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

tomatometer

91

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

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

91

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

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

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 139,651

My Rating

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

R,

Drama

Damien Paul

Mar 9, 2010

$47.5M

Lionsgate Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

July 21, 2011:
Mo'Nique Gets Bumped
She'll follow her Oscar-winning turn in "Precious" with an indie dramedy about airplane passengers...
July 12, 2011:
John Cusack Is The Paperboy
Presumably wants more than two dollars to take over for Tobey Maguire in Lee Daniels' drama.

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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.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comments (2)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
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.

April 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
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.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
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.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

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

February 3, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
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.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

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
Screenwize

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.

April 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground | Comment (1)
Concrete Playground

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

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight | Comments (2)
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

March 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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

March 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

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

February 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Triple J | Comments (3)
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.

February 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

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

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
June 15, 2014
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!
March 8, 2013
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.
June 30, 2012
Redlats

Super Reviewer

Clareece 'Precious' Jones: Please don't lie to me, Ms. Rain! Love ain't done nothing for me... but beat me... rape me... call me an animal! Make me feel worthless! Make me sick! 

"Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is... Precious."

Feel good entertainment Precious is not. This is a film of excruciating heartache and depression. The story of Precious Jones is not one that will make you happy. What it will do is make you feel compassion for a character that has gone through terrible things, yet tries to better her life and make changes, not just for herself, but for her kids also. The film is painful to watch, as it is relentless in telling the story of Precious. Lee Daniels directs it with incredible subtlety when you look at the material. It could have been handled in a more over the top way, but Daniels does a perfect job in balancing everything out. Where the film takes off is with the performances. There isn't a bad one in the film. Monique obviously won an Oscar for her superb performance, but there were a few others that were nearly as good. 

Precious(the film) tells the story of Precious(the 16 year old girl). Precious lives in poverty with a mother that is physically and emotionally abusive. She also is pregnant with her second child. If it isn't bad enough that a 16 year old girl would have two kids; they both are the result of her father raping her. Precious is kicked out of her normal school for being pregnant and finds refuge in an alternative school and a teacher that pushes her to learn and to change her life. The synopsis tells it all. This is not the sort of story you watch for enjoyment. It should take an emotional toll on you. It sure did me. Going away from the subject material, there is a lot to like in the way the making of the film was handled. Lee Daniels direction is solid. I love the independent approach to the movie, with the camerawork, but especially with the casting decisions. All the cast members aren't what you'd expect to be watching in a movie this good. They are all bold choices, and that's what really set the movie apart. This cast ended up being nothing short of perfect.

This is a film that I would recommend, but it is also one that I would caution some on watching. Is it a really good movie? Yeah. But the subject matter could be too much for some people. Even though the film isn't really about the incest or the abuse; it may be too depressing or heart wrenching for some to handle. If you can get over that though, you are in for a film of immense power.  
June 6, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Pretty Blond Girl: Like, oh, teah...I'm the shit. This fat bitch wishes she was me.
    – Submitted by Mercedes B (22 months ago)
    1. Clareece "Precious" Jones: What? What?
    – Submitted by Anthony A (2 years ago)
    1. 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)
    1. Consuelo: F for fat. [Precious smacks her in the face twice and everyone screams in excitement]
    2. Ms. Rain: Hey! Hey! Quit!
    3. Rhonda: Fuck her up!
    4. Consuelo: What the fuck!?
    5. Clareece "Precious" Jones: What? What?
    6. Ms. Rain: Quit it!
    7. Consuelo: [at Joann] Shut the fuck up! [at Ms. Rain] She just slapped me!
    8. Ms. Rain: [at Consuelo] Get out! [at Precious] We don't fight in my class.
    – Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)
    1. KFC Cashier: What you want, baby?
    2. Clareece "Precious" Jones: Give me a basket, please.
    3. KFC Cashier: Sides?
    4. Clareece "Precious" Jones: I don know yet, still thinking about it. Gotta watch my figur.
    5. KFC Cashier: Bouchell, you got a ten piece ready?
    6. 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]
    7. KFC Cashier: Oh hell no she didn't! Uh-uh! Get her ass! Get that big bitch!
    – Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)
    1. Joann: Consuelo is a slut, Joann is not a slut.
    2. Consuelo: You da one who's da hoe up in here! I don't know who you call---
    3. Rhonda: Perfect, you get a gold star! [everyone laughs]
    – Submitted by Nhia T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (21)

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