AS GOOD AS IT GETS 
Pull together one obsessively compulsive, narcissistic, wholly unlovable man, a gay neighbor in crisis, and a waitress with a seriously ill child and it really doesn't get much better than, well, this. All three of the leads turn in unforgettable performances making the story of three unhappy people finding solace in themselves a true cinematic joy.
BEAUTIFUL GIRLS 
A piano player in crisis returns to his small town home to clear his head and reconnect with old friends. Yes, I'm a sucker for these kinds of films. This one honestly deals with love and loss, potential unfulfilled, and the paths we end up taking. Look for Portman in an amazing (and sometimes inappropriate) early performance as she steals every scene she's in.
BIG FISH 
An adult man returns to his dying father's bedside in the hopes of squaring away a life built on unanswered questions. With magnificently quirky set design and situations to overwhelm the eyes, this one is best felt with the heart. Less about the stories a man told (as truths) to his son and more about the very complex truth of trust.
GHOST WORLD 
A seriously dark (and funny) coming of age story. Two girls fresh out of high school play a prank on a socially stunted, middle aged, record collecting man. Things turn quickly, however, when one of the girls finds herself inexplicably drawn to the "nerd." One of Buscemi's best and a pretty heavy commentary on not judging a book by its proverbial cover.
An art dealer from Chicago travels to her in laws' North Carolina home and gets some serious culture shock. Amy Adam's painfully pure (and pregnant) Ashley is the star here, but JUNEBUG is also a heartening commentary of family and accepting others no matter what rung you stand upon on the "social ladder." It's charming, funny, and very, very sad.
I'm not much of a musical "guy," but this really isn't a musical. It's the story of the incredibly intense friendship between two very gifted musicians/artists. Played out beautifully by both leads, anchored by profoundly relevant songs, and "crescendoing" to an unbelievably powerful finale; ONCE with break your heart and fill it with joy simultaneously.
SHATTERED GLASS 
I've always loved watching someone get caught in a lie. Seeing them fumble around desperately trying to keep their house of cards from falling. This might be the only worth while thing Christensen has ever done. And it's an amazing and engaging journey to view a pathetic mess rise to fame and fall twice as hard by his own doing.
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY 
An absolutely gut wrenching glimpse into the human spirit. If you've ever lied awake at night feeling sorry for yourself, this film will give you pause. Not just about a man that wrote a book using only one eye, it's also about gaining a new understanding of the world around you through someone else's triumphs.
THE INCREDIBLES 
For my money, the best superhero film ever made. There's drama, humor, examination of self, and commentary regarding one's place in the world. Some of the best casting you'll find makes for great voice work and characters you can totally relate to and empathize with. It's also intensely rewatchable.
THE MINUS MAN 
Who knew Owen Wilson could give such a nuanced performance? Granted, this was a lifetime ago by his standards, but it's brilliant. Quiet, tense, and filled with moving performances from the entire cast; THE MINUS MAN is a creepy character study that wholly engages the viewer from first frame to last.