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The 20 best movie soundtracks of all time

The 20 best movie soundtracks of all time

With 'Catching Fire' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis' releases, we celebrate Prince, Beatles and 'Pretty in Pink'

Two major soundtrack releases -- last week's "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" -- take two different tacks in regards to their tracks.

Like "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", the Coen Brothers' latest film integrates its songs firmly into the story, shy of a musical, but without meaning if not for its songs. Justin Timberlake, the film's star Oscar Isaac, Marcus Mumford and more topline the traditionals and golden Greenwich-era folk music.

"Catching Fire" is the latest in a string of major Hollywood flicks that assembled several previously unreleased songs from top-line artists like Coldplay, Ellie Goulding and Christina Aguilera, some of whom composed and recorded specifically for the movie.

Thinking about high profile releases like these, HitFix staffers put our heads together to rank some of the best film soundtrack releases we could think of. There were fierce defenses of sole votes, and no shortage of those who claimed they wore their record/tape/CD down to ashes. It was also no surprise there were great mixes for terrible movies -- we'll leave it to you to determine which those are.

But for every "Shaft," "Judgement Night," "The Crow," "Menace II Society," "Stealing Beauty," "American Graffiti" and "Twilight" film soundtrack we couldn't include in the Top 20, there were no-brainer classics like "Purple Rain," "Pulp Fiction" and "Pretty in Pink" to keep the conversation calm.

Check out our ranked list of the 20 Best Soundtracks Of All Time below, and rank 5 of your own, too. And don't fuss too bad, we'll do a Best Soundtrack Score some other time, you "There Will Be Blood" fans.

If you're feeling extra-charged, check out our Top 20 Movie Musicals of the Last 50 Years.

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Orlando Jones and Lyndie Greenwood in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Irving (Orlando Jones) brings Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) to work on her first day out of the asylum

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: 'Necromancer' is a fist bumping good time

Another strong episode argues the show could be more than just a guilty pleasure

"Sleepy Hollow" is officially on a roll. Two weeks in a row of first-rate episodes and everything's coming together. I'd say "Necromancer" is as close to a perfect episode as the show has delivered so far. (Though some may consider it a misstep that we now have a backstory for Headless... more on that in a bit.)

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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Maks joins the judges' table

It's the semifinals! Who will make the cut?

It's the semifinal! And Maksim Chmerkovskiy is back -- and sitting next to Len at the judges' table! This is so exciting. Do you think they'll elbow one another into a fist fight? Or maybe hug. Anything is possible with these two. Maybe they'll whack one another with paddles when they disagree on a score. Hey, don't rule it out!

Also, the couples have to perform two different dances to the same song tonight. I guess we ran out of money for the music budget? Just kidding. The song will be changed as well. 

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3 ABC sitcoms will help promote Target with a series of 'pay it forward' ads


3 ABC sitcoms will help promote Target with a series of "pay it forward" ads
On Wednesday, "The Middle" will give a surprise present to "Back in the Game," which will then surprise a character from "Modern Family."


"Two and a Half Men" brings on Paula Marshall and Diane Farr
Marshall will guest as Jon Cryer's love interest, while Farr will play a woman with ties to Farr's character.


"South Park" visits George R.R. Martin's house
Watch a preview of another "Game of Thrones"-themed episode.


History channel is live-tweeting JFK's final days
The official History account is doing a "JFK Twitter Takeover" all week.


Anjelica Huston pitches herself for "Downton Abbey"
"I was raised in Ireland and England so I could pop into a part," she says.


More fraud charges filed against Teresa and Joe Giudice
The "Real Housewives" couple were hit today with two more charges for fraud.


NBC makes Tom Brady look like "Dexter"
See the promo for Sunday's unintentionally "Dexter"-looking "Manning-Brady XIV" matchup on "Sunday Night Football."


In defense of TV remaking old shows

Theater does remakes all the time, and nobody cares. Plus, without remakes, we wouldn't have Michael Scott from "The Office."


Gang member explains why shots were fired near "House of Lies" set

The gang member who calls himself "P" tells TMZ producers didn't reach out to the community before shooting on location. Which prompted to fire shots in the air.


