We were awed last week when we heard the music in the trailer for the American release of Stieg Larsson's blockbuster franchise The Girl with


The Ten Best Movie Trailer Songs of All Time (No, Not "Kung Fu Fighting")

We were awed last week when we heard the music in the trailer for the American release of Stieg Larsson's blockbuster franchise The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--yes, that's Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails covering Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." As Caleb Hannan, our managing editor, aptly put it: "1:39 of HOLY CRAP."

Watching the preview got us thinking about other movies that used trailer music to excellent effect. A good trailer song can make you want to rush out and see the movie, or heck, even go buy an album. And while we never want to hear Smashmouth's "All Star" or "Kung Fu Fighting" in a trailer ever again, here are 10 movie trailers that made the most of their music.

1. "Lux Aeterna," Clint Mansell, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002

Originally composed by Clint Mansell as the theme for 2000's Requiem for a Dream, the folks behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy recorded a special version with a choir and full orchestra for the trailer of The Two Towers.

2. "Wake Up," Arcade Fire, Where the Wild Things Are, 2009

Rather than use an "epic" orchestral piece, Where the Wild Things Are opted to highlight the talents of indie rock's most grandiose band, using the outsize "Wake Up" to great effect in this trailer.

3. "Paper Planes," M.I.A., Pineapple Express, 2008

Remember the summer of "Paper Planes"? There was a time when this song was EVERYWHERE, and for good reason--no one can resist the incredibly catchy, gunshot-laced chorus. Not only did it make it into Pineapple Express, the song was also featured prominently in Slumdog Millionaire, which came out the same year.

4. "Lust for Life," Iggy Pop, Trainspotting, 1996

The Danny Boyle-directed flick makes perfect use of Iggy Pop's classic tune for its story of a debauched drug odyssey gone wrong. Warning! Boobs in the trailer. And incredibly skinny Ewan McGregor.

5. "Blue Monday," New Order, 24 Hour Party People, 2002

Strangely, not many movies about music made the cut for this list. But this trailer manages to cram songs by New Order, Joy Division, and the Happy Mondays into two minutes. If you like what you hear, the movie's a must-see!

6. "Cells," The Servant, Sin City, 2005

I didn't really understand the movie, but the sinister-turned-suspenseful music used in the trailer is seriously effective. Try walking down an isolated street with this playing on your iPod--you'll definitely start checking over your shoulder for ill-intentioned followers.

7. "Walking on Sunshine," Katrina and the Waves, High Fidelity, 2000

Maybe it's just because I love the movie so much, but I think High Fidelity uses the cheesy pop of Katrina and the Waves perfectly in this trailer. Plus, Jack Black. Makes me want to watch it for the umpteenth time.

8. "Town Called Malice," The Jam, Billy Elliot, 2000

The Jam's "Town Called Malice," which was used in the High Fidelity trailer, also made it into the preview for Billy Elliot. In addition to this savvy pick, the film makes great use of music throughout, especially the glam-rock goodness of T. Rex in the unforgettable opening sequence set to the band's "Cosmic Dancer."

9. "Playground Love," Air, The Virgin Suicides, 1999

This strange-but-good movie based on the equally strange-but-good book of the same name featured many excellent songs from French pop wizards Air, including the perfect choice for a film about suicidal high-school girls, "Playground Love."

10. "The Sound of Silence," Simon and Garfunkel, The Graduate, 1967

The use of Simon and Garfunkel is perfect throughout the movie, but the beauty of the trailer is that it teases the viewer, never using the iconic "Mrs. Robinson" song the film is known for.

What's your favorite movie trailer song? Add it in the comments!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

comments powered by Disqus