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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

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  • 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)
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
    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
    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: 56 out of 62
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 62
  3. Negative: 6 out of 62
  1. BobG
    Dec 12, 2009
    From the depths to the heights of human experience, this film rides an emotional roller coaster through the life of Precious and thoses around her. Superbly acted and cast, it is a tale worthy of deep contemplation of the realities of american life and the legacy of our past. Expand
  2. TonyB
    Feb 10, 2010
    2009's best, as far as I'm concerned...not a missed beat or a false note anywhere...the performances are flawless.
  3. Sep 27, 2010
    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
  4. BruceN
    Dec 13, 2009
    There are so many ways this film could not have worked. I was so ready to be turned off that like a horror flik I kept waiting for that really bad scene to jump out at me. Instead I was drawn, maybe pulled but not bullied by performers who played their character with care to both the strong and subtle points of their role. The human that plays hide and seek out of Precious's slit-eyed mask and the evil cum victim that roars and cries out of the mother's visage are riveting. Mom will win hands down best supporting actress. Expand
  5. Oct 15, 2011
    The 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. Expand
  6. Seanismyname
    Nov 26, 2009
    Excellent movie. The actors were ALL convincing and unaffected. The story managed to engage the viewer's sympathy without being sentimental, without pulling punches. It's refreshing to know that good films are still being made. Expand
  7. JohnH
    Nov 29, 2009
    Precious is a ham-fisted, self-indulgent soap opera that attempts to manipulate its audience with wannabee nitty-grittiness. The miserable result, however, is nothing more or less than the Jerry Springer Cosmos brought to the big screen - complete with television sets hurled at three day old babies cradled in their just-fell-down-a-flight-of-stairs sister /mother Expand

See all 62 User Reviews


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