Parents' Guide to

Bull

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Nuanced, mature character study about unlikely friendship.

Movie NR 2020 105 minutes
Bull Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Not appropriate for families, definitely NOT for kids or teens.

Don’t let the down-home description of a former bull rider turned bull fighter fool you. It sounds like a story of redemption but I couldn’t make it that far. This move has no redeeming qualities. Lots of drinking and drugs. There’s multiple F words and a completely unnecessary bedroom scene with full nudity. That’s when I turned it off and thumbed it down. Why can’t movies just tell a story without the garbage and filth? Should be rated MA. Even before that it was painfully slow. Shame on HULU for not having a better rating system or the technology to be able to filter out movies like this. I will not be re-upping my subscription.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Director Annie Silverstein's well-acted, intimate drama explores an intergenerational friendship between two lonely people on the fringes of American society. Not a whole lot happens in Bull, but there's definitely a lot to unpack in what does. The film delves into everything from the impact of having an incarcerated parent to the opioid crisis to the casual racism of poor Whites to a peek inside the subculture of Black rodeos. Both central characters are flawed and make iffy decisions (Kris in particular), but there's an inherent realism to their actions that's borne of despair, loss, and loneliness. Silverstein (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Johnny McAllister) commendably navigates the characters' sadness without exploiting it.

Newcomer Havard is noticeably good as a disillusioned girl who misses her jailed mother terribly and obviously wants an adult to care for her like she sees her grandmother care for her little sister. And Morgan, who's consistently impressive in all of his roles, doesn't disappoint as a rodeo cowboy who's past his prime and bearing the chronic pain of his profession. Their relationship is uneasy and uncomfortable at first, but it soon becomes an unconventional mentor/mentee dynamic. Kris knows how to inject a needle and make a hangover cure; Abe has a low tolerance for Kris' mistakes but continues to forgive her. Despite their differences, they find a sense of kinship and community that they both need.

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