Akeelah and the Bee - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Akeelah and the Bee Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2010
31/07/2010 (TELEVISION)

This is something different in topic but still uses a plot and story-structure that is very familiar, but otherwise it's still a worthy film to see.

Another "Rags to Riches" theme but with a very interesting topic which had my eyes glued because my interest was very stimulated,

"Akeelah and the Bee" is a great movie that squeezed hope out of me and made my experience a real journey. A decent choice for all.
Jason Lalljee
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2010
Almost every spelling bee movie ever made is cheesy and totally predictable. Akeelah and the Bee, though, is a very clever, well crafted, beautiful movie. It's young but talented cast are admirable, and will have you cheering them on all the way.
erika250
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2010
This film was an eye opener to what its like for someone who wants to be in a spelling bee.
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2006
It follows a formulaic plot structure, but I really liked how it explored the cultural and social divisions amongst classes in Los Angeles.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2007
Akeelah and the Bee is predictable, but honest enough for you to not care. It's also an interesting study on the competition itself - as a former spelling bee brat, I can assure you that the elements you see like the overbearing Asian parents and the ceaseless studying are all part of the rigmarole.

As a straight-up competition movie, Akeelah and the Bee would have been dull as dirt, but it has enough unique elements to protect it from being completely generic. There's an interesting cultural emphasis, putting African-American children in a positive light (something you rarely see in Hollywood, sadly) and reinforcing the values of family and togetherness.

It's not an instant classic, but it's a feel-good movie to be seen at least once.
deano
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2007
Absolutely emotional and heart-warming drama story of an 11-year-old girl hoping to represent her community at the National Spelling Bee. Laurence Fishburne makes fantastic performance as 11-year-old girl's coach.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2007
what a CUTE movie. i'm a sucker for all spelling bee movies, but this one takes the cake.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2007
Such a perfect "feel-good" movie. I think this movie is very underrated and underappreciated. Such a great story that sucks you in.
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2006
A very uplifting movie about the power of self-belief. It was make you tear-up a bit-- but not because it's sad.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]In "Akeelah and the Bee", Akeelah Anderson(Keke Palmer) is a bright student and exceptional speller at Crenshaw Midle School in South Los Angeles but plays hooky often. The principal(Curtis Armstrong) makes her a deal - enroll in the school's spelling bee or enjoy detention. So, Akeelah chooses the spelling bee. Also as part of the deal, he promises the services of a tutor, Dr. Larabee(Laurence Fishburne), who used to teach at UCLA. The principal is confident that Akeelah can do well enough in the regional spelling bees to help the fortunes of her failing school...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]...but that is only a temporary solutation for a problem that has long been festering.(It would be similar to a sports team's championship's fleeting effect on a city at large.) And that is the least of the problems of this very disappointing film. It is also shamelessly manipulative, predictable, cartoonish and even manages to waste the very fine talents of Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The movie does have some good thoughts about broadening horizons but that should be included in any public education.(And, yes, 11-14 year olds being able to spell words that are only found in scientific journals is freakish.) Otherwise, there is nothing new here, whereas "Spellbound" was about the American dream and "Bee Season" was about the search for answers.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]But, at least, "Akeelah and the Bee" does prove that you can navigate Los Angeles by bus.[/font]
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neumdaddy
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2006
It has thousands of tiny thrusting fists in it. Your palate is no match.
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2010
If moviegoers knew a car wreck was going to happen, would you show up? What if it was a really pretty car wreck with pigtails that, in some embarrassing way, made them feel all toasty inside? As Hallmark cards go, Akeelah and the Bee is a refreshing Pic-Me-Up from the endless rows of schlock. And make no mistake about it: Although far from perfect, Akeelah is no car wreck. Rather, it's a spoonful of sugar about a little girl in a national spelling bee meant to make the medicine of her cynical urban reality go down...albeit in a most delightful way.

In this PG-rated family drama, a young inner city girl (Palmer) finds her forte in entering spelling championships--all under the tutelage of a linguistics professor (Fishburne).

What sets message movies apart as average and above average is always a wholly unique seminal scene that surprises and yet drives home the meaning of the movie without being preachy. Akeelah's moment comes at the end, spelling out with many voices a message that made this born-again pessimist take notice.

Bottom line: Bee delighted.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2007
Yeah yeah yeah. Another rags to riches story about a kid who had everything going against her to winning a national spelling bee. Clearly the producers were looking for another tear jerker and used the documentary Spellbound as inspiration. Neither of those films properly explained just what benefit out of life winners of spelling bees ultimately achieve.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2007
Precious movie. One of the BEST that I've seen in a very long time.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2011
G-R-E-A-T, great! totally original, dramatic, and acts like a real movie. this is a smart and a real charmer of a family movie! easily one of the best films of 06. A+
xxdebxx
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2010
A very heartfelt film with an excellent performance by Lawrence Fishburne whilst Keke Palmer was very watchable as young Akeelah, who pursues her dream of competing in the national Spelling Bee! It was funny, heartbreaking and uplifting.
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2006
Opts to coast by on sheer gumption and an eternally optimistic spirit that is all too familiar.
Super Reviewer
½ May 18, 2006
I was a little disappointed. I kept hearing how great it was, but I found it a little cliche. It was definately a good movie, but it could have been a little more original. The spelling bees were really interesting and will keep you captivated. Expect big things from Keke Palmer, AKA Akeelah.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2011
I just love this movie. It is intelligent, vibrant, inspirational, captivating, and most of all moving. I would seriously recommend this picture to anyone especially to those who is just self obsessed watching action pictures. "Akeelah And The Bee" isn't just about a famous self obesessed spelling competition, the film digs deeper into the lives of Akeelah(played brilliantly by Keke Palmer) and the people who she meets and learns lessons from. This is a great movie and one of the best films I have seen.
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