Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 170 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination. (Lionsgate)
    Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. 100
    It's cathartic and exhilarating.
  3. It melodramatizes everything and yet its overall effect is something more than melodrama.
  4. 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.
  5. Precious is a bit like having a piano dropped on your head: messy but memorable.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    30
    In its eagerness to drag us through the lower depths of human experience, Precious leaves no space for the audience to breathe or to draw our own conclusions. For a film about empowerment and self-actualization, it wields an awfully large cudgel.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 61
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 61
  3. Negative: 6 out of 61
  1. 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 a just a film.. Carey acted well.. Natural and great.. Monique is very good.. Expand
  2. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    Best African American movie hands down. So inspiring. So emotional. The characters are full of life. Every little detail fits amazing. Not really that slow like people say it is. Precious it's so full of surprises. A must see for drama fans. Expand
  3. Aug 24, 2014
    9
    Horror does not always come in the form of zombies, slashers and ghost houses... it, unfortunately, is often real life. This film reveals the harsh realities of an unlucky girl amidst unnecessary terror. Mo'Nique gives us one of the most fearsome villains ever to grace the screen. Expand
  4. Jun 13, 2013
    8
    precious is my favorite drama of 2009,
    and one of the best stories on a drama movie,
    the movie is pretty hard to watch, but the great
    performances make it so believable,
    Gabourey Sidibe performances was so good that it turned out from the actress who nobody knew to an Oscar-first-role nominee.
    her performances was over-the-top that it's actually make you feel that this movie is about her real life, it's like eminem in 8-mile,
    and not just her,Mo'Nique performances was top-notch, even Mariah Carey blow you away with her acting,waw.
    the story give you a little piece of hope at the end which is the best part,
    but over-all a fantastic drama and one of my favorite.
    Expand
  5. Jul 5, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When you read about the theme of this film, an obese teenage girl, illiterate, constantly abused physically and emotionally by her mother, and pregnant with her second child after being raped (again) by her father, you think "heavy melodrama". This film is by no means "light" but it's far from being a melodrama. This story feels "real", even for us who have never experienced what Precious calls everyday life, and this is partially to do with the excellent casting.
    Everyone in this film does a marvellous job, but the person that really excelled, in my opinion, was Mo'Nique; she plays a horrible creature which you have just gotta hate, and she nailed the role of the abusive, angry, lazy and jealous mother, right down to the part where she admits everything she did was because she wanted to be loved. No, you don't get to feel sorry for her, that's the brilliance of this performance. What you do realise is that this terrible transformation can happen to anyone, and that's the scary part.
    The only reason I didn't give this film a higher score was because I found it to bit a too slow-paced for my liking. As for the ending, it was surprisingly uplifting and left you with a sense of optimism.
    Expand
  6. Feb 24, 2013
    7
    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. Expand
  7. Aug 25, 2012
    0
    If I want to see apes, I will just watch a documentary from the discovery channel. They act just like animals in this movie and it's sickening.I wouldn't recommend this with my own life. Expand

See all 61 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Best and Worst Movies of 2009

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2009 Image
    Published: January 4, 2010
    Which films from the past year are worthy of praise, and which should be forgotten forever? We cover all the bases as we look at the best and worst wide releases and limited releases of the past year, and run through the critics' Top 10 lists.
  2. Hurt's So Good: More Critics Lock on to "Locker"

    Hurt's So Good: More Critics Lock on to
    Published: December 14, 2009
    The New York Film Critics Circle added to The Hurt Locker's growing list of honors, while another critic organization sided with Up in the Air.
  3. AFI, Boston Critics, L.A. Critics Name Top Movies of 2009

    AFI, Boston Critics, L.A. Critics Name Top Movies of 2009 Image
    Published: December 13, 2009
    The awards season kicks into high gear this week, and three separate organizations have given a big boost to The Hurt Locker, while another favors Avatar.