As you can imagine, these lists could go on and on and on (and in a way they already do) and some of the rough lists we made are dizzying long. Alas, we don't have that much time or space and we don't want to bore either you or ourselves to tears, so here's our top 20 soundtracks of the decade. Not only is this our top soundtracks of the aughts, but herein also lies most of the decade's incredible movie-music scenes.
Best Soundtracks Of The Decade
20. "Snatch" (2001)
In a time when Guy Ritchie was still a promising auteur, his sophomore effort "Snatch" attracted the likes of big names Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro and, despite not deviating from his debut in formula, "Snatch" still made it two-for-two for the director especially because of the amazing soundtrack. Aptly titled Snatch: Stealin' Stones And Breakin' Bones, the film's soundtrack was an eclectic (and still underrated) mix of upbeat instrumentals, (Klint) R&B (Brothers Johnson) and jazz crooners (Bobby Byrd, Maceo), British rock tunes (The Stranglers, Oasis, 10CC) and electronic mixes (The Herbaliser, Massive Attack) that set the tone perfectly for his caper-comedy. And of course he threw in a Madonna ("Lucky Star") track to keep his marriage intact.
19. "The Dreamers" (2003)
As discussed in our Best of Decade picks, Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" is a fervid recollection of his counter-cultural youth, a period fraught with ideas, energy and radicalism so potent, that one can easily become deliriously intoxicated in the nostalgia of bohemia and the redolence of the sexual revolution. "The Dreamers" is a carnal and sensual film and its rose-tinted glasses remembrance is soaked with music from the time (remember, this is the European '60s) like Francoise Hardy, The Doors, the Grateful Dead, Edith Piaf, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Nino Ferrer and countless others to help capture the sparkling vibrancy and guilelessness of the times. But Bertolucci also does the unimaginable, taking the played-out "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix (by then done to death by the Oliver Stones, Robert Zemeckises and Vietnam films of the world), and once again, imbues with a striking purpose, as if you're hearing this touchstone again for the very first time — it knocks you off your feet. Say what you will about "The Dreamers" (we love the Salon comment lionizing its unabashed cinephilia, "if you don't love 'The Dreamers,' you don't deserve movies") but the film deserves inclusion here at least for that very special achievement.
18. "My Blueberry Nights" (2007)
Even when Wong Kar-Wai films are unusually poor — and his first American-language film is easily his worst, and plays out like a parody of his romantic and erotic style — the filmmaker still knows how to pick music like no other (and really if you look back on the years and the films, he rivals Tarantino for artful soundtracks, though maybe none of them are as obvious). Not only does the filmmaker have an ear for music (utilizing old score cues by Gustavo Santaolalla, a smoky harmonica version of Shigeru Umebayashi's "Yumeji's Theme" from "In The Mood For Love," plus weary R&B and blues from Otis Redding, Ry Cooder and Cassandra Wilson), but he has a eye for musical talent — hiring Norah Jones to play his lead (and contributes a few songs) and tapping Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) to perform a little cameo aside Jude Law that is an electric piece of first time acting (several of her Nashville-esque soulful cuts are in the film as well). Also, Wong Kar-Wai anticipated the whole Cat Power trend-in-movies long before anyone else (and beating filmmakers like Pedro Almodovar, Lukas Moodysoon, Francois Ozon to the punch, all of whom seem to be obsessed with The Greatest).
17. "Friday Night Lights"
The Brian Reitzell-curated soundtrack to "Friday Night Lights" is important for several reasons. For one, it's a fantastic soundtrack that gives rise and inspiration to the do-or-die feeling of climactic sport games, particularly high school sports, which for many teenagers at the time means everything — it's the jock's emo. Secondly, it wisely exploits the anthemic and heavenly use of post-rock with liberal doses of Austin, Texas orchestral rockers Explosions In the Sky. Arguably, it can be called a score, but the film uses old EITS tracks, and the band reworks some of their majestic songs to make them even more sonorous and grand. There's also woozy and crepuscular instrumental cuts by Daniel Lanois and the great unsung atmospheric guitar-textutralist David Torn (one day everyone will figure out how good he is and use him for every film). The soundtrack is also significant for just how many wannabes it would spawn. Explosions In The Sky songs from this film are constantly being used to elevate trailers to mediocre films ("Australia" and "Amelia" being recent reminders) and their wide-spread use in film is almost as ubiquitous as Clint Mansell's "Requiem For A Dream" score. Of course, the usage can all be traced back to this inspiring West Texas drama about high school pigskin.
