion of a movie.

Some of my favorite scores have actually come from Superhero movies, they have the perfect build and upbeat energy to keep you on the edge of your seat and enhance a big moment even more. I loved some of the responses I got because they said the same thing, movies like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’ (one of my favorites), and ‘Black Panther’ were mentioned multiple times. These songs have to be picked so perfectly to fit the energy of the movie. Whether it be classic rock like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and incredibly specific to the movie, or the perfect rap mixtape like ‘Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’- it just contributes to the overall feel and exciting energy of the movie.

The most obvious, but still incredibly valid, best movie scores emerge from musicals. A good chunk of the responses I received mentioned multiple Disney movies, ‘Mamma Mia’ (a classic), ‘Grease’, and ‘The Greatest Showman’. My favorite from these responses had to be the Disney movies. Those are the songs and scores that changed us growing up, they had such an incredibly big influence on our lives and can still bring out such nostalgia.

Here are some of the movies that weren’t mentioned enough, or I think deserve some spotlight as well for their scores. Movies like ‘Whiplash’, ‘Amelie’, ‘Midsommar’, ‘Call Me by Your Name’, and ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’. These soundtracks are so vivid and specific to the movie that hearing one song or part of the score is enough to spark a million emotions out of you. The movie ‘Whiplash’ is one of my all-time favorite movie scores, and if you ever get a chance to watch that movie I suggest you pay extra attention to the amount of detail and meaning behind each of the songs (fun fact: Miles Teller actually trained to play drums in that movie, so everything you are seeing is authentic!)

My final, and most important, honorable mention is the movie ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’. Nothing much to say here except that the movie, and the soundtrack, are absolutely perfect and guaranteed to make you smile.

So, next time you are watching your favorite movie, or maybe branching out and trying something new, take a second and pay attention to the background music. Think about how it adds to the scene you are watching and how it influences your feelings about it, they are doing that on purpose.

Have you ever heard your favorite song in a movie, or downloaded an entire soundtrack seconds after the movie ends because it was just that good? When making movies one of the biggest parts of the filmmaking process is the movie score, so here are some of the most memorable ones.

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