8. Smashed

Director: James Ponsoldt
Stars: Aaron Paul, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Nick Offerman, Octavia Spencer, Megan Mullally, Kyle Gallner, Bree Turner
Release info: Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution; no release date has been announced yet

Why you should be excited: It’s about time that award-winning Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul received some more feature film love. Having only co-starred in a handful of movies, his accolades have come entirely from the small-screen, which isn’t a bad thing when those props are the result of TV’s best all-around show. But he’s too powerful of an actor to not start taking roles away from lesser-gifted performers who constantly pop up in Hollywood’s fare.

In true credible fashion, though, Paul has opted to ease himself back into movie theaters via a character-driven indie. In Smashed, which garnered unanimously positive reviews from its Sundance premiere, he plays one half of a married couple whose relationship is based around shared alcohol abuse, a dangerous bond that’s disrupted when his better half (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) decides to sober up. Word has it that both Paul and Winstead are excellent, as is Nick Offerman (or, as you should know him, Parks And Recreation’s Ron Swanson) as Winstead’s boss.