Bully

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 5 out of 45
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  1. Apr 1, 2012
    7
    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 hellIt'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. Collapse
  2. Mar 30, 2012
    7
    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 anHard 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
  3. Mar 30, 2012
    10
    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.
  4. BKM
    Mar 13, 2013
    7
    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. ButThis 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
  5. Apr 17, 2012
    7
    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 gunBully 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
  6. Dec 21, 2013
    7
    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 theirToday 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
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    10
    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.
  8. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    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 toIf 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
  9. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    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.
  10. May 10, 2013
    10
    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.
Metascore
74

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
    70
    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
    80
    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
    63
    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.