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

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 22, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2013
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!
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2012
'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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2012
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.  
paul o.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2012
The film feels like a knife in my chest. There are just some scenes that break down your inner soul and makes you want to go into the fetal position. Definitely worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ November 21, 2009
i honestly cant tell if this is a Tyler Perry movie or something serious... either way ill pass
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2010
Good film! Powerful and touching at times. Mo'Nique received a lot of praise for her performance here and it's for a good reason; she gives a really great performance. I also loved Paula Patton and Mariah Carey's performances. Overall a solid film about the hardships in life. Maybe a little overrated, but still good. I loved the classroom scenes.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
Not as good as I'd expected based on what I'd heard, but it's stuck with me since I saw it. I envy Precious in that she was able to find out why her mom had hated and abused her for years, cause I know I'll never find out why mine did the same to me. The actress who plays Precious's mom deserved the awards she got, cause she did an excellent job!
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2011
Well made, watchable, even riveting at times, but sheesh. Precious is a 16 year old girl pregnant with her second child by her father. Her mother (Mo'Nique) is a violent, loud and ignorant woman who also sexually abuses the daughter. The first child Precious had was born with down syndrome, so her mother named it "Mongo". Precious is also picked on at school and considers herself to be dirt. That is until her principal recommends a special school for her where she might get some individual treatment from her teacher (Paula Patton). The teacher has the students write in a journal every day as a means of communicating their feelings (I guess).

Precious is like a blunt object used to batter you about the head and make you cry. It's unapologetically anti-male: they're either sexual objects (like male nurse Lenny Kravitz) or brutes who attack and rape. Even the awful mom is sort of portrayed as the pitiful victim of her man's abuse. And it stands to reason, her super awesome teacher who helps her the most is a lesbian, of course. At times, all the drama dips down into comedy, and no, I'm not laughing with, I'm laughing at. Still, of all the movies made about inner cities and disenfranchised people of color, this is probably the best one I've seen.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2011
Precious is a moving and heartfelt story that many people can relate too. The story doesn't change topic, it doesn't ever become dull or boring, and I almost immediately was interested with the plot and characters. The acting was great, all the actresses were incredible and this is possibly one of the best casts in recent years, I truly think they deserved all their praise. The way the film flows and tells its story so great is just one way of telling you how much this movie is incredible, and I highly recommend you see it right away.
Matthew Roe
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2011
This film is both innovative and downright gross. The story surrounding this girl is something that you wouldn't even expect in Shakespearean tragedy. The style of the film compliments the idea of imagination taking you away from the harshness of reality, but also utilizing those fantasies for the purpose of further striving in your life. It is a powerful story delivered by the most unlikely cast of actors, and for once, something with Tyler Perry's name on it doesn't send me howling away in anger. The celebrity appearances I am sure was originally there to secure financing for the film, but they really do a superb job. I didn't even realize who Lenny Kravitz or Mariah Carey played until I looked at the credits. Gabourey Sidibe is absolutely amazing in the title role and Mo'Nique was equally powerful and believable. From the horrible things that happen to Precious mounting up as the film goes on, to the utter brutality and debauchery of her life's surroundings, this film is rather unpleasant to watch, but it is so gripping and real, that you find a way to muscle through it. And what truly made this film work was the decisive and jaw-dropping third act, where everything just falls into its place and you feel the most repugnant form of bittersweet feelings as the credits role. Unbelievable.
Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2009
An entirely over-rated, melodramatic mess of a movie that features outstanding performances but an out-of-control story. Seriously Academy? This was BEST PICTURE nominee worthy? This picture is a piece of trash. Much like another Lee Daniels film, "Monster's Ball", it follows the thought-process of "If it looks like it couldn't get worse than it already is - it can". Unlike "Monster's Ball", which featured a realistic outlook and a structured storyline, this film introduces the cliches left and right that you'd find in a Hallmark movie. It also packs in every horrible situation possible into a year or so time frame. Incest, AIDS, rape, the ghetto scene, horrible home lives, domestic violence - you name it, it's there.

