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More than 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. BULLY, one of the most buzzed about documentaries in recent years, brings a human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 127
- Fresh: 109
- Rotten: 18
- Average Rating: 7.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The best Hirsch's film can do, in the end, is remind us that bullying means more than we admit, and its effects aren't always immediately clear, even to loved ones.
Fresh: "Bully" doesn't need research or great filmmaking or narrative focus, per se. It needs only the shaming power of its relentlessness and a young audience open to sharing in that shame.
Fresh: A deeply moving but highly selective look at the effects of bullying on children and teenagers.
Fresh: 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.
AN EYE-OPENING LOOK AT A NATIONWIDE ISSUE
Bullying is far from a new phenomenon. No matter how you look at it, we've all been abused in some way or another, and it's truly become a critical issue that has reached its peak, with many young people going as far as taking their own lives as a result of the hateful actions and words of others (whether it's through real life, social media, or the Internet). Directed by Lee Hirsch, this eye-opening documentary takes an intense look at bullying from the direct perspective of the victims. Through numerous stories (which include a girl who brought a gun to school for protection, a lesbian teen ostracized from her community, and a boy named Alex who is beaten on school bus rides), "Bully" documents the war zones many children endure on a daily basis. Footage of students being verbally and physically harassed and parents at the graves of teens who committed suicide is shocking and genuinely heartbreaking. The stories in this film are all powerful and at times frustrating, especially despicable scenes of school officials failing to hear the outcries of their several students. Hirsch clearly has a message: bullying is wrong and what are we, as Americans, going to do about it? However, one huge angle Hirsch missed was the voice of the bully. What drives them to abuse someone else? People aren't just born bullies, they are taught to bully from an early age. Is it their parents? Their background? Were they once bullied? None of these questions are explored, leaving this doc feeling unbalanced, especially when the main question is, "Why?" Regardless of the film's shortcomings, there's absolutely no denying the awful stories of these teens and the results bullying had on their family. Hopefully this movie will inspire parents to have a candid conversation with their kids about bullying and being bullied. While it may not answer all the questions it incites, "Bully" successfully brings needed attention to a hot-button issue with no clear-cut solutions in sight. If you have the time, this expository, emotionally affective documentary is well worth a watch.
This should be free, and viewed by all families...
I saw this in the Theaters
I personally feel that this movie should be shown in schools. Sadly the money for distribution was difficult. I did donate money for two classes to take a field trip and see this movie. It is so important. I was never bullied, but only because I was lucky enough to know a lot of people… But, people did tried, and they were stopped. The message it gets better is true.