Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Reviews

Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 4, 2011
The remarkable Sidibe is one of several daring casting choices by director Lee Daniels.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 2, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
February 2, 2010
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 24, 2009
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 20, 2009
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 | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 20, 2009
It melodramatizes everything and yet its overall effect is something more than melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 20, 2009
Mo'Nique plunges headfirst into a moral abyss that makes her frightening.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 20, 2009
The picture painted by director Lee Daniels is almost unbearably bleak, but it feels completely honest. It's indeed relentless, but also transfixing and ultimately transformative.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 19, 2009
Despite the film's clear social conscience and sympathy for the community it portrays, Precious never panders for compassion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 19, 2009
No, Precious is not an easy sit, and isn't meant to be. But it's a film of remarkable strength and poignancy, filled with vivid performances that stay with you long after you've left the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
November 19, 2009
You can feel Daniels struggling to trust his mighty goddesses to carry the film. (He wedges in shots of boiling pigs feet to make sure we're queasy.)
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 19, 2009
Precious stacks the deck so high against its protagonist that in almost any other movie, she would come off as a helpless victim.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 18, 2009
Director Lee Daniels takes us on a journey -- letting us look down our noses at this misshapen lump of a girl with contempt and pity. But Sidibe plays shadings of strength underneath that eventually win our grudging respect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
November 13, 2009
What a triumph of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 13, 2009
The real star of this show is director Lee Daniels. He's the one who conjures the film's eerie mix of kitchen-sink realism and gothic symbolism, its deft back-and-forth between the horrific and the sublime.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
November 13, 2009
[I]f Precious has a crucial flaw, it is that it is at once too bleak and too hopeful in its closing scenes: too bleak in the history it unearths, and too hopeful that the mere fact of the unearthing will make that history go away.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 13, 2009
Surely qualifies as the most painful, poetic and improbably beautiful film of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 12, 2009
Harrowing and marked by heroic performances, Lee Daniels' Precious looks squarely in the wounded eyes of its title character and sees a girl with poetry in her.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 12, 2009
It's hard to be unmoved by Precious' determination. Despite its melodramatic moments, remarkable performances drive home the film's inspiring message.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
November 6, 2009
One that you hope will not be dismissed as too difficult, because it should not be missed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 6, 2009
The girl's story is almost unbearably painful, and when Precious finally reclaims her dignity and self-worth, her accomplishment seems genuinely heroic.
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
November 6, 2009
This remarkable, first-time actress makes Clareece truly precious, a full-fledged member of the human tribe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 6, 2009
Believe the hype.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 6, 2009
A hybrid, a mash-up that might have been ungainly, but that manages to be graceful instead.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 6, 2009
Daniels is not a subtle director, and he encourages Mo'Nique's powerful expansiveness. But it's much harder to act quietly than loudly, as Sidibe must do, and her still grace should not be mistaken for blankness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 5, 2009
This is an exceptional film about nearly unendurable circumstances, endured. You will come out the other side of it a markedly enriched filmgoer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 5, 2009
This is a fine movie, and a deep one. It's about unearthing buried treasure.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
November 5, 2009
In offering up their heroine's misery for the audience's delectation, they've created something uncomfortably close to poverty porn.
Top Critic
November 5, 2009
Daniels may be indulging in stunt casting, and slamming plot points home with sledgehammer subtlety, but the film's milieu and characters feel alarmingly real. And its story ends up packing an emotional wallop.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 5, 2009
The whole thing begins to feel like The Color Purple as rewritten for a poetry slam, heaping on the abuse like a horror film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
November 5, 2009
Precious punishes the audience with scene after scene of squalor and hopelessness, but like last year's poverty-can-be-entertaining hit Slumdog Millionaire, it rewards them for hanging on 'til the end.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 5, 2009
There are pitfalls inherent in this kind of story, but indie director Lee Daniels sidesteps them, crafting a feature that is both emotionally honest and stirring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 5, 2009
The film is a tribute to Sidibe's ability to engage our empathy. Her work is still another demonstration of the mystery of some actors, who evoke feelings in ways beyond words and techniques.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 4, 2009
Precious captures how a lost girl rouses herself from the dead, and Daniels shows unflinching courage as a filmmaker by going this deep into the pathologies that may still linger in the closets of some impoverished inner-city lives.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 4, 2009
Given the months-long hype, what's most bewildering about Sundance sensation Precious is its overall shrug-worthiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 3, 2009
Lee Daniels, in just his second film as director, crafts a story that rises from the depths of despair to a place of genuine hope.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
November 3, 2009
A former casting director, Daniels shows undeniable savoir faire with his actors, a mix of musicians and comedians effectively cast against type.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
At the Movies
November 2, 2009
While the director, Lee Daniels, does not shy away from the grimmest elements of the story, his eclectic filmmaking style is almost exhilarating, finding room for fantasy, operatic melodrama, and authentic humor.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 2, 2009
What rescues Precious is the performance of Mo'Nique as Mary, the heroine's Medusa-like mother.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 2, 2009
Daniels does everything to hold the melodrama at bay, but there's only so much he can do.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
September 16, 2009
It's a once-in-a-blue-moon experience that tests the boundaries of film, with an electrifying, positively Oscar-worthy performance by salty stand-up comic Mo'Nique, as the most monstrous mother on the planet.
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 14, 2009
Raw, moving and somewhat akin to having a piano dropped on your head, Precious is a fable of abuse and redemption.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Variety
May 15, 2009
An urban nightmare with a surfeit of soul, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" is like a diamond -- clear, bright, but oh so hard.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
May 15, 2009
An overwhelming, masterful dramatic competition entrant, this Lee Daniels film may have no bounds in the awards categories.