Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on Cineplex.com looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. Shane McNeil looks at his favourite musical moments from the movies of 2013.

Originally published on Cineplex.com – December 30, 2013.

With the year winding to a close, Soundtracking looks back at five musical selections from 2013 that were particularly inspired.

#5 Belgians find bluegrass in Broken Circle Breakdown

Bluegrass and folk music have been enjoying a boom of late thanks to acts like Mumford and Sons andThe Lumineers. It certainly helped the music of Inside Llewyn Davis.

But one of the films in the running for the Best Foreign Film Oscar goes a step further. Belgium’s Broken Circle Breakdown is a sad film, but it’s infused with so much joyous music that it leaves a bittersweet memory after the fact.

Watch the clip below for one of the happier memories.


#4 Liam James wails on REO Speedwagon (The Way Way Back)

Duncan doesn’t fit in at his Mom’s vacation spot or with her new boyfriend and his group of friends, so he decides to keep to himself. He parks himself on top of a car with his iPod and starts singing along, very loudly.

Susanna overhears.
Susanna: “You like REO Speedwagon?”
Duncan: “Not really! My mom borrowed my iPod. She must have put the song on it.”

Susanna: “So you decided to put it on and sing the sh** out of it?”


#3 American Hustle’s music video … er … trailer

There’s so much music in American Hustle that it’s almost overwhelming. Whoever cut the trailer decided to just pick one song (Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times”) and just cut the awesome bits of the movie together like a music video.

It’s outstanding.


#2 Danny McBride makes an entrance in This is The End

It’s been a horrible night for everyone in This is The End, but they’ve forgotten somebody.

Danny McBride was passed out through the entire apocalypse and he’s about to make things tough on the already strung out survivors. (Viewer discretion advised).


#1 Merry Clayton remembers in 20 Feet from Stardom

It was a great year for music documentaries, but the best of the lot was probably 20 Feet from Stardom, a look at the underappreciated greats that backed up some of pop’s biggest hits.

Merry Clayton remembers recording “Gimme Shelter” with The Rolling Stones at London’s Olympic Studios and as she reminisces, they play the isolated vocal track of her performance. If the clip below doesn’t chill your spine you just don’t get music.