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25 Movies with Notably Great Sound Design

Have you ever watched a movie and got hooked with the sounds? Audio output and sound effects in a movie can hang you on to a movie especially when they have some special sound you can relate to. We have a list of some movies with notably great sound design you can try watching.

A film can go from being “OK” to being extraordinary with great sound design. It is the unsung hero behind the exhilaration you have when you sit down in a theater, and it gives the impression that the entire world of the movie is surrounding you.

Here are our top recommendations for some movies with notably great sound design as a primary storytelling device or as a means of creating an universe that goes beyond what our eyes can see.

movies with notably great sound design

This is accomplished through sound design, a technique used by filmmakers to build an auditory setting for their films. Through a competent sound design school, which will provide you with the essential training for the profession, you may learn how to do this extremely fascinating work.

We have provided some of the movies with notably great sound design, just keep reading!

What Sort of Audio is in a Movie?

A movie uses three different kinds of sound: music, sound effects, and human voices. It is possible to record, edit, and synthesize sounds. If you’ve ever seen a silent film, you are aware of the advantages of sound. Some cinema theaters would have a theater organ to produce sound effects even when they only showed silent films.

HUMAN VOICES

Actor conversation also includes human voices. The voices for this line must be instantaneously correct and in time with the action in the movie. As with the actors in the movie, the voices should sound authentic. Dialog is occasionally recorded after the fact and synced to the movie. It’s crucial to comprehend what actors are saying on-screen whether the boom operator records it or the sound designer inserts it later. This is part of what make movies with notably great sound design.

MUSIC

The music in the movie moves the plot along by letting the viewer guess what will happen, evoking an emotional response, or just assisting the audience in switching between scenes. The majority of blockbuster movies now have a standard soundtrack, but the movie also has a score. The soundtrack can support the film score and is occasionally performed by a huge orchestra. If you’ve watched some of the movies with notably great sound design mentioned in this article, you’ll notice that they adopt a soundtrack, if not more than one.

SOUND EFFECTS

Sound effects are essential to the movie since they give the characters and scenes more authenticity. Sound effects offer the movie reality that the pictures can’t provide alone, whether it be a Foley sound of a horse trotting or two people speeding past one another.

movies with notably great sound design

What is Sound Design?

Not the music, not the sound effects, not the foley, but what is sound design? We hear it when we watch a movie, and if it’s done well, we don’t even notice it; it just enhances the experience of watching a movie. When we talk about sound design, we’re referring to the overall blending and editing of all the audio in the movie, including the soundtrack, effects, ambient sound, and speech.

Why Is Sound in Film So Important?

In a movie, sound is the ideal accompaniment to the pictures. If the boom operator was the only person in charge of conversation, a lot of the sound on set would be muted. A movie without sound would leave the viewer with only the pictures and no context for what they are viewing.

1. A SUBTLE EXPERIENCE

The best movies produce an engrossing experience that makes viewers forget they are still seated in a theater. The film’s noises and images ensnare the audience and carry them away to a another planet.

2. STORYTELLING

Sound is a useful instrument for delivering stories and letting viewers experience a movie’s full effect. The tale can advance or stagnate depending on the use of sound. The sound bridge is a device used to transition the audience between scenes.

3. EVOKES AN EMOTIONAL REACTION

The soundtrack helps the movie convey emotion and establish a mood. The soundtrack may make the audience feel what is happening on screen and create the right tension for impending action, whether it is an action sequence or a love interlude. Looking for the movies with notably great sound design? You’re almost there!

25 Movies with Notably Great Sound Design

Here are some 25 movies with notably great sound design

The following are the movies with notably great sound design;

1. STAR WARS

The Empire Strikes Back from Star Wars
Some of the most well-known characters from the Star Wars franchise have cult status in the world of film and continue to be very famous. From Darth Vader’s menacing breath to the lightsaber’s laser-like zoom sound.

movies with notably great sound design

The distinctive soundtrack of Star Wars contributes to the tension-filled, exhilarating, and wonder-filled atmosphere of the film.

