Jonathan Levine

Best movies: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006), The Wackness (2008), 50/50 (2011)

Jonathan Levine’s name may very well be ringing loud bells come August, when his next movie, the zombie romance Warm Bodies, introduces chicks who love Twilight to quite possibly the next Robert Pattinson (the far superior Nicholas Hoult) and a new ghoul-loves-human story. It’s a project ripe for teenybopper embrace, and we’ve got every reason to believe that Levine will deliver a film that’s miles above those Taylor Lautner hack-fests in terms of quality.

But, in a just industry, Levine’s directorial skills would’ve been celebrated by the masses last September, when his most recent endeavor, the heartfelt cancer comedy 50/50, hit viewers in the ticker with some of the year’s most emotionally potent moments.

The 35-year-old New York City native, whose Big Apple roots were earnestly presented in 2008’s personal The Wackness, has his finger firmly planted on the youth’s pulse, and his brand of humbly powerful moviemaking is sorely needed—teens and twenty-somethings aren’t fortunate enough to have a filmmaker savvy enough to speak on their issues without pandering. That is, aside from Levine, of course.