In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.


Lee Daniels


Geoffrey Fletcher (screenplay), Sapphire (novel)
2,616 ( 884)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 111 wins & 103 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabourey Sidibe ... Precious
Mo'Nique ... Mary
Paula Patton ... Ms. Rain
Mariah Carey ... Ms. Weiss
Sherri Shepherd ... Cornrows
Lenny Kravitz ... Nurse John
Stephanie Andujar ... Rita
Chyna Layne ... Rhonda
Amina Robinson ... Jermaine
Xosha Roquemore ... Joann
Angelic Zambrana ... Consuelo
Aunt Dot Aunt Dot ... Toosie
Nealla Gordon ... Mrs. Lichtenstein
Grace Hightower ... Socialworker
Barret Helms Barret Helms ... Tom Cruise (as Barret Isaiah Mindell)


In Harlem, 1987. Sixteen year old Claireece Jones - who goes by her middle name Precious - is illiterate and overweight. She is pregnant with her second child, both children fathered by her biological father, who has continually raped her since she was a child, but who she doesn't see otherwise. Her infant daughter, Mongo - such named since she has Down Syndrome - lives with Precious' grandmother. Precious lives with her mother Mary, who abuses Precious both physically and emotionally. Mary does nothing but smoke, watch television and collect welfare through fraud (as she doesn't ever look for a job) and believes that education does nothing for Precious, who she would rather also collect welfare if only to bring money into the household. To escape her life, Precious often daydreams of herself in glamorous situations. Because of her current pregnancy, Precious' principal transfers her into an alternative school. In dealing with the school's sympathetic teacher Miss Blu Rain, Precious ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Life is Precious. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Claireece Precious Jones was born November 4, 1970 See more »


Rhonda writes a "Do Now" on the board when she takes over the lesson for Ms. Rain. This was NOT part of the Balanced Literacy, an educational movement for English Language Arts classes in 1987 (the year the movie is set). A "Do Now" HAS been utilized in the modified version of the Balanced Literacy model, called the Workshop Model. The Workshop Model is now the instructional model taught to teachers and encouraged in many New York City public schools. See more »


[first lines]
Clareece 'Precious' Jones: [voiceover] My name is Clareece "Precious" Jones. I wish I had a light-skinned boyfriend with real nice hair. And I wanna be on the cover of a magazine. But first I wanna be in one of them BET videos. Momma said I can't dance. Plus, she said who wants to see my big ass dancing, anyhow?
See more »


Referenced in The Big Picture: November 2011 (2011) See more »


Somethin's Comin' My Way
Written by Dan Manjovi
Performed by Grace Hightower
Courtesy of Dan Manjovi Music LLC
See more »

User Reviews

A great movie about social heritage and pattern breaker
8 March 2019 | by stephangerdingSee all my reviews

Unlike some of the user reviews I will not be talking much about the actresses and actors, even though they performed their roles really good.

I would instead be talking about how the movie showed us that you can break from the social heritage. It's set in Harlem, Manhattan, a place that is known for poverty, crime gangs and slum alike neighbourhoods. Thit is some harsh conditions for a girl that heavily under influence of bad environment. But she wants to give her children (that she got because of her fathers raping of her) a better life that her. Unlike Claireece Jones mother, she decides, with the help of Ms. Rain, that she wants to get an education. This is a chance she has been waiting for and she grabs it. She has her goal and she is following it all the way. She manages to finish junior high, a small step for her on her path to break from the social heritage

But for some this would have been a dream. Many can't break the social heritage like Claireece Jones. Many will let the social heritage run their lifes. It's not just the poor that has social heritage, we all have. The rich will heritage their wealth from their parents and maybe the same job or a job that is much like their parents.

But overall a great movie about the social problem that has come with 'The american Dream'

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Italian

Release Date:

20 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,872,458, 8 November 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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