16. "Margot At The Wedding" (2007)
We'll say it until we're blue in the face or until someone finally listens: Noah Baumbach's soundtracks are just as good (if not better) as his buddy Wes Anderson's and his picks are always much more off the beaten path. The filmmaker is seemingly obsessed with post-Dylan folkies like Loudon Wainwright III or in the case of 'Margot,' folks like Donovan, Lesley Duncan and former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen (his song "Genesis" is an all-time favorite). Yes, this film of emotional violence between family members is disliked but we think its great aside from Jack Black, while Nicole Kidman puts in another uncompromising and courageous turn as the self-centered, unlikable protagonist. While folks probably fixate on the '80s section of its soundtrack featuring Blondie, Alice Cooper, Steve Forbert, and the dB's, the emotional one-two gut punch of the film is Donovan's "Teen Angel" in the credits and then the devastating use of Karen Dalton's trembling, "Something On Your Mind."
15. "Garden State" (2004)
Zach Braff's emo-y, man-child film, "Garden State" is very easy to hate on, and on paper, we're ideologically opposed to it — it represents a whole section of film tourist fans we detest — but the fact remains that the film is full of surprisingly good music moments that totally last including Nick Drake's "One Of These Things," The Shins "New Slang," and Simon & Garfunkle's "Only Living Boy In New York" (which made hundreds of budding filmmakers scream, "fuuuuuck!" for him using it first). Though a predictable choice, as much as you might dislike the Braff and sometimes want to punch this movie in the face, it unquestionably belongs here.
14. "24 Hour Party People" (2004)
Michael Winterbottom's wry and cheeky meta-post-modern riff on the Manchester music scene that ran through the late '70s, '80s and '90s (which spawned Joy Division, New Order, The Happy Mondays and several other touchstone bands) is obviously all about the music. All the seminal cuts in the history and foundations of this music scene are there: the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK," the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen In Love," classics by New Order, The Clash, Joy Division, etc. Sure it's a veritable greatest hits collection that you likely already know, but that doesn't diminish the strength of these monumental songs. Plus there's a focus on the under-appreciated ambient guitarist the Durutti Column (the track "Otis," that Jesus hilariously tells Tony Wilson in the film, "It's good music to chill out to") and the Happy Mondays, a group of loutish, ecstasy-popping buffoons masquerading as a dance-pop, who are correctly (and incorrectly) re-appraised as "poets" in the film. This scene is fucking brilliant. Andy Serkis as Martin Hannett (the wackjob Mancunian producer who gave Joy Division their sound and pulled guns on musicians ala Phil Spector). That film is genius that you need to re-watch stat.
13. "CQ" (2001)
This pick could of easily ended up on our Best Scores of The Decade feature (yes, that's coming too!) and man is Roman Coppola's hilarious ode to spy flicks, space-age bachelor-pad sci-fi-isms and the sleek sexiness of campy French and Italian films of the 1960s an incredibly underrated satirical romp (Roman, listen, please make another feature). It boasts a hilarious jack-assy turn by Jason Schwartzman, features the incredibly lovely model turned actress, Angela Lindvall, and a deliciously good Gérard Depardieu and Giancarlo Giannini, both of whom acutely understand the sly humor therein. But it also boasts a breezy easy-listening and exotic psychedelic-pop score by French band Mellow, who for years we were convinced were just Air in disguise (think Air mixed with the hazy cocktail of the "Ocean's Eleven" films mixed with a winky sense of humor and indeed, one of the members spent a quick stint in that band). Supervised by Brian Reitzell, the soundtrack also featured some priceless (and very overlooked), Euro-psychedelic pop deep cuts from Jacques Dutronc, Antonello Paliotti, Claude Francois and Paul Piot. If Marvin Hamlisch's wry score for "The Informant" is the best cheeky use of music at the end of the decade (and no one really thinks to use music as comedy these days), then Mellow's suave and sophisticated riff on European outré pop is the aught's first.
