Bully movie review - Aussieboyreviews


As you’d expect from director Larry Clark, this controversial film about teenagers and bullying is explicit, brutal and very heavy. It’s intended for adults only, due to high-level sex, violence, language, nudity and drugs.


A pack of teenagers assemble and begin a plan to murder another teenager who has subjected his best friend to extreme bullying and abuse.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Larry Clark
Cast: Brad Renfro, Bijou Phillips, Rachel Miner, Michael Pitt, Kelli Garner, Leo Fitzpatrick, Nick Stahl
Writer: Zachary Long, Roger Pullis
Release Date (Australia): 25 July 2002
Runtime: 108 minutes/1h 48m
Genre: Crime, Drama, Biography
Country: USA, France
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (R18+)

The film contains themes of murder, bullying, sexual assault and substance abuse.

Violence (MA15+)

The film contains scenes of violence and sexualised violence, including depictions of characters being hit, punched and stabbed, often accompanied by blood detail. There is also a depiction of sexual assault and rape.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

There is very frequent use of the word “f**k” throughout the film, as well as a single use of the word “c**t”.

Drug Use (MA15+)

The film contains drug references, depictions of characters using LSD and scenes in which characters are under the influence of the drug.

Nudity (MA15+)

The film contains frequent and occasionally sexualised depictions of nudity, including female full frontal and breasts nudity, as well as male and female buttocks nudity.

Sex (R18+)

The film features frequent explicit depictions of sexual activity and oral sex. There are also strong sexual references throughout the film.

mpaa rating

R (for strong violence, sexual content, drug use and language – all involving teens)

Aussie boy's thoughts

If you can get past the first 30 minutes of the hyper-sexual and super-profane lives of some really messed up teenagers, the murder-related plot guarantees to entertain and compel you, with tension that doesn’t even leave after the credits. Controversial director Larry Clark, who also directed the highly explicit 1995 film Kids, offers another story looking at teenagers planning an assassination together, packed with extreme sex, language, nudity, violence and drugs, making it suitable for adults only.

The first act, or better to call the launch into the film’s setting, honestly really makes you wonder if you’re watching the same movie everyone’s talking about. And with frequent sex scenes, messed up kids hanging out, alcohol and smoking, and language, you honestly can’t tell where, when or how it’s gonna turn into a group of teenagers planning and executing a murder against another teen who happens to be a really rough bully.

Once this planning begins after around 30 minutes, Bully is a movie that goes from an average teen movie to an extremely gripping murder plot that keeps you captivated until the very end. It’s based on real-life events which makes it totally more interesting, and there’s a lot of tension before these teenagers commit the anticipated crime. The best thing about this movie is the fact that that tension doesn’t even drop the slightest bit after the crime, as they’re all thinking up alibis and trying to remain unsuspicious.

Throughout the entire film, very convincing performances are present at all times, but they’re not really that noticeable during the first 30 minutes. It’s truly surprising to say that this movie’s tension probably would’ve increased if it had had a longer runtime, which mainly concerns on the very tense and unpredictable situations after the crime. As a result, Larry Clark’s film is explicit but exceptionally made and worth watching, because Bully is a crime-drama that’s much more enthralling than you may expect.

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