James Newton Howard – “Pawn Sacrifice”

Album Reviews | By on Sep 28th, 2015

Pawn Sacrifice

Record Label: Lakeshore Records
Genre: Film Score
Buy on Amazon.com

Pawn Sacrifice was released last year at Toronto Film festival but was just released in the US on September 16th. The movie sees Tobey Maguire play professional chess player Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber plays Soviet chess player Boris Spassky. The film takes places during the 1972 chess championships and was directed by Edward Zwick.

James Newton Howard composes the music for the movie and the soundtrack contains only 8 tracks (barely hitting the 24 minute mark). I like Howard’s music in the past, particularly Alive, Dinosaur, Signs, Hidalgo and the Dark Knight movies. I wouldn’t necessarily put this one amongst his best work but it’s not bad. It’s not that exciting of a score or what I like in a film score.

It’s the type of score that just plays in the background of the movie without offering anything to the scene. It doesn’t really do anything for me listening to as a standalone album either. The best track on the short album is “Bobby Wins.” If the rest of the score sounded like that, I’d probably like this more.

Bottom Line: Short soundtrack that doesn’t offer much
Notable Tracks: Bobby Plays Boris, Bobby Wins
Overall Rating:


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