Acclaimed director Larry Clark delivers his most powerful film since KIDS. Marty (Brad Renfro) is a tormented surfer who relies on his longtime pal Bobby (Nick Stahl) for rides to the beach and South Florida bars despite v... more »icious abuse. But when Bobby turns his unwanted attention to Marty's new girlfriend Lisa (Rachel Miner) and her best friend Ally (Bijou Phillips), Lisa decides Bobby's reign of terror must end. Assembling a crew of alienated suburban teens, she forms a deadly plan to get Bobby out of the way once and for all, turning friends into enemies and casual acquaintances into co-defendants in a murder that rocked America to its core.« less
Ashley A. (faith4jesus) from ATHENS, GA Reviewed on 9/20/2008...
I first read the book and I admit I was shocked at some of things I read. The book was pretty good. I was excited to see the movie coming on & couldn't wait to watch it. I recorded the movie with my TIVO.
First off the movie's opening line sets the whole "graphic" theme for the movie. The first line is so bad I won't even type it. But it was of sexual nature.
After reading the book I should have been prepared, but I spent a lot of time fast forwarding through all the sexual parts of the movie. I honestly felt the movie could have done without a lot of the NUDITY which there seemed like tons of it.
The movie does seem to follow the book well. Was it great? It was ok. Was it good story or plot? Yes, it does show how it even boys can be picked on.
If you do read the book or watch the movie I strongly suggest you visit two websites I found very interesting about the TRUE case. It does make wonder what is true or false.
Both sites haven't been updated in a long time though.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Brutal and Powerful Film (4.5 stars)
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 04/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Bully" is as disturbing as a movie can get. It shakes you hard and once it gets its grasp on you, it never lets go until it's all said and done. It's also a movie that is guaranteed to stay in your head for days, no matter how hard you try to forget it. This is a chilling and powerful film, and one of the darkest movies I have seen this year so far.Based on a true story, "Bully" is about a guy named Marty, who is always getting beaten up and tormented by his best friend Bobby. Bobby's one nasty and mean character who does what he wants when he wants. He's been known to be sexually abusive towards women and unleashes his violent temper upon anyone who gets in his way. Not being able to take it anymore, Marty and his girlfriend decide maybe it's time that something should be done. They get together with a group of friends and decide they have to kill Bobby What seems to be a simple plan falls apart right before their eyes, and once the deed is done they can never go back to the way things were.This film is directed by the same man who did "Kids," Larry Clark. He does a superb job of orchestrating this brutally chilling force of a movie that knocks the air right out of your body. The cast and crew were also great. Every actor did their roles justice. Especially the man who plays Marty. As I was watching this, I kept asking to myself "This is a true story??" in complete disbelief.Be warned, this is a VERY uneasy film to watch. Not a second goes by in where there isn't something shocking going on. This is another one of those movies that isn't meant for everybody, but I still think it's an important film. Bullying is a very serious subject that plagues the world every day. This movie reveals the true ugliness of that and shows just how far some will go to stop it.The DVD doesn't have very much to offer, other than a couple of interviews, a music-only audio option, and a trailer. The picture and sound is really good, considering how low of a budget this movie was made on."Bully" is a success in my eyes, as hard as it was to watch. "Kids" is also very disturbing as well, but on much more different level. Again, this isn't a movie that everybody is going to like. In fact, I'm willing to bet that many who have attempted this movie were forced to stop it and were unable to finish it. Be warned, this is a very uneasy movie to watch. The scary reality of it all is these types of things happen all the time..."
A disturbing, powerful film
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Larry Clark's film "Bully" follows a dysfunctional group of Florida teens as their lives take a turn towards a horrific tragedy. Central to the story is the relationship between Marty (played by Brad Renfro) and Bobby (Nick Stahl), who work together at a sandwich shop. Bobby physically and verbally brutalizes Marty, thus laying the groundwork for the tragedy that follows."Bully" is a frightening portrayal of a nihilistic adolescent wasteland. The characters' lives revolve around violent video games, illegal drugs, and exploitative sex. Amoral and disconnected from parents and community, these kids are like a cluster of human time bombs.The film features superb performances from its talented young cast; at times "Bully" feels like a gritty documentary. After seeing Stahl portray a rather nice character in "In the Bedroom," I was both shocked and impressed by his portrayal of the sociopathic youth in "Bully." And fans of the talented Renfro will be again rewarded; he brings a palpable pain and fury to this flawed, but strangely sympathetic character.The graphic sex, homoeroticism, and violence of "Bully" will probably be too much for many viewers to take. But if you endure this disturbing film, you will see a compelling vision of fear, paranoia, and a desparate need for love and acceptance."
