Detroit Bucket List For Wayne State Students

Detroit Bucket List For Wayne State Students

You won't want to miss out on these uniquely Detroit experiences.

We all get caught up in our piles of homework, the rush of our everyday schedules, and the stress of just being college students. This bucket list serves as a reminder to take time for yourself, enjoy life, and seek new adventures. Don't bypass the amazing experiences that await you in Detroit. Live them. Love them. Repeat.

1. 36th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival (September 4-7)

It’s all FREE (I know, I’m excited too). One of the world’s premier jazz festivals, the Detroit Jazz Festival has five stages and 100 acts over four days, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists, and many more activities. Free shuttles depart from Wayne State campus, and, although the event is free, I definitely suggest bringing enough money for fish and chips and an ice cold lemonade.

2. Study in the Detroit Public Library

It’s quieter than the UGL and the architecture is beautiful. If you have time, you can even check out the historic documents. Very old, very cool.

3. Buy something at Wayne State University Farmer’s Market

Yes, they do hand out free samples of kettle corn. And yes, I’ve gotten enough free samples to fill an entire bag for free, but I plan on buying a bag this year to make up for a year of mooching.

4. Visit the planetarium in Old Main

Stargazing without going outside? Sounds perfect. Shows are usually toward evening hours and only happen on certain nights of the week. The times and dates are posted in Old Main.

5. Get lost in Old Main

It’s not just a freshman thing. There’s a reason people call it the “Hogwarts of Wayne State.”

6. Watch a Weekly Movie Series Film

Comfy seats, new movies, free admission...what’s not to like? Upcoming movies this fall include "San Andreas," "Jurassic World," "Inside Out," "Minions," "Ant-Man," and "Self/less."

7. See the Art Exhibits in Old Main

I’ve seen some very cool, very strange things there. I recommend it.

8. Attend 45th Annual Global Festival (September 23, 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Wayne State University and the Detroit community celebrate cultural diversity through this 45th annual event. Feel free to stop by and sample various ethnic foods and learn about the international organizations on Wayne State's campus!

9. Homecoming Game (October 10)

Show some Warrior spirit! Festivities include a poster contest, face painting, a photo booth, the Homecoming court announcement of King and Queen, and after-game activities. The game against Grand Valley State begins at 6 p.m.

10. Detroit Fall Beer Festival (October 23- 24)

Held at Eastern Market, the 7th Annual Detroit Beer Festival boasts over 600 craft beers from over 75 Michigan breweries. Tickets are now on sale, so grab a cold one and enjoy some incredible food from local restaurants!

11. Go to Greektown!

If you’re old enough to gamble, coming here is a must (but don’t worry if you’re not 21 yet). There’s free parking at the casino, a streetful of fabulous restaurants within walking distance from the casino, and over 100,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action. For the under-21-ers or those who don't drink, come to Greektown for a night out with friends, catch a bite, and get some froyo. It’s a win for everyone.

12. Walk to Whole Foods

Pick a nice fall day and walk down Woodward to Whole Foods. It’s totally worth getting a hot (and healthy!) meal at least once a semester. Or you can get something like organic flax milk and vegan soy puffs. They have all your organic needs.

13. Detroit Artist Market

Also located on Woodward Ave, DAM showcases Detroit’s talent. As a nonprofit gallery for contemporary art, it shows the work of emerging and established Detroit and Michigan artists through exhibitions, sales, and related programs.

14. Eat at Slows Bar-B-Q

With multiple locations in Detroit, Slows is a staple of Detroit culture. Get the apple barbecue sauce with any sandwich of your choosing, and buy a huge mac and cheese. Enjoy!

15. Drink Starbucks While Window-stalking Passersby in Student Center

This is perfect for any season. There's only one rule: if someone sees you staring, look away quickly.

16. Visit Mexicantown

Right at Bagley Street and Vernor Street, Mexicantown has amazing restaurants and bakeries. I definitely recommend La Gloria Bakery which features tamales, burritos, and (my favorite) churros.

