Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee is the story of Akeelah Anderson (Palmer), a precocious eleven-year old girl from south Los Angeles with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother (Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contest, for which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Fishburne), her principal Mr. Welch (Armstrong) and the proud residents of her neighborhood. Akeelah's aptitude earns her an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and in turn united her neighborhood who witness the courage and inspiration of one amazing little girl. (Lionsgate) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 100
    Keke Palmer, a young Chicago actress whose first role was as Queen Latifah's niece in "Barbershop 2," becomes an important young star with this movie. It puts her in Dakota Fanning and Thora Cross territory, and there's something about her poise and self-possession that hints she will grow up to be a considerable actress.
  2. Blessed with excellent turns by Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, this feel-gooder revels in its hip-to-be-square hyperliteracy, and neatly exceeds its own PSA-ness, practically amounting to a black, preteen "Good Will Hunting."
  3. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    A sweet-natured, immensely likable family film.
  4. A genuinely sweet and determinedly inspirational family film that features a charming young actress in the title role. It's a successful feel-good movie, but it would make you feel even better if it didn't push quite so hard for its desired effects.
  5. Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
  6. You can't help but root for Akeelah as she reclaims the pride in her talents and her achievements. That's an idea worth spelling out to a young audience.
  7. 50
    It's unfortunate that the lack of originality in plot and character keeps Akeelah and the Bee stuck firmly in "After-School Special" territory.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. DebraW.
    May 10, 2006
    Akeelah and the Bee is such a pleasant retreat from the "norm" in movies today. Great acting and the content is not "sappy" for its PG rating. I enjoyed it, and will encourage all to see it. Particularly, if you want a break from the sex, violence, blood and gore. Expand
  2. [Anonymous]
    Aug 2, 2006
    supurb in every way, sweet, strong, powerful, meaningful, really good to see if you are nervous, it practically sooths your mind and fixes your problems. Expand
  3. ClaudiaB.
    Nov 7, 2006
    Excellent movie that portrayed an African AMerican female in a positive manner. Kudos to the producers and the acting cast. KeKe Palmer, Angela Bassett, and Laurence Fishburne- you are a complete unit. The whole Kenwood High School viewed your movie and discussed various character traits that were associated with the movie. Our school is reflective of some of the same demographics associated with the movie- many students were inspired to learn new words. Expand
  4. Adam
    Apr 22, 2006
    Phenomenal -- best performances I've ever seen from Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, and 12-year-old Keke Palmer is incredible...
  5. ChadS.
    May 6, 2006
    "Glory Road" was a feel-contrived film, and even though "Akeelah and the Bee" is a slave to formula like the Don Haskins biopic, this variation of the sports movie-formula truly makes you feel-good. Most importantly, it builds a bridge between academia and the perception that African-Americans steeped in hip-hop culture are hostile towards education. The scene between Akeelah(Keke Palmer) and one her wayward older brother's friend is the film's highlight. His story, you can sense, is a cautionary tale about what happens when peer pressure stifles your potential. Expand
  6. Sep 20, 2013
    You will be amazed by this movies ability to make you laugh and cry at the same time; and Keke Palmer is just great. There are some flaws, but 75% of the movie is on par. Expand
  7. Apr 27, 2014
    i already seen keke win the spelling be a thousands of times . this movie is gay an i can not believe critics are loving this . Grade F.......................................................................... Expand

See all 30 User Reviews