When you give up and murder your tormentor, how should you b
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 04/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bully is based on a true high school crime which took place in Cooper City, Florida. Boyhood friends Marty Puccio (Brad Renfro) and Bobby Kent (Nick Stahl) traveled in the same circles of casual drug use and loose women with a group of friends who rarely attended high school classes. Bobby bullied Marty their entire lives, raped both Marty and their girl friends, and pulled aggressive stunts such as capturing a local drifter and forcing him to perform homosexual acts on camera. Director Larry Clark presents a gripping portrait of bullying and submission, and of how hard it is to stand up to the bully when he's been in power for a good sixteen or more years.
With the high school sexual acts and drug use, this film will inevitably be compared to Clark's earlier work, Kids. Bully, however, is based on a true crime with copious court records, confessions, witness statements, and a non-fiction book about the subjects. Any reviewer who attacks the plausibility of the film needs to look no further than Martin Puccio, vs. State of Florida, Appellee. No. 86,242; November 20, 1997. Clark takes the facts of the case and presents a movie which illustrates the fear and loathing of someone who submits to a bully, and makes the viewer understand how hard it is to stand up and change the status quo.
Bully is told from the point of view of the teens involved in the group murder of Marty's tormentor. The question of ultimate responsibility for the crime is answered only in the court sentences, not by the filmmaker. This is a great discussion piece--does bullying invite crimes of self-defense? Was Lisa Connelly the ringleader or did Marty grow a backbone? Was Marty manipulated by yet another bully, Lisa, when he went along with her plan? Did an atmosphere of money, drugs, and plenty of free time create the perfect storm for a mob-mentality murder? How much do absent parents play into a tragedy of this proportion?
Larry Clark has no simple Hollywood answer to any of these questions. Therein lies the beauty of this film. "
Maura | Weston, Florida United States | 07/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm no writer, and I posess of-average eloquence, but my need to express my personal impressions of this movie far surpasses my embarassment to write a review. "Bully" was an amazing film. For those who believe Clark was doing the film for shock value are confusing the sex and violence for what really goes on in this town and towns across America. Actually living in the area where the movie was filmed, I experienced what was my middle and high school years all over again (sans murder). The film also captures the mood of the area. The long, hot, boring Florida days that invite any activity to pass the time. The increasing number of high school drop outs in the area only aggravate the the possiblity of kids following in the same footsteps, and believe me, they already do. Clark managed to capture, what I believe to be, an essence as well as recreate a tragic story."
The Republic of Florida
N. P. Stathoulopoulos | Brooklyn, NY | 04/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is still rating 5 stars because of the sheer fact that I couldn't turn if off when I first happened upon it late at night. It was one of those movies that made you think about the rest of the country and about the people next door. Bully is based on the Jim Schutze novel/true crime account of the 1993 murder of Bobby Kent, a teenage "bully" who pushed a group of kids into killing him. Sort of. Only some of the characters responsible for Bobby's death don't even know who is he. They are the hangers-on of the main players, a sad, white suburban teen couple. These two are played perfectly by Brad Renfro (who, in staying in character as a complete doofus, was arrested for various hijinks during production) and Rachel Miner. Yes, Rachel-ex-wife-of-Macauley Culkin-Miner who prances nude in half the film. They're bound by a pregnancy and a familiar sense of going nowehere, he a has-been surfer dude at 19 and she a never-will-be dreamer.Uh, anyway, a good portion of the film is spent on displaying Bobby's behavior, which is the resume for his murder. Nick Stahl is intense as Bobby, even though the real life Bobby Kent was a steroid-bulging, wanna be gang member son of Iranian immigrants, an ethnicity angle strangely omitted. Also omitted to a great extent is the gang angle of the real life case. It doesn't end up mattering because ultimately Stahl plays Bobby as a borderline psycho teen. To his parents he's a decent student, ambitious, a nice young man with a future ahead in college. But in reality he's a raging lunatic. I mean, honestly, as much as it's surprising to see young suburban kids suddenly committ a brutal member, how many friends have you ever had like Bobby Kent? Teenage boys can be cruel to each other, but how many of your friends regularly punch you in the face, perform 3 Stooges-like slaps to your head at any moment, oh, and rape your girlfriend.The saddest, and greatest part about this film is that the case was true. However, keep in mind a key element of the film: nearly all of the dialogue is taken right from the Jim Schutze novel WORD FOR WORD. Bully, the book, was something between a novel and true crime account that was very dialogue-oriented and wound up giving the film some of its best lines. Larry Clark didn't have to touch the lines up too much. But the staging is excellent. This is an almost pornographic account of the events yet it seems appropriate anyway since Clark is simply telling a TRUE story that was very gritty, very ugly.Let's face it. The characters in this film are dumb. Very, very dumb, so dumb that you really don't feel sorry for any of them. Maybe one or two, but you'd live with it. Seriously, if you have any friends that remind you of any of these characters even a little bit, run. Run now. Highly recommended for just not caring about Hollywood standards and going gonzo."