Another year has passed, and with it came a considerable number of high quality film scores that now must compete in an edge of your seat, nail-bitingly tense and decidedly fierce competition that aims to answer the all important question on all your minds – truly, what is the best film score of 2019?
Obligatory this is my opinion, music is subjective, your views may and likely will differ, et cetera, et cetera. It’s just a bit of fun really, so please enjoy, and be sure to post your favourite scores of the year in the comments section!
The competition begins…now.
10. Child’s Play
by Bear McCreary
Bear McCreary composed a particularly intriguing sound for the new Child’s Play, curiously utilising a toy orchestra for much of his score that somehow works incredibly well in its efforts to create a truly unnerving and spine-chillingly creepy musical atmosphere to accompany Mark Hamill’s terrifying voicework for the iconic Chucky doll. The methodology had me intrigued, and McCreary’s excellent themes and expertly interwoven tonal combination of child-like happiness and downright terrifying then had me sold.
9. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
by Tyler Bates
Tyler Bates’ score for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum continues in the same musical vein as the first two scores, using that unique mixture of electronics and a rather gloomy tone to expertly emulate Wick’s character and world. This third entry adds some new and musically intriguing thematic ideas to the franchise, and this along with some near breathtaking action setpieces not only makes Parabellum a highly enjoyable album, but also the best John Wick score so far.
by Benjamin Wallfisch
Benjamin Wallfisch pulled out all the stops with his score for SHAZAM!, opening the album with his breathtakingly orchestrated and immensely enjoyable four minute main theme before then diving into over an hour of fantastically composed superhero music with many a respectful nod to John Williams. If you’re after a new superhero score that harkens back to the good old days of uplifting orchestral majesty, then look no further.
7. Terminator: Dark Fate
by Tom Holkenborg
For the latest Terminator movie, composer Tom Holkenborg was asked to step into Brad Fiedel’s now legendary compositional shoes, and yet somehow he delivered. Holkenborg introduces several brand new and pretty interesting themes for the franchise while at the same time paying massive respect and love towards Fieldel’s iconic Terminator theme, and this combined with many an emotional moment and excellent action cue makes Dark Fate easily one of the best scores of the year.
6. Ad Astra
by Max Richter & Lorne Balfe
Max Richter brings his wondrous A game for his score to Ad Astra, utilising orchestral elements (primarily strings) very effectively to weave this breathtaking atmospheric tapestry that pretty perfectly captures the wonder of outer space. His work here consists mainly of long, concert-like setpieces with additional composer Lorne Balfe then bringing entertaining electronics and action moments, and so all of the above alongside Richter’s excellent main theme make the album an enjoyable, relaxing and particularly thought-provoking experience overall.
5. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
by John Powell
As per usual now, John Powell’s score for the latest and final How To Train Your Dragon movie is simply marvelous. The composer introduces a number of amazing new themes, brings back all your favourites and then intertwines them expertly with his ridiculously over-the-top but at the same time utterly fantastic action scoring, which overall makes for not only a very solid third entry to the How To Train Your Dragon musical franchise but also an epic and absolutely brilliant conclusion to Powell’s masterful trilogy.
4. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
by Bear McCreary
Bear McCreary was on fire this year, and his score for Godzilla was one of the best things to come out of it. The composer brought back the old iconic themes for both the titular character and Mothra and then composed his own unique and utterly terrifying motifs for the remaining two starring monsters, and these interwoven with several magnificent action setpieces and a dramatic yet chilling overall musical atmosphere makes McCreary’s work here a monster score to remember.
3. Avengers: Endgame
by Alan Silvestri
Alan Silvestri’s Avengers: Endgame is a spectacular musical sendoff for the titular superhero group (even though we know they’ll be back one day). He really brought everything to this score, with several incredibly epic renditions of the now iconic theme along with more than a few fantastic action cues and tear-jerking moments. Look no further than the above track in order to see (or rather, hear) why this album is without a doubt one of the best film soundtracks of the year.
2. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker
by John Williams
Speaking of musical sendoffs, it wouldn’t be a proper score of the year list if it didn’t include John Williams’ latest and (if rumours are to be believed) last musical entry into the Star Wars franchise. Hear the classic original trilogy themes return alongside the sequel ones as well as the introduction of several new motifs that more than complement the formers that overall create a literal thematic tapestry of masterfully-composed Star Wars score. Expectations were high for Rise, and John Williams more than delivered.
1. Spider-Man: Far From Home
by Michael Giacchino
Yes, it absolutely deserves it. Michael Giacchino absolutely knocked it out of the park with Spider-Man: Far From Home, bringing back his main theme from the first film in refined and gloriously heroic form and introducing the mind-blowingly good Mysterio motif; a piece that somehow manages to be both a hero and a villain theme and utterly excel at both. These combined with several spectacular action setpieces, many an amazing new theme and an astonishingly-composed all-encompassing suite deservedly crowns Far From Home as the Score Of The Year.