The Best Scores & Soundtracks of 2019

As Martin Scorsese once said, “Music and cinema fit together naturally. Because there’s a kind of intrinsic musicality to the way moving images work when they’re put together. It’s been said that cinema and music are very close as art forms, and I think that’s true.” Indeed, the right piece of music–whether it’s an original score or a carefully selected song–can do wonders for a sequence, and today we’re looking at the 20 films that best expressed this notion this year.

From seasoned composers to accomplished musicians, as well as a smattering of soundtracks, each musical example perfectly transported us to the world of the film. Check out our rundown of the top 20, which includes streams to each soundtrack in full where available.

20. Climax (Various Artists)

19. August at Akiko’s (Alex Zhang Hungtai)

18. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Emile Mosseri)

17. An Elephant Sitting Still (Hua Lun)

16. Midsommar (Bobby Krlic)

15. Waves (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Various Artists)

14. Knives Out (Nathan Johnson)

13. The Irishman (Robbie Robertson and Various Artists)

12. Under the Silver Lake (Disasterpeace)

11. Her Smell (Keegan DeWitt and Various Artists)

10. Ad Astra (Max Richter and Lorne Balfe)

9. Us (Michael Abels)

8. Monos (Mica Levi)

7. A Hidden Life (James Newton Howard and Various Artists)

6. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Various Artists)

5. Little Women (Alexandre Desplat)

4. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Bob Dylan and Various Artists)

3. Atlantics (Fatima Al Qadiri)

2. Uncut Gems (Daniel Lopatin)

1. Parasite (Jung Jaeil)

Honorable Mentions: Asako I & II, Black Mother, The Death of Dick Long, Diamantino, The Farewell, High Flying Bird, High Life, Hustlers, In Fabric, Knife + Heart, The Lighthouse, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

See more 2019 year-end features.

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