The Phoenix Network:
Sign Up  |   About  |   Advertise
Features  |  Reviews

Review: Bully

Stuck in the schoolyard
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 12, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

The MPAA claims to have given Lee Hirsch's well-intended but disappointingly perfunctory documentary about the bullying epidemic an "R" rating because of a couple of common expletives. But I think they might be more concerned about letting unsupervised kids watch supposedly responsible adults act like ignorant, malicious, and cowardly bullies themselves. Like the school principal who evades taking responsibility when parents confront her with evidence of their son's abuse; or the sheriff who declares that the 14-year-old who pulled a gun on her tormentors could get hundreds of years in prison; or the teachers who, as one victimized child relates, not only don't stop the abuse, but instigate it. Hirsch's film is the antithesis of upbeat docs like Spellbound; instead of young people finding empowerment through accomplishment, they suffer degradation through ill treatment, with little recourse in a culture that values cruelty.

Related: Review: Chandni Chowk to China, Review: ''The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2009'', Review: Shrink, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Movie Reviews, BULLY, BULLY,  More more >
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 04/19 ]   28 Seeds  @ Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre
[ 04/19 ]   4th annual Rock Paper Scissors Tournament  @ P.A.'s Lounge
[ 04/19 ]   C1 Gala XIII to benefit Company One  @ Cyclorama
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: A SIMPLE LIFE  |  April 18, 2012
    The most sensitive and heartbreaking depiction of old age since Korean director Lee Chang-dong's Poetry, Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui's aptly titled account of the slow decline of a beloved housekeeper doesn't involve violent crime like Lee's film, but does recreate the evanescence of everyday life with equal evocativeness.
  •   REVIEW: MARLEY  |  April 18, 2012
    After two-and-half hours of hagiography, talking heads, archival footage, still photos, and snatches of his songs, Bob Marley remains elusive in Kevin Macdonald's documentary.
  •   REVIEW: OK, GOOD  |  April 18, 2012
    Daniel Martinico's minimal, elliptical style and his use of repetitions and variations almost overcome the predictability of this case study in repression and alienation.
  •   REVIEW: SLEEPWALK WITH ME  |  April 18, 2012
    What compels people to perform comedy?
  •   REVIEW: KID-THING  |  April 18, 2012
    If Spirit of the Beehive took place in Napoleon Dynamite country, it might turn out like David Zellner's absurd and wrenching coming-of-age tale.

 See all articles by: PETER KEOUGH

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed