Our Favorite Movie Soundtracks Of All Time

Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Every year around Oscars season, I wonder why there are so many categories. I mean, do we really need Best Original Score AND Best Original Song? Couldn't Best Sound Editing just get a discreet, pre-show shoutout? How's a movie fan to grab some shut-eye?

But as anyone who has ever sat through the last two minutes of Star Wars without the rousing theme can tell you, music is crucial to the magic of films. A good soundtrack is an art — one well worth disrupting your beauty sleep once a year.

Can you imagine The Sound of Music without Julie Andrews' delightful interludes? Or Titanic without Celine Dion? And where would Dirty Dancing be without "Time of My Life"? (Nowhere: Take away the music, and all you're left with is a very awkward Jennifer Grey trying to seduce a very earnest Patrick Swayze.)

So, grab those headphones and join us on a musical journey through some of the best soundtracks in movie history.



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Detroit Rock City (1999)
The entire movie is basically an ode to the best of 1970s rock.
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Garden State (2004)
"You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life, I swear."
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Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Who knew that a movie about star lords and genetically-engineered raccoons could have such a killer soundtrack?
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Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
No judgments, please.
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Walk The Line (2005)
If the Johnny Cash soundtrack doesn't do it for you, Reese Witherspoon's Oscar-winning performance certainly will.
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Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
The John Williams theme heralds a new year at Hogwarts for Harry & co., and a couple of magical movie hours for us.
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Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Danny Elfman's score is magical enough to melt the iciest of ice-statue hearts.
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Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Just channel Hans Zimmer's epic buccaneer theme the next time you're pumping yourself up to ask for a raise.
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Marie Antoinette (2006)
Bow Wow Wow, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, New Order — basically the sound of your Saturday night pre-game.
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Star Wars (1977)
Ten bucks says John Williams had an ex in mind when he composed this.
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Forrest Gump (1994)
This soundtrack is like a box of chocolate. (You know the rest.)
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Donnie Darko (2001)
Ah, the angsty make-out to the dulcet tones of Joy Division. Classic.
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A Beautiful Mind (2001)
James Horner's score is as mind-blowing as John Nash's equations.
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Almost Famous (2000)
Next time you read I'm With the Band and want to give it all up to become a groupie, listen to this instead.
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Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Come for Aragorn, stay for the rousing musical call to arms, courtesy of Howard Shore.
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Titanic (1998)
Thanks to Celine Dion, our hearts will go on, and we will never let go.
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Amelie (2001)
You, plus a baguette, a bicycle, and Paris cobblestones equals this soundtrack.
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Gladiator (2000)
It's basic Pavlovian conditioning: hear this music, chant "Maximus!" over and over.
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Juno (2007)
You don't have to be 16 and pregnant to enjoy this coming-of-age masterpiece.
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Moulin Rouge (2001)
Has anything been more worth listening to than Ewan McGregor declaring his love via song?
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500 Days of Summer (2009)
Also known as the soundtrack to your budding hipster phase. Don't deny it.
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Pulp Fiction (1994)
You know what they call a perfect soundtrack in Paris?


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The Breakfast Club (1985)
Get in touch with your inner brain, athlete, basket case, princess, and criminal.
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Trainspotting (1996)
Choose this soundtrack, featuring our drugs of choice: Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Joy Division.
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Dreamgirls (2006)
It's not often that Beyoncé has to share the spotlight, but Jennifer Hudson definitely holds her own.
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10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Julia Stiles is an Angry Female. How do we know? She listens to girl bands! (Gasp!)
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Dirty Dancing (1987)
Nobody puts this soundtrack in the corner.
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