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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Bully Won't Have An 'R' Rating

By March 26, 2012

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Bully Movie Screening - Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesMany parents will likely take their kids to see Bully, just like Norman Reedus (Daryl on the Walking Dead, who is shown here with his 12-year-old son).

And now that Bully has lost its 'R' rating, more kids might get a chance to see Bully, even if their parents don't take them.

How did Bully lose the 'R' rating? It wasn't as the nearly half a million people who had signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler's petition on Change.org to urge the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to lower the rating had planned. Instead of being lowered to a 'PG-13' rating, The Weinstein Company is choosing to move forward and will be releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Should parents or teachers be concerned about letting their kids watch an unrated movie? In some cases, sure, but Common Sense Media describes the strong language, which had originally gotten it its 'R' rating, as not gratuitous. They suggest a minimum age of 13-years for allowing kids to watch the movie, although they caution that it is important to know your child, as some content may not be right for some younger teens.

"While it's often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses bullying in a frank and relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide the discussion," said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media.

Bully follows three bullied students in Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Like many other students, they are being bullied on a daily basis. The movie also includes two families in Georgia and Oklahoma who lost their kids to bullying-related suicide.

Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, Bully opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" cliches, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

Bully will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30th in New York at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square and in Los Angeles at The Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood and AMC Century City.

Are you going to take your kids to see Bully?

Related:
A Guide to the Film BULLY: Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools
Bring Bully To Your City
Bullying

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