Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston
Release Date: September 30
Why we’re excited: So here’s the hilarious premise behind 50/50: Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a likeable nice guy who learns that he’s afflicted with a rare, potentially fatal tumor on his spine, and, as he shifts from acceptance to eruptive anger, his best friend, played by Seth Rogen, uses Gordon-Levitt’s cancer as an in to score chicks. Isn’t that comedy gold?

All sarcasm aside, it actually is, in addition to a dramatic cubic zirconia. Written by Rogen’s real-life friend Will Reiser, who’s a cancer survivor himself, 50/50 manages to balance Judd Apatow-style humor, heart-tugging sadness, and brave optimism all in one package. Director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) commands a fine cast, including strong turns from Bryce Dallas Howard as Gordon-Levitt’s unfaithful girlfriend and Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air) as his therapist/potential love interest.

But ultimately, 50/50 is Gordon-Levitt’s show. Already one of the game’s strongest young actors, dude is a powerhouse here, earning massive amounts of sympathy throughout before forcing viewers to grab fresh Kleenex as his character checks into the hospital for an emotionally draining climax. Prepare to fight back tears, grown men.