Here are my top five picks for 2010 (in no particular order)(after the fold):
Inception (Hans Zimmer)
I've written plenty about the soundtrack here and here, in case you're interested. My other posts about Inception are here and here.
Tron: Legacy (Daft Punk)
My reviews of Legacy can be found here and here.
How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell)
Here's my review of How to Train Your Dragon.
The Last Airbender (James Newton Howard)
But the music for the soundtrack, while somewhat simple for a Howard score, sets up the epic scenario better than the actual film. It is suspenseful, fun, and (sometimes) quite beautiful. There are a number of great little themes at work here, and if a second movie is made, perhaps we'll hear these develop (if we're lucky, maybe someone will tell Shamalamadingdong he can't write or direct the next in the series). I think Howard could have been more ambitious with his use of themes/instruments from non-European cultures, but considering the near-gutting of practically all of the representations of non-European cultures from the original series for the movie, I suppose it's unfair to blame Howard for the oversight. In any case, the soundtrack is a good mood-setter and well worth listening to.
(Note: Loopdilou and I will be reviewing The Last Airbender as part of our Torture Cinema feature at The Skiffy and Fanty Show next month.)
Skyline (Matthew Margeson)
Book of Eli (Atticus Ross)
One of the more experimental works of 2010 (along with Inception), The Book of Eli is a mixture of dissonance and ambient chill. It's like John Murphy's Sunshine merged with Jerry Goldsmith's The 13th Warrior. It's not easy to listen to, just as Schoenberg's 12-tonal melodies aren't for most audiences, but Ross has done a fine job creating the necessary atmosphere the post-apocalyptic film needed, with just the right amount of beauty to seep in through the cracks. Not for the faint of heart, sure, but still worth a listen.
Those are my selections. So, what am I missing? What are you favorites for last year?