Nothing says fall like changing foliage, a briskness in the air, and a glut of coming attractions at the multiplex. Here, we dig out the cool music behind the latest previews.
This Is 40
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann grapple with midlife marriage, pubescent daughters, and other inconvenient truths to the tune of the Strokes’ ”You Only Live Once” and George Harrison’s ”What Is Life,” two YOLO love jams that hint at a happy Apatow ending.
Find the Songs On 2006’s First Impressions of Earth and 1970’s All Things Must Pass, respectively.
Armed with a vintage muscle car and a strong sense of justice, vigilante drifter Tom Cruise protects the city from menacingly tall criminals while the Black Angels’ ”Young Men Dead” casts a fitting pall of oppressive dread.
Find the Song On 2006’s Passover.
Silver Linings Playbook
Broken beautiful people Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper manage to get by with a little help from their folkie friends the Head and the Heart, and their appropriately titled ”Lost in My Mind.”
Find the Song On the Seattleites’ self-titled 2011 release.
A dognapping caper starring Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, a shih tzu, and Tom Waits holding a rabbit clearly needs a special animal soundtrack; it gets one from Teddybears’ effervescent, Eve-assisted ”Rocket Scientist.”
Find the Song On the Swedish pop outfit’s 2010 disc Devil’s Music.
The Man With the Iron Fists
This RZA-directed kung fu rumble contains all the crucial elements of a classic Wu-Tang joint: hallucinatory levels of violence, pithy bons mots, martial arts, and … a wax-mustachioed Russell Crowe. Also, RZA and Raekwon unleashing the neck-snapper ”Carry It.”
Find the Song On blink-182 drummer Travis Barker’s 2011 LP Give the Drummer Some.
Rust and Bone
Oscar winner–slash–limpid-eyed French goddess Marion Cotillard stars in this lauded Cannes drama as an orca-whale trainer–slash–limpid-eyed French goddess struck by tragedy; M83’s drone-pop epic ”My Tears Are Becoming a Sea” supplies the shimmering backdrop.
Find the Song On 2011’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
Playing for Keeps
Gerard Butler is a rascally soccer star–turned–dissolute kids’ coach who’s torn between minxy mom Catherine Zeta-Jones and his winsome ex, Jessica Biel. How can he choose when they both have such shiny hair? Augustana’s Killers-esque power ballad ”Steal Your Heart” outlines his timeless struggle.
Find the Song On the San Diego rockers’ self-titled 2011 release.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
The only thing more terrifying than power-tool-wielding backwater hicks — and a horror series that seriously won’t die — is Nick Lowe’s dread-filled ”The Beast in Me” (first covered by Lowe’s ex-stepfather-in-law, Johnny Cash) emanating from Mark Lanegan’s sepulchral throat.
Find the Song Lanegan actually recorded it for another soundtrack, 2011’s The Hangover Part II.
Doomed Byronic lovers spinning on misty British moors practically require Mumford & Sons’ stark, banjo-plonking ”The Enemy.”
Find the Song Right now, the full version is only available streaming online. Emily Brontë objects!