17. Relax near the Wayne State's Yamasaki Reflecting Pool

Sit on one of the huge stone slab benches, or you can even walk along it and peruse the sculptures. Think about life and such.

18. Gorge yourself at the Taco Truck

The Taco Truck is convenient, relatively cheap, and always there. The Korean beef tacos are great, and if you need an alternative, the Mac Shack truck is usually parked nearby.

19. Join an organization at Student Org Day

Just do it. Sign up for an organization that interests you and don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone!

20. Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 26)

There are very few places you can see an 80-foot floating clown (and very few places where you’d want to), but the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit is always entertaining. But be sure to wear layers and bring hats and gloves.

21. Noel Night (December 5)

Well if you’re not sold on free cider and donuts, a myriad of artwork and creations by local artists, and the joy of the holiday season all in lovely Midtown, then I don’t know what to say.

22. MOCAD

Although not a major fan of modern art myself, I recommend swinging by the MOCAD (and bring an open mind).

23. Debate Over American/Lafayette Coney Island

Do you know which one is better? Find out!

24. Dally in the Alley (September 12)

Come enjoy life in the Cass Corridor with a free street fair in celebration of local musicians, artists, restaurants, and vendors! Check out more details here.

25. Ice Skate at Campus Martius Park

The winter season in Detroit is not complete without a night out in Campus Martius. You can skate, walk around Campus Martius, and buy a hot chocolate to fend off the winter weather.

26. Detroit Institute of Arts

I go to the DIA at least six times a year, and it never gets old. Only a short walk from campus, the DIA is one of the best museums in the country, and it’s right outside our door!

27. Tigers Game

Even with the (severe) losses we’ve suffered this season, it’s still fun to go to a Tigers game and cheer on our boys. Wayne State students even get discounts and free shuttle services to certain games!

28. Red Wings Game

Although the new $450 million arena won’t be completed until 2017, don’t miss out on a chance to see the Red Wings this season. Like certain Tigers games, student discounts exist for Red Wings games. Now go cheer on the Wings!

29. Lions Game

Although you might not be able to nab some great seats for the Thanksgiving game (come on, we’re poor college students), you should tailgate and support our team during the regular playing season. Plus, Ford Field is amazing.

30. See a Play or Musical at the Bonstelle/Hilberry

I saw “Boeing, Boeing” last season, and it was hilarious, perfectly cast, and overall brilliant. With the great student discounts, there’s no excuse for skipping out on performances this season. The 2015-2016 seasons at the Bonstelle and the Hilberry include performances of “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Great Gatsby,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Oklahoma!” Check out the website for a more detailed list.

31. Detroit Historical Museum

Want to walk to streets of old Detroit, but you weren’t born in the 1800s? That’s all right! You can still do it at the Detroit Historical Museum. It allows you to journey through time, beginning at Detroit’s inception, and it answers any historical questions you may have about Detroit. You will be even more proud to call Detroit your home.

32. Visit MBAD's African Bead Museum

A "major repository for African artifacts—including sculptures, textiles, pottery, and bead works dating back hundreds of years," the African Bead Museum showcases countless cultures throughout Africa. There are even three art installations outside.

33. Michigan Science Center

You want to learn while having fun? Inspiring “curious minds of all ages,” the Michigan Science Center uses interactive programs, hands-on exhibits, and engaging activities to spark a lifelong appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and math.

34. Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Featuring music from timeless Sinatra, the legendary composer John Williams, and U2, to classical performances of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms, the DSO is sure to appeal to all types of audiences. WSU students can even get a Soundcard for $25 and get free access to concerts all season long!

35. Walk the RiverWalk

Staring at Canada is totally free, and you can do it all the time while walking the RiverWalk. Paved and friendly to bikers, joggers, and anyone who wants a peaceful day along the waters, the RiverWalk includes areas with a carousel, ice cream parlour, stone map of the world, and water fountains.

