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The 30 Best Songs for Movie Trailers

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30. Harvey Danger – “Flagpole Sitta”

Disturbing Behavior

When I first watched the trailer eons ago, I remember imagining it as an alternative-dimension Dawson’s Creek. Joey Potter had turned naughty, and Harvey Danger supplanted Paula Cole for the show’s theme song. Song remains a classic, the movie…

How’d the film turn out? …not so much. I caught it on TV years ago and remember very little.

–Justin Gerber

29. Jay Z and Kanye West – “No Church in the Wild”

The Great Gatsby

While some were averse to Baz Lurhman’s contemporary soundtrack for Gatsby, Kanye West and Jay Z’s “No Church in the Wild” was a perfect fit for this candy-coated trailer. Gatsby’s depth as a character can be seen in Frank Ocean’s musings: “What’s a king to a God?/ What’s a God to a non-believer, who don’t believe in anything?”

How’d the film turn out? Not nearly as well as the trailer promised, but still–quality entertainment, as Leo can do no wrong.

–Amanda Koellner

28. Spoon – “The Way We Get By”

Stranger Than Fiction

You’re primed to expect something different if Will Ferrell’s dramatic gifts match his comedic talents. This charming, sentimentally uplifting trailer, together with Spoon’s accomplished hooks and serenading piano notes, allow themes of existential anxiety to remain at a comfortable and quirky ambience. Everything is pleasantly jarring with dramatic irony being buoyed by intelligent songwriting.

How’d the film turn out? In reality, the trailer was better than fiction — Will Ferrel proved he’s not just a pretty face when he was nominated for a Golden Globe as Harold Crick.

–Lior Phillips

27. Sneaker Pimps – “6 Feet Underground”

Cruel Intentions

At the time, this trailer was a dirty-minded adrenaline drenched ride perpetuated by the myth that teenagers scheming to deflower virgins and turn girls into tramps was a true betrayal of the New York City privileged crop of prep-schoolers. This standout trip-hop track was as symbolic of an era as the slow-motion Buffy versus Blair scene was to the movie and it fit perfectly.

How’d the film turn out? Fourteen years old thinking the mantra “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” was the definitive answer to everything, the iconic end scene injected with The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” was perfect. (Joshua Jackson’s flamboyant gay trickster character still gives me day-mares, though.)

–Lior Phillips

26. Ivy – “Edge of the Ocean”

Before Sunset

After nine years, seeing the old clips here of Jesse and Celine again sent jolts of electricity through the veins of every hapless romantic who had waited on pins and paper hearts following Before Sunrise. Did they ever reunite? What happened after Vienna? The way Ivy’s sleek hit weaves in and out here, tapered with the sunlight fonts, and the expressions of our two wiser heroes — all delectable as an $87 bar of dark chocolate. In 2004, I cheered alone in Ft. Lauderdale’s art house theater, but I cheered loud.

How’d the film turn out? Similar to the wine these characters adore, Richard Linklater’s brilliant series gets better with each installment. Sunset and last year’s sequel, Midnight, both nabbed Oscar nominations for their screenplays.

–Michael Roffman

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