There are a number of important pieces that make up a great film. The performances, obviously, are the most notable, and then there’s the direction, the cinematography, the production design, etc. While the aim of a great movie is to make everything seamless so that the audience doesn’t notice the individual pieces, it’s nevertheless important to remember that a genuinely great film is not the result of just one or two things clicking—it’s a collaboration between all the departments. And one such department that sometimes goes wholly unnoticed is the film’s music.
The composer’s job, specifically, is to compliment everything that’s happening onscreen. By its very nature, a film score should almost always blend in with the rest of the film, subconsciously cueing your brain/heart to recognize certain character themes, build tension, or scare you out of your seat. It is a vital aspect of filmmaking and, when perfectly in tune with the director’s overall vision, can help elevate any number of individual scenes. Even in bad films, a great score can make the endeavor worthwhile.
But scores aren’t invisible, and there are plenty worthy of praise all on their own. In 2015 alone we’ve seen some truly tremendous—and varied—work in the world of film scores, and so when putting together a list of the Top 10 of the year, paring the shortlist down to an even 10 proved quite difficult. As you’ll see, it’s been a diverse year in terms of film music, and that’s all the better. I present to you the 10 best films scores of 2015.