'Tis the season to escape to the multiplex — and possibly add a slew of new songs to your playlist, thanks to these music-heavy previews

By Leah Greenblatt and Melissa Maerz
Updated December 09, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST
  • Movie

Safe House
A rogue ex-CIA agent and a newbie operative try to escape a safe house under attack, apparently by Kanye West and Jay-Z’s pounding ”No Church in the Wild.” It’s the ultimate showdown: ‘Ye vs. Hova. Denzel Washington vs. shirtless Ryan Reynolds. You vs. self-control.
Find the Song On 2011’s Watch the Throne.

21 Jump Street
Two rookie-cop doofballs (Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill) step into Johnny Depp’s undercover ”Who, me? I’m just a 29-year-old high school junior with a handgun” shoes for this big-screen revamp. Soundtracking their triumphant return to fake teendom: Canadian electro duo MSTRKRFT’s wall-vibrating banger ”Bounce.”
Find the Song On 2009’s Fist of God.

Young Adult
If the heinous behavior of blond chupacabra Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) — or the shocked dismay she elicits from residents of her Minnesota hometown when she returns to reclaim her old boyfriend — doesn’t already tell you she’s trouble, David Bowie will. His glam-rock classic ”Queen Bitch” drives the point home excellently.
Find the Song On 1971’s Hunky Dory.

Big Miracle
Okay, so this Greenpeace-friendly drama features a very earnest Drew Barrymore saying things like ”You have whales in trouble, and you didn’t call me?” And yet, it’s worth watching the trailer just to hear Passion Pit’s soaring indie-pop epic ”Moth’s Wings.” Forget the whales. Save the hipsters.
Find the Song On 2009’s Manners.

Being Flynn
A young man (Paul Dano) who has searched for his mentally ill dad (Robert De Niro) for years finally finds him in a homeless shelter. Their bittersweet father-son dynamic plays out to the evocative acoustic strains of Badly Drawn Boy’s ”The Shining” and Fleet Foxes’ ”Helplessness Blues.”
Find the Songs On 2000’s The Hour of Bewilderbeast and 2011’s Helplessness Blues, respectively.

Project X
It’s all fun and games in The Hangover mastermind Todd Phillips’ comedy about a house party gone wrong — until the DJ puts on Steve Aoki’s remix of Kid Cudi’s ”Pursuit of Happiness” and someone drives a car into the swimming pool.
Find the Song Streaming online, or on the 2010 U.K. import EP Pursuit of Happiness.

The Sitter
Reluctant babysitter Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill again — that scamp!) piles his young charges into a minivan and embarks on a booty vision quest in the big city. Brooklyn rap duo M.O.P.’s thunderous thug-life anthem ”Ante Up” foreshadows the many ways in which that is a very, very bad idea.
Find the Song On 2000’s Warriorz.

I Melt With You
Former college buddies Richard (Thomas Jane), Ron (Jeremy Piven), Jonathan (Rob Lowe), and Tim (Christian McKay) gather for a reunion in Big Sur, Calif. — which basically means doing hard drugs and watching young girls dance to Cameras’ jagged-guitar mood piece ”Defeatist.” Yes, buried secrets will be revealed. And post-punk records will be played.
Find the Song On 2011’s In Your Room.

Madonna directs this lacy-collar drama about the scandalous romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, but Skylar Grey provides the thoroughly modern soundtrack with her atmospheric ”Invisible.” ”Sometimes when I’m alone, I pretend that I’m a queen,” she sings. Funny, so does Simpson. And Madonna.
Find the Song As a single on iTunes.

The Sitter

  • Movie
  • David Gordon Green