Parents' Guide to

The Secret Life of Bees

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

1960s-set family drama tackles weighty issues.

Movie PG-13 2008 110 minutes
The Secret Life of Bees Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+


This is a hard movie about family. For mature teens really good movie and it is good to make your kids watch this when they are young this talks a lot about what people go threw with life about 50 years ago. With people who don’t get treated equally because they are black. And a kid who gets abused but goes to a house that welcomes her and is connected to her mother 1 death with a sister who was depressed and was so sad that her sister had died then you had to guess what was wrong probably after she didn’t think as clear as she may have before. The main character kills her mother when she was four with a gun that was laying around she didn’t know what it would do. The main character learns about her past and learns that she was loved. She went from having NO mother’s to having THREE!!!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 12+

The Secret life of bees

The Secret life of bees: Language: 6/10- Mild language spoken sometimes such as, "D--n", "A-a", and "Hell" characters mention the "N" word for threatening African Americans. Characters speak rudely to each other. Sexual Content: 3/10- 2 Adults kiss multiple times. And 2 teenagers share a long kiss with each other. Violence: 6/10- African Americans are treated poorly by being beaten up and punched. A father abuses his wife and daughter. A girl accidentally shot her mother. And a lady commits suicide because of a mental illness. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco use/references: 4/10- A father is shown drinking beer in a couple of scenes, he also is shown smoking, following with other characters. I would rate this movie PG-13 - Strong violence and language, and some drug material.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (25):

Director/writer Gina Prince-Bythewood is nothing if not earnest in her attempt to bring Sue Monk Kidd's heartwarming novel to the screen. The visuals in THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES pay tribute to the beauty of the South, its warm "honey" tones and thick, sweet air. The music is particularly wonderful and enriches the film's emotional core.

But it's not a fully successful dramatization because the movie's heroes are almost all saintly and perfect, speaking in timeless homilies and maxims. The villains, on the other hand, are unrelentingly bad. Only Lily has the nuance of character that makes a movie more a work of art than a lesson to be learned.

Movie Details

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