Think of your favourite movie, or your favourite scene in a movie, or your favourite performance, and chances are that a big part of why you love that movie or scene or performance is because it was accompanied by music written by one of these guys below. There have been many legendary composers throughout the years, but these are our ten favourites who are still regularly writing scores we love and listen to today.


Best Known For: Working a whole lot with Tim Burton, and writing the music for this little known show called The Simpsons.

Career Highlights: Beetlejuice, Batman, Mission: Impossible, Men In Black, Big Fish, Spiderman 2, American Hustle, and The Simpsons (duh!).

Oscars: Four Nominations (Good Will Hunting, Men In Black, Big Fish, Milk), Zero Wins.

Up Next: He'll be bringing sexy back while writing the score for Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Our Favourite Pick: Bad movie, but great score. 


Best Known For: Working a whole lot with JJ Abrams, and writing the music for a lot of movies by this little known production company called Pixar.

Career Highlights: The Incredibles, Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Ratatouille, Star Trek, Up, Fringe.

Oscars: One Nomination (Ratatouille), One Win (Up).

Up Next: Blockbuster after blockbuster, from the highly anticipated sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, to the Wachowski's latest sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending, and the top secret George Clooney starrer Tomorrowland.

Our Favourite Pick: This will go down in history for its simplicity and brilliance. 


Best Known For: Working a whole lot with Darren Aranofsky, and writing music that can make grown men cry.

Career Highlights: Requiem For A Dream, The Wrestler, Moon, Black Swan, Last Night, Mass Effect 3, Stoker.

Oscars: Zero Nominations, zero Wins. A travesty.

Up Next: Benedict Cumberbatch World War II thriller The Imitation Game, and biblical disaster movie Noah.

Our Favourite Pick: remember we said he could make grown men cry….?

(Extra Note: Mansell is playing in the National Concert Hall in Dublin on October 12th 2014, in case you're interested at all)


Best Known For: Working quite a bit with M. Night Shyamalan, but let's not hold that against him.

Career Highlights: Glengarry Glen Ross, Alive, Falling Down, The Fugitive, The Devil's Advocate, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Collateral, Batman Begins, King Kong, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Oscars: Eight Nominations (The Prince Of Tides, The Fugitive, Junior, One Fine Day, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Village, Michael Clayton, Defiance). Zero Wins.

Up Next: Finishing off the Hunger Games quadrilogy with Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, as well as two big fairy-tale retellings with Maleficent and Alice In Wonderland 2.

Our Favourite Pick: He co-wrote this with another legendary composer, but having any part in this at all is enough to warrant a mention.


Best Known For: Being director Sam Mendes' go-to guy.

Career Highlights: The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, The Green Mile, Road To Perdition, Finding Nemo, Revolutionary Road, Wall-E, Side Effects.

Oscars: Twelve Nominations (The Shawshank Redemption, Little Women, Unstrung Heroes, American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Finding Nemo, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, The Good German, Wall E, Skyfall, Saving Mr. Banks). Zero Wins.

Up Next: Prehistoric Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur, and James Brown biopic Get On Up.

Our Favourite Pick: How he didn't win the Oscar for this one, we'll never know.


Best Known For: Bringing that disturbing, dark and gloomy edge to recent David Fincher movies.

Career Highlights: Quake, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.

Oscars: One Win (The Social Network).

Up Next: Reuniting with David Fincher for the adaptation of massive bestseller Gone Girl.

Our Favourite Pick: This. ALL of this. 


Best Known For: Scoring Middle Earth.

Career Highlights: Videodrome, The Fly, The Silence Of The Lambs, Se7en, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Panic Room, Gangs Of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, The Hobbit Trilogy.

Oscars: One Nomination (Hugo), Two Wins (The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Return Of The King).

Up Next: He’ll be finishing off the Hobbit trilogy with There And Back Again, and then working with Scorsese on his 17th century Japanese drama, Silence.

Our Favourite Pick: Probably a bit of an odd choice, but we do love this piece. 


Best Known For: Bringing the bomb-bast, working in the action genre. A LOT.

Career Highlights: Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Abyss, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Captain America, The Avengers, Flight.

Oscars: Two Nominations (Forrest Gump, The Polar Express). Zero Wins.

Up Next: Liam Neeson hitman thriller Run All Night, and will probably get the callback for The Avengers 2, at some point...

Our Favourite Pick: There was no way it could be anything but this.


Best Known For: Working with Spielberg, Lucas, etc. You name it, he's probably had a hand in it.

Career Highlights: (deep breath) The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Superman, ET, Home Alone, Hook, JFK, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, War Of The Worlds, and then everything to do with Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter.

Oscars: Forty-Four Nominations (no, we're not listing them all, Google them if you must!) and Five Wins (Fiddler On The Roof, Jaws, Star Wars: A New Hope, ET, Schindler's List).

Up Next: Well, we've got Star Wars Episode VII to look forward to, and the possibility of Indiana Jones 5, if it ever sees the light of day.

Our Favourite Pick: Everyone probably has their own favourite, but we're going with this one.  


Best Known For: Bringing that BRRRAHHHHHMMMMM! noise to every single trailer in the last eight years.

Career Highlights: Rain Man, Backdraft, True Romance, The Lion King, Crimson Tide, Gladiator, Hannibal, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Ring, The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight Rises, Man Of Steel.

Oscars: Eight Nominations (Rain Man, The Preachers Wife, As Good As It Gets, The Thin Red Line, The Prince Of Egypt, Gladiator, Sherlock Holmes, Inception). One Win (The Lion King).

Up Next: He helped out Pharrell Williams on his solo album, who is returning the favour by assisting him with scoring The Amazing Spiderman 2, and then it's off to outer space for Christopher Nolan's latest massive movie, Interstellar.