2. THE KING KONG 

The 1933 film King Kong is another magnificent piece of motion picture art. Murray Spivack painstakingly captured the sounds of zoo animals to accurately capture the roar of King Kong, giving the impression of a giant, enormous gorilla destroying the city.

movies with notably great sound design

The film’s outstanding audio design elevated it to the status of one of the best horror movies of all time. If you have never seen a Gorilla groan, you will have a real impression of what it sounds like watching the movie. Undoubtedly, it deserves to be on the list of movies with notably great sound design.

3. BATMAN

The most important component of Nolan’s masterpiece, which is regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made and one of the movies with notably great sound design.

The sound became a crucial component of setting up a scenario and establishing the appropriate tense mood when a superhero modeled like a bat who only functions in the dark was introduced.

The Dark Knight had an extremely powerful and exciting appearance thanks to sound mixing, which also helped Ed Novick get an Oscar nomination.

4. INCEPTION

Inception, another deserved mention among the movies with notably great sound design. Similarly outstanding work by Christopher Nolan, astounded and perplexed viewers around. The sounds of Inception are a fantastic blend of the real and the fantastical to produce the dream-like atmosphere on which the film is built.

The superb sound effects and beautifully captured dreamscapes make for truly unforgettable viewing.

5. GRAVITY

The best sound design occasionally includes its selective omission. Director Alfonso Cuaron’s attempt to capture the vacuum of space, where no sound can be heard unless there is air to transport it, makes Gravity a lesson in restraint. Every sound in Gravity has been strategically placed, and the end result gives the spectator the impression that they have just arrived at the stars.

6. WALL-E

When your major characters are mute, how can you tell a story? Quite skillfully, in the case of Wall-E. Wall-E is proof that when you have amazing sound, you don’t always need words. Each beep, squeak, and creak helps portray an emotional picture of a lonely little robot yearning for some beauty in a world gone awry.

7. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Seventh on the list of the movies with notably great sound design. War is unpleasant, terrifying, and frequently loud. While its heroes journey beyond enemy lines to find their missing serviceman, Saving Private Ryan immerses viewers in the turbulent world of World War II, from the onslaught of Normandy to peaceful stroll through the French countryside.

8. APOCALYPSE

It has long been praised as the best example of how to create a story with sound, Apocalypse Now. Apocalypse Now relies heavily on sound to convey the story of what war does to a person’s mind, including strange soundscapes intended to resemble a psychedelic episode to its opening sequence of a ceiling fan resonating like a helicopter propeller.

9. FURY ROAD, MAD MAX

Mad Max: Fury Road’s heavy metal apocalypse is a symphony of music from beginning to end. Mad Max: Fury Road is a non-stop feast for the sights and ears, from its thrilling music to the noise of war automobiles.

10. THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Why is this movie among the movies with notably great sound design?

Designing an entire environment that doesn’t exist in our world presents both a problem and an opportunity when you’re making a fantasy realm. That covers the potential audioscape of a fantasy setting, from the music to the creatures that live there. For this franchise, Peter Jackson and his sound crew created a soundtrack that features everything from exhilarating swordfights to what flying dragon creatures that resemble ghouls may sound like.

11. JURASSIC PARK

Appearing on the list of movies with notably great sound design is Jurassic Park. The thunderous roar of an escaped T-Rex shook people to their very core in theaters all over the world. One of Steven Spielberg and his sound design team’s most enchanted sound designs is still hailed as Jurassic Park. The terrifying roar of a raptor in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster trilogy is still enough to keep us up at night, even though research suggests that most dinosaurs didn’t actually sound like the ones in Jurassic Park.

12. DUNKIRK

Dunkirk is also among the movies with notably great sound design. It immerses viewers in the terrifying realities of battle, just like Saving Private Ryan did. To ensure that audiences could fully immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the risky maritime evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II, Christopher Nolan paid close attention to every little detail.

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13. WHIPLASH

It goes without saying that audio transforms from a supporting character to a primary character when you’re presenting the tale of a budding drummer. And that is exactly how Whiplash’s sound design is handled by director Damien Chazelle. Every pop, smash, and thud in the film is audibly distinct because the sound design serves as a key narrative tool for narrating the relationship between the passionate mentor and the budding drummer.

14. HUGO

Why is Hugo among the movies with notably great sound design?

