7.3/10
18,605
179 user 98 critic

Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

PG | | Drama, Family | 28 April 2006 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer
A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Director:

Doug Atchison

Writer:

Doug Atchison
12 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keke Palmer ... Akeelah
Laurence Fishburne ... Dr. Larabee
Angela Bassett ... Tanya
Curtis Armstrong ... Mr. Welch
J.R. Villarreal ... Javier (as JR Villarreal)
Sean Michael Afable ... Dylan
Sahara Ware Sahara Ware ... Georgia (as Sahara Garey)
Lee Thompson Young ... Devon
Julito McCullum ... Terrence
Erica Hubbard ... Kiana
Eddie Steeples ... Derrick-T
Dalia Phillips ... Ms. Cross
Tzi Ma ... Mr. Chiu
Jeris Poindexter ... Steve (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)
Sara Niemietz ... Polly
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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 | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akeelah's bedroom desktop computer is a custom-built personal computer, consisting of a 1994 17" NEC MultiSync 5FG VGA CRT monitor originally designed for Macintosh and later for Windows 95/98, a Micro Innovations KB400i 108-key keyboard designed for Windows XP, and a Micro Innovations PD450P Optical Scroll mouse. If you look closely during the montage of Akeelah taking lessons from Dr. Larabee through the radio, when she is on the computer, it clearly appears to display a Classic-themed Windows XP desktop. 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

Akeelah: [Javier has just kissed her] Why'd you do that?
Javier: I had an impulse. Are you gonna sue me for sexual harassment?
[pause, then they both laugh]
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Connections

Featured in The Colbert Report: Frank Rich (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Proud
(2000)
Written by Heather Small and Peter John Vettese (as Peter Vettese)
Performed by Heather Small
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (U.K.) Limited
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User Reviews

 
Among the best, without a doubt
29 April 2006 | by sushiichiroSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akeelah and the Bee See more »

Filming Locations:

Berkeley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,011,585, 30 April 2006

Gross USA:

$18,848,430

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,948,425
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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