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Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

 -  Drama  -  28 April 2006 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 13,293 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 168 user | 93 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

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Cast

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Javier (as JR Villarreal)
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Steve (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)
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Storyline

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 <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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)

Gross:

$18,811,135 (USA) (14 July 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Hornedo, who plays Roman, also served as an unofficial consultant as he was a former National Spelling Bee finalist himself. See more »

Goofs

The plaque on the wall in Dr. Larabee's office, which he makes Akeelah read, wrongly attributes the quote to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural speech. This is a common mistake, but Nelson Mandela has never used that quote in any of his published speeches. The quote is from Marianne Williamson an American spiritual activist. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in 2007 Camie Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Definition of Love
Written by Jimmy Jam (as James Harris III), Terry Lewis and Big Jim Wright (as James Q. Wright)
Performed by Deborah Cox
Additional vocals by Keke Palmer (as KeKe Palmer), Michelle Williams, Shalea Frazier & Place Called Home Choir (as A Place Called Home Choir)
Produced by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis & Big Jim Wright (as James "Big Jim" Wright) for Flyte Tyme Productions,
Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Among the best, without a doubt
29 April 2006 | by (Dallas, TX) – See all my reviews

Akeelah and the Bee is an excellent movie, and it deserves universal recognition for the unbelievably powerful message, storyline, and theme evident throughout. First of all, Starbucks's co-operation with Laurence Fishburne to produce the movie was a great move on everybody's part. And though many critics may say that Akeelah and the Bee was just another "inspirational film," lacking the originality and pungency necessary for good cinema, the people with such a belief just don't get it. Like Rudy (1993), Akeelah and the Bee is most certainly original in that the story is plausible, meaningful, and very emotional. The only real difference between the two films is that whereas Rudy is based on a true story, Akeelah and the Bee is completely fictional. Also, the fact that all of the real protagonists in the film are minorities brings an incredible new level to the silver screen. Very few recently released movies feature an African-American female--a youth, no less--in the role of the main character. And for viewers to see Akeelah--as well as her mother, her siblings, her best friend, her coach, and her other two spelling-bee companions: all of whom are minorities--achieve such great heights is most definitely "inspirational," and in the right sense. Even for the movie-viewer whose favorites are full of action, violence, and gore, Akeelah and the Bee strikes the heart directly. And for those who like the tear-jerkers, no better movie exists than this one. Without question, this film is one of the best I have seen in a long time, and many will agree that it is an exceptional piece of work. I would honestly be shocked if someone really believed in his or her mind that Akeelah and the Bee "was a waste of time."


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