Akeelah and the Bee

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Released: 

2006

Runtime: 

1 hr 52 mins

Critics Score: 

83

Star Rating: 

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Details

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 is a smart girl, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah decides to participate 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 Dr. Larabee, an English professor, 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. First Akeelah has to overcome her insecurities, her distracting home life, and the knowledge that there is a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers.

Critics Consensus: 

Although predictable in every way, a winning performance from its young star Keke Palmer and the rest of the cast makes it difficult not to cheer for the little heroine of Akeelah and the Bee. Sort of like Rocky for the middle school nerd set, Akeelah is a warm, family-friendly underdog story, featuring terrific supporting performances from Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.
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