Type to search

Soundtrack review: American hero (Lorne Balfe – 2015)

Film scores perfect scores

Soundtrack review: American hero (Lorne Balfe – 2015)


“American Hero” is a 2015 movie about Melvin, a reluctant Superhero, who lives only for crime, women and drugs – until he realises that the only way he will ever get to see his estranged son is to go straight and fulfil his potential as a crime fighter. Reminds me a bit of the plot for Hancock. Stephen Dorff stars as the main character and the score was written by Lorne Balfe who is celebrating his hundredth release of 2015. No, they are not really 100 and as many scores as he has this year are still not enough because his music is awesome and there is no dip in quality.

I wasn’t expecting such a melodic start to the score. The main theme is a beautiful and minimalistic piano theme that makes me think of a child flying a kite on a summer afternoon. A theme like this is one more proof of what a fantastic instrument the piano is and how many feelings it can transmit with just a few key strokes.

The synopsis of the movie can be deceiving. The music tells me a different story; the music is intimate and serious and shows a lonely character who is missing something inside him. I quickly remember Lorne’s previous scores of this year and this one feels like the missing puzzle piece to complete a musical tapestry for the ages. This is his most minimalistic and innocent score of 2015 so far and the way the piano rolls, dreams and wonders presents a side of this composer I rarely heard before.

“American hero” is an intimate musical poem and one of those scores that makes me reflect and be grateful for what I have. There’s little more than just the piano on this one but I don’t think I needed anything else. The mood has changed from summer afternoon to the early autumn darkness and if you enjoy a soft rainy day that’s just a bit more melancholic than the rest you will embrace this score. Ignore what the plot of the movie makes you think…ignore even the titles of the cues and just enjoy the flow of this score and let it reach inside you and see what it finds.

I will definitely watch this movie just to see how the score fits in context. I am very curious how this melodic wonder will play over superhero scenes and doubts. If this is his final score of 2015, Lorne Balfe caps of a magnificent year where he just went through the entire spectrum of musical feelings and sounds.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 24 / 24

Album excellence: 100%


01_american Hero

02_at The Scene


04_i’m So Sorry

05_party Hard

06_never Better

07_fck Off

08_go Faster

09_stolen Booze

10_you See Don’t You

11_school Run



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).

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.