Akeelah and the Bee

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer. Inspirational family drama. Written & directed by Doug Atchison.

Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is a precocious eleven-year-old from south Los Angeles with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother (Angela Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contests, for which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), her principal, Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong) and the proud residents of her neighborhood. Akeelahs aptitude earns her an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and in turn unites her neighborhood, which witnesses the courage and inspiration of one amazing little girl.Akeelah and the Bee is smartly written, uplifting and charming; a film about healing of the heart and one that reminds viewers of our obligation concerning the maintenance of language. The film has several positive messages, including caring and sacrificing for others. It also reminds each of us that while there are dark valleys we must go through on our travels through life, green pastures also lay ahead. Akeelah and the Bee is a gentle, amusing and very touching film.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Lionsgate/Starbucks Entertainment

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: The lead is instructed not to use ghetto talk, but to use language respectfully.

Obscene Language: 2 uses of the s-word and four or five minor expletives such as damn and hell.

Profanity: None

Violence: Two girl bullies beat Akeelah, but she is not injured.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Both Akeelah and her mentor have lost loved ones, her father to a stray bullet, his son to sickness. There are dramatic discussions concerning these deaths, but they are designed to help heal kids dealing with similar tragedies.

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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