36. Hang Out on Belle Isle

There’s something for everyone on Belle Isle! The island is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, a conservatory, a nature zoo, the Detroit Yacht Club, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and a golf course. Not to mention the amazing paths for biking and walking, Belle Isle even has a half-mile swimming beach. It’s the perfect place for a picnic, and you won’t be disappointed.

37. John K. King Used & Rare Books

If you’re a bookworm like me, this is the place for you. Be sure to visit the main store (of the three), which is a four-story warehouse full of cheap and used books. With books of every subject, it’s the perfect place to spend a day (yes, a full day). With over a million books in stock, John K. King books has become a favorite of celebrities like Jay Leno and Teller of the magic duo of Penn and Teller.

38. GM Renaissance Center

One of my favorite buildings in Detroit, the Ren Cen is host to a multitude of restaurants, the Marriott Hotel, and a car show that graces the first floor. Enjoy a spectacular view of the riverfront after riding the elevator up 72 floors to Coach Insignia (it’s expensive, so riding up the elevator for the view will suffice).

39. The Heidelberg Project

Created in 1986 by Tyree Guyton and his grandfather, the Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art project that aims to breathe life back into the abandoned buildings in their neighborhood. The project spans two blocks and displays houses decorated in a variety of manners, including one covered in colorful polka dots, another painted with numbers of varying sizes, and one adorned with hundreds of records.

40. Watch a Film at the Redford Theatre

First opening its doors in 1928, the Redford Theatre showcases old movies throughout the year. With Japanese-esque style architecture, a star-filled sky that gives the appearance of a movie in the night air, and the last remaining neighborhood theater with its original organ, the Redford Theater has earned its spot on the Wayne State Bucket List.

41. Spend a Day at Eastern Market

The largest historic market in the country, Eastern Market is home to 4.5 acres of the “freshest, most wholesome fruits, vegetables, specialty foods, art, and music— all undeniably Detroit.” If you like free samples, an open-air environment, tons of friendly people, and knowing that you’re supporting the local economy, this is the place for you.

42. Mercury Burger Bar

Offering over a dozen burgers, sandwiches of every variety, hot dogs, poutine, craft beers, and hand-made milkshakes, Mercury Burger Bar is the place for any foodie in Detroit.

43. Hart Plaza

Thousands of people come together for celebrations, concerts, and festivals held throughout the year at Hart Plaza. Check out the Horace E Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain in the center of the plaza, and be sure to take the short walk to the Spirit of Detroit and the Monument to Joe Louis (“The Fist”).

44. Go Antiquing

I recommend Eastern Market Antiques, the two-story antique store with about five or six rooms on each floor, or Showcase Collectibles, a vintage and curio shop in the Cass Corridor.

45. Green Dot Stables

With over 20 sliders to choose from (each $3 or less), you can mix and match your burger choices and choose from a wide array of cocktails, drafts, beer, and pops (also priced around $3 each).

46. Theatre Bizarre (October 17)

Step right up and buy your ticket to the self-proclaimed “singular, must-see annual event...unlike anything else on earth.” After finding it’s permanent home at Detroit’s Masonic Temple, Theatre Bizarre draws thousands of attendees for its costumed Halloween spectacular. Sound mysterious? Check out more here.

47. Find Detroit’s “Point of Origin”

Search for the bronze medallion embedded in the walkway. This marks the point of origin of Detroit’s coordinate system. (Hint: check out Campus Martius Park)

48. Bike the Dequindre Cut

Just over a mile long in downtown, the Dequindre Cut Greenway is a paved path that allows pedestrians and bicyclers alike to admire the often overlooked beauty and unique culture of Detroit.

49. Volunteer at a Detroit Non-Profit

With over 120 non-profits organizations to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem picking one and volunteering! A complete list can be found here.

50. Go Geocaching

Want to live out your “National Treasure” dream? Geocaching is a modern day active treasure hunt that allows you to use a GPS to locate hidden “caches,” or containers hidden by other participants. It’s free, and you’re not obliged to steal the Declaration of Independence.

