Age: 24
Best projects: Almost Famous (2000), Lords of Dogtown (2005), Snow Angels (2007), Haywire (2011)

In some cases, all it takes for a young actor to instill long-lasting confidence is one terrific performance. For Michael Angarano, that moment of admirable panache came in David Gordon Green’s devastating 2007 drama Snow Angels; playing a small-town high school student experiencing first love concurrently as his old babysitter (Kate Beckinsale) deals with a suicidal ex-husband (Sam Rockwell), Angarano layers the film with a natural sense of kind-heartedness that offsets his co-stars’ prevailing darkness and proclivity for tragedy.

Neither last year’s misguided Red State nor January’s stylistically robust action pic Haywire provided him with roles good enough to repeat the Snow Angels effect, unfortunately, but he’s still young enough to find that next poignant one.