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 that notion in 2023.

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

20. Infinity Pool (Tim Hecker)

19. Knock at the Cabin (Herdís Stefánsdóttir)

18. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (Lorne Balfe)

17. Passages (Various Artists)

16. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Daniel Pemberton)

15. Master Gardener (Devonté Hynes aka Blood Orange)

14. Past Lives (Christopher Bear and Daniel Rossen)

13. The Sweet East (Paul Grimstad)

12. Beau Is Afraid (Bobby Krlic)

11. Monster (Ryuichi Sakamoto)

10. Asteroid City (Alexandre Desplat and Various Artists)

9. Poor Things (Jerskin Fendrix)

8. The Killer (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

7. May December (Marcelo Zarvos, adapted from Michel Legrand’s The Go-Between score)

6. How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Gavin Brivik)

5. Priscilla (Various Artists)

4. Killers of the Flower Moon (Robbie Robertson)

3. The Zone of Interest (Mica Levi)

2. Oppenheimer (Ludwig Göransson)

1. The Boy and the Heron (Joe Hisaishi)

Explore more of the best of 2023.

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