Updated: Nov 16
When it comes to the greatest movies to bless the big screen, it’s not enough to just have amazing acting, unmatchable production skills, and trend-worthy wardrobes, it has to have a killer soundtrack. Let’s be honest, the soundtrack is what guides us through the storyline and allows us to truly connect with the characters that are displayed on the screen.
To give you a taste of cinema genius, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best movie soundtracks of all time. Although we know there are many more unforgettable movie music moments, here is our list of the top 14 movie soundtracks through the years.
American Graffiti - 1973
Imagine growing up as a teenager in the 60’s in a small California town. It’s the last day of summer to wrap up your senior year and the only thing left to think about is your future. To truly elevate this 1973 George Lucas film, careful consideration was put into the soundtrack. With top artists such as Buddy Holly and the Beach Boys, this ode to rock n’ roll music is one that’ll have you watching the movie again just for the hits. Take a trip down memory lane as you enjoy this American classic. And ask yourself, where were you in ‘62?
Listen to the American Graffiti Soundtrack.
Pretty in Pink - 1986
Another coming of age classic, Pretty in Pink not only gives us adolescence at its finest, but it also delivers an amazing and moody soundtrack to guide you through the storyline. This anthem to rock n’ roll in the 80’s delivers unforgettable songs such as If You Leave by OMD to put you in the right mood for this Molly Ringwald classic. Fall in love, go to prom, and grow up in the 80’s with this unforgettable lineup of actors and music. No matter what decade you grew up in, this film and soundtrack will deliver nostalgia to everyone.
Listen to the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack.
Dazed and Confused - 1993
We’re beginning to see a trend here and that trend is that some of the best movie soundtracks of all time go along with movies around the last day of school and growing up. Dazed and Confused focuses on kids being kids and what they do after hours. Ride shotgun with Matthew McConaughey on the first day of summer vacation and enjoy classic rock anthems from start to finish with songs by rock n’ roll legends like ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, The Runaways, and many more. This 70’s classic will have you reliving your high school daze. Alright, alright, alright.
Listen to the Dazed and Confused Soundtrack.
Pulp Fiction - 1994
When it comes to the film Pulp Fiction, it’s hard to decide what is more odd and intriguing, the screenplay or the soundtrack. This ultimate 90’s movie takes you on a disco, diner, hitman journey equally through the scenes and the music. Quentin Taratino brings dark humor to new heights with this 1994 cult classic film. Not only is the screenplay twisted, but the movie is combined with surf music to keep the flow going. In fact, this soundtrack’s commercial success gave new energy to the surf music genre in America. Enjoy Kool & the Gang, Al Green, and more as you watch and sing along.
Listen to the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack.
Clueless - 1995
Alternative rock, ska, britpop, and pop music found in this mid 90’s classic film will have you wanting to drive around town with the top down and turn up the radio. During this post Nirvana time of music, smaller bands were making big names for themselves, especially when their songs made it to the track list for a classic movie like Clueless. Enjoy The Muffs, Counting Crows, Beastie Boys, Radiohead, and many more. This movie will have you saying “as if” to every other soundtrack you listen to.
Listen to the Clueless Soundtrack.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? - 2000
Take a journey through The Great Depression Era as you follow the actors in O Brother, Where Art Thou? chase the American dream. This Coen Brothers’ movie was a shining star in the 2000s, and not just for acting, but as one of the best soundtrack compilations. Making a name for itself in the music world, along with other 2000’s releases such as Almost Famous and High Fidelity, the Coens and T-Bone Burnett worked together to combine folk-rock, country, bluegrass, gospel, and blues in this George Clooney classic.
Listen to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack.
8 Mile - 2002
Instantly hitting the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 list when released in 2002, 8 Mile is a film that you won’t forget mostly for the music that came from it. With the majority of songs by Eminem himself, this movie combines Slim Shady’s top hits, Jay-Z classics, and Macy Gray’s well-known hits to produce a massive seller compilation. Composed by Marshall Mathers himself, this is the ultimate rap playlist you’ve been looking for.
Listen to the 8 Mile Soundtrack.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 - 2003
Another Quentin Tarantion movie making it to the list of top soundtracks. The Kill Bill series were instant classics as soon as they hit the big screens, blending musical genius with amazing storylines. However, when talking about their soundtracks, they both produced great tunes, but Volume 1 is the one that truly stands out. Luis Bacalov, Issac Hayes, The 5,6,7,8’s are all giving us the right music to truly guide us through this thrilling journey.
Listen to the Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 Soundtrack.
Superbad - 2007
Delivering a funk throwback, composer Lyle Workman gathered his band members together to create the unique soundtrack for Superbad. In addition to these funky beats, the soundtrack in whole for this movie is to keep you interested in the storyline as if you were there, so you can also expect some more modern and updated soundtrack beats. Depending on if you’re paying attention during a party scene or a running scene, you can expect the music to match.
Listen to the Superbad Soundtrack.
Into the Wild - 2007
A movie about a man embarking on a solo journey into the wild can only be completed by a solo artist soundtrack. Frontman Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam created his first full-length solo album specifically to accompany the Into the Wild film. Filled with soul driven and folklore beats, this soundtrack gives this movie based on a true story the extra push it deserves to deliver a powerful message. Vedder’s simple and gentle lyrics deliver the perfect blend of freedom and the outdoors to put you in the right mood for this film.
Listen to the Into the Wild Soundtrack.
Guardians of the Galaxy - 2014
Featuring classic hits from the 70s, Guardians of the Galaxy truly wouldn’t be complete, or even make sense, without this specific soundtrack to go along with it. Composed by Tyler Bates and directed by James Gunn, the soundtrack is specific to the storyline because Quill joins the mission with a compilation tape that his mother made for him. Not only is this a soundtrack to his past and his home on Earth, but it’s one of the only things his mother left for him. This awesome mix vol. 1 is one you’ll want to pay close attention to as you get a blast from the past, traveling through the galaxy. Expect to hear Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Cheap Trick, and many more.
Listen to the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack.
A Star Is Born - 2018
A movie based around musical artists and their journey to fame, it’s important that the soundtrack matches and tells the proper story. As Lady Gaga’s debut leading role alongside Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born follows Lady Gaga on her journey from a nobody to a star. When released in 2018, A Star Is Born earned the No. 1 spot for three weeks in a row on the Billboard 200 Chart. This is the first soundtrack to spend its first three weeks in the number one spot in more than a decade. Although the soundtrack is filled with many great songs, the one that is loved the most is titled Shallow. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you’re truly missing out on a forever modern classic.
Listen to the A Star Is Born Soundtrack.
Promising Young Woman - 2020
Even though 2020 was filled with an abundance of downfalls, the movies produced during this year held their own. An amazing and important movie for the times, Promising Young Woman is a bold and provocative thriller that you just can’t look away from. Earning a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, this female forward movie truly delivers on all angles with a female forward soundtrack. This soundtrack will give you the power to take on the world! A killer soundtrack is just the fuel you’ve been looking for. Songs by artists such as Charli XCX and Britney Spears are only the beginning to this amazing lineup.
Listen to the Promising Young Woman Soundtrack.
Soul - 2020
With an emphasis on jazz music, the soundtrack for Soul consists of more than just classic jazz beats. Enjoy hip-hop, blues, folk, and much more in this uplifting 2020 Disney film. Contributions by grammy-nominated musician Jon Batiste truly elevates this soundtrack to give it the original songs it deserves and allows Pixar’s first black lead to come to life in a big way. Give this soundtrack a listen for yourself and prepare to feel the soul coming through each and every song included.
Listen to the Soul Soundtrack.
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