5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
It’s no secret that Ben Stiller can bring comedic moments and sappy feelings into any movie he’s in. In the film based off of the 1939 short story by James Thurber, Walter Mitty ventures out into corners of the world he hasn’t been to with encouraging songs behind him, mainly featuring the Swedish musician and Junip frontman José González. Other highlights from the soundtrack include Of Monster and Men’s “Dirty Paws”, soothing sounds from Rogue Valley and a fun tune from Jack Johnson.
4. Dallas Buyers Club
The film inspired by true events in the mid 1980s stars Matthew McConaughey as a cowboy from Dallas who’s slept around with most of the women in town and suddenly discovers he has HIV. His journey to Mexico to find a medication and bring it back to Dallas for other HIV-positive patients to buy from him features songs from indie pop bands like The Naked and Famous, Tegan and Sara and Neon Trees. Highlights from the soundtrack include Capital Cities covering “Stayin’ Alive”, remixes from AWOLNATION and Fitz and the Tantrums and a performance from The Airborne Toxic Event.
3. Drinking Buddies
New Girl fans may have seen Jake Johnson take on another flirtatious and funny character named Luke in Drinking Buddies alongside Olivia Wilde. Their possibly platonic relationship is accompanied by soft folk tunes and upbeat songs from Cayucos and Rubblebucket. The music in the film features many of Jagjaguwar’s artists like Here We Go Magic and Foxygen. Highlights from the soundtrack also include two short exchanges between Luke and Kate and mellow tracks from The Amazing, Barna Howard and Richard Swift.
2. 12 Years a Slave
The Golden Globe winner and historical drama based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup contains a beautiful compilation of symphonic scores by Hans Zimmer and freedom songs from various artists. The storyline of the film describes the life of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, after he was captured and sold into slavery. After 12 years of working in Louisiana plantations he finally became a free black man. Highlights from the soundtrack include a beautiful chorus of the cast singing the a capella song “Roll Jordan Roll,” a stunning performance from Alicia Keys and two songs from John Legend.
1. Inside Llewyn Davis
Producer T Bone Burnett helped the Coen Brothers make old-timey music cool again in O Brother Where Art There. They teamed up again to celebrate the Greenwich Village folk scene of the ‘60s. Actor/musician Oscar Issac plays folk singer Llewyn Davis alongside Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake. The soundtrack features six of the songs Isaac performs and three songs with Justin Timberlake that strike a much different chord than his 20/20 Experience. Highlights from this album include Isaac’s collaboration with Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons and Punch Brothers as well as a unreleased studio version of Bob Dylan’s song “Farewell.”