Selena

1997, Biography/Drama, 2h 7m

49 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Selena occasionally struggles to tell its subject's story with depth or perspective, but those flaws are rendered largely irrelevant by Jennifer Lopez in the title role. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla (Jennifer Lopez) is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham (Edward James Olmos), realizes that his young daughter is talented and begins performing with her at small venues. She finds success and falls for her guitarist, Chris Perez (Jon Seda), who draws the ire of her father. Seeking mainstream stardom, Selena begins recording an English-language album which, tragically, she would never complete.

Cast & Crew

Jennifer Lopez
Selena Quintanilla
Edward James Olmos
Abraham Quintanilla
Jon Seda
Chris Perez
Constance Marie
Marcela Quintanilla
Jacob Vargas
Abie Quintanilla
Lupe Ontiveros
Yolanda Saldivar
Jackie Guerra
Suzette Quintanilla
Richard Coca
Bobby - Dinos 1961
Panchito Gomez
Young Abraham - Dinos 1961
Sal Lopez
Juan Luis
León Singer
Concert Promoter
Abraham Quintanilla Jr.
Executive Producer
Robert Katz
Producer
Dave Grusin
Original Music
Cary White
Production Design
Edward Vega
Art Direction
Jeanette Scott
Set Decoration
Elisabetta Beraldo
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Selena

Critic Reviews for Selena

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (17)

  • It tries to satisfy too many different groups at once and ends up watering down the art so much it satisfies no one.

    February 27, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Gregory Nava's 1997 biopic about the Mexican-American pop star Selena Quintanilla Perez... is typical of the genre's excesses, but I enjoyed quite a bit of it, in large part because of the energy and charisma of Jennifer Lopez in the title role.

    February 27, 2020 | Full Review…
  • What makes this movie work is Jennifer Lopez's electric performance as Selena, capturing the charismatic aspects of Selena's stage persona and the essence of her maturity as a growing woman.

    March 21, 2017 | Full Review…
  • When it doesn't, however - when Selena teeters precariously in the direction of hagiography and buckles under the weight of representing all Latinas to all people - then the real young woman herself is hard to find.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • At its best, "Selena" suggests why so many people reacted with such great heartbreak to her death.

    July 6, 2010 | Full Review…
  • ... Lopez's presence and ability made her seem just one role away from stardom, and with "Selena" she's seized the opportunity and turned in an incandescent presentation that is especially strong during the film's numerous musical numbers.

    July 6, 2010 | Full Review…
  • It tries to satisfy too many different groups at once and ends up watering down the art so much it satisfies no one.

    February 27, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Gregory Nava's 1997 biopic about the Mexican-American pop star Selena Quintanilla Perez... is typical of the genre's excesses, but I enjoyed quite a bit of it, in large part because of the energy and charisma of Jennifer Lopez in the title role.

    February 27, 2020 | Full Review…
  • What makes this movie work is Jennifer Lopez's electric performance as Selena, capturing the charismatic aspects of Selena's stage persona and the essence of her maturity as a growing woman.

    March 21, 2017 | Full Review…
  • When it doesn't, however - when Selena teeters precariously in the direction of hagiography and buckles under the weight of representing all Latinas to all people - then the real young woman herself is hard to find.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • A formulaic biopic that sets itself apart with its depiction of the Mexican American and Tejano cultural experience.

    July 3, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It captures the appeal of Selena singing and Lopez shines in those scenes.

    January 20, 2021 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Selena

  • