What are some examples of mixes you've heard that are very emotionally powerful, don't knock you out of your chair because the concept, story telling & depth of character development makes all those action based blockbusters seem like they are aimed at 12 year olds? Beautiful performances captured with equally beautiful production sound & masterful dialogue/adr editing & mix... Films that make you glad to be a human, where you leave the theatre lost for words....

12 Answers 12


No Country For Old Men did it for me when I remember seeing that for the first time.

  • One of my favorites too. – Justin P Feb 2 '12 at 17:31
  • The sound of the dialog in No Country For Old Men is the best I've ever heard. – Ions In The Ether Mar 2 '12 at 0:18
  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • PlayTime
  • North By Northwest
  • The Black Stallion
  • The Conversation
  • Apocalypse Now
  • 2001
  • Das Boot
  • Master and Commander
  • Toy Story
  • A River Runs Through It
  • The English Patient
  • Ratatouille
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The King's Speech
  • The Hurt Locker

To name a few. All superb sound jobs, where the sound work/sonic choices/mix support the narrative.


I remember feeling this way about Super 8 recently, but I'd have to re-watch it to really put my finger on it.


It's a tie for me:

Star Trek -> only movie I've ever seen and my analytical sound mind never kicked in, walked out of there and days later realized I never gave a single thought to the sound.

The other is 'Runaway Jury' - fully dialogue-driven film but highly creative, outstanding performances, brilliant story. A lot of creative futzing in there and forced sonic masking against DX and BGz, more so than the average film. Very well done.

However, the movie that actually had me leaving the theater with a loss for words was 'Book of Eli'.


Forrest Gump and The Thin Red Line left me speechless the most. (I didn't see Forrest Gump in theaters because I was too young to see PG-13, but I left my living room speechless!....)

Social Network was superb as well.

Also, Benjamin Button was extremely well done and I was thinking about that movie for days afterwards.

  • Elephant
  • Uncle Boonmee
  • Let's Talk About Kevin
  • No Country For Old Men

True Grit was one for me among many others mentioned here. I really enjoy the work of Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey and Greg Orloff, quite inspiring and cinematic while keeping things fresh and real if I may say so


Steve McQueen's 'Shame' (you might be lost for words for other reasons with this one though.. )

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

  • no country for old men
  • district 9
  • ratatouille
  • the king's speech
  • the american
  • house of flying daggers
  • symbol
  • ip man
  • good will hunting

I'm positive I'm missing a few good horror and suspense flicks in there.

IMO asian cinema has always had a culturally important direct line to minimalism and emotion that puts them at the head of the pack wrt subtlety and meaning in a mix. I'm positive i've missed dozens of great asian flicks in my list as well, but this was just off the top of my head.

I also believe that only in the last 20 years or so has the technology of sound reached the point to where that kind of a mix can be achieved consistently. The old westerns used to take valiant swings at these types of mixes, but the limitations of the technology of the time sets the true emotional impact behind that of modern films that are on the same level creatively in my opinion. I think this is because at the time you really had to crush the nagra with level when recording dialogue, and now that this is no longer the case you have much more low level space in which to play.


I´ve recently seen The Steam of Life, a finnish documentary that sounds really natural and. I liked Magnolia and Morvern Callar (some mentioned We need to talk about Kevin) mixes too.


These are to my opinion the best three mixes and movies from europe in this category:


Syndromes and a Century

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