Despite her natural talent, 11-year-old Akeelah (Keke Palmer) is reluctant to enter a local spelling bee for fear of being ridiculed at her South Central Los Angeles school. After winning several competitions, she's gained a tough but fair tutor (Laurence Fishburne) and a shot at the nationals. Although her mother (Angela Bassett) initially objects, Akeelah's victories serve as a galvanizing force in her troubled neighborhood. Curtis Armstrong also stars. 112 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, Spanish; "making of" documentary; featurettes; deleted scenes; music video.