Director: Gareth Edwards

One crucial yet rarely mentioned trait that all filmmakers need to succeed: craftiness. That's an ability that writer-director Gareth Edwards possesses in abundance, as evidenced by his lo-fi 2010 debut Monsters. Made on a lean budget, Edwards' intimate sci-fi triumph follows a man and a woman as they navigate their way through a Mexican landscape infected by mondo-sized aliens. And, unlike in most extra-terrestrial films, the creatures in Monsters completely satisfy, as does Edwards' knack for blending simple human drama into a larger immigration allegory.