Many people watch movies without fully appreciating how heavily a soundtrack contributes to their experience. Having the right piece of music to complement what is going on can easily enhance a scene. Conversely, a certain song might be easier to enjoy after it is heard in a decent film, and associated with the viewing of that film.
Here is a list of my Top 5 Favorite Soundtracks. Normally after seeing a movie I really like, I'll end up buying the record rather than the Blu-ray or DVD.
5. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
This movie cleverly ties in its soundtrack so that the characters are aware of the music. K-Billy's Super Sounds of the '70s is a silly radio show voiced by a guy who, by the way he sounds, must be really stoned. The most memorable scene is where Mr. Blonde tortures a cop while dancing and singing along to "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel.
4. 8 Mile (2002)
The fact that Eminem wrote his material for this while on set filming is impressive, to say the least. The songs are powerfully motivating as Eminem ties in his own life with that of the semi-fictional protagonist (Rabbit) that he portrays. "Lose Yourself" is a classic that everybody has heard by now, but "Rabbit Run" and the title track are two of my favorites as well.
3. Oldboy (2003)
Korean cinema often sounds way too dramatic, with cheesy strings around every corner. Although this movie does implement a more orchestral score, it is very balanced and quite beautiful. I especially enjoy how the synthesizer is able to slither its way in and out of this thing without being too overt.
2. Birdman (2014)
Yet another example of a film that really has its soundtrack intermeshed within, but unlike Reservoir Dogs, this one is comprised solely of Antonio Sanchez's splashy jazz drumming. There are a couple scenes where you actually see Sanchez, and as the camera gets further away from him and his kit, the drumming begins to sound more distant.
1. Drive (2011)
Neo-'80s synth-pop just might be better than the original. This whole film just reeks of style, and the soundtrack is no exception. Cliff Martinez has become one of my favorite film score composers, not only for his work in this, but also in Only God Forgives (also directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling)—an acid trip smothered in bamboo percussion and Thai pop.