Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
Watch On
  1. 88
    Manages the task of being both heartbreaking and heart-warming.
  2. 88
    Claireece "Precious" Jones, played by Gabourey Sidibe, 24, in an astounding debut that brims with grit and amazing grace.
  3. It's a potent and moving experience, because by the end you feel you've witnessed nothing less than the birth of a soul.
  4. The film's real strength is its cast, from an Oscar-bound Mo'Nique to a notably deglammed Mariah Carey.
  5. It melodramatizes everything and yet its overall effect is something more than melodrama.
  6. Genuinely and irresistibly inspirational.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Despite its melodramatic moments, remarkable performances drive home the film's inspiring message.
  8. 100
    This movie catalogs a wealth of human ugliness. It’s even been made to look ugly, presumably to underscore the horror movie that is Precious’s life.
  9. 75
    This bruising, harrowing movie would be impossible to sit through without at least a hint of light at the end of its astonishingly dark tunnel.
  10. This is an exceptional film about nearly unendurable circumstances, endured. You will come out the other side of it a markedly enriched filmgoer.
  11. 90
    Nimble and self-assured as Mr. Daniels’s direction may be, he could not make you believe in “Precious” unless you were able to believe in Precious herself. You will.
  12. 70
    The performances are so plainspoken and direct that they manage to push the material beyond the confines of a mere social-problem tract -- as played by the cast, these characters aren't symbols of inner-city hardship, but people.
  13. It is certainly the best button-pushing movie of the year.
  14. 100
    This drama about an obese, illiterate black teen in Harlem practically guarantees some emotional uplift. But when it arrives, eventually, its authority is unimpeachable, so deeply has director Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball) immersed us in the depths of human ugliness.
  15. 100
    Qualifies as the most painful, poetic and improbably beautiful film of the year.
  16. 91
    Precious can’t be endorsed as entertainment: the circumstances and incidents and emotions in the film are far too dark and painful. But there is exhilaration in its daring, in its craft and in the powerhouse work of its principal actresses.
  17. Precious is a bit like having a piano dropped on your head: messy but memorable.
  18. 88
    To its credit, this remarkable film does not contrive a happy ending. Under the circumstances, even a mildly hopeful one seems like a triumph of the highest order.
  19. You go to a Daniels movie not to be entertained, but edified. While not everyone goes to the movies for self-improvement, you will leave this one having witnessed phenomenal acting.
  20. 100
    It's cathartic and exhilarating.
  21. 75
    Not even Douglas Sirk or Lars von Trier would heap so much abuse on a heroine. And yet, on its own melodramatic, tear-jerking terms, Precious works.
  22. Although Precious is based on a novel, it's an act of truth-telling on behalf of a character in hellish enslavement.
  23. Precious is painful, it is harrowing, it is emotionally exhausting. It is also a singular film, one that is as difficult to compare to another as it is to forget.
  24. Nothing quite prepares you for the rough-cut diamond that is Precious. A rare blend of pure entertainment and dark social commentary, this shockingly raw, surprisingly irreverent and absolutely unforgettable story.
  25. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    90
    Its story ends up packing an emotional wallop as substantial as its title character.
  26. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    100
    While it may not be perfect on a technical level, dramatically it’s a blow-your-socks-off triumph. Be moved. Very, very moved.
  27. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    80
    As Precious, Sidibe is superb, allowing us to see the inner warmth and beauty of a young woman who, to her world's cruel eyes, might seem monstrous.
  28. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    100
    A movie about an obese Harlem teenager who's raped by her father and abused by her mother. It's depressing, devastating, harrowing and repulsive. But there are lyric flights of hope interspersed among that raw naturalism, and that's what makes this movie amazing.
  29. Reviewed by: Nick Antosca
    80
    Shot in the manner of a grueling horror picture, with jittery edits to half-remembered traumas and glistening close-ups on the faces of monsters.
  30. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    80
    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.
  31. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    Yet even when the movie is at its most schizoid, Precious still packs a wallop.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 63
  2. Negative: 6 out of 63
  1. Oct 15, 2011
    8
    The Oscar-winning movie "Precious" is slow paced with a quiet tone of despair. There is really no solution to its pessimistic view throughoutThe Oscar-winning movie "Precious" is slow paced with a quiet tone of despair. There is really no solution to its pessimistic view throughout the movie, but its Mo'Nique (the Oscar Best Actress Winner) who provides faith and light to the audience throughout the movie. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2010
    10
    Very great film.. inspiring and so natural.. as per the title itself, based on a true story... was able to show that it is and it is not aVery great film.. inspiring and so natural.. as per the title itself, based on a true story... was able to show that it is and it is not a just a film.. Carey acted well.. Natural and great.. Monique is very good.. Full Review »
  3. Aug 13, 2010
    8
    Precious is definitely a good film. Excellent performances by literally everyone in the cast, especially Mo'Nique. It has a heart-wrenchingPrecious is definitely a good film. Excellent performances by literally everyone in the cast, especially Mo'Nique. It has a heart-wrenching story and, well, it definitely makes one think. It all works, but somehow it just isn't fully what I've expected, there is a little thing that would make this film excellent... this way it's "just" a great film. I'd recommend it, for sure. Full Review »