As it turns out, Akeelah starts and stops exactly like you think it will. You know she's a gifted speller, you know she's going to have a smart mentor, and you know there's going to be obstacles on her way to the national spelling competition. Whether or not you enjoy the ride is dependent on how you feel about little Keke Palmer. If you like her, then you'll enjoy the movie, because make no mistake about it, this is her film. She's in every scene and the film is totally reliant on her likeability. On screen, I don't have feelings one way or the other. She is talented enough, but I found her situations to be cliché and boring. We've all seen the movie about the struggling kid from the city and their attempts to chase their dreams.
The rest of the performances were average. I always feel Angela Bassett over-acts every role she has, and she didn't prove me wrong here. The direction and screen writing was very average and you won't find anything new. I will say that young kids will enjoy this film. It's a wholesome, mildly uplifting story that shouldn't offend or surprise anyone. It's always nice to see kids overcome obstacles and achieve success.
Two Peas in a Pod (4:20): This is an entire feature dedicated to showing how Keke and the director got along so well. I highly recommend watching the movie first, because after this, you’re going to find Keke extremely annoying.
Inside the Mind of Akeelah (7:03): This is kind of interesting because it breaks down particular scenes and shows the interaction between the director and Keke. However, it would’ve been better to combine it with the previous one since it piggy-backs on their relationship.
Deleted Scenes (3:49): These weren’t very good and all of them deserved to be cut. Akeelah dragged at times anyway, and these would’ve made it worse.
There are also some Previews and a Music video