You know the feeling: whether it’s pure exhilaration or slowly creeping fear, the hair-raising atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s films make themselves visceral. The British writer-director has been nominated for numerous Oscars during his nigh-40-year career, including Best Director for films as different as Black Hawk Down and Thelma & Louise. This year his Matt Damon–starrer The Martian is up for seven awards, including best picture and best actor (male), but oddly enough, not best director. Still, it’s difficult to ignore Scott’s significant contribution to cinema — highly detailed visuals, tense pacing, and best of all, airtight action sequences. Here’s a collection of the most memorable moments in five of his best films.