Director/Writer: Rian Johnson

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Matt O’Leary, Noah Segan, and Richard Roundtree

Before Rian Johnson put his stamp on the Star Wars universe, he first broke out with his feature film Brick. The 2005 indie is a neo-noir mystery starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a high school student who receives a troubling phone call from his ex-girlfriend asking for his help. She’s only able to mutter a few words before the line is cut off, and Gordon-Levitt’s character spends the rest of the film using those clues to track her down. The whole film is crafted as a gorgeous noir, but it revolves around teenagers, offering a refreshing juxtaposition of sorts. It’s supremely well-crafted, and it’s no wonder this film quickly kicked off not only Johnson’s successful film career, but that of his cinematographer Steve Yedlin’s and also Gordon-Levitt’s. Indeed, Brick made the 3rd Rock from the Sun actor’s transition from child star to leading man official. – Adam Chitwood

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