|"James Horner's sumptuous musical score, incorporating bits of Wagner, Mozart and others, emulates the steadiness of the wind while its repetitive refrains remind one of Philip Glass."|
Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"The repeated Wagner excerpt remains the dominant musical signpost of the film, much as the Saint-Saens 'Carnival of the Animals' extract was for Days of Heaven. Among other pre-existing music, Mozart plays a leading role, and James Horner's original contributions to the score are discreet and dramatic."
Todd McCarthy, Variety
"After a brief credit sequence, James Horner's score gives way to chirping birds, blowing wind and what might be the rumble of distant thunder or a cannon blast. This cacophony then melts into the opening notes of the prelude to Wagner's 'Das Rheingold,' the first opera in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen.' A haunting drone meant to suggest the rippling of the Rhine River, the prelude begins as a whisper that grows progressively louder until it reaches a crescendo, signaling the moment when the Rhinemaidens realize that the Nibelung dwarf Alberich has forsworn love for gold and power. The musical chords ripple with escalating intensity as Indians run along the shore, excitedly pointing at the three ships."
Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Malick's retelling of the Pocahontas story known to every American youngster (but generally underleveraged by American artists) begins with the image of the sky reflected in the water and the sound of a child's incantation. Virginia 1607: The wooden ships arrive, the music swells, and the members of the indigenous Powhatan tribe are amazed. (It's Wagner!)"
J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Their forbidden love takes shape with tasteful restraint: They romp in the tall grass, she in thigh-high buckskin boots, he in rough breeches, as a piano tinkles sensitively but minimally in the background."
Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com