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Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

PG | | Drama | 28 April 2006 (USA)
2:45 | Trailer

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



12 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Javier (as JR Villarreal)
Georgia (as Sahara Garey)
Ms. Cross
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 <shannon@mun.ca>

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 USA:

$6,011,585, 30 April 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,811,135, 16 July 2006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Among the spelling words in the film are: prestidigitation, ambidextrous, pterodactyl, pulchritude, pastiche, xanthosis, cabalistic, soliterraneous, grandiloquent, catastasis, endentulous, quinquevir, bioluminescent, objugatory, kookaburra, effervescible, quiddity, pyrophanous, mountebank, numismatics, arboriculture, argillaceous, serpiginous, and logorrhea. See more »


When Javier is giving the play-by-play for the Scrabble game at his birthday party, after the word "funnel" is played, he says "Akeelah is in the lead by 12 points." The "12" is noticeably overdubbed; Javier's lips appear to be saying "seven." See more »


Mr. Welch: So whoever wins the school bee today, gets to represent Crenshaw at the district bee next month.
Akeelah: Why would anybody want to represent a school where they can't even put doors on the toilet stalls?
Mr. Welch: Akeelah, if we can't show students can perform were not going to have money for books let alone bathroom doors.
Mr. Welch: Now I want you to do the bee today, okay?
Akeelah: So everyone can call me a freak and a brainiac? No I ain't down for no spelling bee.
Mr. Welch: Well, maybe you'd be down for spending the rest...
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Features E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »


Written by Bootsy Collins
Performed by Bootsy Collins
Courtesy of Bootzilla Productions Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great, inspirational, feel-good movie
1 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

The commercial made me smile. It made me think 'That looks like a good kids movie', but at the same time it made me think 'It kind of looks stupid...' Boy, I was wrong. Akeelah and the Bee is an inspirational movie, and is definitely great for those who share an interest in spelling bees.

I went to the movies with my friends for her birthday, expecting little about the bee at all and more about a love relationship between Akeelah and her newfound friend, Javier. Surprisingly enough, very little of the content was anything to do with romance, and thank goodness.

The acting, oh my goodness. It was wonderful. Especially Keke Palmer's performance. Her face told the story, really. Facial acting was wonderful, no doubt. Keke's performance perfectly matches up to her being as good as young Dakota Fanning, without her having to bawl out crying in any scenes. And the rest of the cast was great, too. The ending is very sweet, but I certainly won't spoil it for anyone.

Overall, a very inspirational movie. 10/10

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