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Still shot from the movie: The Secret Life of Bees.

The Secret Life of Bees

Runaway Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) thinks she has found the sweet life when she and her friend Rosaleen Daise (Jennifer Hudson) take refuge with three sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo) who operate a honey business. But a white girl living with the black family in 1964 South Carolina soon draws attention and the fourteen-year-old finds herself facing the sting of racial prejudice, as well as revisiting the bitterness of her past. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A-
Violence: C
Sexual Content: B+
Language: C
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Run Time: 110
Theater Release: 17 Oct 2008
Video Release: 03 Feb 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Why Is The Secret Life of Bees Rated PG-13?


Serious themes of domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse (no sexual abuse is implied) as well as racial prejudice are explored. A character commits suicide by drowning after succumbing to overwhelming grief (the body is shown). A man and wife wrestle during a domestic dispute, which escalates when a gun is introduced. After the weapon is dropped during the ensuing struggle, it is picked up by a young child and accidentally fired. Although a death results, only a gunshot is heard. A father harshly punishes his daughter by pushing her around and forcing her to kneel for an extended time on a grit-covered floor causing her knees to bleed. Two black characters are harassed and beaten by whites. Both sustain injuries including bruises, bloody cuts and abrasions. An interracial romantic interest develops between teens (brief kisses are exchanged). Several passionate kisses are shown. A father questions his daughter’s sexual behavior, and an unwed pregnancy is mentioned. A character is shown drinking alcohol.The script includes some mild and moderate profanities, along with the use of terms of Christian Deity as expletives.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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