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Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  28 April 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 14,508 users   Metascore: 72/100
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A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Javier (as JR Villarreal)
Georgia (as Sahara Garey)
Steve (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)


Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of -- but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee's demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Changing the world... one word at a time.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A som i Akeelah  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,011,585 (USA) (28 April 2006)


$18,811,135 (USA) (14 July 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is one of 4 projects that Laurence Fisburne and Angela Bassett have been in together. See more »


On Akeelah's spelling test with a grade of 100%, word 3 is spelled "bacause". See more »


Katie Kerwin McCrimmon: [commentating on TV] Several of the kids placed very high in last year's bee, especially Dylan Chiu. He's come in second two years in a row.
Derrick-T: Kick his butt, Akeelah! B-U-T-T, butt!
See more »


Referenced in 2007 Camie Awards (2007) See more »


Anthrax Island
Written by Mad Child (as S Bunting), Prevail (as K Hendriks), West Plischke (as W Plischke)
Performed by Swollen Members
Courtesy of Battle Axe Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A "One of a Million" Film indeed!
6 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Akeelah and the Bee was a film in which not only inspired me as an individual, but specifically a young Black male individual. Finally, a film in which Black males running around shooting guns and sexing/ mistreating women. A film in which shows a young Black girl coming from an urban neighborhood, raised by a single mother, but still motivated and inspired to use her gift of spelling to the highest degree. During my time watching this film: my emotions were overwhelmed with a sense of positive energy in which inspired me to be motivated to continue doing my best in life: not settling for excuses for where I grew up, the failures I encountered and taking every bit of my negative past to strengthen my positive future. Finally a film where an African American student is demonstrated as brilliant and intelligent!

39 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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