Bully (2001) - Biography, Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



A pack of naïve teenagers conspire to murder a mutual friend, whose aggressive demeanor has proved too much.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl
Length: 108 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 49 out of 327 found boring (14.98%)

One-line Reviews (177)

He pushes the boundaries of what makes a good movie, but I must commend him on his directive style which is original and fascinating.

Raw and emotionally intense with fantastic performances all round, the experience is also enhanced by the fact that the events depicted are based on a true story.

I was completely captivated by the stunning acting, brilliant cinematography, and truly disturbing story.

) I know his style is very raw and intense and he never sugarcoats the storylines.

Suburban US bored teenagers are perfectly portrayed.

Leo Fitzpatrick on the other hand was a entertaining as ever, although I was a little disturbed at first by him gone through puberty.

Although this movie is centered on the teens I was disturbed by the parents who give their kids cars, money, no restrictions, and who turn a blind-eye, just letting their kids waste their lives away, hanging out with other deadbeat friends, doing drugs and not giving them any expectations, rules or building blocks to life and self respect.

The plan happens so fast that there is no thought behind the murder, this is where BULLY calls the bluff of all those other films that claim to deal with bored and alienated teenagers.

the movie was boring, true event or not.

The plotting of a murder provides a kind of "project" or creative outlet, an opportunity for these hopelessly bored teens to gather socially and work toward a common goal.

Anyone who has watched other people taking drugs knows how boring it is, and the sex is only there for titillation.

Rachel Miner as Lisa) this was a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

If edited a wee bit it could be riveting.

Renfro, Miner and Stahl are perfect at being these kids who are spending all their time drinking, smoking and going nowhere.

What I really appreciated was that how this turned out to be one of those specifically psychological drama that is gripping throughout and you feel tensed throughout as well, and at parts even consider not finding out what happens next.

Every time they attempted to throw in character development it was just pointless, absurd, and out of place.

This movie was just boring.

This part of the film is boring, unrealistic, contrived and completely stereotyped.

just a hole lot of empty sex scenes and violence.

The direction is bland and routine, the screenplay tries to be authentic but seems contrived.

All this is engaging enough to give the viewer that slice-of-life atmosphere and a sense that we're looking at something relatively real.

Bijou Phillips is great, Rachel Miner is cunning, Kelli Garner is a lot of fun, Michael Pitt is slightly annoying, but entertaining nonetheless.

Having read the book several years ago, the direction was stunning and he really shared their stories in an honest and upfront manner.

What bored me were the characters, their vacant minds spewed on endlessly about nothing-they thought of nothing-were ruled by their (very) limited emotions.

The writing is intense and the first time you see it you will be left thinking for hours, and want to learn more.

It was just a pointless gimmick that was ultimately annoying, and I ended up skipping the scene, because it was making me feel sick, as the circle was much smaller then in Reservoir Dogs.

Clark's feature debut, "Kids," was an aimless, pretentious, and self-consciously 'important' film; "Bully" is like that film taken to 11, with incredibly sharp focus.

The only part of the movie worth watching is the ending where it says what happened to the characters in real life.

Still, if you like Larry Clark movies, it's worth watching.

Larry Clark's films are beginning to seem more and more like romantic comedies: trite, predictable, and a waste of time.

Although a bit exploitative, "Bully" - based on real events that took place in 1993 - is an intriguing look at a set of "normal" suburban teenagers for whom life has developed no real meaning.

It is truly wonderful to see what kind of segments and montages film maker can create by clever editing and cinematography and Bully seen in home on video is still a very intensive experience and it all would be just perfect on big screen.

All in all the film remains as a pointless struggling piece where the main focus is PROVOCATION.

Exploitive but fascinating .

I just watched this movie, and I found it interesting and compelling enough to check the IMDb site.

Intense .

All said and done, the movie made for great watching, and I highly recommend it.

It has a slow and underlining narration, characters are a bit over caricatured and thus unconvincing.

Boring, boring and boring.

How unsurprising that most of those who complain about the nudity are Americans who can't handle honest depictions of sex but turn violent, pointless, emotionally empty action flicks into blockbuster franchises.

This was without a doubt, the worst movie I have ever seen.

He was afraid and yet at the same time intrigued by his sexual confusion which several teenagers go through.

