7.3/10
22,871
90 user 99 critic

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 October 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
In 1964, a teenage girl in search of the truth about her mother runs away to a small town in South Carolina and finds a family of independent women who can connect her to her past.

Writers:

Gina Prince-Bythewood (screenplay), Sue Monk Kidd (novel)
12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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 | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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

Director: Floria Sigismondi
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon
I Am Sam (2001)
Drama
    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
The Help (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
Beauty Shop (2005)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two New York City girls make a pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.

Director: Naomi Foner
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Sterling Jones
Last Holiday (2006)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman 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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a "Star Trek" writing competition.

Director: Ben Lewin
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Alice Eve, Toni Collette
Mad Money (2008)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three female employees of the Federal Reserve plot to steal money that is about to be destroyed.

Director: Callie Khouri
Stars: Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes
Single Ladies (TV Series 2011)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Three friends from different backgrounds desire success, prosperity and love in up-and-coming Atlanta, Georgia.

Stars: Travis Winfrey, LisaRaye McCoy, Charity Shea
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dakota Fanning ... Lily Owens
Queen Latifah ... August Boatwright
Jennifer Hudson ... Rosaleen Daise
Alicia Keys ... June Boatwright
Sophie Okonedo ... May Boatwright
Paul Bettany ... T. Ray Owens
Hilarie Burton ... Deborah Owens
Tristan Mack Wilds ... Zach Taylor (as Tristan Wilds)
Nate Parker ... Neil
Shondrella Avery ... Greta
Renee Ford Clark Renee Ford Clark ... Doll (as Renée Clark)
Sharon Conley ... Violet (as Sharon Morris)
Nicky Buggs ... Cressie
Jasmine Burke ... Sugar Girl
Emma Sage Bowman Emma Sage Bowman ... Young Lily
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Bring Your Girlfriends, Sisters, Mothers and Daughters

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret Life of Bees See more »

Filming Locations:

Watha, North Carolina, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,527,799, 19 October 2008

Gross USA:

$37,770,162

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,947,322
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) |

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)| SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Early on in the film Lily is telling Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) about a dream she had, which involved the Supremes. Years earlier Hudson starred in Dreamgirls (2006) which is heavily based upon the career of the Supremes. Both films are also set in the early 60's. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Neil: *Walks up to June who slowly rises from her chair* Hi.
June Boatwright: Hi.
Neil: *pause* Did you call me here to talk? I am a little busy...
June Boatwright: You ain't the only one who's busy, Neil.
Neil: *voice rises in irritation* So I'm just supposed to stand here and watch how busy you are...
June Boatwright: No! *Both turn away with a sigh*
See more »

Alternate Versions

Home video versions (DVD and Blu-ray) include both the original theatrical version and the extended director's cut of 114 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep Marching
(2008)
Written and Performed by Raphael Saadiq
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Gave Me Such a Buzz
14 October 2009 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film is wonderful, exhilarating, joyful. The cast are all spectacularly talented, and this film is another of those 'secret classics' which don't get the Oscars but actually deserve them. Gina Prince-Bythewood, the woman director, has made an intensely sensitive film about women, and it ain't no chick flic, it is serious stuff. I was knocked out by the sheer talent of the actresses. An eye opener to me was the incredible Queen Latifah. Apparently she is some kind of 'hip hop queen', but I wouldn't know about that, preferring Bach myself. She also 'raps', and I am one of those people who does not like or understand what they call 'rapping' at all, so I am glad she spared us that in the film. I notice from her bio that she was a basketball star in high school. Now that I can well believe, as she has the same 'body confidence' that another basketball player, Barack Obama, has. The director made a feature film about basketball earlier, so maybe that is how she and Miss Hip Hop the Rapper came together. But this woman Queen Latifah is a major example of Something Else. She has super-star quality. Really, I wanted to just rush up and hug her, that is how wonderful I think she was. However, the finest job of acting in this film full of genius is to my mind undoubtedly that of Sophie Okonedo, who plays the character May Boatwright, whose older sister and protector is Queen Latifah. She portrays a girl so tormented by 'not being quite right in the head', and so over-sensitive that she bursts into tears at the slightest thing, that it is hard to believe she is acting. It is a poignant performance, expressing to perfection the desperation of such a person who knows there is something wrong with her but can do nothing about it. The third sister is played by Alicia Keys, in real life a talented musician as well, and she portrays an over-intense hard-as-nails young woman terrified of marital commitment. Into this family comes the now teenaged Dakota Fanning, 'running away from home' as it were. She is making some progress with her speaking. Instead of 80 percent of her words being mumbled it is now down to about 20 percent. If she could ever master speech so that everything she said was comprehensible and audible, she could become a major actress, as her acting abilities are coming along nicely, and she effortlessly dominates scenes as long as Queen Latifah is not around (who has a greater command of the camera). I must say however that Dakota Fanning looked very tired to me, and maybe she ought to take a few months off, as she could burn out if she doesn't watch it, having worked non-stop practically since she was in the womb (I'm amazed she didn't star in something as a foetus). As for the story, it is very moving and emotional, a study in human conflicts, traumas, and feelings. This is the kind of film that women make, whereas men prefer making films where everybody gets killed. There's a gender lesson there somewhere! In this film, not even hope gets killed. So that means there is still hope. Jennifer Hudson gives wonderful support as the character Rosaleen, who accompanies Dakota Fanning as she flees from her father to take refuge with these women who had once known her dead mother. This is a happy-sad story that tears and warms the heart at the same time. Any woman would love it, and even some men might like it in between all the crime movies and battle scenes which they normally watch, where the quality is so often judged quantitatively, i.e. by the body count or by the sizes of the explosions. Here the only quantities involved are the degrees of emotion, which are in the upper nineties at least.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed