Bully (I) (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary  |  27 April 2012 (Iceland)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,573 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 80 user | 174 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.


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8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ja'Meya Jackson ...
Kelby Johnson ...
Lona Johnson ...
Bob Johnson ...
Alex Libby ...
Jackie Libby ...
Philip Libby ...
Maya Libby ...
Jada Libby ...
Ethan Libby ...
Logan Libby ...
Kim Lockwood ...
David Long ...
Tina Long ...
Teryn Long ...


This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. BULLY is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. BULLY opens on the first day of school. For the more than 13 million kids who'll be bullied this year in the United States, it's a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that's certain is that this year, like every other, bullying will be a big part of whatever meets them at their school's front doors. ... Written by Lowen, Cynthia; Hirsch, Lee

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be a Hero. Take a Stand. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language - all involving kids | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

27 April 2012 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

Bully  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$116,472 (USA) (30 March 2012)


$4,038,876 (USA) (9 November 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bully was originally rated R for language. The Weinstein Company appealed for a lower rating, as the R rating would exclude the very audience that is was intended for - high-school teens. The MPAA refused to alter the rating, so the distributor surrendered the original rating and opted for their film to be released 'Unrated' to the theaters. Finally, the filmmakers agreed to cut some, but not all, of the relevant language, and the MPAA did agree to re-rate the movie PG-13. The PG-13 version does keep intact all the language in the scene that was the main point of contention between the filmmakers and the MPAA, in which a 12-year-old is physically and verbally attacked on his school bus by his classmates. See more »


The scene where Alex is walking down the street and throwing a stick is inverted. The "Mitsubishi" text on the back of the truck is flipped. See more »


Bullied Student: Pretty much a good day for me would be people leaving their hands off of me.
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Tasha And Rashid And Love Theme Mashup
Written by Michael Furjanic (as Ion Furjanic) and Neill Sanford Livingston (as Sanford Livingston)
Performed by Force Theory
Courtesy of Ile de Force and Sanford Strollers
See more »

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User Reviews

Not very good, despite a good message
27 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If this was aimed at appealing to young people who bully others, it won't. It's long, drawn-out and is basically preaching to the choir throughout most of the movie. So much of the "emotion" seems staged and forced, almost to the point of whoring out the people involved.

Basically, this disjointed documentary follows the lives of a handful of families effected by bullying, all in backwoods towns. Never once do they show any factual statistics, nor do they have any experts giving opinions. It's very dry, and feels as dull as the dusty bible-belt towns they're filming in.

If they really wanted to stop the bullying, then they'd:

1. Make the film interesting. It really is not for 90% of the film, unless you find emotional hemorrhaging entertaining.

2. Show hidden camera footage of what these kids really have to go through to burn it in the minds of the viewers. As it stands, you get little clips of kids being mean, but as someone who was bullied as a child quite often, I can tell you that what was shown is a watered down version that pales in comparison to what most kids go through.

3. Give out statistics to show how the problem is significant and effects a large number of people. (it does)

4. Get inside the psyche of not only the bullied, but the bullies themselves. To fix bullies, you first have to find the causes and how to motivate them to stop.

5. Have experts give testimony as to how to solve the problems, and give advice on what works and doesn't work.

As it stands, this film is emotional masturbation for the families victimized by bullying, and that doesn't serve any real purpose other than their own catharsis. If you show this to kids, they'll either roll their eyes or fall asleep. This film, if it was honestly aimed at starting some sort of movement, was a joke.

30 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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