51. Drive the Grand River Creative Corridor

Known as “GRCC Detroit,” the Grand River Creative Corridor is an art corridor and neighborhood revitalization project that highlights over 100 murals on 15 buildings. With over 45 volunteer artists from across the globe, who says graffiti can’t be art?

52. The Carr Center

This community-friendly center of arts and culture is "dedicated to making the arts an integral part of life in Metro Detroit." The Carr Center promotes youth education, highlights gallery exhibits, and hosts private events.

53. Bowl at Garden Bowl

Built in 1913, this is one of America’s oldest active bowling centers. With 16 lanes and all original machines still in place, Garden Bowl is a must-see for all Detroiters.

54. Fowling

Fowling is a football bowling pin game that combines elements of bowling, football, and horseshoes. To answer all your Fowling questions (because I’m sure you have many), check out the website.

55. Eat at Buddy’s Pizza

Praised as selling Detroit’s #1 Square Pizza, Buddy’s has been a staple among Detroiters since it first introduced the original Detroit-style pizza in 1946. I recommend the barbecue chicken pizza with an antipasto salad.

56. Ride the People Mover

Ride just for the heck of it! Encircling Downtown Detroit, the People Mover is an easy and inexpensive ($0.75 fare), albeit not necessary, way to get around the Downtown area.

57. Meridian Winter Blast (February)

Held in Campus Martius Park, this event features winter activities, live entertainment, and local Detroit restaurants for all ages. For more information about the event this coming February, here’s the website.

58. Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History

Come visit one of the world’s largest institutions dedicated to the African-American experience. Their mission is to “open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African-American history and culture.” Don’t miss out on this experience!

59. Tour the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex

Ranked one of the top things to do in Detroit by TripAdvisor, this center marks the birthplace of the Model T. The heritage complex tells the story of Ford’s Piquette Avenue Plant where he designed the Model T and built the first 12,000 “Tin Lizzies.”

60. Take a Selfie at the Russell Industrial Center

The Russell Industrial Center showcases the state’s largest spray paint mural, conceptually described as a “Chimera composed of elements of each of the four major sports teams and aspects of Detroit industry.” The mural is amazing.

61. City Bird

This retail store is located in the Cass Corridor and is mere steps away from Traffic Jam and Snug. They carry housewares, jewelry paper goods, clothes, and home decor from hundreds of featured independent artists and designers. Also, check out Nest, which is located right next door.

62. Motor City Brewing Works

Selling a host of beers, ciders, wines, and sodas, Detroit’s oldest operating brewery is committed to producing hand-crafted superior quality beer. You can even take a tour of the facility!

63. Enjoy the Snow on Campus

Instead of bundling up and hurrying to class in the winter, enjoy the weather! Make a snow angel, build a snowman, throw a snowball at your friend (strangers don't appreciate those type of gestures, however innocent), catch snowflakes on your tongue, etc. After that, you can continue to complain about the weather.

64. Traffic Jam and Snug

Established in 1965, Traffic Jam and Snug is one of Detroit’s favorites. It’s known from its in-house bakery, microbrewery, multi-level dining rooms, and a menu that features made-from-scratch dishes and award-winning cheeses and beer.

65. Jolly Pumpkin

This pizzeria and brewery presents hand-crafted artisan ales and eclectic pub fare that will satisfy any hungry student.

66. Sy Thai

With generous portions and affordable prices, Sy Thai is perfect for anyone who loves Thai food.

67. Source Booksellers

Self-described as a “unique niche of non-fiction books and unusual sidelines,” Source Booksellers hosts Mind/Body/Spirit classes, Tai Chi, belly dancing, book and author talks, poetry readings, and local plays.

68. Fio Boutique

Come out and support this locally-owned boutique that, in turn, supports and stocks items from multiple independent Detroit clothing and jewelry designers.

