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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 219
Fresh: 200
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: Precious is a grim yet ultimately triumphant film about abuse and inner-city life, largely bolstered by exceptional performances from its cast.

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 39
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Precious is a grim yet ultimately triumphant film about abuse and inner-city life, largely bolstered by exceptional performances from its cast.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 139,848


Movie Info

Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels follows up his 2005 directorial debut, Shadowboxer, with this adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel about an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers an alternate path in life after she begins attending a new school. Clareece "Precious" Jones is only a teenager, yet she's about to give birth to her second child. Unable to read or write, Clareece shows little prospect for the future until discovering that she has been … More

R (for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Damien Paul
In Theaters:
Mar 9, 2010
Box Office:
Lionsgate Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (200) | Rotten (19) | DVD (7)

The remarkable Sidibe is one of several daring casting choices by director Lee Daniels.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Top Critic

Precious is an emotional powerhouse, a triumph of bruising humor and bracing hope that deserves its place among the year's best films.

Full Review… | February 2, 2011
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A film full of life and love, well-meaning and, judging by the reaction in the US, a genuine and important phenomenon that says act - don't dwell - on your dreams.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Avoiding the conventional tricks of lifting an audience up, the movie looks into this girl's wide, brown face and her bleak little life and sees, despite everything, a reason to live.

Full Review… | November 24, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

If you do watch -- and you certainly should -- you will see one of the most remarkable performances ever set to film, given by Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe.

Full Review… | November 20, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

It melodramatizes everything and yet its overall effect is something more than melodrama.

Full Review… | November 20, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Its flaws are more so of the executional than the conceptual kind, the whole more than the sum of its parts.

Full Review… | February 3, 2013
Projection Booth

The bottom line is that you've never seen anything quite like this -- in its highs, its lows, its gaffes, its embarrassments or its uplift.

Full Review… | April 3, 2012
Time Out Chicago

Sidibe's Susan Boyle moment of misdirected public pity notwithstanding, hers is a rare and welcome presence in American independent film.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Sacramento News & Review

The story's world is stacked against Precious, and the movie's marketing engine is stacked against Sidibe, but in some ways those structures explain why we're hearing about this young woman in the first place.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Paste Magazine

While Mo'Nique's performance is the barnburner, it is Sidibe and her classmates who resonate, who inhabit a world outside of themselves and their wretched fiefdoms.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

While Precious certainly looks the part of the powerful award-worthy drama, it does very little to convince the audience that it actually is.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

It's probably one of the most important films of the year.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

A powerful, deeply moving film that drives an arrow straight through your heart.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Gabourey Sidibe plays the title character and if she wasn't an actor before this, she sure is now.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Mo'Nique isn't just a box-office draw here, she is a snarling, disaffected she-demon...

Full Review… | February 3, 2011
What Culture

Precious ... [achieves] moments of haunting, devastating power, yet too often [lapses] into laughably ridiculous melodrama ... Precious is no easy ride. As far as harrowing films go, it makes The Road seem like The Wiz.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010

This isn't The Biggest Loser, where self-esteem is measures in kilos, but this is in fact a film about a teacher nurturing a young woman's mind and soul, carrying the torch of films like To Sir With Love, Stand and Deliver, and Dangerous Minds.

July 4, 2010

Sidibe fearlessly embodies a member of society that deserves recognition. Illiteracy, obesity and abuse are tragic and uncomfortable realities that Precious goes a long way to demystify.

Full Review… | April 14, 2010
Concrete Playground

Propelled forward by tremendous performances, Precious is a pedestrian exploration of social themes and mental, physical and sexual abuse.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
Cinema Sight

Most notable for the performances of newcomer and Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique,as her abusive mother. Set in 1980s Harlem, the film would be just another inspirational tearjerker were it not for the dedication of the performers and the visua

Full Review… | March 13, 2010
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The fetid insanity of it all seems appropriate given the circumstances.

Full Review… | March 7, 2010
Projection Booth

It's a simple story, told well with some blinding performances.

Full Review… | February 25, 2010
Triple J

Un drama duro, conmovedor, que rescata la importancia de la solidaridad y la asistencia social ante la desesperanza. Hay un increíble duelo actoral entre Mo'Nique y Gabourey Sidibe, dos de las mayores revelaciones actorales del año.

Full Review… | February 18, 2010
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

A brave and uncompromising drama that avoids any 'Hollywood' sugar-coating and says exactly what it want to say. Sidibe is great in the title role but it's Mo'Nique's terrifying performance that really steals the show. Some of the reactions and gasps that came from the audience when I saw it could have easily been mistaken for those that a gory horror film would usually warrant. The script was very good and the direction was competent, was it Oscar worthy? Hmm, not sure about that but then again, Oscars don't mean as much as they used to! Still, a good film and highly recommended!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Deriving from some controversial source material, "Precious" is a very well made picture with performances that will blow your mind. It is definitely a film for people with strong stomaches and someone who can cope well with watching or hearing about rape. It revolves around the life of Clareece, an abused teenager who has never gone to school and is raped by her father to birth children into the family. Her transformation out of the family is really what the core of this movie is about, and it is shown with pure wonder, with some very cool stylistic techniques and questionable editing. This film feels a little too explicit at times, but I loved watching it, and it's very commendable. Definitely worth it's praise!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


'Precious' should probably be rated higher than 2 1/2 stars, but I found the movie so depressing. I prefer my entertainment less realistic than this I guess.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Quotes

Pretty Blond Girl:
Like, oh, teah...I'm the shit. This fat bitch wishes she was me.
– Submitted by Mercedes B (2 years ago)
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
What? What?
– Submitted by Anthony A (2 years ago)
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
Some folks has a lot of things around them that shines for other peoples. I think that maybe some of them was in tunnels. And in that tunnel, the only light they had, was inside of them. And then long after they escape that tunnel, they sitll be shining for everybody else.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
F for fat. [Precious smacks her in the face twice and everyone screams in excitement]
Ms. Rain:
Hey! Hey! Quit!
Fuck her up!
What the fuck!?
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
What? What?
Ms. Rain:
Quit it!
[at Joann] Shut the fuck up! [at Ms. Rain] She just slapped me!
Ms. Rain:
[at Consuelo] Get out! [at Precious] We don't fight in my class.
– Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)
KFC Cashier:
What you want, baby?
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
Give me a basket, please.
KFC Cashier:
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
I don know yet, still thinking about it. Gotta watch my figur.
KFC Cashier:
Bouchell, you got a ten piece ready?
Clareece "Precious" Jones:
[Precious looks around for a bit at the people and the time. Cashier comes back with basket of chicken] Potato Salad. Thank you. [Precious runs off without paying]
KFC Cashier:
Oh hell no she didn't! Uh-uh! Get her ass! Get that big bitch!
– Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)
Consuelo is a slut, Joann is not a slut.
You da one who's da hoe up in here! I don't know who you call---
Perfect, you get a gold star! [everyone laughs]
– Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)

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