8 Movies With A Better Soundtrack Than The Plot

Film is undeniably a visual medium, and more often than not, you approach a film hoping that it will show you a good story. Seeing something unfold on screen with your own eyes and experiencing something you wouldn’t see in everyday life is something that makes movies so great. Generally, music plays a big role in this experience. The music works to enhance the events unfolding on screen, whether through original compositions or curated soundtracks of already existing songs.

RELATED: Best Movie Soundtracks 2021, Ranked

The music is the main reason to live a movie, however, sometimes it ends up detracting from the plot, characters and on-screen dialogue. The following eight films are all examples of when a film’s music became the most memorable part of it. The music in these movies leaves the strongest impact, and as such, viewers may find themselves revisiting the music more than the movie it accompanies.

‘Purple Rain’ (1984)

purple rain

Princeit’s purple rain – as an album – deserves its reputation as one of the greatest in pop history. It’s got nine classic songs totaling just over 40 minutes, each diverse and distinct from the other, but all end up complementing the rest to create a complete package that’s so good. It’s the rare album where every song sounds good enough to be a single.

The movie of the same name, however, isn’t that great. While it has a certain 1980s charm and Prince is fun to watch (even if his acting wasn’t as good as his singing), the plot isn’t particularly strong. It’s about a young musician called The Kid (played by Prince) who juggles family, relationship and work issues. Some might not even realize that the far more famous album of the same name is even a soundtrack to the movie, and there’s a good reason the album is remembered more fondly today.


‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987)

dirty dance

The iconic and still very popular dirty dance continues to be celebrated today, 35 years after its release. It has an incredibly simple story – a young girl falls in love with a hunky dance teacher. Their personalities clash at first, but their relationship grows and they overcome various obstacles to be together forever and all that jazz.

RELATED: 8 TV Shows To Watch Just For The Soundtrack

Unsurprisingly for a film with “dance” in its title, music plays a huge role in the film. While it’s well done and the cast has charm, the musical choices can’t be overlooked when it comes to understanding why the film was such a hit. Beyond the iconic “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, you of course have music from classic artists like The Ronettes, The four Seasonsand Otis Reddingamong other things, all for an excellent listening experience full of 1960s nostalgia.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic covering the rise of the legendary rock band Queenwith special emphasis on their larger than life vocalist, Freddie Mercury. A huge box office success the year it was released, as well as a film that did quite well in the 2018 awards season, Bohemian Rhapsody is not as fondly remembered today, now that the surrounding hype has died down.

It is possible that he created such a stir because of Queen music more than anything. They remain a highly regarded and popular band, and are still touring around the world, despite Mercury died more than 30 years ago. Look Bohemian Rhapsody in a cinema meant living Queen music through an incredible sound system and in a way that recreated some of their most iconic live performances on screen. The band’s music likely helped many viewers ignore how the film fell victim to many standard biographical tropes, as well as sanitize and water down the more risque aspects of Mercury short but explosive life.

‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ (1999)

phantom menace

It’s not a bold statement to say star wars is perhaps the most controversial popular franchise on the current media landscape. Every movie, TV series or video game that bears the star wars name still seems to split the fan base. It’s happened time and time again, probably starting in the late 90s when george lucas released the first film of its prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace. From an overemphasis on political intrigue, to old-fashioned good adventures, to the introduction of unpopular new characters, it seemed like every aspect of the film was hated or defended by some viewers.

However, the only thing star wars fans will always agree is that the brilliant John Williams has provided the franchise with incredible music over the years. Even when films were controversial or hated by many, detractors rarely said a bad word about Williams, who always brought his A-game. No doubt, many star wars movies have music that stands out above all else, but The Phantom Menace is the clearest example of this, thanks in part to the iconic “Duel of the Fates”, itself one of the most beloved and memorable pieces of music of all. star wars.

“Under the Cherry Moon” (1986)

under the cherry moon

under the cherry moon belonged to Prince followed by purple rain. It was a step forward for Prince as an actor and filmmaker, and with a more comedic plot about two con artists trying to swindle a wealthy heiress out of his fortune, it’s a more enjoyable watch than its better-known predecessor. The surprisingly fantastic black-and-white cinematography also helps.

As purple rainit features a soundtrack of original Prince songs, titled Paradeand also like purple rain, the soundtrack ultimately turns out to be more convincing than the film it accompanies, which of course remains quite solid. Best known for the hit ‘Kiss’, it’s a great listen from start to finish, and shows that during the 1980s Prince couldn’t hurt as a musician.

“Streets of Fire” (1984)

streets of fire

streets of fire is an over-the-top 1980s cult classic that dives unabashedly into almost every genre (action, romance, thriller, musical, crime, adventure, drama) to tell the remarkably simple story of a hilarious and stoic badass and of his friends who save the love of his life kidnapped from a gang of thugs, led by a very young (and delightfully evil) Willem Dafoe.

RELATED: Every Walter Hill Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

The music definitely holds this one together. Without it, the bursts of stylized violence and colorful visuals would only get so far the paper-thin characters and simplistic plot. Book ended with two great songs written by the late, great Jim Steinman, streets of fire is an unforgettable soundtrack for an otherwise potentially forgettable movie.

‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (1982)


Koyaanisqatsi is a haunting and moving documentary, set to capture (without any interviews or voice-overs) life in the early 1980s, and humanity’s reliance on technology and the consequences that flowed from it. 40 years later, it still has remarkable power and relevance.

The main thing driving its unusual, completely dialogue-free narrative is the composer Philip Glass’ noteworthy note. Words cannot do him justice, or even describe him. But when combined with the director‘s footage Godfrey Reggio, along with the film’s dramatic editing, the result is hypnotic and overwhelming in the best way. Although perfectly shot and put together, it’s hard to say if the film would perform as well without Glass. contributions, and the music is so powerful and unique that it can be enjoyed and appreciated even without watching the movie itself.

“The Mission” (1986)

The mission

The mission tells the story of the inhabitants of a missionary in South America in the 1700s, and the mercenary Rodrigo Mendoza (played by robert de niro), who goes there in search of redemption. A little slow sometimes The mission always tells its story well, and benefits from its cast, which also includes Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson.

The mission undoubtedly rises, however, whenever it incorporates the music of an iconic Italian composer Ennio Morricone, which blessed the film with one of its best scores. Wide, varied and beautiful, the music of The mission pushes an otherwise good film over the line to become a great one, with the exceptional score complementing and elevating the film’s beautiful scenery, ambitious themes and emotional storyline.

NEXT: ‘The Batman’: Hear Michael Giacchino’s Full Score for Matt Reeves’ Film

‘SNL’: John Mulaney Attends Uncomfortable COVID Dinner Sketch

A sketch so real it hurts.

Read more

About the Author