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Parents' Guide to

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Powerful, painful account of Harlem teen's hard-luck life.

Movie R 2009 109 minutes
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 24 parent reviews

age 17+


Although this movie has the theme of overcoming difficult situations, this movie is extremely graphic with very offensive language. I think the "R" rating for this movie is "iffy". This movie contains some EXTREMELY disturbing messages, scenes, and images.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+


This movie was WAY too intense for anyone under 18! I'm 29 and it was difficult for me to watch this movie. I must say though, that it was all content-related, because I could just not stop watching it! There are some huge positives of watching this movie, as it can open a window to talking about abuse, molestation, rape, drugs, teen pregnancy and the importance of staying in school. However, this movie is just SO graphic, intense, explicit and filled with mature subject matter that I couldn't recommend anyone under 18 to see it. I think that PARENTS would benefit the most out of watching it if only to use it as a stepping stone to talk to children about these heavy topics.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (24 ):
Kids say (36 ):

With its spectacularly brutal storyline, Precious is deeply compelling and disturbing at the same time. Director Lee Daniels goes for grit every chance he gets, with many sequences drained of color and light -- except for Precious' own flights of fancy, which provide much-needed escape from her own reality. The abuse -- verbal, physical, and sexual -- plays out in relentless assaults, allowing the audience to feel just a fraction of what it's like to be Precious. It all makes for a powerful film, but sometimes it's hard to stomach.

So thank heavens for Sidibe, who, in her first feature-film outing, doesn't so much dazzle as persuade. She becomes Precious. Same for comedienne Mo'Nique, who surprises here with her monstrous depiction of Precious' mother that manages -- a little, anyway -- to be tragic, too. And points to both Mariah Carey for her nuanced performance as a social worker and to Patton for providing uplift without treacle. Toward the end, the film feels a little message-y and hurried, but that's forgivable. Precious is riveting.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 6, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: March 9, 2010
  • Cast: Gabourey Sidibe , Mariah Carey , Mo'Nique , Paula Patton
  • Director: Lee Daniels
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Female actors, Black actors, Latino actors, Bisexual actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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