Search - Akeelah and the Bee (Widescreen Edition) on DVD

Akeelah and the Bee (Widescreen Edition)
Akeelah and the Bee
Widescreen Edition
Actors: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Curtis Armstrong, J.R. Villarreal
Director: Doug Atchison
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, African American Cinema
PG     2006     1hr 52min

An inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee is the story of Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), a precocious eleven-year-old girl from south Los Angeles with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother Tanya (Angela...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Curtis Armstrong, J.R. Villarreal
Director: Doug Atchison
Creators: M. David Mullen, Glenn Farr, Michael Burns, Marc Butan
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Family Films, African American Cinema
Studio: Lionsgate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/29/2006
Original Release Date: 04/28/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 04/28/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Shonessi T. (Shonessi) from OMAHA, NE
Reviewed on 3/9/2018...
Excellent movie, I was cheering for Akeelah the entire movie! Love it!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Christine F. from MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Reviewed on 9/16/2013...
loved the movie
Alice B. from SANDY, UT
Reviewed on 6/11/2013...
This movie is an excellent Family Feature Film. Akeelah is from a poor home, but has a gift for spelling words. Laurence Fishburne, a professor as well as her principal and neighbors tutor her in spelling and she goes to the national spelling bee to compete. A great film for any age! Akeelah makes it to the national spelling bee to compete against a wealthy boy who has had a;all the advantages in life can she win against him?
Shannon W.
Reviewed on 1/14/2013...
I may be the only one who did not like this movie. I was only able to watch half of it.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

You have nothing to fear but fear itself.
K A Goode | Nashville, TN | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having just returned from this movie at midnight, well after my normal bedtime, I am encouraged. This movie is not just about spelling bees, albieit interesting to me; as I love spelling.

It is more about finding out for yourself who you are and what you are capable of, there will always be issues associated with race, class and a laundry list of other things but what matters more than those things is H-E-A-R-T and where you choose to put yours.
This film is very much about realizing that in spite of all things we must find a cause and dig in deeply until we have satisfied our quest.
Life rewards action, make careful decisions and act!

The choices that we make today have a long reaching impact and recognizing that this film should remind people that life is not a spectator sport; It's meant to be interactive.
Whatever it takes, find out who you are and what you are made of in spite of your fears. You'll be surprised who and what you find on the other side of fear.

"I'll brook no nonsense!"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Akeelah And the Bee is so warm and heart-wrenching, so full of power and emotion that you can forgive the film for being formulaic and deliberately tugging at the heartstrings. Featuring a truly bravura performance by the young Keke Palmer is Akeelah, this film is one of the best feel-good family movies to come along in years and certainly one of the best films of 2006.

Akeelah (Palmer) is an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Crenshaw Middle School in South Los Angeles, she's bright - she even aces all the class spelling tests - but she has a bit of an attitude problem, partly caused by the unmotivated feeling of those around her, and the idea that to be intelligent is not considered "cool."

But deep down Akeelah loves words and it's something she shared with her late father. Avella's mom, Tanya (Angela Bassett), is too busy trying to keep her life and family together to pay much attention. She has one young son flirting with being a gangbanger and another son is doing well in the Air Force, so Tanya just doesn't want to be bothered with what she views as the foolishness of spelling competitions.

Spurred on by the school principal (Curtis Armstrong) Akeelah is encouraged to enter the Crenshaw school spelling bee, even though she doesn't really want to do it. She of course wins, and but she's going to need help if she wants to make it through other contests. She finds a mentor in the somber Dr. Larabee (Lawrence Fishburne) who is on sabbatical from his position as chairman of the UCLA English department and has a lot of time on his hands.

From the outset these two very different people are destined to clash. He views her as insolent; and she sees no reason to be interested in the broader cultural education he wants her to master in addition to spelling. However, they soon warm to each other and Akeelah immerses herself in the world of spelling where she meets fellow contestants Javier (J.R. Villarreal) is a gregarious Latino with supportive parents and the mechanical Dylan (Sean Michael Afable) who is being pressured to win the Bee by his humorless and stern Asian American father.

Will Akeelah make it to the National Spelling Bee in Washington? And will Tanya eventually come around and support her daughter's efforts? The evolving relationship between Akeelah and her mentor forms the core of this movie, as Dr. Larabee tries to temper Akeelah's fears.

But the biggest surprise comes at the end where writer-director Doug Atchison surprisingly deviates from the tried and true formula. The outcome depends not on who will win the bee, necessarily - but on the moral and ethical choices that our young heroine makes.

Atchison occasionally piles on the melodrama a bit thick, but he gets away with it because his cast is so good, especially the young Keke Palmer, who should indeed get an Oscar nomination for this. You expect nothing but emotional truth and top-notch performances from Fishburne and Bassett, but it's the young Palmer who wins your heart with a feat of acting that's so completely honest and free of affectation. Mike Leonard August 06.
I'm a sucker for a good montage sequence
My Uncle Stu | Boston | 07/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

There are too few good family films around these days. Some of the kid's movies peddled by the major studios are okay, but they mostly try to appeal to adults by being saturated with snarky in-jokes and cultural references that only adults would get. I guess we are suppose to giggle demurely when the writers throw us a little treat right over our children's heads. They then try to appeal to kids with flatulence humor (which I'm all for by the way), by completely overpowering their senses, and, of course, the melodramatically enhanced death of a parent, which I guess is suppose to hook the young viewers by setting up some sort of repetition compulsion.

Akeela and the Spelling Bee is a breath of fresh air. It is a beautiful story that focuses on a young girl gaining confidence and a sense of mastery through working hard, using her natural gifts, and an impressive display of resilience. There are good messages in the film. Every character set up to be a villain is ultimately redeemed by Akeela's unflappable grace and inability to be seduced by thoughts of retribution. You do have the death of a parent as part of the backstory, but it is not played up in that manipulative lets-traumatize-the-children Disney style. It is there as a necessary part of explaining Akeela's character and the complexities in her bond with her coach.

And, you get montage sequences of Akeela cramming for the spelling bee. Not just one, but three. I always love that in a movie, when the music starts and you just see brief clips of the character studying in various settings. Many is the time in my own life that I gutted through exam preparation by dissociating to my own little montage sequence.

Some critics have focused on clichés in the movie. But they are not clichés to little kids who haven't spent the bulk of their time deconstructing cinema. And they aren't clichés to parents who can make a vicarious, playful connection with their kids and just take the movie at face value. In the end, your kids will love this movie and, if you let yourself get swept into it, you too will find yourself both inspired and entertained."