Bully Review

A group of slacker kids, led by Marty and egged on by his slightly dotty girlfriend, Lisa, decide to murder a local bully. Based on a true story, so it’s, like, society’s fault, yeah?

by William Thomas |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Mar 2002

Running Time:

112 minutes



Original Title:


Larry Clark’s third film (after Kids and Another Day In Paradise) should come clearly labelled with a ‘Larry Clark Warning’: i.e. expect moments of shocking violence, acres of underage flesh and a complete disregard for any form of authority.

However you feel about the director’s self-confessed liking for lingering shots of nude teenagers (a close-up of Bijou Phillips’ crotch is particularly gratuitous), he clearly has a way with young actors.

All the performances are excellent, with Renfro, Stahl and Miner — who spends an inordinate amount of the film naked — the stand-outs. There’s also strong support from Pitt as a barely conscious stoner who gets all the best lines.

The film is undoubtedly hard to watch at times (Stahl appears to rape everyone in the cast before they finally stand up to him), but it’s extremely powerful. And when Miner descends like Lady Macbeth into nutterdom, the effect is memorable and disturbing.

Strong performances, coupled with the sickening knowledge that this actually happened, make Clark’s latest compelling viewing as it veers between dark humour and moments of shocking violence.

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