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Soundtrack review: Contact (Alan Silvestri – 1997)

Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: Contact (Alan Silvestri – 1997)


“Contact” is a movie I never forgot. It’s one of the most peaceful and smart movies I’ve seen, and the way it raised its debates stayed with me. I remember how well Jodie Foster and Matthew Mc Conaughey played, and listening to Alan Silvestri’s score might help remind me of how I felt watching the movie. It was the Interstellar of 15 years ago.

As interesting and challenging as the movie was, the score doesn’t even come close. I expected way more. As a standalone listen, the music is generic and rather boring. There are some moments when its pulse rises, but it rises chaotically and without any point. The space cues which should have been dreamy, intelligent and complex are generic low key melodies that I forget as soon as they are over. There are very few moments when I feel something while listening to this score. Most of the times though, it just passes through me, empty and vague.

“Small moves” is the one ray of light from “Contact”. This is how I wanted the weakest cues from this score to sound like. It has exciting bits, but, again, they don’t feel right together and don’t amount to a decent theme. Even highlighting this cue feels like reaching. By the time the final couple of cues start showing some life, it’s too late for me to enjoy this score.

“Contact” was a very unsatisfying listen to me. I had high hopes and expectations and got a very lackluster composition…

Cue rating: 57 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 0 / 47

Album excellence: 0%




Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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