Hugo pays homage to the wonder of cinema. Also among the movies with notably great sound design, every component that contributes to this movie is revered and respected, including sound. The echoes of rushed commuters, thunderous bell tolls as the clock strikes the hour, and whistles of departing and incoming trains surround the orphan that lives in the walls and giant clock of a train station. This lavish movie looks and sounds like a love letter to the movie, and it is a feast for the eyes and ears.

15. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE 

Sound is expertly used in Slumdog Millionaire to depict the contrast between the two worlds that its protagonist finds himself in. Jamal is abruptly forced into the clean and shiny world of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire set, which contrasts with the chaotic, busy streets of Mumbai’s lowest slums.

16. MASTER AND COMMANDER

What would it be like to sail a massive Napoleonic warship around the world’s most remote regions? The soundtrack of the film Master and Commander, which features baroque chamber music from the era, the crashing of the waves, the creaks and groans of the ancient wooden ship, and other seafaring sounds masterfully transport the audience to a bygone era.

17. GLADIATOR

We can’t skip Gladiator from our list of the movies with notably great sound design. Without the clashing of swords and shields as well as the battle cries of ruthless and desperate fighters, the excitement of the Colosseum cannot be fully experienced. The dramatic sound design of Gladiator immerses the listener in the heart of the heart-pounding world of Roman gladiators.

18. BRAVEHEART

The peaceful Scottish highlands are expertly captured in Braveheart, along with the harshness of an oppressive regime and the conflict fought to overthrow it. Braveheart remains in your ears long after the final image fades, from the romantic piper echoes to the rousing war cries of a scrappy army. Continue reading to find out the remaining movies with notably great sound design.

19. APOLLO 13

Does Apollo 13 deserve to be on the list of movies with notably great sound design? Find out!

Apollo 13 aims to put the audience in the driver’s seat of a risky space trip, much like Gravity did. The sound design for Apollo 13 is less understated yet nonetheless powerful in contrast to Gravity. The scenario of astronauts who are desperately trying to find a way home prominently emphasizes the music of the time.

20. “BLACK STALLION

Appearing on the list of movies with notably great sound design is Black Stallion. The Black Stallion, like Wall-E, chooses to almost entirely exclude dialogue in order to depict the tale of a shipwrecked child and the enormous black horse that saves his life and becomes his buddy. Instead, the extraordinary tale of survival and friendship between a boy and his horse is set in motion by director Carroll Ballard using a richly detailed soundscape and soaring soundtrack.

21. “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Despite being far older than many of the films on our list, Fiddler on the Roof is nonetheless a fantastic illustration of cutting-edge sound design at the time. Fiddler on the Roof perfectly captures every violin lilt with the best recording equipment available, creating a magnificent soundtrack for this movie that was shot primarily on silent soundstages.

22. THE MACHINE

What does a slow-motion bullet sound like? What types of noises would be present in a futuristic matrix intended to enslave people? One of the distinguishing characteristics of this sci-fi blockbuster smash that launched one of the most lucrative series in the movie business was its imaginative and immersive sound design.

23. 300

Since almost all of the sound in this movie had to be produced artificially, 300’s sound design is particularly amazing, therefore it deserves a place on the list of movies with notably great sound design. Since 300 was shot nearly entirely in a void that was ready for CGI, it does not benefit from ambient sounds that can be used in the final mix. Instead, almost every component of the finished work—from the clanging of shields to the sound of a breeze—was added by sound designers.

24. WEST SIDE STORY

The pristine soundtrack of this contemporary Romeo and Juliet classic, West Side Story, was created using the most advanced sound collecting and designing technologies of the day, similar to Fiddler on the Roof.

25. AMADEUS

Without a soundtrack to go along with it, you simply cannot tell the tale of one of the greatest composers in history. And Amadeus goes above and beyond for sound design befitting the master himself, creating a compelling soundtrack over a gorgeously created natural environment of Vienna in the 1800s.

Conclusion on Movies with Notably Great Sound Design

In essence, all of these films that are regarded as the movies with notably great sound design are because of the labor of many, including the masterful sound mixers. None of these timeless films would be the same without the fantastic sound effects. You may as well take your time to watch any of the movies with notably great sound design mentioned in this article.

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