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Five Times the Music Made ‘Breakthrough’ Really Hit Home

Here are a few of the best music-based moments in Breakthrough.

Written by Heather Thompson
Five Times the Music Made ‘Breakthrough’ Really Hit Home
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14: (L-R) Actress Chrissy Metz, Producer DeVon Franklin and Singer/Songwriter Mickey Guyton attend the 'Breakthrough' VIP Reception at Table 3 on March 14, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for 20th Century Fox)

When it comes to movies, even the best can fall when the soundtrack doesn’t have the strength back it up. Everything from sound mixing to original songs can mean as much to a film as the script or actors. But in Breakthrough, the music is not an afterthought; it’s practically its own character.

Through original songs and tracks carefully selected to highlight the emotions of the film, Breakthrough is able to find additional strength to lend to its already powerful story. Here are a few of the best music-based moments in Breakthrough.

Macklemore and Bruno Mars help nostalgia reign.

While the main plot points in this based-on-a-true-story film are pretty heavy, it doesn’t start that way. A few times, the audience gets a look inside what 14-year-old John Smith is listening to, and no surprise, it’s “Can’t Hold Us” and some Bruno Mars. It’s a solid – and incredibly appropriate – throwback to roughly five or six years ago when those songs were inescapable, especially if you were a teen at the time.

Jukebox the Ghost provides a bit of levity.

One of the songs that stands out on this soundtrack thanks to its upbeat, optimistic sound is “Colorful” by Jukebox the Ghost, and its place in the story is perfect. There’s a feeling that something’s about to happen at any minute, and it’s a signal of the calm before the storm. The words “Hey, yeah, we’re just getting started,” hit home as you can get the sense that the tension is about to build – with no sign of stopping.

“Hold On” sends a moving message of hope.

Mickey Guyton’s beautiful song is tailor-made for this story of faith, love and a true belief that you can’t give up hope, no matter what. This is one of the only tracks that is woven into a scene itself, but with the combination of a time lapse of a hospital parking lot vigil and a nail-biting feeling of waiting and wondering, it is picture perfect. Guyton’s voice carries through the oppressive silence in a truly haunting way.

Carrie Underwood reminds us that love wins.

While there’s no doubt that the movie desperately wants to show how much the characters value love and faith, it’s given an extra layer due to Underwood’s track “Love Wins.” There are already a few moments that will make your heart want to explode with emotion, but when this song comes through the speakers, it’s going to be difficult not to let the tears fall. Chrissy Metz’s portrayal of Joyce Smith embodies the song’s title, which makes you think there aren’t many places where this song wouldn’t fit perfectly in the film.

Chrissy Metz’s voice closes it out. 

After going through the emotional roller coaster that is Breakthrough, the crowd is treated to Metz’s voice in the credit song “I’m Standing With You.” Fans of This Is Us will just be waiting to hear her singing, and it does not disappoint. Just as Underwood’s and Guyton’s songs underline the emotional impact in the film, Metz, one of the people who can best understand this story outside of those who truly lived it, will leave you sniffling even as the credits roll.