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The Best Scores and Soundtracks of 2022

Justin Hurwitz Photo Credit: Hussein Katz for Paramount Pictures

As I said last year and the year prior, music is essential to our lives. It’s a core part of the human experience, helping us through it all (especially in trying times like these). Whether it’s your favorite band or what you hear while watching a great movie, music makes life better, plain and simple. When it comes to the world of cinema, film scores and soundtracks serve that same purpose. So, today I’m once again bringing an annual list of the year’s best cinematic music. As you might imagine, this is a pretty eclectic list overall. Enjoy!

Below, you’ll see what I think the musical highlights of 2022 were. I’m foregoing a full write-up on each, in part because I’m still a bit under the weather as I work on this, but in part because music is just something you feel. So, with each selection, give a song or track a listen to see if you feel/hear what struck me so much about it…

Here now are my picks for the best scores and soundtracks of the year:

Taylor Swift

*Special Citation: Taylor Swift‘s music for All Too Well: The Short Film*

The Best Scores and Soundtracks of 2022

15. Where the Crawdads Sing (soundtrack)

14. TÁR (score)

13. RRR (soundtrack)

12. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (score and soundtrack)

11. Blonde (score and soundtrack)

10. Empire of Light (score)

9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (score and soundtrack)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (score)

7. The Batman (score)

6. The Fabelmans (score)

5. She Said (score)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (score and soundtrack)

3. Clerks III (soundtrack)

2. The Whale (score)

1. Babylon (score)

Rob Simonsen

As you can see above, my picks are fairly eclectic. It’s really a 1A/1B situation with my top two, as both Justin Hurwitz‘s score for Babylon (look for my conversation with Hurwitz on the site next week) and Rob Simonsen‘s score for The Whale (you can listen to my chat with Simonsen here) are my favorites of the year. Other scores that rank highly on my list include Nicholas Britell‘s for She Said, Michael Giacchino‘s for The Batman, and John Williams‘ for The Fabelmans. Soundtrack-wise, films like Clerks III and Top Gun: Maverick have top honors, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also rating highly.

Of course, these are just my picks. Feel free to seek out the music and see what you think, as well as letting us know your own choices. 2022 had plenty of high quality cinematic music, so there’s no shortage of options…

Focus Features

What were your favorite scores and soundtracks of 2022? Let us know!

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Cristian Barros
Cristian Barros
1 month ago

These are some great choices and I agree entirely about Babylon being the best score of 2022. I would also add the score for Women Talking, highly effective and resonant.

Robert Hamer
1 month ago

It’s so frustrating to me how the same Academy music branch that believed Babel‘s score was in any way “original” went and disqualified Hildur Guðnadóttir’s triumphant work on TÁR for the very small proportion of existing pieces she sampled in the much larger body of her original compositions.

I mean, she already has an Oscar for Joker, so I’m sure she doesn’t care all that much. But I care.

At least M. M. Keeravani and Chandrabose are still in contention for a song-and-dance number that rocked so hard, it severely injured and maybe even killed several snooty British colonists.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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