Author Stephen Chbosky decided to adapt his celebrated epistolary Bildungsroman into a feature film and thankfully chose an exceptional troupe of actors to do so. Set in a Pittsburgh suburb in the early ‘90s, Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a high-school freshman with no friends and a mysterious, troubled past. One day, he’s befriended by Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his stepsister, Sam (Emma Watson)—a pair of popular, free-spirited seniors. His new merry gang of vagabonds help the insular Charlie come out of his shell and confront his childhood traumas. The performances are spectacular across the board—especially Miller, who delivers one of the best, most overlooked performances of the year as the closeted, capricious Patrick—and the ‘90s soundtrack, including The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, and Sonic Youth, is so good it’s worth purchasing as new year’s gift to yourself.