Top 10 Soundtracks of 2018

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

A lot of great movies came out in 2018 and some were made even better by having some stellar soundtracks. From curated playlists used to accentuate the film or original scores that support the drama and tension of a scene, these ten soundtracks are amongst the best of the year (and some of all time). Some are for studio blockbusters while others were for independent darlings. But, whichever you listen to guarantees a moving experience that will remind you of the movie itself. Let us know what you think of our selections in the comments below and feel free to share your choices for the top soundtracks of 2018.


You don't normally pay much attention to the score for movies like DEADPOOL 2 as comedies tend to be less reliant on it, but Tyler Bates brought a rock sensibility that perfectly supports David Leitch's action sequences. At the same time, the original song "Ashes" by Celine Dion plays as a serious piece of muisc that could have worked in a James Bond film. If DEADPOOL 2 gets an Oscar nomination for that song, you can imagine how Ryan Reynolds is going to react.


Lorne Balfe's score for the sixth MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film is one of the most energetic in the franchise's long run. Less reliant on the trademark theme music than previous entries, there are a lot of similarities to the music Hans Zimmer composed for Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT films. Still, Balfe provides a grand suite of music that is appropriately epic for the big setpieces and intimate during the quieter moments.


While I was disppointed that John Williams did not compose the score for READY PLAYER ONE, Alan Silvestri managed to step in nicely. While Spielberg's film uses a lot of 80s pop songs, the score recalls the music of Silvestri's own score for BACK TO THE FUTURE as well as incorporating the haunting sounds of THE SHINING. Silvestri does a nice job of making a sweeping soundtrack that fits in with Williams' most iconic music and helps READY PLAYER ONE feel like it belongs in the era it pays homage to.


There is no original music to really speak of in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY as the film focuses on the vast catalog of hits created by Freddie Mercury and Queen, but that is all you really need. No one could quite capture the iconic voice of Mercury, so you get to see Rami Malek transform into the singer while Mercury's classic voice plays. Everyone likely owns at least one Queen greatest hits album, so this is one more to add to the collection.


Thom Yorke's Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood as been making acclaimed film scores for years now, so now Yorke gets into the mix with a haunting score for Luca Guadagnino's horror movie. Led by the vocal track "Suspirium", Yorke's score is as haunting as the movie itself and full of beautiful melodies and creeping rhythms that echo the narrative on screen. Likely the least conventional of all the scores on this list, Yorke's music is also the most distinct and memorable.


INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE has not one soundtrack but three. The first is Daniel Pemberton's score which perfectly blends with the comic book-come-to-life vibe of the film and plays off of Miles Morales' musical tastes. The soundtrack itself is constructed like a playlist that Miles himself would listen to and is full of contemporary musicians like Post Malone and Vince Staples. It is a great blend of music. The cherry on top is the recently released Christmas EP will holiday songs sung by stars Jake Johnson, Shameik Moore, Jorma Taccone, and Chris Pine. Pine's Shatneresque "Spidey-Bells (A Hero's Lament)" played over the end credits and is sure to become an annual tradition to listen to.


When John Carpenter gives his seal of approval on a new HALLOWEEN movie, you pay attention. When he offers to compose the score, you make it a must see movie. Carpenter teamed with his son Cody and Daniel Davies to update he iconic music from the original film and give it a contemporary edge. The results are nostalgiac and amplified into something you can listen to casually on it's own. Carpenter doesn't mess with perfection and somehow accentuates it perfectly.


MANDY is already one of the best and most unique films of the year and that requires a fittingly unique score. The late Johann Johannsson's final film score, the music is a violent and pulsating mix of 1980s electronic and rock music that is the most heavy metal score I have ever heard that doesn't feature actual heavy metal music. A cult hit itself, this score is going to go down as one of Johannsson's best and is a fitting tribute to the late composer.


Ludwig Goransson's score for BLACK PANTHER is based around traditional African music for which the composer recorded actual music while touring the continent. The result is an appropriately Marvel score that has all the requisite themes and cues but recalls the ancestry that inspired the Wakandan characters. The score is coupled with the original songs of Kenrick Lamar who echoes the same traditions that have inspired modern hip-hop. The closing credit song "All the Stars" perfectly captures the tone and style of BLACK PANTHER and could be a serious contender for an Oscar.


I may not have been as in love with A STAR IS BORN as everyone else, but even I cannot deny how great the music is. I never realized that Bradley Cooper could sing and his Jackson Maine songs could convert even the biggest country music-hater into an afficionado. Lady Gaga, of course, belts out some stellar ballads including the gut-wrenching "I'll Never Love Again" and the sing-a-long "Shallow". This is the perfect example of how to make original music that works both in the film and on it's own.


About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.