12. "Mysterious Skin" (2004)
True Story: Before "Mysterious Skin" Gregg Araki didn't make movies worth watching. They were mostly garish and over-the-top sex-obsessed sleazeploitation films wrapped in a banner of queer-core and teenage mayhem. This all changed with his evocative and beautiful 8th feature film, easily his most mature and distinct work. From day one however, Araki really knew his music, so when it came time to lay washes of sonic noise (with his trademark use of shoegazer music) over thoughtful and artfully composed images, the filmmaker finally blew us away. No official soundtrack exists outside the score (which we'll get to), but there's so much great use of existing cues. The heavenly and sad opening to Slowdive's cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair" is worth the price of admission alone. Other great cuts include deft uses of Ride, The Cocteau Twins, Curve and proved using slamdunk easy cinematic choices like Sigur Rós can still be inspired when handled well.
11. "Broken Flowers"
Jim Jarmuch's peripatetic film about fatherhood, women and getting to know yourself at 50 was pitched at a low-key rhythm with a nice sense of restraint, but bouying along the roadtrip was an eclectic and tastefully curated soundtrack of Ethiopian Jazz (Mulatu Astatke and opening up the entire amazing Ethiopiques ethno-Afro-jazz compilations to a much wider audience), nu-garage rock (The Greenhornes), drone-metal (Sleep), reggae (The Tennors) and fabulously future-retro takes on old classics (Holly Golightly covering the Kinks and actually improving upon the original if you can believe that). You cannot out-hip Jim Jarmusch and this soundtrack was unassailable evidence.
10. "The Squid and the Whale" (2005)
Like his producer and sometime collaborator, Wes Anderson, writer/director Noah Baumbach’s song selections for his 2005 film are not only reflective of good taste, but manage to take the scenes to a level that the score by Dean Warehem and Britta Phillips simply can’t. But Baumbach’s choices are more varied and less arbitrary than Anderson’s, reflecting not only the feelings, but also the tastes of his characters: ‘70s folkies like Loudon Wainwright, Bert Jansch and John Phillips are reflective of the warring parents Bernard and Joan; Pink Floyd, Lou Reed and indie rockers the Feelies are tied in various capacities to Baumbach surrogate Walt (and the object of his lust, Lili); and a “Totally '80s” Top 40 track like The Cars’ “Drive” stands in for Walt’s girlfriend, Sophie. We also can’t fail to mention the best sequence in the film, the final scene when Walt runs to the Museum of Natural History, scored to Reed’s epic “Street Hassle.” Simply drop-dead classic.
9. "All the Real Girls" (2003)
The soundtrack to David Gordon Green’s 2003 sophomore effort is one we admit we bought immediately after seeing the film in theaters. In most of Green’s films, the music is second only to the images in terms of importance. While the gap between selections like Isaac Freeman’s soulful “Beautiful Stars” and the soundscape of Mogwai’s “Fear Satan” is vast, they subtly work to evoke an autumnal mood in line with Tim Orr's golden-hued cinematography. These are songs that get under your skin and make you feel what the characters feel, whether it be the creeping lead track, Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “All These Vicious Dogs,” the yearning of Pyramid’s “Streets Were Raining,“ or the joyful release of The Promise Ring’s “Say Goodbye Good.” Special mention goes to Michael Linnen and David Wingo’s mood shaping score.
8. "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2004)
From the opening strains of Mark Mothersbaugh's take on "Hey Jude" (plus his wondrous, twinkly score) the exceptionally curated soundtrack for Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" contributes to the film's mood just as much as the quirky dialogue and the meticulously created mise-en-scene. It's alternately mournful (Elliot Smith's "Needle in the Hay"), exuberant (Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"), and sweet (Nico's "These Days"), but the songs are all nostalgic and perfect for their moments in the film. Bob Dylan mingles with Nick Drake, and the Rolling Stones who sidle up next to the Vince Guaraldi Trio, but it's all one big happy musical family here. If only the Tenenbaums got along so well. Here's the 2nd best music scene (set to some Zimmy), don't doubt its emotional weight just because it's not as obvious (in lieu of the Paul Simon moment not being online).
