• Spellbound (2002)


Release Date: 2002

DVD Release Date: January 20th, 2004

G |1 hr 37 min

Plot Summary

Eight youthful competitors, sponsored by their hometown newspapers, travel with their families to Washington, D.C., to compete in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Now in the national spotlight and under heavy pressure to perform from parents, teachers and their audience, the children struggle to advance toward the championship -- and its accompanying scholarships and cash prizes -- while approaching competitive spelling with the focus and intensity of Olympic athletes.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Genres: Documentary

Production Co: Blitz/Welch

Keywords: Hotel, 1990s, Charming, Underdog, Family, Growing up, Rivalry, Quest, Competition, Inspiring

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Ty BurrBoston Globe

    At its most unsettling level, Spellbound asks us to consider what words are for and what childhood should be. It's as profound as anything you'll see this year, and, yes, it should have won the Oscar. show more

  • 80
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    More to the point of this marvelous film, who knew there were kids as heroic, in their various ways, as these valiant super-spellers?

  • 100
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Resembles a Christopher Guest movie in that it follows obsessed, socially awkward folks on a seminal journey in their lives. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Documentary (Feature)