Top 10

December 10, 2013

10 of the Best: 2013 Action Movie Scores

2013 really was the return of theme tune; after a few years with scores sounding like tuneless dirges, I’d been waiting for a movie to have a truly memorable leitmotif once again.

Thanks to composers like Brian Tyler, superheroes have themes to match their heroics once more and I think with the success of Tyler’s Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3 and Now You See Me, I can safely announce that Brian Tyler is The Action Elite’s Composer of the Year.

So, without further ado here are my top 10 action movie scores of 2013 starting from number 10.



10. Green Street 3 – This is also one of my favourite movies of the year but the music to this movie was awesome. Kind of dancey and works really well during the training montages. Old school with a modern twist.

9. Olympus Has Fallen – This is a score that reminds me very much of Air Force One with some very “God Bless America” moments which I loved. There isn’t a memorable theme as such, but it worked well for the movie, especially during the awesome action scenes.

8. Dead in Tombstone – Danny Trejo’s awesome Western also has an amazing score from Hybrid which is twanging guitars, pounding drums and just all round coolness. Essential.

7. Pacific Rim – Like the movie, the score to the monsters vs. robots is loud, bombastic and fun with a great electric guitar theme tune and it’s a surprisingly effective score to work out to.

6. Bullet to the Head – The Sylvester Stallone/Walter Hill team up has a great electric guitar-flavoured, bluesy score which really fits the vibe of the movie perfectly. Although I still miss Ry Cooder…

5. The Last Stand – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to action may not have been a huge hit but I love it and Moag’s Western style score is fantastic, with a main theme that you’ll be whistling long after the end credits.

4. Iron Man 3 – The film may have been divisive with fans but Brian Tyler really is the man when it comes to superhero themes and this has a huge sense of fun with a 60’s style vibe in places too.

3. Man of Steel – Although it never matches John William’s stunning theme tune, Hans Zimmer gives it a damn good shot with such stellar tunes as ‘Flight’ and ‘What Will you Do When You’re Not Saving the World?’ giving us a Superman for a new age.

2. Oblivion – M83’s score to the Tom Cruise sci-fi movie manages to be incredibly moving, cool and exciting at various points and if the music to Thor: The Dark World hadn’t been so epic then this would have been my number 1. It managed to not sound like anything else which is rare indeed.

1. Thor: The Dark World – Brian Tyler’s triumphant score to the Marvel blockbuster is easily my favourite score of the year as it is unashamedly heroic and utterly befitting to the God of Thunder.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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