Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 137


Audience Score

User Ratings: 42,171
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Movie Info

Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. 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. -- (C) Weinstein


Ja'Meya Jackson
as Ja'Meya Jackson
Kelby Johnson
as Kelby Johnson
Londa Johnson
as Londa Johnson
Alex Libby
as Alex Libby
Jackie Libby
as Jackie Libby
Philip Libby
as Philip Libby
Maya Libby
as Maya Libby
Jada Libby
as Jada Libby
Ethan Libby
as Ethan Libby
Logan Libby
as Logan Libby
Kim Lockwood
as Kim Lockwood
David Long
as David Long
Tina Long
as Tina Long
Teryn Long
as Teryn Long
Troy Long
as Troy Long
Devon Matthews
as Devon Matthews
Barbara Primer
as Barbara Primer
Laura Smalley
as Laura Smalley
Kirk Smalley
as Kirk Smalley
Trey Wallace
as Trey Wallace
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News & Interviews for Bully

Critic Reviews for Bully

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (20)

  • 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.

    Apr 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.

    Apr 13, 2012 | Full Review…
  • For a film that understandably only scratches the surface of its topic, Bully carries a devastating emotional punch.

    Apr 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?

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

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • "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.

    Apr 13, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Bully" presents so many devastating moments that it's hard to pick the most powerful one.

    Apr 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4

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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