There are some nice stylistic additions that Daniels inserts (fully capturing Precious's fantasies), but they're wasted on a story that manipulates its audience from the get-go into feeling sorry for this girl. You add in some sketchy camera work, sometimes overbearing music, and melodramatic scenes that aim for subtle power but instead come off as cheesy and forced - you've got me confused as to why this was nominated for so many Academy Awards, and why it was called one of the best films of the year by many big name critics.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2011
The subject matter may be a downer, but this ultimately hopeful and inspirational story is a realistic, powerful film with incredible performances from the whole cast, but Mo'Nique just blew me away.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Very good film and extremely poignant. You feel incredibly empathetic towards Precious and it's sad to think that is realistic. Things like this do happen - and they need to stop!
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2011
Precious was extremely over-hyped and over-rated.

The movie attempts to play with your emotions and it works to an extent giving us an insight look at what many of millions of American's living in poverty go through on a daily basis. While it's a good tug at your emotions, it doesn't necessarily make it a good movie, and I think that much of its hype and over ratings came from people who felt to guilty to point out how bad it truly sucked.

A good movie should capture your emotions and I cannot deny this movies ability to do that but there has to be more to a movie than feeling sympathy for characters. Other than that...

The story was really boring aside from the few emotionally intense scenes that were few and far in between the huge amount of boring scenes that hardly had reason for development into the movie. The movie was predictable and it was a lot like walking on a treadmill, it moved forward, but it wasn't going anywhere and when it finally did conclude it the ending was as unimpressive as the beginning, and middle.

Simply put: Precious is boring and despite the emotional connections and sadness it brings to mind, I just didn't see it as a good 'movie.' Just a simple, basic, not very well told story that they turned into an even worse movie.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
Amazing yet disgusting at the same time. The hardhitting plot really draws you in and the fantastic acting of Gabourey Sidibe makes you feel like her friend. Great film but wouldn't want to watch it again.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
This is a mostly pretty good movie, but it's also pretty overrated. The performances are terrific however, and are the best part of the film. The story is mostly good, albeit really depressing. Actually, it could have been a lot worse. This actually felt rather toned down compared ot what I was expecting. The writing is okay, but not great. Some of the direction is good, but there's too much slo-mo and shakey editing.

You'd think I'd give it a lower grade because of all that, but no. Like I said, the performances pretty much carry things. The cast is wonderful. Carey and Kravitz are really strong in serious dramatic roles that often aren't given to people like them. Mo'Nique, like everyone said, it amazing, and I'd love to see her do more serious films like this. For a first-timer, Sidibe knocks it out of the park. It's a really challenging role, but she's brilliant. Paula Patton is also quite strong,

In an odd way, I kind of want ot call this a bit of a blaxploitation film, but a different type of one. I'm afraid if I do though, that it will undermine the message of hope and perseverence on display. It's good, but really flawed. There's a bit of humor, which helps, and, as much as I liked it, I think I'd rather watch Angela's Ashes again, and that's saying something, especially since that was real, and this is not.

Sorry for rambling. See this at least once. The acting and emotional power are definitely not to be missed.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2009
A fine film. An American urban working class drama, it manages to steer clear of almost every possible idiomatic pothole created by predecessors charging blithely down the same street. It seems real - only the controlled framing tells you that it's not a documentary to begin with - it's often funny, and has wonderfully placed surreal day-dream sequences (I wasn't a fan of these per se, but I liked how they were used). The Dangerous Minds/Freedom Writers school of contrived classroom turnaround is completely avoided (with one notable exception). The final set piece is one of the most raw, emotionally bruising and uplifting things I've seen in a cinema for a very long time; everyone was crying.

At the centre is (worthy Oscar tip) Gabby Sidibe as the eponymous Clareece Precious Jones. The fact that her middle name is not some sort of irony lever is a testament not only to Lee Daniels but also to her iron performance. It's also impressive that the satellite cast act with the character she is digging out (yes, even Mariah Carey, an amazing metamorphosis). It would be so simple and safe for everyone to treat Clareece as the fat girl whose acts garner pity and pathos. That is not this film, not by a very long way.

The film achieves so much. It's relentlessly warm and human - a middle- class audience, such as the one I was in at the 53rd London Film Festival, doesn't need to nod sagely and side with the protagonists as abstract figures representing a life of alternative fortune. There's too much to enjoy and synchronise with. Consequently, when the bad things happen they are spasm-in-the-auditorium shocking.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2010
I am out of breath... the kind of breathless as a result of being punched HARD in the stomach. This is a hard movie to watch, but I felt I had to continue to the end with Precious. The acting is superior... often I felt I was watching a documentary because I no longer saw Mo'Nique, Gabourey Sidibe or even Mariah Carey.... I only saw their characters. Powerful, disturbing and yet encouraging.
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