The songs play in the foreground, in the background, over montage sequences and triumphant climaxes. Sometimes they move the plot along, and sometimes they just move us. And, much as in real life, the right song at the right moment can mean the difference between something ordinary and something truly transcendent.
Music has always been a vital component of film, but in this decade a number of directors pushed the art of the soundtrack further than ever before, offering them up not as disposable souvenirs of some cinematic experience but as important cultural artifacts in their own rights.
The great movie soundtracks of the past ten years proved as crucial to their respective films as any starring actor or tangible set-piece, and today we celebrate ten of the very best.