Hans Zimmer: The Last Samurai

This Tom Cruise war movie took huge box office receipts and is given a reliably excellent musical treatment by Hans Zimmer.

Hans Zimmer's music for this Tom Cruise epic incorporates traditional flute sounds and many more Oriental touches, aiming to provide a perfect synthesis between Western and Eastern cultures. Which is apt, seeing as the plot was inspired by the culture clash caused by the Westernisation of Japan in the 19th Century.

Given that less-than-traditional blockbuster inspiration, you'd expect there to be some unease between the differing musical styles, but Zimmer is a pro at this kind of thing. The musical balance is impeccable, with the composer using subtle hints at the Eastern culture rather than bashing the listener over the head with it.

Not your usual blockbuster fare, certainly.