Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

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  • Summary: Bully follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers, Bully examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole. (The Weinstein Company) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 11, 2012
    Bully is a sincere documentary but not a great one. We feel sympathy for the victims, and their parents or friends, but the film helplessly seems to treat bullying as a problem without a solution.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Mar 28, 2012
    There are many appalling moments witnessed and described in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully: children beaten and humiliated, ostracized by their peers and misunderstood by their parents, left to face an apparently heartless world without a soul to turn to.
  7. Reviewed by: Kalvin Henely
    Mar 27, 2012
    Leaves us moved by poignant scenes of victims' shattered lives, but, for reasons unclear, keeps the bullies themselves largely out of our reach.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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. Expand
  7. May 25, 2012
    If this video needs to be seen by everyone, why donâ

See all 15 User Reviews