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

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 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 theAn 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
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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. The innate suspense and charm of the spelling bee, along with a trio of crack performances, turn what is in essence a formulaic sports picture into something more satisfying: an underdog tale that manages to inspire without being sappy.
  4. 70
    While it can't have been easy to find action points for a drama about vocabulary drills, Atchison comes up with a steady stream of plot-propelling business, including Akeelah's flair for jump rope, a skill that serves her beautifully in a clinch moment.
  5. Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
  6. 67
    As the conceptually similar documentary "Spellbound" proved, spelling bees are innately dramatic. But that doesn't keep Atchison from constantly pushing the film toward theatrical moments instead of letting the drama arise organically from the story.
  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: 30 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. DebraW.
    May 10, 2006
    10
    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 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
    10
    supurb in every way, sweet, strong, powerful, meaningful, really good to see if you are nervous, it practically sooths your mind and fixes 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
    10
    Excellent movie that portrayed an African AMerican female in a positive manner. Kudos to the producers and the acting cast. KeKe Palmer, 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. Collapse
  4. Adam
    Apr 22, 2006
    9
    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
    8
    "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 "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
    7
    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, butYou 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
    1
    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 . Gradei 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 31 User Reviews

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