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Hard-hitting and gracefully filmed, Bully powerfully delivers an essential message to an audience that may not be able to see it. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Filmmaker Lee Hirsch examines five cases of youths who endure vicious persecution at the hands of their peers. Ja'meye, 14, winds up in reform school after pulling a gun on the youths who tormented her for years. Cameras record the abuse suffered by 14-year-old Alex as he's beaten and teased on the bus. Star athlete Kelby, 16, is ostracized and worse after she comes out as lesbian. Most tragic of all, two boys, one 17 and one 12, commit suicide to escape the torture.

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Critic Reviews for Bully

All Critics (142) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (121) | Rotten (21)

  • It doesn't pull punches or try to paint a more palatable picture, director Lee Hirsch delivering his saga of kid-on-kid brutality with a didactic verisimilitude that's decidedly chilling.

    April 14, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Bully" is smart and compassionate about the pain of its wounded subjects and the frustration felt by their parents, seemingly abandoned by the system. What the powerful film lacks is insight into bullying.

    April 13, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Hirsch seldom gets face time with any bullies or their parents, and he tends to ignore the complicated social and psychological patterns that feed the problem.

    April 13, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Your heart hurts for these kids, and the blood boils, too, at irrefutable evidence that these children are not safe in their schools.

    April 13, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • For a film that understandably only scratches the surface of its topic, Bully carries a devastating emotional punch.

    April 13, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It would have been nice if the film had reflected its title a bit more and looked at the bullies themselves - what drives one kid to torture another? Is it a reaction to home life, is it fear, is it innate awfulness?

    April 13, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bully

  • Dec 19, 2013
    This documentary is full of powerful stories to share. I think it should be required viewing for middle-schools across the country.
    Adam G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2013
    Not a perfect documentary but I really support the cause.
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2013
    "Bully" is an extremely well crafted and well directed film. The protagonists' stories are heartbreaking, but the film is a bit incomplete. I wish Hirsch had explored the storyline of at least one bully, but despite this hole, the film is a great watch. Grade: B
    Sunny D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2013
    "Bully" is an amazing documentary about the bullying problem here in the United States. It follows a couple kids who are bullied, a girl who brought a gun on a school bus because she was being bullied, and parents of kids who committed suicide because they were bullied. This is by far one of the saddest and most important movies I've seen in a long time. This should be shown in schools, so kids can see the devastating consequences of picking on other children. I was never really bullied in school, but I remember a couple kids who were, and I wish I could go back and be friends with them or stop some of the bullying. This is a real problem in our schools and this movie really helps shine a light on it. I almost(I said almost, but I didn't) tear up a couple times during this. Some of it is so ridiculous at how bullying is handled by teachers, that it couldn't possibly be real. But it is. I think everyone should watch this, and hopefully it will help to eventually putting a stop to this.
    Everett J Super Reviewer

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