Heard gained more mainstream recognition in 2008, when she appeared in supporting roles in the Judd Apatow-produced stoner comedy Pineapple Express and the martial arts drama Never Back Down, both of which were box office successes. She also won a Breakthrough Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. Her other 2008 film releases were the critically panned Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Informers, in which she was part of an ensemble cast, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, an unconventional slasher film in which she had one of her first leading roles. Its director, Jonathan Levine, said he had chosen Heard for the title role because "there was a certain type of beauty and a certain type of innate intelligence that Amber brought to it that is not something you find every day. Certainly, not something you would find in somebody her age. The wisdom she projects I thought was pretty remarkable. " Mandy Lane had already premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, and had been initially picked for distribution by Harvey Weinstein. After a negative test screening, Weinstein dropped the film, and it was then released in the United Kingdom in 2008 by a different distributing company. It did not have a theatrical release in the United States until 2013. The Los Angeles Times stated that Heard gave her most "definitive [performance] to date " in the film, and The Washington Post wrote that she gave a "psychologically interesting performance".