Akeelah and the Bee

7.41 h 52 min2006X-Ray13+
HD. A bright, but unmotivated, 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles is encouraged to compete in the National Spelling Bee competition.
Doug Atchison
Laurence FishburneAngela BassettKeke Palmer
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Curtis Armstrong
Jaki BrownMarc ButanMark CubanLaurence FishburneSidney GanisNancy HultKent KubenaDaniel LlewelynMichael PaseornekDalia PhillipsMichael RomersaHelen SuglandMike UptonTodd Wagner
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Foul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.8 out of 5 stars

3176 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

joel wingReviewed in the United States on May 31, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Young black girl overcomes peer pressure struggling family & classism to compete in spelling bee
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Akeelah and the Bee is a great inspirational family film about Akeelah (Keke Palmer) who is a middle school student who wants to compete in the Scipps National Spelling Bee, hence the Bee in the title. The movie deals with the struggles of many smart kids in urban schools where they don’t want to show that they’re smart because they fear ridicule by their peers. It also has the community rallying behind Akeelah to help her prepare for the Bee, while also highlighting the class differences between Akeelah and the kids she’ll be competing against.

The movie begins with Akeelah getting an A on a spelling test in school, but not wanting anyone to know because she’s afraid what her classmates might say about her. This is the peer pressure she’s under to not show her smarts. She’s self-motivated and is inspired by her dead father who she talks to every night, but she needs to overcome her fears before she’s prepared to compete in the Bee.

The story then focuses upon her preparing for the competition and all the people that help her. That ranges from Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) an English professor who becomes her coach to the locals in her community.

Finally, there’s the class issue. As her school principal and brother tell Akeelah she will be competing with kids from affluent families from the rich neighborhoods and suburbs that have the money, time and a history of competing. Akeelah on the other hand lives in the inner city, goes to a poor school which she hates, her mother (Angela Bassett) is more concerned with her brother who gets in trouble all the time than Akeelah and who works all the time. The differences between her and her competition is emphasized when she joins a spelling club in a well to do community. That was actually a motivation for the film maker Doug Atchison who saw only affluent kids winning the Scripps competition.

Overall, Akeelah And the Bee is a great family movie. It shows the struggles of a young African American girl attempting to do something that even she questioned she could do.
18 people found this helpful
TrudiReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good movie every one should give it a try
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Great movie finally a predominantly colored cast that has minimal racist remarks or comments and just isn’t trash or trashy to an educated individual but at the same time entertaining for the viewer wish they would make more like this For this same reason black panther went over so well although in black panther they teetered on too much racism as I don’t like racism but I give it a questionable pass as I would like to believe that they are doing it to show the negativity of being secluded from the real world and how that could give the mindset that one ethnicity is better than another as an educational tool I would hope but we’ll see also in the case of Akeelah it shows how someone who has very little can with the right mindset become someone no matter what the challenges that they face I love that given that I have had absolutely nothing and have fought tooth and nail to get where I am today if I can do it anyone can just stay positive, be kind, and be yourself the right people will love you and you will know who not to be around
One person found this helpful
SusanReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
🌸 Inspirational and motivational for all ages 🌸
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Review for “Akeelah and the Bee”
🌸Purchased digitally. Great quality... in picture and sound! Inspirational for all ages. Motivational for all ages! I definitely recommend this movie. Especially when it’s on sale.
Thank you Amazon.com for bringing movies to my home at a reasonable price.
Five stars. I was not compensated or paid in any way for this review 🌸
14 people found this helpful
Donald H.Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
She certainly was inspirational and did her mother and all of Los Angeles incredibly proud
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Ms. Akeelah Anderson was an 11-year-old in the 7th grade, she skipped 2nd grade on merit, at the senescent, squalid Crenshaw Middle School in South Los Angeles. She hated school and was absent whenever she had more important matters to attend to, and she often didn't turn in assigned homework; however, she had never misspelled a word on the hebdomadal spelling test. She had a predilection for vocabulary and played Scrabble on her computer in her phrontistery, incessantly. At her school's inaugural spelling bee, she took 1st place, and she advanced to the Los Angeles District Spelling Bee with 139 contestants. She went up against affluent students from Santa Monica, Woodland Hills, and Beverly Hills. Woodland Hills had a kinship with the Scripps organization, because of the high proportion of aficionados they had sent there. Quite remarkably, she made it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship in Washington D.C. She could have easily slipped through the cracks with her potential and been forgotten if a teacher and principal hadn't taken a special interest in her future.
21 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic and unique movie
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For starters - this movie is great. It is inspirational, but more importantly, it's real. While some of the plot points are predictable, the characters and setting are fantastically developed and relatable, and have me rooting for every one of them in ways some movies don't. There's a little language - not anything crazy - but I would highly recommend this for families with preteens and up.

That said. The reason I write this review. Amazon! Whoever did your captions goofed - they spelled words wrong in a movie about spelling!!! Even when the characters are literally spelling it for you! Might want a proofreader. Didn't distract me and the movie's great. Honestly I found it funny.
14 people found this helpful
PeterReviewed in the United States on January 3, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Excellent, Inspiring Film You Should Watch with Your Child.
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"Akeelah and the Bee" is a superb family movie about a young girl from humble circumstances competing against much wealthier children in spelling bee championship. Most kids movies put sports on a pedestal, this movie is different as it makes kids feel enthusiastic about intellectual pursuits. But just looking at those details would be selling this movie short. Most of all, this is a movie about the human spirit, resiliency and determination. It deals with loss, disappointment, hardship, the importance of finding your way, believing in yourself, focusing and working towards goals and the importance of friendship, family and teachers/mentors. It's a very well written and well acted film that is intelligent, sweet, funny, emotional and inspirational. My two young kids, my wife and I all loved this movie and it never lost either of my kids' -- 7 and 10 -- attention. I strongly recommend this for families with children 13 and under. In fact, it's so good, I recommend it even if you don't have kids.
21 people found this helpful
M RichReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of THE best family and "feel good" movies of this era!
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This is without a doubt, one of THE best family and "feel good" movies of this era. It teaches both adults as well as children to search for the greatness that is within yourself and never allow anyone else to define who you are and who you aren’t. Great storyline, and as usual, Laurence Fishburne gives a wonderful depth and multi-faceted interest to his melancholy-character, UCLA English Professor Dr. Larabee; who mentors Akeelah and sees her to the Nationals. Angela Bassett delivers a very good performance too as Akeelah's Mother Tanya, a widow struggling to provide for her family and keep them safely “in-balance” despite living in a rough community. The huge Blessing you witness in this entire experience is that, in Akeelah’s quest to make it to the Nationals in DC, her entire Community comes together to help her study & properly prepare academically, as well as emotionally support her, in her pursuit of it.
19 people found this helpful
Jen GReviewed in the United States on December 27, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Magic Movie
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My teacher friends call this my magic movie. I have seen rural high school seniors entranced and city-7th graders entranced. A great movie with an amazing message to not be afraid of your own abilities even when it makes you different. Love the diversity and the acting is great. It really is a magic movie!
20 people found this helpful
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