Music Break: Top 5 Fave Soundtracks from Henry Jackman

I had been listening to X-Men: First Class during my workout lately, one of my favorite scores of the past few years. Henry Jackman was a protégé of one of my favorite composers, Hans Zimmer, and he’s been churning out great works himself.


Born in Middlesex, UK, Jackman studied classical music at St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University. He had been building a successful career in the recording industry, even releasing 3 solo albums, when he garnered the attention of Zimmer and John Powell, also a favorite of mine. He went on to work on composing additional music on such films as The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda and the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Here are five of my favorites from his work:

X-Men: First Class (2011)

The music is one of the reasons I love this movie so much, and these two are my absolute faves. It actually made for a great workout music, but I also like listening to it when I need inspiration at work.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

I’m a huge fan of Alan Silvestri’s music work for the first Captain America movie, especially the end credits sequence. It was appropriately optimistic and patriotic. But Henry Jackman made an equally memorable score for the second one. It’s still got that positive, buoyant vibe, but somehow it feels more contemporary and slightly darker to go with the times and challenges Capt. has to face in modern times.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

One of the things I enjoyed about Kingsman is the fun, almost mischievous score that fits the movie perfectly. It’s got a bit of a James Bond-y vibe to it as well, which made me think he’d be a good fit to score a Bond flick in the future.

Captain Philips (2013)

This is such a beautiful, almost zen-like score but at the same time, it has a reflective, vigilant tone which is perfect given the ordeal the protagonist’s been through. It shows how versatile

Wreck-It-Ralph (2012)

I love that there’s a video game-y sound to this vibrant score. It sounds a bit similar to Big Hero 6 which Jackman also worked on that I quite like. It also sounds a bit retro which works for the story.

I can’t wait to hear Jackman’s score for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Amazon’s original story based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, The Man in the High Castle. Interestingly both projects deal with a common enemy, the Third Reich.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s music break. What’s your favorite score from Henry Jackman?

20 thoughts on “Music Break: Top 5 Fave Soundtracks from Henry Jackman

    1. I actually used to run to the Atonement and There Will Be Blood scores back in 2007/2008. Scores make wonderful workout music, with all the tonal swells and shifts. It’s calming but also exciting.

      1. See? I knew I’m not the only one who works out to soundtracks 😉 Atonement must be interesting to run to, I go for the more upbeat stuff like John Wick, Pacific Rim, TRON, etc to workout to 😀

    2. Mwahahaha!! Well at least I’m wonderful 😉 I LOVE soundtracks, I pretty much listen to that and classical music, I guess I’m old school when it comes to music.

  1. Thanks, Ruth, for introducing me to this new-generation film composer. Seems like you have hit on his top-five. If you go to see ‘Pixels’, I reckon you’ll be concentrating on the score.

    1. Hi Cindy! I guess Jackman’s not as famous as others, but he’s really done some great work in the past few years. Pixels isn’t on my radar for some reason, I might rent that one later.

  2. LOVE his work on Wreck-It Ralph! Like…SO MUCH! In fact, I just nominated him in my 2012 Fisti Awards post I posted this morning. Like…it’s such accomplished, inspired and bright work. So glad you highlighted his work here.

    1. Glad to hear you like his work too, Drew! Yeah, I like to highlight underrated talents, be that actors or other members of the filmmaking process.

  3. I don’t think Jackman has done any signature movie theme yet, I hardly remember the theme to First Class, then again I wasn’t a big fan of that film. I really like his work on The Winter Soldier though. He’s definitely on rise to become the next Hans Zimmer.

    1. I notice some similarities to Zimmer and Powell’s work, but he’s got his own style too. He’s getting more and more high profile work so yeah, he just might be the next Hans Zimmer.

    1. Hi Becky! I’m thrilled that Jackman is scoring ‘High Castle,’ I definitely will be blogging about that series later in August 😉

  4. Pingback: JULY Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month |

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