Top 10 Scores Turning 10 in 2019

Back to our musical score time machine! For this edition, we're looking at 2009! Here's a look back at the scores of 2009 with my list of the 10 Best Scores Turning 10!  Let's start the ranking!

10. Sherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer)

Matching the unique direction by Guy Ritchie, the standout of this score is the eclectic group of instruments. Jarring to some, it's full of Romanian-style violin solos, cimbalom, and a literally beat-up pub piano. Aiming to do something different, the quirky score still has a strong fan base. 

9. The Informant! (Marvin Hamlisch)

Hamlisch returned to feature films with a score that straddles the worlds of the main character. Small jazz ensemble, spy swing and full Mancini-esque 60's style pop score are all employed to this dark comedy.

8. A Christmas Carol (Alan Silvestri)

Continuing the Christmas spirit of The Polar Express, Silvestri explores the light and dark sides of the classic tale. A lovely theme carries through much of the score which is melded with traditional carols. The grand and heartfelt music makes up for the shortcomings of this CG adaptation.

7. Drag Me to Hell (Christopher Young)

One of Young's stronger horror scores (and he's done plenty). The big score is full of Gothic elements and uses the large orchestra and choir to great effect. The organ and devilish violin solos are an utter delight.

6. Twilight: New Moon (Alexandre Desplat)

Building on the first film of the hit franchise, Desplat's score adds more romance and more melancholy. Scored like a smaller French film, the piano and string melodies treats the film like a serious drama and not like...well, Twilight. As the story unfolds, there is the more sinister side of Volturi and werewolf action scenes.

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Alexandre Desplat)

One of the more eclectic sounding scores, it fits nicely with Wes Anderson's stop motion aesthetic. The instrumentation is wide-ranging with banjo and jaw harp in the forefront. The score ranges from minimalist, wacky, quirky, and folksy with some unsubtle Morricone references.  It's a load of fun, but not as refined as his later Anderson works.

4. Coraline (Bruno Coulais)

The score enhances the dreamlike world in Laika's first feature. Odd sounds match the otherworldly aspects - it's darker and more experimental than most kid films. The musical textures, spectacular choral moments and ambient sounds help the stop-motion visuals stand out.

3. Star Trek (Michael Giacchino)

Giacchino captures the adventurous spirit of this Trek reboot. The new strong theme is heard through the score (and the following sequels). Music carries much of the excitement and motion, and hits emotional beats nicely. His use of the original TV theme is among the many musical highlights.

2. Avatar (James Horner)

Part of the cornerstone of Pandora world building is this Horner score. Even with some recycled Horner elements, it's a great mix of strong action, stirring melodies, choral and Na'vi ethnic elements. Horner brings wonder through the intimate moments and the larger than life blockbuster set pieces.

1. Up (Michael Giacchino)

In Pixar films, the music can carry the story just as much as the visuals.  It's no more stunning than the married life sequence. The thematic development proves Giacchino's mastery at storytelling - from the jazzy style to the floating house's waltz and the thrilling jungle adventure.

Honorable Mentions:
Amelia (Gabriel Yared), Angels & Demons (Hans Zimmer), Astro Boy (John Ottman), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Nicholas Hooper), Knowing (Marco Beltrami), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Alan Silvestri), Ponyo (Joe Hisaishi), The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman), Public Enemies (Elliot Goldenthal), The Stoning of Soraya M. (John Debney), Trick 'r Treat (Douglas Pipes)

Any personal favorites of yours from 2009 that I didn't include?

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