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Hart's War
Motion Picture Soundtrack
composer: rachel portman
label: uni / decca
released: 02.12.02
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0

Forced Emotion
by: bill aicher

Lately Hollywood has felt some increased need to relentlessly shove war movies down our throat. Within just a few month's time, there will have been Black Hawk Down, Hart's War, and We Were Soldiers - all hoping to cash in on America's newfound sense of patriotism. They tear out our heartstrings, showing us the honor and courage and sacrifices made for our country. And they make a whole lot of money.

For a war film to be truly emotional, it requires the right music. The music has to sadden us, make us feel triumphant, and force us to reflect on the reality of the events held therein. Rachel Portman's score for Hart's War fulfills these demands well enough, but one can't help but feel the cookie cutter approach taken to the project.

With previous experience conducting scores to films including The Cider House Rules, Emma, and Chocolat, Portman is no rookie to the world of film composition. Still, even though the score to Hart's War includes lush orchestrations and moving themes, one gets the feeling they've heard this all before.

Perhaps it's because the themes vary little from piece to piece, creating what ultimately feels like one long piece that really didn't go anywhere at all.
18-Jan-2002 3:00 PM

If you liked Hart's War...

1. Final Salute
2. Hart Captured and Interrogated
3. Scott's Macon, Georgia Story / Train Yard Strafing and Bombing
4. Visser Testifies
5. Visser Finds Tunnel
6. March to Stalag 6A
7. Archer Shot Dead
8. SCott Railroaded
9. "Everything is OK, Tommy"
10. Blackened Face Testimony
11. Hart Finds Bedford's Stash
12. Hart Discovers Tunnel
13. McNamara Trades His Life
14. End Credits