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

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire2009

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 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, Rovi

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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 Instructor
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
View All

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

All Critics (239) | Top Critics (70)

When discussing comedians who became dramatic actors, Oscar winners Robin Williams and Jamie Foxx come to mind, as do Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. But none had a more extreme transformation than Mo'Nique for Precious.

March 31, 2020 | Full Review…

This is either a good film with quite a few flaws, or a flawed film which is also quite good, but that's all right. None of us is perfect, after all.

August 29, 2018 | Full Review…

The performances of Sidibe and Mo'Nique are extraordinary and spellbinding.

January 16, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

... Precious is a true story of survival and hope and not to be missed.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

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

April 4, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

April 4, 2011 | Full Review…

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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

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