User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41

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  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. Expand
  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.
  3. Apr 16, 2012
    This is a review of the movie, NOT the message. It follows several parents and their middle school children, who are subject to taunting and physical abuse by their peers. There's too much filler footage of people walking and performing mundane activities, which renders the pacing tedious. Also, the camera loses or racks focus at least once a minute. Even if this is a stylistic decision, it's simply shoddy filmmaking. This could have been a moving 30 minute short, but there's simply not enough drama or emotion to compellingly convey the impact of bullying. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. Apr 1, 2012
    It's simply asinine that the MPAA would refuse to give this film a PG-13 or even a PG rating. For the life of me, I can't even remember a point in the movie where the F-bomb is spoken. This movie needs to be seen in middle school assemblies across the country to draw greater attention to this scourge. I remember when David Toma visited thousands of schools in the 80s scaring the hell out of us kids about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. It was effective! This movie clearly has its faults - I would have loved to have seen at least one affluent community included in the mix. Bullying is by no means limited to rural, Bible-belt, and middle-class communities. There are mean girls, social media predators, etc. in big cities, on the coasts, etc. Obviously, they had to pick a small slice of the country in which to examine the issue, and it's largely effective. Obviously, I don't have all the answers, beyond simply urging those to befriend and stick up for those being bullied. I would urge school administrators to red-flag bullies on their permanent records with a standardized "bully" label that would follow these kids through their college application process (though college is probably not a high priority for many of these students). Suspensions and expulsions for bullying need to happen with greater regularity. I feel for the parents of those deceased bullying victims and applaud them for speaking out, which I'm sure is incredibly painful. Expand
  6. BKM
    Mar 13, 2013
    This is an incredibly sincere documentary about a very real problem plaguing today's public school system. Bully wisely opts to simply tell the stories of these young victims thus allowing us to put ourselves in their place. Still, a part of me wishes that the film would have gotten just a little bit angrier at times and called the bullies onto the carpet to explain their actions. But change has to start somewhere and Bully is a promising step in the right direction. Expand
  7. Apr 17, 2012
    Bully is only sad for about 3 minutes, but that doesn't mean it's a no-good documentary. The message is meaningful and many of the tales depressing, but it seems to be a bit volatile and have many of its morals jumbled up. It barely ever touches the side of the bullies (which may seemed biased, but bias is the only proper method of propaganda), and seems to show a girl who brought a gun onto a school bus as a hero and not a wrongdoer. This film is well made with good cinematography, and is very atmospheric and emotional. Overall, Bully is good, but it's hard to fully agree with what they are trying to make this movie out of. Expand
  8. Dec 21, 2013
    Today kids are killing themselves and each other at an alarming rate. The one thing all these cases seem to have in common is bullying. There was bullying when I was a kid, but 3 PM meant the end of the trouble. We had the rest of the day, the weekend, and the summer to recover. The advent of social media and cell phones has made the respite obsolete, as now, bullies can torture their victims 24/7. Bully is an award winning documentary that looks at the problems of bullying and shows the effects it has on children's lives. What I like about this film is that it showed a whole group of students from different economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds. What I took away is that anyone who is even slightly different in anyway, could be a target. What I didn't like was the solutions the film offers. Their solution is to tell someone and to stand up for kids you see being bullied, but anyone who has been bullied will tell you that those are not good ideas. Often times telling someone will anger the bully and make it worse, and as for standing up for other kids, often times that makes someone who wasn't previous bullied, a target. I think the answer is two-fold, in that first, parents need to tell their kids, from a very earlier age, that being unique, different, and even weird are admirable qualities in a person. I also believe the schools need to be tougher, because honestly, does anyone really think that giving a bully detention, telling them they're not nice, and that their hurting other kids really does anything? I think bullies need a taste of their own medicine, to feel those powerful emotions for even for just one day. You can talk until you're blue in the face, but you don't really know what something is like until you've experienced it for yourself. Expand
  9. May 25, 2012
    If this video needs to be seen by everyone, why donâ
  10. Mar 7, 2013
    Bully is honestly a very darkly themed documentary, but pushes on an issue that should be stopped. I think it is also a very well filmed movie as well, and really tears at your heart. It is sad, yet inspiring as well. Seriously I think any one and every one should watch this movie. Weather your in middle school like me or just an adult.
  11. Mar 11, 2013
    If you can watch this film without tears coming down your face, well I'm convince you don't have a heart. Purchased it for 10 dollars at our local Walmart. For ten dollars there is no excuse not to own this if you're a parent. I plan on showing my daughter this film when shes old enough. Powerful documentary. I've seen a follow up on it on CNN's Anderson Cooper lately and its incredible to see how this film gave one of the young men who was bullied some new found confidence. Truly awesome to see! This film has the power to change lives. When making a documentary you couldn't ask for a better outcome than that! Expand
  12. Apr 30, 2013
    An emotional thought provoking movie. It makes you wonder if you've done enough in your life to make a difference. It is well put together and makes you think about what can be done to change such bigotry and hate.
  13. May 10, 2013
    THIS IS AN EYE OPENER. I never viewed bullying like this. Its a MUST SEE. I do caution the average viewer of this film, because it is full of mourning and sadness, for it expresses the FULL story of every kind of bully instance that has a harsh result.

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: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Apr 14, 2012
    It's true that the language in the film can be harsh -- but it's also very obvious that kids are hearing this kind of language in schools every day, much of it directed at them.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 14, 2012
    This is nothing if not an important film. It is important for the bullied to see, if for no other reason than to realize they aren't alone, and it is important for the bullies to see as well as for the parents of both groups so everyone can understand just how devastating the problem is.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 13, 2012
    Bully is a good start to a necessary conversation, but its loving voice is likely to be drowned out by haters who hide their own wounded hearts behind Internet pseudonyms and broadcast microphones.