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Showing 1-10 of 100 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 289 reviews
on April 23, 2016
It's hard to watch but you can't tear yourself away. Labeling is very confusing. Advertised as Unrated version, but DVD case states only that it's the Theatrical Version (no mention of MPAA anywhere, even at the beginning of the film). Various blogs state that the Theatrical Version is indeed the Unrated version. Not that it's a big deal, since "Bully" would be shocking enough just to watch these teens, almost none of whom have even a shred of morals or conscience (even the victim). Unbelievable that this is mostly a true story. Acting is beyond reproach. Sad that talents like Brad Renfro and Nick Stahl let their lives spiral out of control. Life imitates art. (Don't miss the amusing extra where the actors jokingly tell how they got cast.)
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on February 12, 2013
I watched this movie knowing nothing about the film director or any of the actors(which I admired). All I knew was it was based on a true story. The movie is raw in its photographic images which I found challenging-not because I found it hard to watch but because most films tend to polish sensitive issues (like teenage sex, physical abuse, and vulgar language) up with a more glossy appeal. What I found really intersting is how the director/screenwriter makes the teens in the movie come off as if THEY think they are so smart and above everyone else (streetsmart?) and then after the murder they aren't smart enough to keep the murder to themselves and blab it off to their other friends. In this way he showed how stupid they really were. By doing it this way he wasn't spoon feeding his audience. (Thank you!) The movie is also good in the sense it doesn't shy away from showing another dimension/culture that exsist in differnt pockets of the teen world.
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on September 23, 2016
one of my favorite movies
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on December 16, 2008
This movie is fantastic in every sense of the word. You get the sense that in real life you can have some financially prosperous families that have some really screwed up offspring. The acting in this film is top notch! Every single person is absolutely believable in this story.

Upon watching this film you can really see how someone can be driven to kill and feel vindicated about doing so. But you also see how the feeling of exacting the ultimate revenge can take a toll on your soul. This movie is not only a true story, and a drastic look at very serious issues but it also has a good standing with a comedic and sexual approach throughout. This movie without a doubt gets five stars. I would give ten if I could.
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on January 27, 2002
I guess one mark of a good film is that it stays with you long after you'd like it to. I would have thought that these kids were a caricature of loser teens except that I met a bunch of kids just like these in California: most had no jobs, they hung around the pool all day, told me of their Ecstasy experiences, some were wasted all the time, their futures consisted of working at Circuit City, their speech was constantly peppered with f**k this or that and their bravado was so transparent it was like pulling teeth to get some real emotion from them. And this was the suburbs. I wondered if their parents knew what they did all day. I looked at my own teenage pot/drug experiences in the '80's and realized our parents didn't know what we were doing all the time either but when they found out we were punished and suffered long lectures. We did well in school and somehow knew our rebellion was part of exploring life and experiencing for the sake of experience.
In the movie these parents are clueless and lack any control. They don't probe their kids to any great extent and seem to give up too easily as if it's just too much work to do otherwise. The scene where Marty is at the dinner table telling his parents he wants to move comes to mind. His father says "We're not going to move just because our son is having problems!" Do his parents delve into these problems? Are they really concerned that something may be really wrong if their kid wants to move? The film leaves a hole here making me wonder. One exception is Bobby's father who cares enough to discourage Bobby's friendship with Marty and keeps on him about his future, but he too is oblivious of Bobby's Jeckyll & Hyde behaviour. Were these parents in denial or just lazy? Or are these kids so untethered and lost in their world that they are beyond saving? I am trying to figure out why these kids from nice homes lost all sense of judgement and then had the stupidity to talk about their deed. I can only think that the act gave them some warped sense of purpose and cohesiveness in their vapid lives and Bobby seemed the easiest villain to blame.