69. Third Man Records Store

Slated to open the day after Thanksgiving, Jack White’s Third Man Records is finally coming home to Detroit. You’ll have to wait a few months, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

70. Show Your Love for Wayne State

Say "hi" to friends, talk to new people, spend a day sitting in Gullen Mall and read a book, work out at the Rec Center, browse through Barnes & Noble, or hang out in the new Student Center. Show your love in little ways, and always be proud to be a Wayne State Warrior!


Well, these are just a few of the hundreds of things to do in Detroit. With this great start to your personal bucket list for Detroit, phrases like "I'm bored" or "I don't know what to do this weekend" shouldn't be part of your conversations. Discover hidden gems, add your own favorites, and pass on your intimate knowledge of Detroit to fellow students and your friends and family. Now, get started and fall in love with Detroit!

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5 Best Comedy TV Shows of 2017 That You Shouldn’t Miss

Spectrum Cable Channels come packed with entertainment options so that you don’t have to miss out on any of the entertainment genre Comedy.

Do you know that Comedy is one of the most-watched entertainment genre in the United States? Yes, it is, and rightfully so! Pertaining to the rushed nature of our contemporary lifestyles, and the obligation to outperform in all the challenges and endeavors that we face each day (be they work-related or otherwise), we need a proper and a regular dose of quality entertainment to invigorate our sore and tired nerves. Entertainment is as essentially needed as sleep, when it comes to refreshing and revitalizing ourselves to face another challenging day. 

And the very idea of watching a tragic or horror movie or show (in the very name of entertainment), would rather drain our brains more, leaving us feeling all gloomy and depressed or terrified (many won’t be able to even sleep well after watching a horror movie). So, yes, Comedy is the safest option when you aim on entertaining yourself. You actually feel gleeful and light-hearted after watching a comedy show and this is exactly the sole purpose of entertainment.

Hence, we have hand-picked 5 most entertainment-rich and fun-packed Comedy TV shows, for you to watch and have the much-craved entertainment dose. But most importantly pick the right Cable TV Service Provider, to enjoy a robust channel line-up that provides you with all the entertainment options of your choice. Spectrum Cable packages include HBO®, CBS®, NBC® that broadcast some of the best Comedy Shows.

  1. Big Little Lies

Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley star as the three Monterey mothers in ‘Big Little Lies’, that is aired on HBO®. Based on the best seller by Liane Moriarty, with the same title, the plot weaves a sinisterly comedic tale that involves murder as well as mischief, in the serene Monterey town on beachfront. It is an intelligent satire on how the communities are driven by gossip and rumors inside, that superficially seem to comprise of doting moms, very successful husbands, gorgeous children, and mesmerizing homes. 

The storyline exposes the broken and fractured relationships in apparently ‘ideal community’, especially between spouses, children and parents, and even neighbors and friends. Madeline, Celeste and Jane are the three protagonist mothers, and we get to know things through their eyes. We get to explore society's myths about perfection and romanticizing marriage, parenting and friendship, in a humorous way, which is why it is a massive hit in not only audience, but critics as well. 

2. Glow

Starring Alison Brie, Marc Maron, and Betty Gilpin, the plot of this comedy series, revolves around the professional and personal lives of this group of women, who work for a wrestling organization based in Los Angeles (in an 80s setting). The action begins when an out-of-work performer/actress, finds an unanticipated chance at fame and stardom, by entering the glamorous and glittery world of women's wrestling, where she has to work alongside a total of 12 other girls, who were just like her, Hollywood misfits. Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), an unsuccessful director of B movies’, tries to train these women to fame. 

It is aired on Netflix®, and is one of the best Netflix® shows to date. Best as a weekend-watch, the episodes are only 30 minutes of length, packed with humor, drama and hilarious performances. 

Some of the best episodes are Money's in the Chase, Live Studio Audience, and The Wrath of Kuntar.

3. Master of None

Aziz Ansari and Eric Wareheim are in Italy, in the second season of this Netflix® show. 