"Bully" (2001): Like Larry Clark's film "Kids", "Bully" is an unflinching look into the empty eyes & souls of a loose knit pack of teens, who wouldn't know a good friend, good idea, or good feeling if it came up and stabbed them in the heart.

Though the film has an engaging murder plot, it's overshadowed by repugnant characterisation.

offensive and pointless .

Sometimes it's just unbearable to watch, the camera work sometimes is confusing and some dialogues are dull.

Clark's camera lingers far too long on it's teenage subject's bodies.

I am a big fan of Brad Renfro as a rule but in this his performance was inconsistent and dull.

The riveting content of the film is mainly how these kids carry out their act of murder.

the worst movie I've ever seen .

The first 45 minutes or so do have no plot its a lot of sex and nudity and though that stuff does happen the whole movie once there is a plot established the movie becomes riveting and fascinating to watch.

What also always got me was the true form of Marty's and Lisa's love, initially it's quite hard to believe the authenticity of their passion, but as the film evolves, their relationship becomes so boldly intense.

Unbelievably gratuitous sex, no story, zero motivation, no character development...

Very real and compelling portrayal of a murder involving a group of teens growing up in suburban Florida.

I really enjoyed it though.

Clark made a large mistake by inserting clips of the two of them, fully nude, engaging in sex acts at pointless moments.

Reall well acted, but the disturbing subject slow and boring .

One of the definitions of pornography is the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence.

This is not the sort of film that finishes and you go on with what you are doing, it will stay in your head for a while and will leave wanting more in way because you really feel that you want the film to go on a bit longer to know more about these fascinating characters.

teen boredom gone awry .

Lost was the horrible acting, and the non-existent plot.

This tale of disenfranchised youth is quite compelling.

This is worth watching.

Powerful movie that will leave you feeling empty .

The dialogue seemed to be very forced and unauthentic, there was pointless sex (yes, we know that teens have sex and lots of it, so we don't need countless crotch-shots) and parts of the script were just odd.

In "Bully" Larry Clark takes a bold, fascinating, and realistic look at an American subculture which has received too little exposure in film: the middle class teenage loser.

very entertaining, powerful movie .

It is entertaining and artful without trying to be.

A riveting film with a fabulous cast-a definite hit in my books.

Overall, Bully is a fascinating and powerful film definitely worth your time, if you can stand the experience, and it should be viewed with an open mind and an empty stomach.

Entertaining and delightful, once you get past the shock value.

Unfortunately with "Bully" I was left disappointed and frankly, bored.

Larry Clarke's 'Bully' lazily documents the drug-taking, quick-f**king existence of several desperately boring teenagers who decide to kill a friend who is, wait for it, a bully.

But in the States as seen in such works as "American Beauty", "The Ice Storm", "Bully" and to a slightly lesser extent, "Happiness", material good fortune seems to count but little for characters that are so hopelessly unfulfilled that only the vagaries of thrills resulting from marital infidelity, teenage sexual experimentation, drugs and joyriding seem to count for anything and then only as ways for relieving the boredom of routine existence.

Stunning, Incredible....

Nick Stahl is intense, to say the least.

By listening with Claudia's ears we can really gauge the depth of Lisa's confusion and her alienation from normality.

It is definitely worth watching.

Raw, realistic, deeply disturbing and haunting film about a group of recently graduated high school kids whose lives are aimless and empty.


This circle of friends are a sad, hollow representation of the kinds of societies the youth of the nation inhabit, and the key is that it's correct, at least in such a banal suburbia.

He deftly nails the nihilism of these dopey, bored brats, and presents the parents as utterly clueless drones who seem to exist in another world.

Desperate attempt to shock induces only boredom.. .

It really is a riveting film actually.

The film is controversial and worth discussing, but far from 'entertaining'--whether viewing it for the first or third time, the bruises it leaves are permanent.

To believe, as is expected, that these characters were bored enough, or passionate enough, to involve themselves in a murder is to gift this film dues it doesn't deserve.

They seem motivated chiefly by boredom.

She even dragged her naive cousin, Derek, who really wanted nothing to do with this whole thing, (he was content playing video games & told Lisa he didn't want any part of it).

it's pointless to touch on the exploitive aspect of this work for two reasons, 1) nobody on the project knew anything substative about the real people involved, and 2)soft porn by it's nature is exploitive.

