Precious: Functionally illiterate, morbidly obese and pregnant by her own father, a 16-year-old African American girl (Gabourey Sidibe) faces a gruesome cycle of degradation. First-time actress Sidibe is a real find - her work reveals something of the starving soul within.
- Marjorie Baumgarten
Up in the Air: George Clooney, a consultant who delivers the bad news to laid-off employees, shows a new hire (Anna Kendrick) how his job is done and fires up a fling with another frequent flyer (Vera Farmiga). It's charming and satisfying, thanks to strong performances, timely themes and, especially, director Jason Reitman's terrific work.
- Scott Renshaw