The Writer and creator Aziz Ansari, has based this series on his real-life experiences. Dev (Ansari) plays as a protagonist. He is a New York-based performer/actor, who is in the middle of this struggle of identifying and recognizing about what he actually wants, both in professional and personal life. The series unfolds snippets of Dev's early youth, whilst exploring aspects of his current life, that includes modern etiquette (and that is regarding social media and texting), since he is still young and single. Ansari's actual dad performed the role of his father in the series as well. 

In the second season, the script as well as the performances, both became more natural. And the love story in the second season is perhaps the most fascinating in any TV show.

The best episodes were, First Date and New York, I Love You.

4. The Good Place

Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, The Good Place is one of the quirkiest comedy TV series, but also one of the most eagerly-watched one. 

Aired on NBC®, the plot revolves around Eleanor Shellstrop (Bell), who surprisingly found herself in the next world/afterlife, and she's both flabbergasted and relieved, that she has finally made it to The Good Place. But it is not long, when Eleanor realizes that she's there, mistakenly. She then consistently hides and ensures not coming in sight of the architect (of this Good Place) Michael and his all-aware and all-eyes assistant Janet. Her ‘apparently perfect’ neighbors Jianyu and Tahani, and her soul mate Chidi, help her recognize and realize the fact that it is never too late. So, with the help of these new friends, and a few foes, Eleanor makes a resolution to leave her old ways of life, and hopes to move forward with discovering and embracing a new one in this afterlife.

Also available on Hulu®, some of the best episodes were: Michael's Gambit, Mindy St. Clair and The Eternal Shriek.

5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Aired on The CW and also available on Netflix®, it is one of the craziest comedy TV show of all times. It stars Rachel Bloom (also the executive producer), Donna Lynne Champlin, and Vincent Rodriguez III. The plot unveils when the extraordinary successful and ambitious, Rebecca Bunch apparently has it all, from a chic and expensive Manhattan apartment, to a partnership at a renowned, prestigious law company. Still she has a feeling that something is always missing, till she had a coincidental meeting with her former love interest. That made Rebecca spontaneously decide to give up her well-established life in New York altogether and relocate to a California suburb. In the hopes that she will make a perfect home, as she decides to embark on a pursuit for love, true happiness and adventure. 

The season two looks even more promising when it comes to the quintessential craziness of it, with a lot of love triangles. Best episodes were: Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith? and All Signs Point to Josh... Or Is It Josh’s Friend?

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Your Official 2018 Awards Season Movie Watchlist

A collection of fantastic films you probably haven't seen but really, really should.

With this year's Golden Globes now passed, 2018's awards season is finally kicking into high gear. If the eventful 75th Annual Golden Globes didn't satisfy your need for moving speeches or awkward encounters between celebrities, hopefully the upcoming Academy Awards will make up for it. For now, we'll have to wait until Oscar nominations are announced the last week of January.

If you're like most people, those esteemed Oscar-nominated (and eventually Oscar-winning) movies are usually ones you've never heard of before. With so many obscure films being thrust into the limelight, it can be hard for the average person to know which are worth watching, or which might be painfully slow and pretentious. This proves especially disappointing when you can't confidently cheer for your favorite film in a category of movies you never got the chance to see.

Thankfully, I've compiled a list of a 2018 Awards Season watchlist (in no particular order) to make your Oscar anticipation a slight bit easier. Here are the films from 2017 that will (almost) certainly make up the majority of Oscar categories:

2018 Oscar Contenders

"Wind River"

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Western

Rating: R

"Wind River" presents an intense crime drama that starts off slow and gradually builds up to a satisfying and climactic conclusion. The film features Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson (a pairing you might recognize as Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch), both of which give amazing performances and share a lot of fun chemistry.


"Call Me By Your Name"

Genre: Romance, Coming of Age

Rating: R

Explanation:

"Call Me By Your Name" is a coming-of-age tale set in Italy and centered around a 17-year-old boy who forms a relationship with a student working for his father. Its story covers the length of one summer as the two bond and discover more about themselves. It's been praised for its great performances, beautiful love story, and impressive cinematography.



