Akeelah and the Bee - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Akeelah and the Bee Reviews

August 17, 2006
Its clichés seem bigger and its characterisations broader than they would on the more forgiving telly.
April 28, 2006
... it's easy to overlook that contrivance, because the movie's heart is so clearly in the right place.
April 28, 2006
The latest spelling bee movie is a Starbucks Entertainment product, and it has a made-to-order feel about it, kind of like a compilation album.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 28, 2006
Keke Palmer, who's been working in television and movies for the past few years, is a natural on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 28, 2006
It's the kind of movie parents will want their kids to see as opposed to much of what's playing at the multiplex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 28, 2006
... a delight to sit through ...
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
April 28, 2006
Akeelah and the Bee won a screenplay contest a few years ago, and it reads as if its writer studied too many screenplays first.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 28, 2006
... an underdog tale that manages to inspire without being sappy.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
April 28, 2006
Akeelah and the Bee is so warm and well-meaning that you may find yourself wanting to like it more than you really do.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 28, 2006
... Palmer -- and J.J. Villarreal, as her unflappable fellow contestant and first-blush romantic interest -- makes it all go down very easily.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
April 28, 2006
Akeelah is derivatively entertaining in a feel-good sort of way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 28, 2006
Akeelah and the Bee is not short on inspiration, emotion and uplift, but would go down better without all the refined sugar.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 28, 2006
The plot of Akeelah and the Bee may feel a trifle familiar, but here's the surprise: This is one time when familiarity doesn't breed contempt.
Read More | Original Score: B
April 28, 2006
Akeelah and the Bee carefully diagrams every cliche we've absorbed from sports movies, urban dramas, mentor flicks and precocious-children portraits. Yet it works.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 28, 2006
Producers, including Mark Cuban and Starbucks, should be commended for putting their money behind a film that, like Akeelah herself, dares to be different.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 28, 2006
If Akeelah and the Bee is a generic, well-oiled commercial contraption, it is the first to credibly dramatize the plight of a truly gifted, poor black child.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 28, 2006
The story of Akeelah's ascent to the finals of the National Spelling Bee makes an uncommonly good movie, entertaining and actually inspirational, and with a few tears along the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 27, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 27, 2006
... a slight but winning heart-tugger ...
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 27, 2006
Sure it takes place in the geeky world of spelling bees, but Akeelah has the same old-fashioned, feel-good, against-the-odds qualities as Rocky.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
April 27, 2006
... this by turns funny, affecting tale pays homage not just to one young person's determination and character but to all those parents, teachers and myriad guardian angels who in real life instill young people with the love of language ...
April 27, 2006
Where Spellbound generated crackling suspense in its competition climax, Akeelah is virtually suspense-free, even with an attempt to wring a twist on its pre-determined outcome.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 27, 2006
An old-fashioned but thoroughly good-hearted tale of academics, achievement and uplift ...
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 27, 2006
... a film that makes studying Latin-root flash cards seem like a cool afterschool activity ...
April 27, 2006
Even though their movie is more like Akeelah and the B-Plus, Fishburne, Bassett and Palmer spell quality.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 27, 2006
... a feel-good movie that also feels genuine, even when it's at its most rah-rah.
Read More | Original Score: A-
April 27, 2006
If [director] Atchison's well-acted, good-intentioned crowd-pleaser can trick even one moviegoer into thinking that knowledge and spelling are somehow cool, then his film will be performing a societal good that offsets its slack reliance on formula.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
April 25, 2006
Beneath its sentimental exterior, this film is Foucauldian enough to take seriously the idea that knowledge is power.
April 19, 2006
Akeelah and the Bee may spell it out for you, but it pulls few punches in its depiction of the hurdles a verbally gifted South Central L.A. 11-year-old (Keke Palmer) must clear.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 17, 2006
Everybody has their moment.
March 30, 2006
Palmer soars, carrying writer/director Doug Atchison's film on new 'tween wings.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 22, 2006
Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
March 20, 2006
Overly calculated yet undeniably potent.