7. "City Of God"
The pure kinetic sight and sound of Fernando Meirelles' and Kátia Lund's urgent crime drama set in the Brazilian slums is obviously a stylish, pinwheeling firecracker of pulsating energy and verve. Much of that is due of course, to its swaggering, beat-driven and vibrant soundtrack — deep soul concoctions of vintage Brazilian funk; styles like choro, sertanejo, brega, forró, frevo and samba by Antonio Pinto and Ed Cortes. But the rest of the soundtrack is knee-deep Brazilo-funk and bossanova that is like the equivalent of the countries own Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Issac Hayes (cuts by Hyldon, Raul Seixas, Cartola, Tim Maia, Wilson Simonal). It's a pretty fantastic primer to Brazilian music that once you venture into, you may never recover (let's not forget the music was so infectious it spawned two remix discs).
6. "Almost Famous" (2000)
Few movies live and die by their soundtrack like Cameron Crowe’s "Almost Famous" — a fictionalized account of his time as a teen rock writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Simply put: if the soundtrack wasn’t legit, the movie would lose the “you are there” feeling that makes it so successful. Luckily, Crowe’s selections are by and large outstanding and do a great job of evoking the je ne sais quoi feeling rock music gives us. Crowe culls from his no doubt massive record collection a perfect mix of old favorites (Elton John's “Tiny Dancer” — really a wonderful moment in film — and "Mona Lisa," Rod Stewart's “Every Picture Tells a Story”) and deep cuts (several cuts by Zeppelin including, “That’s the Way,” Beach Boys' “Feel Flows”) from seminal ‘60s and ‘70s artists. Crowe earns extra credit by including a bootlegged track (Bowie’s cover of Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”) and cuts from under-appreciated so-called “one-hit wonders” like The Seeds and Thunderclap Newman. For once, Crowe spending as much time on his song selections as his screenplay seems to have paid off.
5. "Marie Antoinette" (2006)
One of the biggest rogue and bold choices Sofia Coppla made in her third continued examination of female teenage alienation (that happened to be set in the 18th century France) was purposefully going anachronistic with the soundtrack. The film might not be her most front-to-back successful work (it didn't make our Best of Decade 2006 picks, but it was honorably mentioned), but the adventurous choices of jarring music (songs by punk-funkers Gang of Four, '80s, new-wavers Bow Wow Wow, The Strokes, goth rockers Siouxsie And The Banshees) did complement well next to more celestial tracks by Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, The Cure, Air, The Radio Department and New Order (and some of the Aphex songs you probably didn't even realize were contemporary). Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine would also take his radiant lilt on a remix of two tracks.
4. "High Fidelity" (2000)
Doubling as a soundtrack and a sample mixtape from John Cusack’s character’s vast record collection, the album features a healthy mix of older cult favorites (13th Floor Elevators, Love, and the Velvet Underground), newer cult favorites (Smog, The Beta Band, Royal Trux), classic artists (Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello), and even the obligatory joke track you‘ll only listen to once (Jack Black‘s cover of "Let‘s Get it On"). While the soundtrack album is pared down to only 15 songs from the film’s 50+ tracks, it’s nonetheless a worthy sampling from the mind of a record store owner and pop music aficionado whose collection of '45s may be more important than the love of his life.
3. "Morvern Callar" (2002)
This spectacular Lynne Ramsay film and its soundtrack never get enough props. Samantha Morton comes home to discover her live-in author boyfriend has committed suicide. He exits this mortal coil with a cryptic note that doesn't explain his intentions, but does leave her a mixtape that becomes the oblique soundtrack for making sense of her now decimated life. He also leaves a novel which she appropriates and its potential kicks off a peripatetic and hedonistic voyage. The soundtrack, which includes a host of exquisitely disaffected and disembodied tracks by Aphex Twin, Can, former-Can founder Holger Czukay, Broadcast, Stereolab, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Boards of Canada, the Velvet Underground and many other achingly tasteful choices, acts as the aural fog and haze in which Morton wanders through struggling to find a larger life meaning. There's a dreamlike, almost-hallucinogenic tone to the film and the abstract songs underpin this eerie mood. That final scene however, recontextualizing the Mamas & The Papas to haunting effect is incredible. No one's quite made a film about losing oneself like this.
