You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.


‘Bully’: A must-see for teens, now at PG-13

Alex Libby is a 12-year-old from Iowa in “Bully.”


Alex Libby is a 12-year-old from Iowa in “Bully.”

The new movie “Bully” scored a major victory when celebrities including Meryl Streep persuaded the Motion Picture Association of America to lower its rating from an inexplicable R to a more plausible PG-13; that way, teenagers can go on their own. Now they have to do it.

Continue reading it below

The documentary, now playing in the Boston area, follows tormented kids in towns across the American heartland, through cinderblock hallways filled with lockers to be shoved into, weed-filled playgrounds with blacktops to be tripped onto, and clanging buses with seats to be hip-checked out of. Kids will instantly recognize the ineffectual school officials. But they’ll be stopped short by the pain of parents who rightly fear for the lives of their bullied kids. They’ll be overwhelmed by the courage of the victims themselves, forced at a young age to rationalize unspeakable cruelty, violence, and ostracism. And they could be shocked into changing their behavior by witnessing the community outpouring that followed the deaths of children who killed themselves.

While Streep and other celebrity advocates are right to hope that kids will stream in on their own, “Bully” may be better experienced as a family night out. There will be plenty to talk about afterwards.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of