Carrot Top tells Oprah Winfrey Network: "I'm sorry that I look good"
Watch the prop comic's appearance on "Oprah Where Are They Now."


Marla Sokoloff joins "The Fosters"
"The Practice" alum will romance Danny Nucci.


"Alias" alum Carl Lumbly nearly gave up acting after his wife died of cancer
Lumbly, who met Vonetta McGee on "Cagney & Lacey," recalls his wife's decade-long battle with cancer. She died in 2010.


Writers Guild claims reality TV writers are losing $40M a year in unpaid overtime
The WGA East singled out "Pawn Stars," "The First 48" and " “Doomsday Preppers" among the biggest violators.


"Chuck's" Bonita Friedericy is headed to Lifetime

She'll play a psychologist on "Unreal."


Check out "Sirens" from Denis Leary
The USA series goes into the world of EMTs.


"Dancing with the Stars" boss: Voting changes have been difficult
But Conrad Green says there's no better way to do the voting results when you're only one night a week.


Judy Greer shows her thong on the back cover of her memoir
The "Arrested Development" star is releasing "I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star" in April.


Michael K. Williams: I was determined not to make my "Boardwalk" character another Omar
"But the two guys obviously have their similarities," he says. "They both have a moral code that they live by. They both stand up for themselves. They both speak their minds. They both made the most of limited opportunities offered to them in their respective worlds. But my first goal was to make sure that people didn't see Chalky as Omar in a 1920s suit." PLUS: Gretchen Mol is "Boardwalk's" damaged secret weapon.


Why "Hello Ladies" deserves another season
Critics panning the Stephen Merchant comedy were wrong.


Viewers are fleeing "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
Season 4 is down about 30% in the key demo.


"Sleepy Hollow": It's ridiculously good

After two months, Fox's initially "ridiculous"-looking drama has proved to be more than ridiculous.


Virgin's Richard Branson responds to Conan O'Brien's LinkedIn request
"Absolutely not Conan!" PLUS: Preview Conan's "Serious" interview with historian A. Scott Berg.


Susan Boyle: Meryl Streep may play me

The "Britain's Got Talent" sensation says Streep has been approached for Boyle's biopic.


What is the lesson of the "Eastbound & Down" finale?
Is Kenny Powers telling us that we can't have it all? PLUS: Recalling the best "Eastbound" moments.


"Sleepy Hollow" and "Almost Human": Fox's Monday shows are multiracial -- and serious about race
While "Sleepy Hollow" openly plays with race, says Willa Paskin, "Almost Human" deals with it an allegorical capacity.


Why is Martha Stewart tweeting nasty photos of food?
There has been such a backlash against Martha's food-tweeting that she had to respond.


Adam Devine answers questions on Reddit
How often does the "Workaholics" star get fan mail from dyslexic Maroon 5 fans? "Everyday," he says.


Listen to the "Almost Human" theme, composed by J.J. Abrams
Abrams is no stranger to making theme songs, having done the one for "Alias." PLUS: "Almost Human" creator wants to create a hopeful future on his show.


Lea Michele films her first music video
The "Glee" star tweeted pics from the set over the weekend.


TV One renews "R&B Divas Atlanta"

The reality show will be back for Season 3, without three cast members.


CNBC's "Money Honey" jumps to Fox Business Network
Maria Bartiromo had just celebrated her 20th anniversary with CNBC last month.


"Homeland" is back to its old self
Sunday's episode was a reminder of why we got hooked on this show in the first place. PLUS: Is the pregnancy storyline implausible?, Is there too much craziness?, and Charlie Rose interviews Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.


For sale: "Twin Peaks"-themed clothing
A clothing company is offering the "Twin Peaks Collection."

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<p>John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris and Frances Conroy in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris and Frances Conroy in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Mom and Dad'

What did everybody think of our return visit to the Farhampton Inn?

Last week's "How I Met Your Mother" was just good enough — or, at least, reminiscent enough of olde-time "HIMYM" — for me to delay my plan to step back from regular reviewing. "Mom and Dad," on the other hand, was pretty representative of season 9: lots of Farhampton Inn hijinks, lots of Marshall and Daphne in the car (albeit apparently bringing Daphne's time on the show to an end), lots of Barney being more sociopath than man. So I'll leave it to y'all to discuss the Beastie Boys homage, the Billy Zabka flashbacks, the Pineapple Incident callback and whatever else you'd like to about this one.