Larry Clark again exposes his courageous (or sick) audiences to the surreal world of listless and flat out stupid white teens who are so bored with their insipid existence that only constant sex and drugs provide any recreation or entertainment.

Great, Disturbing yet Compelling.

This film is pure garbage it was boring and full with nude sex scenes that are stupid, the main characters were dumb especially Nick Stahl who gave a pretty bad performance, the dialogue was also pretty bad and the actors acted like they were stoned or something.

I felt like this movie was entertaining simply for the fact that it was one of those really bad movies you laugh at with your friends.

They lacked any real chemistry and had an empty physical relationship that for some reason has Lisa convinced that it was true love.

It is unrealistic and boring and insane.

No, just a bit bored .

The reason for this is probably because they are just empty shells of people, having had their brains eaten out by their constant use of drugs.

The original 1940 version with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, though much more graphic and disturbing, at least had some snappy song and dance numbers to mitigate the profanity and sex.

Nudity adds to the realistic nature of the film, although it does get really graphic at times, it is, nevertheless, entertaining...

No question that these teenagers get what comes to them in the end, and the build-up to that moment is quite intense.

The only thing that these characters really have in common is that they are all bored, stupid, rich, spoiled, doped up on drugs, and have the sex drive of a rabbit during the spring time.

The murder wasn't pulled off very well, and the scenes when they are all together (getting high, bonking, etc.) are painfully empty.

Having lived there the strip malls, bored kids riding and partying in their convertibles, a lot of it is shown here without being trite.

Good movie and I highly recommend it if your looking for a realistic movie, not all about war realistic movies.

This film was kind of boring when I watched it and I would much rather have seen a movie about the criminal trials of these characters.

Enjoyed IT & Made Me Think.

A lot of people might not like a movie populated with characters so stupid about committing serious crimes, but I found it fascinating at how inept they are.

A compelling film from under middle class America's rug .

Some might be put off by the crude sex and violence, but if you are able to look past that it a very entertaining movie that I would highly recommend.

Boring .

See this if just for the up and coming generation of talent hodge podged on Clark's canvas, but be ready to be dragged through gratuitous teen sex scenes, and mind numbing visions of a group of youths so lost in oblivion you'll think twice about giving the drag racing teen next to you the finger ever again!

Boring, boring, ...

As a character in and of itself, the town of Hollywood Florida is perfect setting, disjointed, some people with decent jobs, overpriced (now deflated houses thanks to the bubble and Wall Street).

The film is indeed based on a book, which is an account of a true story, and is very compelling.

This is a fascinating film, and surely nobody would be as interested in a film about the many teen-agers whom I work with who are bright, articulate, and motivated.

It is riveting and sad.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall asleep, go the bathroom...

Using a true case of teenage murder as its basis, Bully watches its bored and disillusioned teenage characters through an unforgivingly harsh lens as they are tormented and abused by a violent thug and ultimately decide to kill him.

Heather's character was that of a skanky dirty-looking bored teenage girl just out of drug rehab.

The stand out is Michael Pitt, as the slightly deranged but forever entertaining Donny Semenec.

It might not be pleasant, but with its relentless cycle of nudity, profanity, drugs and sex, `Bully' is at least compelling.

' I couldn't finish this film because it was boring.

Aside from that it's a somewhat entertaining movie.

Talk about ruining an otherwise thrilling movie.

I finished watching it and had this immense need to stress how awful it is.. It doesn't teach us anything, we have absolutely NO feelings with any of the characters, and its repetitive need to focus on sex is boring.

'Bully' is just plain dull.

But, for we folks "in the know" of the pubescent monsters high on Eminem (or who ever is the Backstreet-InSyncy-Britney Aguilera- bubble pop "in" idol that day) the whole thing got a trifle boring, and tried too hard condemn the species of teen.

Interesting, but kind of dull ...

Waste of time .

I decided that any one film that could garner such opposing and passionate responses must be worth watching.

The kids are consistently irritating, banal and two-dimensional, the premise very shaky, and dissonant events in the plot unbelievable.

If your trying to watch a serious movie, then this will waste two plus hours of your life.

"Bully" takes us into the world of bored, spoiled, and shiftless Florida teenagers who murdered one of their own friends for reasons which, on the surface, seemed complicated.

Set in the empty 'burbs of South Florida, these still-living-at-home teens have a lot of free time on their hands; time to strip at gay clubs, run a phone sex business and plan a murder!

