Bully Movie Poster
  • Released
  • March 30, 2012
  • PG-13, 1 hr 39 min
  • Documentary
  • 241 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bully is a no-holds-barred documentary that intimately portrays bullying victims' daily lives. While it's often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses an incredibly important, timely topic -- bullying -- in a frank, relatable way that's age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide discussion. Bully's strong language (including a brutal, profanity-laden scene in which one boy says to another that he'll "shove a broomstick up your a--" and "cut your face off and s--t") initially earned it an R rating from the MPAA -- a rating that the production company chose not to accept, officially releasing the film as unrated. But none of the swearing is gratuitous. Like it or not, it's a realistic portrayal of what every middle schooler and older hears every day. This gives the film veracity and credibility with kids, and it will justifiably shock parents. Bully's most challenging material isn't just the language, but the suicides. Seeing grieving parents and friends could potentially be upsetting to teens and preteens, so they should definitely watch with adults. Bully also addresses the concepts of cutting, physical abuse, and more, but in a way that presents the consequences as well as the behavior itself. Victims' parents are generally portrayed as supportive and loving, while school administrators come off in a much less positive light. Ultimately, Bully encourages kids to stand up to bullies, not stand by, and reinforces the fact that everyone can make a difference when it comes to this essential issue.

  • Positive messages
  • Positive role models
  • Violence
  • Sexual
  • Language
  • Consumerism
  • Drinking & drugs
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st Century.