If you were bullied as a teenager, or even in your adult life, you know how much of an impact bullying can have on a person’s life. Even more so if it happens at a young age. Everyone has a favorite movie, and the same goes for movies about bullying. They can raise awareness of the consequences of bullying and teach people to be kinder to each other.
If you’re looking for good movies to educate your child — or even yourself — on the subject, here are ten movies about bullying that teach an important lesson.
A Complete List of The Best Movies About Bullying
#1. Mean Girls
Every girl on the planet that has watched this movie and is aware of how great and quotable it is. For those of you that haven’t seen it, the plot is pretty simple.
The new girl, Cady Heron, starts school in a completely new part of the world where she meets the “nerds” and the Plastics. The nerds consist of Janis and Damian, while the Plastics are led by Regina George.
Cady becomes good friends with Janis and Damien, but the Plastics want to make her a part of their clique as well. Ultimately, she decides to pretend to be one of the cool girls in order to gain their trust, and expose how mean they are to the entire school.
However, things don’t go as planned, and Cady turns into a mean girl, becoming the thing she hated.
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Carrie is one of the first movies about bullying to hit the big screen. I should probably mention that this is a horror movie, and a pretty terrifying one at that!
Carrie White is an unpopular 17-year-old girl that lives with her controlling mother. Just like her home life, school is something she has come to dread due to incessant bullying from her peers.
Fortunately, she does seem to have one true friend, Sue Snell, who ends up asking her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to prom. Reluctantly, Tommy agrees, and ends up becoming the accomplice to a horrific prank planned by school bully and mean girl Christine Hargensen.
The night of the prom arrives, and Carrie starts to relax and enjoy herself. However, Chris’s cruel prank ruins her happiness, and Carrie unleashes her telekinetic powers to exact revenge on the entire school.
This movie is proof that bullies don’t only exist in high school.
Andrea is fresh out of college and looking for her dream job. Fortunately for her, she gets hired by the Runway fashion magazine as Miranda Priestly’s personal assistant. At first, Andy can’t wait to start working. After all, everyone keeps telling her “a million girls would kill for this job”.
Unfortunately, after her first day, it becomes clear that Andy is in over her head, and that the boss lady is the ultimate bully.
Although Andy does her best to fit in and impress Miranda and her co-workers, she soon gets sucked into the world of fashion and fad-dieting, and loses everyone important in her life in the process.
Andy’s struggle emanates every person’s transition into the adult world, which makes it one of the best movies about bullying to date.
#4. Bully (2011)
The aptly-named documentary Bully has a more serious tone than the other movies on this list.
This documentary follows the lives of five children — Tyler, Alex, Kelby, Ja’Meya, and Ty — and takes us through their everyday lives, including their struggles with bullying.
Every story is unique, and tragic in its own way. Bully is an impactful movie that every teenager should watch.
Matilda is the heartwarming story of Matilda Wormwood, an exceptionally bright girl, and her struggles with her family and the school’s principal, Ms. Trunchbull.
Even though this movie contains fantasy elements, it’s an accurate depiction of what it’s like to be bullied from childhood.
Matilda’s parents don’t treat her the way parents should treat their children, all because she’s “different”. They sneer at the fact that she prefers reading books to watching television, and that she can hardly wait to start school.
Matilda soon befriends her teacher Ms. Honey, and finds out she has special powers. Unfortunately, she also butts heads with Ms. Trunchbull and narrowly escapes getting caught rescuing one of Ms. Honey’s books from the principal’s home.
By the end of the movie, Matilda learns to control her powers, and finally stands up to her parents.
#6. The Craft
The Craft puts a witchy spin on movies about bullying without straying from the topic.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Bailey moves to L.A. with her father and stepmother in hopes of starting a new chapter in her life. Sarah has a troubled past and frequent hallucinations. When she meets outcasts Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle at Catholic school, she immediately strikes up a friendship with the girls.
Sarah soon finds out that her new friends like to dabble in the occult. Once the four of them form a bond, she unlocks her own powers. Soon after, they start to use them in order to fix the things in life they don’t like.
Nancy and her mother become rich, Bonnie’s scars start to heal on their own, Rochelle puts a hex on her bully, and Sarah makes her crush fall madly in love with her. Unfortunately, Nancy starts abusing her powers and the girls drift apart.
#7. A Girl Like Her
Jessica Burns has a secret that no one except her best friend Brian knows about — she is being bullied by the most popular girl in school, Avery Keller.
To everyone at South Brookdale High School, Avery is beautiful, charming, and fun to be around. However, with the help of Brian, Jessica hopes to reveal Avery’s true nature. Brian buys a spycam in order to capture the bullying Jessica has to deal with every day. Soon, everyone gets to see Avery and her clique for the tormentors they are.
#8. The DUFF
The DUFF is a light-hearted teen comedy with a powerful message: we’re all beautiful in our own unique way.
Bianca used to be carefree and confident in herself. That is, until she found out she was the DUFF (Designated Fat Ugly Friend) in her friend group.
After her initial shock, she decides to ask popular jock Wesley to help her find a new look and become best friends with Madison, the ultimate “mean girl”. Bianca also cuts ties with her “more attractive” friends Jessica and Casey.
By the end of the movie, Bianca learns that no matter what, someone will always end up being the DUFF in their friend group, and decides not to pay attention to labels any more.
#9. About A Boy
Marcus Brewer is twelve years old and lives with his mother Fiona who is single and depressed. Marcus relentlessly gets bullied for being different, and for doing things like singing to himself without actually noticing he is doing so.
Will is a carefree bachelor, living off of the royalties his father made from composing a successful Christmas song. His current interest is picking up mothers in single-parent support groups, where he pretends to have a son called Ned.
As luck would have it, Marcus is at one of these meetings where he ends up befriending William.
Through shared experiences, Marcus and Will end up learning more about themselves and growing in the process.
Taylor is a 17-year-old girl with two best friends, Samantha and Cheyenne. Taylor and her friends are fairly regular teens, but they’re not considered popular by any means. Ultimately, they become the target of mean girl Lindsay and her clique.
At home, Taylor’s relationship with her father isn’t all she wishes it to be. Ever since her parents got divorced, she has been looking for ways to escape reality. Luckily, her mom gives her a laptop for her birthday, something she has always wanted.
Taylor decides to make a profile on Clicksters, a popular social media website. Someone starts bullying her online, and things take a dark turn.
Bullying can come in many forms, and it can happen at any age. Sometimes high school bullies fail to learn their lesson, and they continue to be bullies well into adulthood.
It’s unfortunate, but no matter how hard people try to protect their children from getting bullied, sometimes they just don’t succeed. Whether they’re too busy to notice the fact that something is going on in their lives or the kids refuse to tell them, the fact is that bullying is harmful to all parties involved.
If you want to help your child gain a better understanding of what bullying is, why it’s so damaging, and that it’s never a good idea to physically or emotionally abuse someone, these movies about bullying will teach them an important lesson. Just as important is the fact that they can later share their knowledge with their children.