He puts intriguing true stories to life and forces the story to intertwine with teenagers today.

As seen kids in similar situations, I sure can tell this movie really made itself worth watching and recommending.

I find Larry Clarks work real, intriguing and provoking, its a shame Hollywood has lost its way into a world of computer generated nonsense to understand a film necessity has to be a good story, not freezing New York!

63-year-old Larry Clark, interested as ever in the malicious youth of today's America, proceeds to deliver yet another ambiguous moral bore-fest in the form of "Bully".

In a nutshell: Disturbing, yet compelling.

A girl is having a phone conversation and the camera drops down for a pointless peek at the crotch of her cutoffs, out of one side of which one of her glabrous labia droops.

The movie was gripping.

It was true and exciting and shows how people can effect others lives.

Its absence of any somewhat relatable characters and presence of many detestable ones overshadows the film's acting and engaging murder plot.

Larry Clark makes movies worth watching.

The consequences, regret, and mental stress that is birthed because of this decision is unlike any of them could've expected, and what follows is a series of suspenseful shots all leading up to the breakneck, sinister conclusion.

In kids the characters were obnoxious but at least they were compelling to watch.

If you want to watch a pointless masturbation epic rent it.

The main 4 characters your first introduced to Marty(Brad Renfro), Bobby( Nick Stahl), Lisa(Rachel Miner), and Ally(Bjiou Phillips) are all unappealing and uninteresting.

The gap is filled with a few falteringly written expository scenes - Marty sobbing to Lisa on the beach; Heather giggling about her awful home life - which try to show the emotional torture and moral emptiness which might lead to such criminal lunacy, but succeed only in sounding contrived.

While the murder build up is intense, the fallout is not.

"Bully a bit long and repetitive.

I can see why somebody would want to tell this fact-based story to a wide audience; the events themselves are compelling and baffling.

It's so pointless, I can barely put it into words.

The film is an absolute adrenaline rush, combined with primitive, realistic editing, slick writing, a ton of heavily built up tension, and performances around the clock by actors you've never heard of, all blended together to create a reenactment of a chilling true story.

Rather, this is an insipid, exploitative, and genuinely dull experience.

The realistic plot-line and a good cast made this movie enjoyable.

The film is shocking, real and spookily entertaining.

The father's constant verbal degrading of Marty -Bobby's best friend and target - and intense expectations of hisson create the bully.

Eventually, a small group of bored, unsupervised suburban youths encircle Marty and Lisa and play a part in the horrifying murder that sits at the film's core.

But Clark's claims at realism are exposed when he has a beautifully lit, mature sex scene between two drug-addicted kids; a slow, lingering shot up Kelli Garner's body that looked like a shot from Baywatch; a tracking shot behind Bijou Philips butt for 10 seconds; and most ridiculous of all, a between-the-legs shot of Philips' crotch while she's getting her nails done.

It's worth watching once as long as you have someone there with you to make fun of it.

The characters plan to do in Bobby it is so fascinating to see these dimwits all try to agree on the same page.

But it is really slow and after a while even the disgust and civilized outrage wear off and you get just as numb as they are: fracking kill him already!

Had they had instead of trying to fit so much sex and close ups on Rachel Milner's nipples (who walks around naked that much) and actually built up a more compelling picture of how terrible this person was, I may have been more convinced.

Everything is totally predictable that it's not even funny.

Should I feel bad about having enjoyed it?

I saw the unrated version of "Bully" on one of the premium movie channels the other night and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I found it to be disturbing but compelling.

Larry Clark and all of the involved actors (they were all cast brilliantly and performed very well) do a great job, keeping the story, interesting and thrilling.

However when i was reading through the reviews I saw people constantly referring to the teens lives as "empty and meaningless", using their pot smoking and sex as examples.

An excellent teenage psychological drama that is gripping throughout .

the film then turns suspenseful up to the murder scene and while dying, bobby's cry of help for Marty haunts the viewers.

Very entertaining, with a powerful message.

I have seen "Bully" many times because I find the story intriguing and the acting and storytelling are excellent.

The 2nd half was better because Larry was forced to concentrate on plot, and this true story is very intriguing (they did have a working script, by the way).

Their complex entaglement is the most fascinating part of the plot.

But it makes for gripping drama.