My Top 30 Favourite Scores

by MichaelBramhald | created - 15 Apr 2011 | updated - 09 Jul 2016 | Public

My favourite scores (soundtracks excluded), in order of favourite. I have avoided including all the films within a franchise, simply picking my favourite of the series. Although an exception has been made for Harry Potter because the composers change many times from film-to-film.

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1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

PG-13 | 169 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
50 Metascore

Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, find Jack Sparrow, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush

Votes: 524,705 | Gross: $309.42M

Hans Zimmer

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
87 Metascore

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,239,457 | Gross: $342.55M

Howard Shore

3. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
74 Metascore

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,677,958 | Gross: $292.58M

Hans Zimmer

4. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  
82 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,889,991 | Gross: $534.86M

Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris

Votes: 446,934 | Gross: $261.99M

John Williams

6. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 367,559 | Gross: $285.76M

John Williams

7. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
56 Metascore

An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Julian Glover

Votes: 423,699 | Gross: $133.38M

James Horner

8. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
68 Metascore

Three years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-Wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 593,576 | Gross: $380.26M

John Williams

9. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,310,850 | Gross: $134.97M

Nino Rota

10. In Bruges (2008)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
67 Metascore

Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.

Director: Martin McDonagh | Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ciarán Hinds, Elizabeth Berrington

Votes: 338,682 | Gross: $7.76M

Carter Burwell

11. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

R | 132 min | Western

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Mario Brega

Votes: 182,868 | Gross: $15.00M

Ennio Morricone

12. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
79 Metascore

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 239,149 | Gross: $76.27M

Ennio Morricone

13. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

PG-13 | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church

Votes: 426,557 | Gross: $336.53M

Christopher Young

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
65 Metascore

As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

Director: David Yates | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bill Nighy

Votes: 382,165 | Gross: $295.98M

Alexandre Desplat

15. The Piano (1993)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
89 Metascore

A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

Votes: 69,299 | Gross: $40.16M

Michael Nyman

16. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
81 Metascore

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 565,135 | Gross: $304.36M

Thomas Newman

17. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
86 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 843,896 | Gross: $210.61M

Alan Silvestri

18. Road to Perdition (2002)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
72 Metascore

Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey, Liam Aiken

Votes: 217,621 | Gross: $104.45M

Thomas Newman

19. Tron (2010)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
49 Metascore

The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.

Director: Joseph Kosinski | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner

Votes: 282,712 | Gross: $172.06M

Daft Punk

20. Miller's Crossing (1990)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
66 Metascore

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 112,243 | Gross: $5.08M

Carter Burwell

21. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 987,153 | Gross: $96.07M

John Williams

22. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 416,999 | Gross: $172.83M

Hans Zimmer

23. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama, History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
55 Metascore

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton

Votes: 347,705 | Gross: $111.11M

Hans Zimmer

24. Meet Joe Black (1998)

PG-13 | 178 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
43 Metascore

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber

Votes: 184,390 | Gross: $44.62M

Thomas Newman

25. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 178,599 | Gross: $47.00M

John Carpenter

26. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 516,049 | Gross: $24.61M

Carter Burwell

27. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 484,031 | Gross: $32.00M

Bernard Herrmann

28. A Bug's Life (1998)

G | 95 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
77 Metascore

A misfit ant, looking for "warriors" to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.

Directors: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Dave Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere

Votes: 231,830 | Gross: $162.80M

Randy Newman

29. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 313,879 | Gross: $435.11M

John Williams

30. Beetlejuice (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
70 Metascore

When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe

Votes: 213,169 | Gross: $73.71M

Danny Elfman