More often then not, one’s enjoyment of a movie is bolstered by the presence of a wonderful score and/or soundtrack. When it comes to the involvement of Trent Reznor (who in recent years has worked in tandem with English musician Atticus Ross), even some really dreadful movies have resulted in imminently purchase-worthy music.
So here’s a list of my favorite cinematically musical contributions from Trent (at times with Atticus and others with Nine Inch Nails), and since I love almost anything Reznor related, I’ve probably largely failed to be as discriminating as many of you would prefer. Many of these contributions were also preexisting tunes that were merely licensed by various movies, but if they fit the mood of the movie well, they ended up in the list regardless of other discerning criteria. I’ve tried to showcase where the songs appear in the actual movies where possible, but that endeavor was complicated by my decision to also include instances where Reznor’s music appears in trailers rather than actual movies because, hell, why not.
Also, an honorable mention goes out to The Doom Generation’s use of “Heresy.”
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The movie itself was underwhelming and did a huge disservice to the Lisbeth Salander character, but damn, the “Immigrant Song” cover by Trent and Karen O. was aggressively spectacular.
The Crow, “Dead Souls”: Of course, this song is a cover of the Joy Division song. The below video is one of many Brandon Lee tributes, but the song entirely suits the depravity and revenge theme of the entire movie.
Wanted, “Every Day is Exactly the Same”: This song plays during one of the movie’s first scenes when poor Wesley (James McAvoy) was still a wimp.
A Perfect Getaway, “The Wretched”: This trailer starts out in all manner of sweetness and light, but then shit gets real. (Bonus: Olyphant!)
Natural Born Killers, “Something I Can Never Have,” “A Warm Place: Say what you want about Oliver Stone, but the man knows how to throw together a great soundtrack.
Man on Fire, “The Mark Has Been Made”: Oh yeah. This song popped in right when Denzel decided to kill all of the things.
Se7en, “Closer”: This remix during opening credits underscored the creepiness to come.
Lost Highway, “Driver Down” and “The Perfect Drug”: Here’s a perfect example of a fantastic soundtrack paired with a crappy movie. Sorry, David Lynch, but you struck out with this one.
300, “Just Like You Imagined”: What else can I say here but, “This. Is. Sparta!”
The Social Network, entire score: I think that I’m the only Pajiba critic who didn’t like this movie, yet I still own the score.
Terminator Salvation, “The Day the World Went Away”: This was a perfect fit for the movie’s theme; such a shame that McG screwed it all up.
And a little unexpected bonus number for you…
The Entire Year Zero Album: Technically, it’s not a movie yet, but it should be.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.