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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Your words matter. Empathy matters. When you see someone being bullied, step in and support them, let them know they're not alone. People who are hurt may hurt people.
Positive Role Models
Dianne Grossman transformed her grief into a purpose to help prevent bullying and child suicide. She perseveres in her efforts to establish anti-bullying laws.
Violence & Scariness
Discussion of a 12-year-old's death by suicide. Description of mean, bullying behavior.
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Language includes "ass," "bitch," "crappy," "d--ks," "hell," and "shut up." Bullying words.
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Products & Purchases
Brands are mentioned incidentally, such as Build-A-Bear and McDonald's.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mallory is a documentary about the suicide of 12-year-old Mallory Grossman and her family's efforts to prevent more bullying-related tween and teen deaths via suicide. The film is aimed at adults -- parents and educators -- and focuses on Mallory's mom Dianne Grossman's speaking engagements and efforts to help pass an anti-bullying law. She has mobilized her grief into Mallory's Army, a nonprofit outreach that teaches kids that their words matter and how to handle bullying situations. The cruel treatment that Mallory endured is revealed, as are the details of her death, which is handled in a way that does not sensationalize the matter. Hearing the Grossmans' painful story may help adults be more aware of signs that kids are in distress, as well as some of the ways that bullying situations can be mishandled. Tips are spread throughout the film about how to build empathy and how to prevent tragedy. Language isn't frequent but includes "bitch," "d--k," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Executive-produced by the Grossman family, this empathetic documentary shows viewers a family managing their pain, striving to give meaning to their tragedy. Seth and Dianne Grossman reflect on Mallory as a bright light, a gymnast who outshone her teammates and who wanted to spend her life helping others. She was successful, she was cute, and her family appeared to have money -- in their estimation, that's what made her a target for bullies. The night before her death, she happily played in the pool with her family. She was a regular 12-year-old girl. And her parents exhausted every avenue to defend her, letting her know that she'd never have to return to her school again.
And yet, she was so tormented that they couldn't save her. What could have been done? As Seth states, everything is clearer in hindsight. Using that angle, the docu offers interviews with experts who explain the psychology behind bullying and why getting picked on in the Technology Age is too much to bear for some kids. While there are several insights in MALLORY, the key takeaway for parents is, "It could happen to you." Writer-director Ash Patino doesn't give adult viewers all the answers they're looking for -- those who want identifiable signs that a child is seriously considering suicide or definitive steps to preventing it may find there's not quite enough here -- but viewers will get a little to think about and a lot to mourn.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.