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 "Brokeback   Mountain"

 "Get Rich or Die   Tryin' "

 "Elizabethtown"

 "Me and You And   Everyone We Know"

 "Thumbsucker"

 "The Matador"


 Oscar Eye Candy







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Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Not that it had a bundle of other releases to contend with, but 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " was clearly the standout among the crop of hip-hop soundtracks in 2005. A few fans even said they liked it better than 50's The Massacre release.

The G-Unit general not only brought along his crew's usual suspects — Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Olivia and Tony Yayo — but also introduced the newest members of the family, including Mase, M.O.P. and Spider Loc.

Despite the lengthy lineup, there were no lapses in chemistry on collaborations like "I Don't Know Officer," "Have a Party" and "Things Change." But it was definitely the solo tracks that served as the soundtrack's backbone. Still skeptical? Just check Lloyd Banks' "Get Low" for confirmation that it was when the individual artists didn't have to vie for the listeners' (and viewers') undivided attention that they genuinely shone.

"Get Rich or Die Tryin' " Trailer

"Get Rich or Die Tryin' " Photos

Check out all we've got on "Get Rich or Die Tryin' "

Meanwhile, the two primary releases off the record, 50's "Hustlers Ambition" and "Window Shopper," illustrated again that making hit records — whether it's a grainy street corner news report wrapped in soul music, or a mockery-inflected anthem tailor-made for street cruising — is still evidently effortless.

Finally, what truly separates "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " from so many recent soundtracks is that Fif actually took the time to write most of the rhymes in the music from the perspective of his character, Marcus, as opposed to simply collecting a gaggle of cast-off and second-hand tracks that ultimately have nothing to do with the film at all. What a novelty. — Shaheem Reid


NEXT: Benjamin Wagner on 'Elizabethtown'
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Photos: Miramax/Focus Features/Paramount/Sony Classics/IFC/Samuel Goldwyn


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