2."Lost in Translation" (2003)
This isn’t actually meant as a criticism, but there are very few filmmakers on this list for whom the soundtrack is as integral a piece of the finished product as Sofia Coppola. She’s a director who focuses above all on mood and atmosphere, and neither “Virgin Suicides” or “Marie Antoinette” would be the same film without their music. The best example of this is “Lost in Translation” — on the page, a rather slight comedy, on the screen a heartbreaking travelogue/romance, almost entirely due to its shoegaze-fuelled, dreamlike soundtrack. My Bloody Valentine frontman Kevin Shields contributes the atmospheric score (as well as the band’s song “Sometimes”), and the song picks are sublime, from Phoenix’s electric “Too Young” to the unforgettable use of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey.” Plus, Bill Murray’s version of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” is surprisingly affecting.
1. "Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2" (2003, 2004)
Quentin Tarantino loves to boast how he would never trust a composer with scoring his film, but trust two of them he did on "Kill Bill 1 & 2": Wu Tang Clan godhead the RZA to score part one and his buddy filmmaker (and accomplished musician) Robert Rodriguez to score part two. RZA's contribution didn't surprise, but was another solid helping of hard beats and cold rhythms coated in kung-fu samples while Rodriguez's take was more dusty, reverb soaked guitars straight outta Texas. Both worked fantastically well, but yes, "Kill Bill" is more well-known for all the music cues QT borrowed from past films he loved (including eight Ennio Morricone cuts from his favorite Spaghetti Westerns). Say what you will about Quentin — and lord knows we've complained once or twice — but the selection of cuts (Charlie Feathers, The Zombies, Isaac Hayes, Quincy Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Bernard Herrmann, Luis Bacalov, Neu!, Ike Turner, etc.) here and their use is staggeringly good. There might not be a better scene of music in the entire two parts however until the burial scene set to Morricone's "L'Arena" from the 1978 Sergio Corbucci film, "Il Mercenario." Deeply inspiring and stunning.
Also? How genius is Quentin for taking a Zamfir song (ostensibly the cheesy master of the pan flute) and making it the gorgeous conclusion to "Kill Bill Part 1." To that day, it still gives us chills. Brilliant.
LOTS of stuff to name check. Björk's musical numbers for Lars Von Trier's "Dancer In The Dark" soundtrack that featured Thom Yorke on one cut. They're bold, daring and brave (and often people forget that dark, miserablist and hard-to-watch film is also a musical, but it's not necessarily an album we put on all the time hence its exclusion here, you might see it in our scores as technically, that's what the album is); Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides" (yes, her soundtracks are always great, in some cases better than the films itself), which does feature an obvious score by French dream-poppers Air, but also boasts some cool '70s rock choices including Todd Rundgren, Heart, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Al Green, Styx and Sloan all used to good effect; Alison McClean's "Jesus' Son" has some tasteful and strong R&B and soul choices by Joe Tex, Barbara Mason and Peggy Scott; Cameron Crowe's "Vanilla Sky," which is as much of an interesting mix-tape to listen to than it is a soundtrack that enhances a film (ok, the Spiritualized moment is great; the Radiohead scene though seems forced and random); Wes Anderson's 'Life Aquatic' suffers from many of the same issues, it's a good mixtape, but there aren't any particularly amazing music moments (unless you count the forced Sigur Ros moment at the end which still feels out of place in an Anderson film) and lot of it feels haphazardly used. But there are good songs, with our favorites being the Scott Walker and Joan Baez tracks (everything else is far too familiar); Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's "Half Nelson" soundtrack which made fantastic use of the post-rocky and ethereal side for Canadian orchestral rockers Broken Social Scene; the twee and earnest "Juno" soundtrack which featured some Kinks, Moldy Peaches and of course Kimya Dawson; "Ghost World" is a fine little indie (wish it wasn't so flatly directed though; "Crumb" is still Terry Zwigoff's best film to date), and one of its strengths is its peculiar, off-the-beaten path soundtrack which features good blues and Bollywood tracks by Skip James, Mohammed Rafi and others; David Fincher's "Zodiac" has an awesome collection of '70s cuts (Donovan, Three Dog Night, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, Isaac Hayes) that adds an electric immediacy and simmering energy to the entire sprawling picture, not to mention a score by the great '70s thriller/cop composer David Shire (what a knowing genius move that was); the earnest and loving score for "Once" by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (otherwise known as the Swell Season); Badly Drawn Boy's charmingly sweet soundtrack to "About A Boy" (still probably his best and most consistent album); Karen O & The Kids' twee, dour and energetic soundtrack to "Where The Wild Things Are"; "Paris Je T'aime" which featured a distinguished sad/happy song by Feist; Oliver Assayas' "Clean" which features synth-rockers Metric and a whole ton of Brian Eno classic ambient cuts; the "I'm Not There" soundtrack that we sort of went gaga for in 2007, but maybe it's just because we were finally able to write about our Dylan obsession online. Either way it had a host of contemporary indie-rockers covering Zimmy (Stephen Malkmus, Cat Power, Karen O, members of Sonic Youth, Sufjan Stevens, Yo La Tengo), but let's face it at the end of the day none of these songs compare to the originals, thus the exclusion from the final list (Ok, the the tracks by Jim James and Calexico, John Doe and Mason Jennings are pretty great).
