Writer Stephen Chbosky makes an impressive feature-directing debut with this adaptation of his semi-autobiographical novel about high school kids in the early ’90s. Logan Lerman plays Charlie, a shy freshman who eventually winds up hanging out with a fringe group of students including Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson). The new friends help Charlie come out of his shell, and he ultimately realizes things about himself that need to be examined. Lerman is especially good as the film’s anchor, while Miller continues to exhibit the great talents he showed in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Watson gets to step away from Hermione, and she does so successfully, making Sam a complex, real kid. This is one of the better films about high school to come along in quite some time.