Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 28, 2012
    As long as the MPAA is issuing its cavalier decrees, though, they're the ones acting like bullies.
  2. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 28, 2012
    Lee Hirsch is certainly one who is making a difference. I endorse him and his brave, powerful movie and urge you to see it for yourself. You might leave Bully with rage, but you will not leave Bully with indifference.
  3. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Mar 30, 2012
    All I can add to the discussion is the fervent hope that any parents, teachers, administrators or students who see it will immediately start clamoring for it to be shown at their next PTA meeting.
  4. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Apr 12, 2012
    Some movies uses make-believe to make you squirm or cry or rise to righteous anger. Bully does all of that with reality.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 28, 2012
    The purpose of Bully is to educate and promote discussion. If the problem is not solved, there will be more Columbines and additional stories like Tyler and Ty's.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 30, 2012
    The best social documents on film do more than show you what's wrong in the world – they make it personal. Bully does that with a passion.
  7. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 29, 2012
    Bully forces you to confront not the cruelty of specific children - who have their own problems, and their good sides as well - but rather the extent to which that cruelty is embedded in our schools and therefore in our society as a whole.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 29, 2012
    A documentary as vivid as any horror film, as heartbreaking as any Oscar-worthy drama.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 29, 2012
    Bully forces audiences to face actions that are unthinkable, inexcusable and excruciatingly sad. It offers no solutions, only the testimony of brave youths.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Mar 30, 2012
    Hard hitting, thought provoking, heart-rending and timely, "Bully" is a documentary that approaches an all too familiarly overlooked subject in a way that hasn't yet been explored; its graceful, and sure to pull on the heartstrings. However, unlike its unimpeachable intent and central message, "Bully," the film, undermines the totality of the subject by avoiding to satisfy it on an intellectual level; not a single interview with the titular contributors (bullies) or even a mere statistic solidifying the real-life gravity of the issue. For everytime a tear is shed, another opportunity is flubbed away from making it truly great and equally, memorable. As it is, "Bully," is a "cause for change" docupic that does offer moments of arising deep-seated pathos and stirring those around those emotions, but the erratic editing and the degree of simplicity derived from the omission of key tangibles, keeps back what could have been a game-changing medium for ages to come. Still among the best documentaries of 2012. Full Review »
  2. Mar 30, 2012
    Awesome documentary really. The development of the documental y really exactly. Bully is a demand for this actual problem that much kids live, and be a good pack. Full Review »
  3. Jun 9, 2013
    You know, I don't need this to tell me what I think everybody already knows: Bullying is bad. This is all just a collaboration of tear jerking families; please note that I do feel bad for the families who's children are being put in these horrible situations and in no way am I ignoring the seriousness of the topic, but that's all this is. It just shows these families who's kids are being bullied, and that's it. The major problem with this is that it doesn't offer any solution, and personally I think because there is no solution. Bullying is evil; to an extent, and we all know that with good there's always going to be bad. It's how the world works and we may wish for a world of purity and innocence, but then it wouldn't be called living. Unfortunately though some people have bigger misfortunes than others, we feel sympathy for them for their loss, but it seems almost wrong to release their stories as a theatrical film. That's another thing that bothered me, if the director wanted to spread the word of this, why didn't he/she just put it on a website or something? The film wasn't a great success at the box office, so is it because people don't care or because they don't want to see a cruel and just downright depressing feature. I personally think that one could get the message across better if they made it not as depressing, but at least offered some positive atmosphere as well. Full Review »