Next week: rhyming! Maybe I'll have more to say; but if not, there won't be hell to pay.

As for "Mom and Dad," what did everybody else think?

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<p><span class="tooltip" id="previewtooltip_7967752c588d4c4facfe4342ddd6b3a2" style="top: -118px; left: -481px; display: block;">Mark  Wahlberg mingles with  Charlize Theron and Peter Berg at AFI&nbsp;Fest premiere of &quot;Lone Survivor.&quot;<br />
</span></p>

Mark Wahlberg mingles with Charlize Theron and Peter Berg at AFI Fest premiere of "Lone Survivor."

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Off the Carpet: The Oscar season has never been so stuffed

Tons of events and a lot of great movies make this one to remember

I honestly didn't know my iCal application could hold this many events. The reminder jingle on my phone is going off constantly, jogging my memory of this shindig or that Q&A. The circuit has, in no uncertain terms, become unhinged with phase one glut, and it seems like it's only getting worse...depending on how you look at it.

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<p>Oddly, this is not a shot from Danny McBride's screen test to play the title role in 'Noah'</p>

Oddly, this is not a shot from Danny McBride's screen test to play the title role in 'Noah'

Credit: HBO/Fred Norris

Review: Kenny Powers sticks the landing and says goodbye in final 'Eastbound & Down'

The final season puts the perfect bow on one of our favorite TV characters

Why was I nervous?

The moment I went from thinking "Eastbound & Down" was fun to thinking it was sort of fiendishly brilliant was at the end of the first season, when the emotional climax of the entire run of episodes consisted of Kenny Powers putting someone's eye out with a baseball. It was played as a huge triumphant moment, complete with the best musical quote of the year, and it was so deeply unhinged that I couldn't believe anyone had convinced a network to air it.

This year, I've been writing about "Eastbound & Down" each week as it's been counting down to last night's final episode, and I found myself getting more and more anxious about the eventual fate of Kenny Powers. I should have relaxed, though, because this has been as confident a final season of television as "Breaking Bad" was, although far fewer people seem to have been caught up in the excitement of watching Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and David Gordon Green (along with the other great writers and performers involved this year) pitch a perfect game. After the way the third season resolved, it felt like anything was possible this year, and there was no way to predict what the guys would do to tie things up.

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<p>Saoirse Ronan at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;How I Live Now.&quot;</p>

Saoirse Ronan at the Los Angeles premiere of "How I Live Now."

Credit: AP Photo/Richard Shotwell

Saoirse Ronan on 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and taking direction from Ryan Gosling

The 19-year-old Oscar nominee once harbored dreams of waitressing
Something seems different about 19-year-old Saoirse Ronan from the moment the camera lands on her delicate, determined features in Kevin Mcdonald's youth-in-peril drama "How I Live Now," and it's hard to place exactly what it is. It's not the questioning Transatlantic accent, though that takes some getting used to. That piercing, pale-eyed gaze is one we know well by now, and the same goes for her quietly assured performing presence -- both present and correct in this unusual, genre-melding adaptation of Meg Rosoff's acclaimed teen novel.
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'Breaking Bad's' Vince Gilligan will stay with Sony as part of a rich TV deal


"Breaking Bad's" Vince Gilligan will stay with Sony as part of a rich TV deal

Gilligan says of the eight-figure deal: "I'm happy to dance with the gal that brung me, as we say in the (grammar-impaired) South." PLUS: Watch "Breaking Bad" stars react to reading the final script.


Lady Gaga's "SNL" appearance fails to boost album sales
The two singles she performed Saturday also didn't get a bump on the singles chart.


"Idol" winner is covered in blood on "CSI"

Check out Jordin Sparks' cameo, airing on Wednesday.


Jay Leno sued for accusing a woman of bestiality
The "Tonight Show" segment "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" falsely implied that flight attendant Louann Giambattista had sexual relations with a rat, according to her lawsuit.


JFK documentaries deliver big ratings to PBS
PBS showed Kennedy docs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. PLUS: See a schedule of JFK anniversary programming.


