It goes without saying that what follows is strictly personal opinion.
This score is superb. To patronize it with such adjectives as "functional (and even admirable)" and to say that it "still falls a few steps behind comparable scores by more established composers" is pompous and moronic. It's an equally bizarre observation that the soundtrack lacks distinctive themes or motifs, because it's plainly chock-full of them to anyone with a set of ears. It is true that these motifs are subtle, and that they are seldom spelled out with crude emphasis, but why should they be? Amenabar's sensual, transparent counterpoint and orchestration are more interesting and musically effective than any five-dollar "theme" you can walk out of a theater humming. The score also contains a harmonic beauty and sophistication seldom heard in contemporary scores and on that account alone is praiseworthy. While the reviewer did write positively on the whole, it comes across as a backhanded slap in the face of an obviously distinctive and unusual talent to rank him as inferior to James Newton Howard or others. What a simple-minded point of view!