All of the actors do a superb job here. I saw Nick Stahl in "In The Bedroom" and he no doubt has a bright future in acting. Brad Renfro, right down to his crying drool on the beach, was compelling in displaying a very troubled boy. The film was paced well and despite the nudity and language (otherwise known as real life) I think it would make good required viewing and discussion for teenagers. With all the silly teenage movies out there I think those kids I met in California could stand seeing a relection of themselves.
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on June 20, 2017
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on May 11, 2017
Excellent. True... Almost a Documentary. Excellent. Well worth seeing and reading the book and seeing the Documentary
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on April 7, 2003
Don't be fooled by the explicit sex scenes. This is not a happy, feel-good movie. Put aside your inhibitions, and watch it in its entirety. You will see that it shows the tragic downfall of young people coming-of-age who are raised on a lethal combination of broken homes, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, non-involved parents, low morals, criminality (the murder),and a society that encourages their soulless self-centeredness.
What struck me more that the behavior of the special-ed social circle, was how uninvolved their parents seemed to be. Bobby has an agression complex, probably incurred by his demanding father. Marty's parents are oblivious to the fact that he's suffering, even as he nervously sits at the breakfast table with a black eye. Ali's parents seem to treat her with routine neglect, similar to the way she treats her own baby. Lisa's mother isn't much better. She wants to hurt Marty for bruising Lisa's wrists, but overall she keeps Lisa out of her sight. Prior to murdering Bobby, she chides the group for their aimlessness, but doesn't do anything to point them in the right direction.
Then, once the group is on trial for murdering Bobby (the end result of their lack of morality), their parents all wondered how this happened.
Parents need to be in tune with this generation, and should realize that their children's low morality is a reflection of their own. If they see something not right with their kids, a good idea would be for them to do a check-up on the home environment first, and see to it that optimal conditions are met for their kids. Otherwise, they will succumb to various types of self-destruction.
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on August 3, 2002
I could never make myself buy the DVD of Larry Clark's "Kids". While I thought it was a powerful story filmed in an interesting (if virtually pornographic) style, I couldn't shake the feeling that the actors were somehow being exploited. Also, it was disturbing to watch so many directionless teens make a mess of their lives.
But "Bully" is a different matter. Though based on Jim Shutze's "novel", it is the retelling of the real murder of a Florida youth who was brutally stabbed and bludgeoned by his own "friends." As with "Kids", Clark is intent upon making sure the teens his actors portray embody the loopy logic and emotional terrain (deadpan or wistful one minute, hysterical the next)of contemporary kids--in this case suburbanites being raised by clueless parents who seem to be willfully naive about what their kids can and will do. Half of the murderers had no special grudge against the victim, the "bully" of the film's title, a fact that seems especially chilling. Although you can't accuse Clark of hiding the grisly nature of what transpired, he seems as fascinated by the "planning" of the murder as by the act itself. One painful aspect of watching this film is that Clark makes us accutely aware that there were ample opportunities for the events to have unfolded otherwise. What if, for instance, even one of the youths involved had chickened out, or had reported the plot to the police? What if the professional hitman the teens consulted (Leo Fitzpatrick from "Kids") acted on his hunch that these kids didn't know what they were doing and successfully talked them out of it? Throughout the film Clark manages to keep us in the moment by leaving the underlying issue of justice unexplored. Did Bobby (played to perfection by Nich Stahl), who had dominated and abused his best friend Marty (Brad Renfro) since childhood, deserve to die? Clearly the jury saw no extenuating circumstances in this crime; but do we? Couldn't the arguments that are made in murders committed after years of spousal abuse have been made on Marty's behalf? (The homoerotic and psychosexual tensions that ricochet throughout this film seem to support, for me anyway, the argument that Marty WAS an abused spouse and deserving of some legal consideration.)
The DVD has no director's commentary, but does have extensive "Cast & Crew" interviews (if nothing else, it's comforting to see the actors speaking like thoughtful, articulate young people with real consciences and a genuine connection to life.) Be sure to catch what they have to say about how they landed their roles.
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on September 12, 2016
Not a very good movie. This seemed to be more about teen sex than bullying. It's a waste.
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