Preview Leslie Knope's "Parks and Rec" game with Indianapolis Colts

This week's episode was filmed before wide receiver Reggie Wayne's season-ending injury.


FX developing "Desperadoes"
The six-hour miniseries will chronicle the Dalton Gang's crime spree in the 1890s.

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<p>Justin Bieber with R. Kelly</p>

Justin Bieber with R. Kelly

Listen: Justin Bieber and R. Kelly duet on new song, 'PYD'

It doesn't stand for what you may think it does

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one making music with R. Kelly. In his latest  #musicmonday offering, Justin Bieber and the singer come together for “PYD.” No, that doesn’t stand for “Pretty Young Ding” (sorry, bad Michael Jackson joke). It stands for “Put You Down.”

However, “Put You Down” doesn’t refer to putting an animal to sleep or saying something bad about someone, in Bieber-speak it means laying some love on his lady...whether he’s “putting you down” in every room in the house or on a plane or train or roof or balcony. It’s Bieber meets R-rated Dr. Seuss.

Kelly comes in about midway through the slow jam. “I’ve been doing forensics on your body in this club and I can tell by how you’re walking your body ain’t been touched the right way,” Kelly sings.

It’s meant to be sexy, but it all felt a little too much like a The Lonely Island sketches with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake as the badly-clothed douchbags from "Dick in a Box" and "Motherlover."  Can’t you see it?

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Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody in 'The Last Time' video: Watch
Credit: Big Machine

Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody in 'The Last Time' video: Watch

Sweeping ballad from 'Red' gets a live music clip. Which version do you like better?

The Last Time,” a duet with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Taylor Swift, is one of “Red’s” stand outs, in part because it sounds like it could come straight off a Snow Patrol album.

It doesn’t have quite the atmospherics of “Set the Fire to the Third Bar,” a tune from Snow Patrol’s “Eyes Open” album featuring Martha Wainwright, but it has the same moody build of any number of Snow Patrol tunes.

Instead of a conceptual clip, the Terry Richardson-directed video features Lightbody and Swift performing the song live in concert. They keep their backs to each other for much of the song keeping in tune with the feeling of alienation of the lovers in the song, but the payoff comes at 3:28 when Lightbody smiles at Swift so sweetly, it will melt your heart.

it doesn’t seem as though the song is being serviced as a single, so this is more likely a goodie for fans who weren’t able to see Swift in concert or weren’t the night this was filmed on a concert stop in Sacramento, Calif. in August. It was the one and only time that Swift has performed the song live.

Below the official video, which was released today, is a fan shot video from the concert which I actually like better, other than the fact it's missing the cute close up.  Which do you like better? 

And speaking of Swift,  Jody Rosen wrote a love letter of an article to Swift in the current issue of New York"  magazine. The well-written, fun piece doesn't tread much new ground for long-time fans, but Swift talks about the next album some more and how she'll work with Max Martin and Shellback first to get the structure of the album, before moving on to other producers.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 211

Dan and Alan discuss 'Getting On,' 'Walking Dead' and The Future

The

It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg. 
 
For this week? We're business-as-usual.
 
Next week, however, things may start to change. We kick off this podcast by explaining the shape of things to come.
 
Then we review HBO's "Getting On" and BBC America's "Doctor Who" telefilm "An Adventure in Space and Time." We did a Dan's Reality Round-Up and talked about the latest resurrection of "The Killing." We used listener mail to discuss Sunday's "The Walking Dead" and also talked about FXX and "Orange Is The New Black."
 
Today's breakdown:
Explanation of Things To Come (00:01:00 - 00:05:40)
"Getting On" (00:05:40 - 00:17:55)
"An Adventure in Space and Time" (00:17:55 - 00:27:45)
Dan's Reality Round-Up (00:27:45 - 00:45:15)
The resurrection of "The Killing" (00:45:15 - 00:54:05)
Listener Mail - "Walking Dead" (w/spoilers) (00:54:25 - 01:07:30)
Listener Mail - FXX (01:07:35 - 01:16:45)
Listener Mail - "Orange Is The New Black" awards classification (01:16:50 -  01:23:05)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

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