"Get Out"

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Rating: R

Explanation:

You might be caught off guard seeing a horror movie getting considered a major Oscar contender, but "Get Out" completely deserves to be on this list. Jordan Peele's directorial debut proved not only an effectively terrifying horror flick but an astounding statement on the presence of racism in a modern setting. The film is rewarding because of the surprises involved, so I'll spare you the details so you can go check them out yourself.


"The Post"

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG-13

Explanation:

Hm, a Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep? If there were a formula for making an award-winning movie, that'd definitely be it. Both actors showcase their dramatic acting talents in this historical thriller about journalists working to expose a deep-seated cover-up lasting three decades. The film sports an incredible ensemble cast and develops themes that reflect issues of the modern world.

"Lady Bird"

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Rating: R

Explanation:

Greta Gerwig's latest film "Lady Bird" has been a critical darling since it came out in November. Up until recently, it had maintained a solid 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, with critics praising lead Saoirse Ronan for her stellar performance. Now it sits at a disappointing 99% but has found even more success elsewhere, even winning Ronan the Golden Globe for Best Actress. The film centers around a complex mother-daughter relationship as they bond and grow to understand one another.


"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Genre: Crime, Drama

Rating: R

Explanation:

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" has been floating around a lot of 'Top 10' lists when it comes to 2017 films, so it's no surprise it dominated at the Golden Globes. The film won Globes for Best Actress, Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay.


"The Shape of Water"

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Rating: R

Explanation:

This movie is absolutely insane, and I think that's why it feels so fresh. Guillermo Del Toro's "The Shape of Water" is a fairy tale love story between a mute custodian and a government-hidden fish-man creature. Pretty much every time I've explained this movie to someone I've had to immediately follow it up with "It's good, I promise!" because of the face I get. The movie won Del Toro his first Golden Globe for Best Director and is sure to get some major recognition at the Oscars, so be sure to check it out if you get the chance!



"The Disaster Artist"

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Rating: R

Explanation:

For years, Tommy Wiseau's absurd film "The Room" has been regarded as one of the worst movies all time, so much so that it has gradually developed a cult following of fans who ironically enjoy it as an unintentional comedy. James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" follows Wiseau's story as he puts together a hilariously bad film and comes to appreciate the notability it brings him, even though it came in an unexpected way.

"Darkest Hour"

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG-13

Explanation:

"Darkest Hour" has been commended for a number of reasons, the most prominent being Gary Oldman's insane transformation into Winston Churchill, an achievement not only in make-up and costuming but also through Oldman's stellar performance. The film follows Churchill as he navigates a diplomatic dilemma in his first days as Prince Minister during World War II.


"I, Tonya"

Genre: Drama, Sports

Rating: R

Explanation:

"I, Tonya" is a darkly comedic rendition of the well-known story of professional figure skater Tonya Harding as she rises in the ranks of her sport until her career is threatened when her ex-husband intervenes. Many are praising Margot Robbie's performance as the titular main lead, and the supporting actors also work brilliantly to enhance the story's emotional appeal.


"The Florida Project"

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Rating: R

Explanation:

From Sean Baker, the director who previously made an acclaimed indie flick shot from an iPhone ("Tangerine" in 2015), comes a character-driven drama about an impoverished mother and her six-year-old child, told from the child's unique perspective. It's devastating and is sure to tug at your heart-strings, so make sure you're up for a good emotional cleansing before diving in.



Since so many of the award-winning films are low-budget indie projects, they typically don't open widely in the same manner that blockbusters do. They often only open in certain areas at certain times or get shown on a limited number of screens, so it's inevitable that the majority of them are going to get overlooked by general moviegoers.

This, of course, is a shame considering that these are almost always the films that push the limits of the medium as a means of artistic expression. These are the films that make bold statements about the world we live in and aim to inspire strong emotions, whether that be fear, joy, or motivation. So don't pass up on watching these types of movies, because catching just one could alter how you view the world.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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