By Scott Brown
April 19, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Akeelah and the Bee

B+
type
  • Movie
Genre

An inspirational spelling bee movie, with a buoyant up-from-the-hood agenda? 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 to compete in a field dominated by wealthier white and Asian superachievers. Blessed with excellent turns by Angela Bassett (as Akeelah’s wary mother) and Laurence Fishburne (her flinty mentor), this feel-gooder revels in its hip-to-be-square hyperliteracy, and neatly exceeds its own PSA-ness, practically amounting to a black, preteen Good Will Hunting.

Akeelah and the Bee

type
  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • PG
runtime
  • 112 minutes
director
Performers
Studio
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  • Akeelah and the Bee
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