Severely underrated is Judd Apatow's soundtrack and score to "Knocked Up" which features an first-rate mix of new and old songs by the venerable folky, Loudon Wainwright III (and it's hard to know where to include this one since some of the best cuts are oldies); while there was only an import edition of the soundtrack to Faith Akin's nihilist love story, "Head On," (and it mostly contained score material), the actual music used in the film — a strong dose of eighties punk and dark wave like The Sisters of Mercy, The Birthday Party and Depeche Mode — definitely goes far to express the chaotic mien of the characters. The cloying "Stranger Than Fiction" wasn't anywhere on our Best of Decade lists, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Britt Daniels from Spoon's team-up with Brian Reitzell. The film was generally a little too heavy on the Austin rockers, but the songs themselves are great. There is also some nice off-the-beaten path gems on the soundtrack (Reitzell on top of being an accomplished musician is also a music supervisor) including tracks by Wreckless Eric, Maximo Park (a vastly underrated British dance punk band), The Jam, Delta 5 and heavenly celestial rockers M83; Jim Jarmusch's "The Limits of Control" has some amazing use of pre-existing drone-rock tunes by Boris, Sunn O))) and Earth; Quentin Tarantino's eclectic and well-chosen "Death Proof" soundtrack also definitely deserves props; Ethan Hawke's melancholy and underrated, "The Hottest State" is surprisingly strong for a Pitchfork-y indie score; Greg Mottola's soundtracks to both "Superbad" and "Adventureland" were excellent, though the latter film is up there with the best soundtracks of 2009 by far (yes, we'll eventually get to that too).
Special Mention: Brian Reitzell & Randall Poster. Among the best music supervisors today. They have had a hand in some of the best soundtracks this decade. Reitzell, as we've written ad nauseum, is Sofia Coppola's go-to music guy and he was instrumental in one of the music and film coup's of the decade (or last two decades) — coaxing Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine out of retirement to score some of "Lost In Translation." Reitzell had a key hand in all of Coppola's films, plus the aforementioned "Stranger Than Fiction,""Friday Night Lights" (the first film to keenly exploit the grandeur of the cinematic band Explosions In The Sky who are now used everywhere). He also did music supervision for "The Brothers Bloom" (one of the best things about it is its music choices), composed a vastly underrated and experimental score for "30 Days of Night" (the reason that vampire film is above average) and also was the music supervision of Roman Coppola's "CQ" which obviously is listed above. Poster has had his hand in countless films including all of Wes Anderson's movies, plus many of our favorite films of the decade (and their use of music) including Fincher's well-curated score and soundtrack to "Zodiac," Noah Baumbach's "The Squid and the Whale," the charming, but sorrowful indie, "The Savages," "Before Sunset," "Jesus' Son," "Old School" (amazing use of Metallica), "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Jarhead" (err, interesting use of Nirvana and lots of '90s hits like MC Hammer, etc.) "The Hangover," "Up in the Air," his list of estimable credits is endless (and that's just the aughts his '90s work — "Gummo," "Kids," "Velvet Goldmine," "Rushmore" to name just a few — is equally stellar). — RP, Jace Brittain, Simon Dang, Stephen Belden, Kimber Myers