Movies benefit from the combination of great direction, tone, acting and easily as importantly the music. So many great movie moments have been made as powerful as they are by the backdrop of the music. I’m not talking about an amazing score by a composer, because if that were the case John Williams would monopolize the top 3-4 spots on my list without even thinking too hard on it. I couldn’t write about great scores without it turning into a John Willams dick sucking marathon, so I opted out of going that route. I mean popular music used in the place of a score to add weight or levity to a scene.
Originally I planned to write a top ten list, but a few entries in I realized I couldn’t rank any one over the other. So the list is in no real order, just random choices of great uses of music in movies. I should also note some of the language and or wording in the article may be considered politically incorrect or ignorant etc. If you’re offended and not entertained by anything in this article; you can either grow a pair of balls and quit being so hypersensitive, or continue to be the little bitch you are and cry about it in the comments section below.
Drive “Various Artists - The Entire Fucking Soundtrack”:
Pretty well every song in drive works perfectly. The movie wouldn't be as good as it is without the music. It's not for everyone though. My mom brought up to me that she thought Drive would have been a great action flick had it not also been a gay fucking musical, her words. Granted she might be a little out of touch with current movies, but she sort of does have a point. Drive is like a modern art film fucked an 80s/90s action flick and had a gay fucking musical throwback action flick baby. On the other hand she also thinks they need to "remake" not reboot Batman (1989). She says it’s because the batman movies now don't "get it".
Reservoir Dogs "Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You":
The torture scene between Michael Madsen and the cop in reservoir dogs still cracks me up every time I watch it. The song playing throughout surely adds to the twisted hilarity of the scene. Without that song there I don't know that it could have been as entertaining or hilarious as it is. The comedy however dark it may have been would have been a lot tougher to sell without such an up tempo song to be cutting peoples ears off to.
Fight Club “The Pixies - Where Is My Mind”:
In the final scene of Fight Club it’s revealed that Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden character and Ed Norton’s unnamed narrator are one in the same. After nearly killing himself while killing off his schizophrenic alter ego Ed Norton watches out the window with his girlfriend as skyscrapers start to fall to the sound of The Pixies “Where is My Mind”. At that moment that song became my ‘end of the world’ song. If the Mayans had been right or North Korea had a bigger set of balls and/or brains and we really were facing the end, then that would be my go to last song. It probably meant drastically different things for everyone, but for me it made the end of that movie amazing and gave me my apocalypse anthem.
Armageddon “Areosmith - Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”:
I don’t give a fuck if you hate Michael Bay, Armageddon is still a good fucking time. Yes he made a shitty Transformers movie with racist robots (I like the first and third entries), but that motherfucker still delivered a few great flicks, Armageddon being one of them. Despite the glaring and obvious plot holes if you can shut your brain off for a couple hours and become emotionally invested in the characters, then when you hear Areosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” you’re able to connect with Horse Mouthed Liv Tyler and Ben Afleck just long enough to actually give a shit when Bruce Willis sacrifices himself for them to be together. That shit still makes me sad every time I watch it.
Goodfellas “Eric Clapton - Layla”:
Goodfellas is one my all-time favorite movies. Part of the reasoning behind that is the iconic ending narrated by Ray Liotta to the backdrop of Eric Clapton’s Layla. The montage of people wacked by DeNiro’s Jimmy played out perfectly with music you wouldn’t otherwise associate with mass mafia murder. Scorsese is the fucking man when it comes to picking music to end his movies to.
Casino “The Animals - House of the Rising Sun”:
Similar to Goodfellas Casino ends with murder and an unconventional but fitting song to accompany it. House of the Rising Sun is my bury motherfuckers in the desert alive after beating them to death song. So if we’re ever fighting and I call you out of the blue to go on a road trip out of town, think nothing of it.
Cruel Intentions “The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony”:
Following the scene in Cruel Intentions when Sebastian is killed while saving Annette’s life is his funeral. During the funeral the camera closes in on a portrait of Sebastian and then ‘Bitter sweet Symphony’ by The Verve starts up as it pans back out. The first time I saw it I expected Sebastian to be outside alive and well with the same shit eating grin on his face, but that fucker actually was dead. Now every time I watch that fucking movie I get bummed out when he dies because I know him and his shit eating grin are no more. That song just does it for me during that scene though. If you liked Cruel Intentions like I did, then you know exactly what I’m saying.
Skyfall “Adele - Skyfall”:
Before having heard the theme to Skyfall by Adele I hadn’t actually heard of her or any of her music. I have now, and fuck is she one talented fat British chick! The opening song to Skyfall was fucking amazing. I’m a huge Bond fan and I can say that Adele’s Skyfall is by far one of my favorite Bond Themes for the entire franchise. When you first heard it if you didn’t just think to yourself or even say out loud “fuck yeah!”, then you’re dead inside, and you’re dead to me too.
8 Mile “Eminem - Lose Yourself”:
The semi-autobiographical movie 8 Mile loosely based on rapper Eminem’s life may not have been an amazing film. But the soundtrack was pretty fucking great. This song in particular plays more like an anthem than a backdrop to a particular scene or moment. It gives you chills when you hear it, especially in the context it’s used in the movie. It’s inspirational and emotional and might actually be the best part of the movie.
Titanic “Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On”:
Every time I watch Titanic already knowing how it will end I get bummed out at the sound of this fucking song. I know that dumb bitch Rose with let Jack die every god damn time I hear it. Celine Dion is such a dirty cunt for having a song that makes me give so much of a shit about these fictional characters. I love the movie and the song does fit quite well, but still fuck you Celine, you did this to us!
Watchmen “All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix”:
I had a tough time picking any one song from Watchmen, but Hendrix in this case trumps all. I loved all the unintentionally hilarious scenes with the blue cock swinging Dr. Manhattan, but this scene was one of my favorites. Backing out and seeing the huge ass smiley face he carved in the moon was fucking priceless. Thanks to Jimi Hendrix it was fucking awesome too.