Up 440 this week

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  17 October 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 18,055 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 54 user | 108 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with ... See full summary »


(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 22 Feb 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 04 May 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 29 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 40 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

The Secret Life of Bees (2008) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Secret Life of Bees.

User Polls

12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hounddog (2007)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.

Director: Deborah Kampmeier
Stars: Dakota Fanning, David Morse, Piper Laurie
Uptown Girls (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A grown-up woman, who kept her childish instincts and behavior, starts working as a nanny of a 8-year-old girl, who actually acts like an adult. But in the end everything turns to its right places.

Director: Boaz Yakin
Stars: Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning, Heather Locklear
The Runaways (2010)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A coming-of-age biographical film about the 1970s teenage all-girl rock band The Runaways. This film also explores the relationship between band members Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.

Director: Floria Sigismondi
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with ... See full summary »

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Glenndon Chatman
Last Holiday (2006)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman (Queen Latifah) decides to sell off all her possessions and live it up at a posh European hotel.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton
I Am Sam (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson
Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
Now Is Good (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.

Director: Ol Parker
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Josef Altin, Jeremy Irvine
Push (2009)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two young Americans with special abilities must race to find a girl in Hong Kong before a shadowy government organization called Division does.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Camilla Belle, Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans
Beauty Shop (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A determined hairstylist (Queen Latifah) competes with her former boss (Kevin Bacon) after opening her own business in Atlanta.

Director: Bille Woodruff
Stars: Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Djimon Hounsou
Hide and Seek (2005)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As a widower tries to piece together his life in the wake of his wife's suicide, his daughter finds solace -- at first -- in her imaginary friend.

Director: John Polson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When a lonely guy meets a woman on the Internet who happens to be in prison, she breaks out to be with him, and proceeds to wreak havoc on his middle-class life.

Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy
Just Wright (2010)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A physical therapist falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury.

Director: Sanaa Hamri
Stars: Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton


Cast overview, first billed only:
Renee Ford Clark ...
Doll (as Renée Clark)
Violet (as Sharon Morris)
Sugar Girl
Emma Sage Bowman ...


Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father T-Ray, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Bring Your Girlfriends, Sisters, Mothers and Daughters



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Secreta das Abelhas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,527,799 (USA) (17 October 2008)


$37,766,350 (USA) (20 February 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(director's cut) |

Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo)|


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alicia Keys learned to play the cello in 4 weeks for this part. See more »


When Lily and Zach are kissing, Lily's hair keeps moving back and forth from behind her ear to the side of her face depending on the camera angle. See more »


Zach Taylor: Miss August told me about you being here helping out. She didn't mention anything about you being white.
Lily Owens: Maybe she didn't notice.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Anne Hathaway/The Killers (2008) See more »


Heaven's My Home
Written by Ruby Amanfu and Katie Herzig
Performed by Sam and Ruby
Courtesy of Sam and Ruby Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sorry Seinfeld ... the Real Bee Movie
27 October 2008 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Having not read Sue Monk Kidd's novel, I was expecting a sappy, soulless, chick flick that would have me rolling my eyes for a couple of hours. Instead, director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) delivers a very engaging film with a message and some very strong performances.

Dakota Fanning plays Lily, who accidentally killed her mother at four, and has since lived with her white trash, redneck despicable father (Paul Bettany). Lily and her nanny Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) runoff to some small town dot on a map thanks to a clue Lily's mom left on one of her few remaining personal items. They arrive at the home/business of August, June and May Boatright (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sopie Okonedo) who harvest and bottle the best honey in town. What follows is a smörgåsbord of odd family life that slowly gives hope to young Lily.

Based in 1964, the film dips its toe into the Civil Rights Act and the ongoing racism of the south, but focuses more on the strength of love and family ... even in a Pepto Bismol home! The performances are all very strong but three standouts are Dakota Fanning, Paul Bettany and Sophie Okonedo.

Ms. Fanning is now 14 years old and she delivers a remarkable performance ... and what feels like the first where her screaming skills aren't overused (War of the Worlds, Man on Fire). She strikes me as a young Jodie Foster ... one who has just transitioned from child actor to real actress. I can't wait to see where her career takes her. Mr. Bettany is such a shock here as he typically plays a well dressed, under-spoken Brit (which is what he is in real life!). As a southern redneck whose bitterness rages against the world, he not only pulls it off, but manages to make grits seem even worse than I previously thought. Ms. Okonedo (so amazing in Hotel Rwanda) pulls off the always difficult task of making a "special" adult seem very real and vital. A most touching performance from a top notch talent.

This is a good story with strong performances, though to take the next step as a film, it needed to dig a little deeper into its wide range of characters and settings. Still, definitely worth seeing.

51 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Unnecessary Sexual Sugestion with the Purple Honey sartor023
Did anyone else love May Boatwright? reminiscent00
Seriously? No love for T Ray? JBMovies123
what was the stuff that her father made her kneal on? livielu
Dakota's first on screen kiss hal_111091
closest book to movie adaptation i have ever seen KrystalYoung6
Discuss The Secret Life of Bees (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: