This article is part of our 2020 Rewind. Follow along as we explore the best and most interesting movies, shows, performances, and more from this very strange year.In this entry, we’re listening to the best movie score soundtracks of 2020.
I don’t need to tell you how tough 2020 has been for all of us, but one bright side is that the music coming out of cinema has been fantastic. With the change in film exhibition due to the COVID-19 crisis, the playing field seems like it’s been leveled, and a lot more independent film scores are getting noticed instead of the usual blockbuster blackout. And from that, the kind of scores we’ve been blessed with — synth-heavy, delicate chamber music, symphonic brilliance – -have been amazing.
It could still be better for female composers being given opportunities, as male composers are still heavily favored, but with scores like Tamar-kali‘s Shirley, Hannah Peel‘s The Deceived, Gazelle Twin‘s Nocturne, Isobel Waller-Bridge‘s Emma, and Aska Matsumiya‘s I’m Your Woman, plus Hildur Guðnadóttir‘s ground-breaking Oscar win for Joker, the future is certainly bright.
(We also saw the loss of an absolute legend in the industry in 2020, the great Ennio Morricone, but thankfully, with the sheer amount of music he wrote, there is still much to explore.)
This year’s list has a good mix of drama, adventure, horror, and even the occasional super-villain, along with some great archival releases, as usual. There’s plenty to go around, so let’s celebrate the wonderful music the year has given us. Here are the 20 best movie score soundtracks released 2020, in alphabetical order: