The score works in the movie. It provides the correct mood and pace. But as a Thomas Newman fan I think this is a bit disappointing. It certainly didn't need to be MORE like David Newman. The problem is that the trademark Thomas Newman plucky-percussion seems like a cop out. And it is the first score of Newman's that I find to be obviously derivative of other scores and works. The moody and sometimes playful intertwining flutes in some of the cues are very similar to John Williams' "Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler." Which itself was heavily influenced by Prokofiev. It's not a bad cue, it's just not as original as most of Newman's stuff. The string and harp arpeggios sound very similar to Horner's music for Star Trek and Aliens. And there is some great sound big brass chords that are straight out of a Bernard Herrman score. (End of Citizen Kane)
It's almost as if it is an homage to mainly those composer-- John Williams, James Horner, and Bernard Herrman. These three influences never quite gel into one cohesive sound. It all sound good, just not what I expect from Thomas Newman. There is some inventive instrumentation. But not really enough. And it just didn't hit me the way American Beauty, Shawshank, Nemo, etc. did.