Top 10 Scores Turning 20 in 2020

Back to our musical score time machine! For this edition, we're looking at 2000! Here's a look back at the scores of 2000 with my list of the 10 Best Scores Turning 20!

Let's start the ranking!

10. Cast Away (Alan Silvestri)

Interestingly, music doesn't appear in most of the film.  When it does, it perfectly adds to the emotions of Wilson floating away.  The theme is poignant and emotional.  Music then appears through scenes of him trying to reconnect with his past life - summing up nicely in the end credit suite.

9. The Legend of Bagger Vance (Rachel Portman)

Portman's score is full of lyric melodies and sentimental underscoring.  The lovely piano and string writing fits right in her wheelhouse and really helps support the spiritual and magical story.  

8. The Perfect Storm (James Horner)

Horner's score captures both the humanity of the fishermen and the riveting drama of the sea. His themes go through multiple transformations, and the aggressive action is top notch.

7. Remember the Titans (Trevor Rabin)

While much of the film contains pop hits, Trevor Rabin's score adds the spirit to this football drama.  The anthemic moments are so enjoyable, and its rousing Titans Spirit has been re-purposed everywhere from politics to the Olympics. 

6. Unbreakable (James Newton Howard)

James Newton Howard reunites with director Shyamalan as a followup to The Sixth Sense.  Featuring subtle themes and stunning string and piano writing, the score helps blend the normal and fantastical worlds. 

5. Chicken Run (John Powell & Harry Gregson-Williams)

Re-teaming after Antz, Powell and Gregson-Williams provide a fantastic score that works while parodying several similar escape film scores.  It's full of fun ditties, adventure, great orchestration and perfectly scored montage sequences.  Bonus points for the kazoos.

4. Dinosaur (James Newton Howard)

Dinosaur marked a turning point to Disney animation: groundbreaking CG animation, no songs and instead a full orchestral score.  Howard offers some magnificent cues with African choral flair and dramatic action.  It's the stunning match of music to visuals in The Egg Travels that remains the highlight.    

3. The Patriot (John Williams)

Williams elevates The Patriot with early American patriotic music.  It's got a grandiose theme, solo violin, and drums and fifes.  In a film that veers semi-silly, Williams helps sell the over-the-top villain, emotional scenes and rousing climax. 

2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Tan Dun)

Blending Eastern and Western musical writing, Dun's evocative score matches the film's romance and cinematography.  It's seemingly simple and complex at the same time.  The cello solos by Yo Yo Ma add to the Chinese instrumentation.

1. Gladiator (Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard)

Zimmer's powerful score (with all its classical nods) doesn't stray far from his action sound.  Thankfully we also get ethnic instrumentation and Gerrard's haunting vocals.  It has since become a template for several similar genre films and a favorite among Zimmer's filmography. 

Honorable Mentions:

Chocolat (Rachel Portman), The Family Man (Danny Elfman), Hollow Man (Jerry Goldsmith), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (James Horner), Pay it Forward (Thomas Newman), The Road to El Dorado (Hans Zimmer & John Powell), X-Men (Michael Kamen)

Any personal favorites of yours from 2000 that I didn't include?

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