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

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



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

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Trailers & Photos

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 accepted into an alternative school. There, with a little help from a sympathetic teacher (Paula Patton) and a kindly nurse (Lenny Kravitiz), the young girl receives something that most teens never get -- a chance to start over. Mo'nique co-stars in an inspirational drama featuring the debut performance of screen newcomer Gabourey "Gabbie" Sidibe. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lee Daniels, Geoffrey S. Fletcher, Damien Paul
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 9, 2010
Box Office: $47.5M
Lionsgate Films - Official Site


Paula Patton
as Ms. Rain
Mariah Carey
as Mrs. Weiss
Lenny Kravitz
as Nurse John
Aunt Dot
as Toosie
Nealla Gordon
as Mrs. Lichtenstein
Grace Hightower
as Social Worker
Barret Mindell
as Tom Cruise
Bill Sage
as Mr. Wicher
Susan L. Taylor
as Fairy Godmother
Kendall Toombs
as Abdul, newborn
Alexander Toombs
as Abdul, newborn
Cory Davis
as Abdul, 9 months
Sapphire Boyce
as Day Care Woman
Linda Watson
as Female Clerk
Emani Reid
as Girl #1
Ashley Livingston
as Girl With Jermaine
Maurizio Arseni
as Italian Language Ins...
as KFC Cashier
Joye Davoren
as Lady #2
Silje Vallevik
as Pretty Blond Girl
Ephraim Benton
as Skinny Boy #1
Shortee Redd
as Skinny Boy #2
Timothy Allen Smith
as Skinny Boy #3
Kola Ogundrian
as Skinny Man
Christopher Joseph
as Unruly Boy #1
Victor Woodley
as Unruly Boy #2
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

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

All Critics (221) | Top Critics (44)

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

It's amazing how the film turns out to be infinitely moving in spite of Mr. Daniels's stylistic self-destruct.

Full Review… | October 7, 2015
Critic's Notebook

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

It is a classical tragedy in the Greek sense, and runs its characters (and viewers) through a wringer of pity and terror on the way to its devastating catharsis.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

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

The greatest achievement of this bleak drama is how it makes us sympathize with a character that could have been easily stereotyped if played by a not-so-great actress, but Sidibe is superb as well as Mo'Nique, who shines as the selfish mother.

Carlos Magalh„es

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: 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 (3 years ago)
Clareece "Precious" Jones: What? What?
– Submitted by Anthony A (4 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 (4 years ago)
Consuelo: F for fat. [Precious smacks her in the face twice and everyone screams in excitement]
Ms. Rain: Hey! Hey! Quit!
Rhonda: Fuck her up!
Consuelo: What the fuck!?
Clareece "Precious" Jones: What? What?
Ms. Rain: Quit it!
Consuelo: [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 (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire on our Movie forum!