The equation for breakthrough star is quite simple: one part charisma, two parts talent and just a whole lot of luck. (Well, our formula might not be precise but you get the picture.) And the breakout performer must connect with an audience with a role that leaps off the screen.

2009 was a great year for breakout stars; here's our list of actors for whom 2009 will be just the beginning of a long, fruitful career.