French film composer Alexandre Desplat caps off a prolific 2014 season with his deeply resonant and uplifting score to Angelina Jolie's WWII drama Unbroken. The film chronicles the true story of Olympian runner Louis Zamperini, who survived a dramatic plane crash at sea and internment in several Japanese prison camps during his military service. The increasingly in-demand Desplat also scored the WWII caper The Monuments Men earlier in the year, but the tone he adopts for Unbroken is far different, relying heavily on warm, sentimental themes to accompany Zamperini's inspirational story. Playing back and forth between airy, atmospheric pieces and massive, theatrical swells, he uses far more light than darkness here and the result is a very melodic and motivational score. Heavy percussive sections accent the militaristic feeling and nimble wooden flutes accent many of the Japanese scenes. The overall feel-good tone is enhanced by the inclusion of Coldplay's slightly bland but pleasant original track "Miracles."
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger