60 to 150 seconds – that’s all the time most people need to decide if they want to see a movie or not. A movie trailer is the cinematic equivalent of an elevator pitch: tell me what it’s about and why I should invest my money in it, quickly. That short window of opportunity makes using the right song all that more important. These are the top 10 (11, actually) songs that helped pitch some great movies this past year. Feel free to disagree and insult us for omitting your favorites.
#10 Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones – Wall Street 2
A classic song for a classic film character. The movie itself was just OK, but the trailer was successful in giving the right energy and momentum for the return of Mr. Gekko.
|“Sympathy for the Devil” - The Rolling Stones|
#9 When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin and Panic Switch by Silversun Pickups – Sucker Punch
It’s hard to say anything bad about the choice of songs here. I mean, YOU try picking the right song to go with these scenes. There are 2 songs featured in this clip. The song by Silversun Pickups plays a bigger role in this trailer acting as the backdrop to the action sequences. Who knew cool chicks didn’t look at explosions either? (1:21)
|“When The Levee Breaks” - Led Zeppelin 0:27 – 0:56|
|“Panic Switch” - Silversun Pickups 0:57 – 2:28|
#8 Somewhere Only We Know by Keane – Winnie The Pooh
|“Somewhere Only We Know” - Keane|
#7 The High Road by Broken Bells – Rabbit Hole
If we were ranking and judging these trailers on song alone, this would probably have made the top 3. Don’t get us wrong, the trailer is very good. The next 6 are just better.
|“The Hight Road” - Broken Bells|
#6 God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash – True Grit
Even though the song only kicks in with about a minute left, this trailer was almost able to crack our top 5. It might seem easy to just slap a Johnny Cash song in a Western, but the song is particularly fitting of the character played by Jeff Bridges – the song might as well be called ‘Marshall Cogburn’s Gonna Cut You Down’.
|“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” - Johnny Cash|
#5 I’ll Try Anything Once by The Strokes – Somewhere
If there’s to be little or no dialog in a trailer, the song better be good. Not only that, but it better convey the right message. Case in point, our #5 on the list. (also see our #3)
|“I’ll Try Anything Once” - The Strokes|
#4 The Game Has Changed by Daft Punk – Tron
If this is the first time you see this video and you have lousy speakers – you might be wondering why this is #3. If you HAVE seen the movie – and are plugged in to a half-decent subwoofer – you probably have a really strong urge to give someone a high five right now.
|“The Game Has Changed” - Daft Punk|
#3 Sun’s Gone Dim by Johann Johannsson – Battle Los Angeles
It’s hard to deny that this is an awesome song for this trailer. The robotic tones fit superbly and the eerie feeling of watching those battle scenes without actually hearing the gunshots or explosions leaves you with a sense of despair. Really well done there. It looks like a pretty good movie too – I hope Michelle Rodriguez doesn’t ruin it. **Update: She did.**
|“Sun’s Gone Dim” - Johann Johannson|
#2 Mind Heist composed by Zack Hemsey – Inception
How Inception made the list:
Editor 1: “That trailer was freaking amazing – maybe the best all year!”
Editor 2: “I know. Wow.”
Editor 1: “It HAS to go on the list. The track is crazy.”
Editor 2: “I know but we agreed – only commercial tracks on the list. No dice my friend.”
Editor 1: “Bwooooonnnngg!!”
|“Mind Heist” - Zack Hemsey|
#1 Creep by Scala & Kolacny Brothers – The Social Network
It’s no coincidence that this trailer made almost everyone’s top 3 movie trailers of 2010. We forgive them for trying to make Zuckerberg seem cool with the other version that featured the song “Power” by Kanye West. They had it right the first time with this one.
|“Creep” - Scala & Kolacny Brothers|