And now, a break from Oscar season as we take a look at the best films this analyst has had the pleasure of viewing.

10 (tie). The Insider – A searing behind the scenes probe about 60 Minutes’ broadcast of an interview with a high-level tobacco executve. Al Pacino and Russell Crowe deliver masterful performances in this powerful tale of one man’s fight to tell the truth.

10 (tie). Heat – Same director. Same actor. This time Pacino share screen time with Robert De Niro as obsessive cop versus sophisticated bank robber. The characters are frightening authentic, especially the “villains,” and the subplots sparkle (rare for any film). It’s an old fashioned crime story that feels like an epic.

9. A Few Good Men – This is the movie that sent thousands flocking to law school. With powerhouse performances by Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise and an ingeniously clever script full of sharp dialogue, this movie never fails to entertain. In addition, there is a morally profound message at the end.

8. Legends of the Fall – Yes, it feels like a soap opera, but a very, very good one. Spanning decades, this drama excels by exploring the richness of many lives and how people change. At the center is a compelling story of one man’s battle within himself, a difficult, but important concept that Brad Pitt brings to life in an underrated performance.

7. Gladiator – Russell Crowe is the ultimate hero as “the slave who defied an empire” in this throwback period piece. But what makes the film great is the Shakespearean emperor played to perfection by Joaquin Phoenix and the irony of his relationship with Crowe’s gladiator. The battle sequences are simply spectacular.

6. A Beautiful Mind – Crowe immerses himself in the role of a lifetime as schizophrenic mathematician John Forbes Nash. Director Ron Howard, in remarkably restrained fashion, shows you the world from Nash’s perspective in ways you cannot imagine. In the end, you truly learn why “perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but a greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart.”

5. The Shawshank Redemption – Technically speaking, this is probably the 90s best film (close race with Schindler’s List). The genius of it is taking a movie about ordinary men in prison and transforming it into a portrait of humanity. Of course having Morgan Freeman in your movie makes anything possible. The climax of the film will inspire those who don’t believe in inspiration altogether.

4. JFK – First and foremost, Oliver Stone’s courageous examination of JFK’s assasination sheds refereshing light on our century’s most perplexing tragedy. But even if you don’t know anything (or care) about the event, this is still a great film. Seldom is there is better portrayal of one man’s tireless fight for what he believes in, no matter what obstacles stand in his way.

3. Braveheart – Laced with emotion like currents of electricity, this epic propels you into the highlands of Scotland and the intense, ferocious battles inherent in the fight for freedom. Mel Gibson is the courageous warrior struggling to liberate an entire people…and alone if he has to. Don’t be afraid of death. Be afraid of a life without passion. An oft-spoken quote that is difficult to illustrate. “Braveheart” succeeds with flying colors.

2. The American President – A true feel-good movie. Bursting with sharp banter and shrewd political wit at every turn, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin foreshadows why “The West Wing” is the most popular show on television. Michael Douglass and Annette Bening share exceptional chemistry in a unique love story not based on sex, destiny, or overcoming obstacles. It’s about people doing the right thing.

1. Titanic – There’s a reason it won the most Academy Awards and wears the all-time box office crown. This is a film of monumental proportions, encompassing virtually every movie genre in a whirlwind three hours. Leonardo DiCaprio shows why he’s the Marlon Brando of our generation by his commanding screen presence. Kate Winslet adds flavor and sophisticated charm. But it’s the vulnerability of their characters that transcends the entire film. In their eyes, you see the life of every vibrant person who perished that unforgettable day. And you’ll never forget their loss, just as you’ll never forget the feeling and magic of true love.