Jack Reacher

Composed By: Joe Kraemer

Distributed by: La-La Land Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on Lee Child's 2005 novel, One Shot, Jack Reacher is an thriller starring Tom Cruise in the title role.  When former Army sharpshooter James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is accused of going on a shooting spree in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, he asks the officer in charge of the case (David Oyelowo) and the District Attorney (Richard Jenkins) to find drifter and former Military Police officer Jack Reacher.  Barr's lawyer (Rosamund Pike) is persuaded that Reacher will help her clear her client, but Reacher's past history with Barr suggests otherwise.  He's convinced that Barr is guilty until inconsistencies in the investigation puts him in the crosshairs of the real killer.

                The music of Jack Reacher was created by American composer Joe Kraemer.  Born and raised in New York State, Kraemer comes from a musical family - his father and uncle sang and performed non-professionally.  Beginning with piano lessons, Joe Kraemer would eventually decide to make music a career, studying at Berklee College of Music where he received accolades for composition and songwriting.  He has since composed over forty musical scores for movies and television, performed as a singer/songwriter, produced numerous albums, conducted orchestras in Seattle and had his music performed by symphonies in Europe.

                Having seen the various trailers for Jack Reacher over the past couple of weeks, I was convinced that this was an action thriller.  Thus, I expected music that would express the action taking place in the film.  However, the musical score I listened to possessed not a bit of action until the Finale & End Credits.  Almost every track prior to that features orchestral music that is dark and edgy, giving the listener a sense of the dangerous man that Jack Reacher really is.  The only soft spots in the whole soundtrack are those featuring Barr's lawyer Helen's theme (Barr and Helen, Helen's Story).

                Completely taken off-guard by the music I was hearing as opposed to the music I expected, I decided not to let first impressions guide this review.  Thus, I listened to the no less than three times.  Unfortunately, I was unimpressed all three times.  Is it possible that the music sets the tone of the film?  Yes, that's possible.  If so, the movie must be a real dark and dreary mystery/thriller.  It all had me wondering: just what music did they choose for the action scenes?

                The Jack Reacher Soundtrack is just one of those albums that will only satisfy pure fans of the film.  Otherwise, this is an album I predict will collect much dust on the music stores' shelves.


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at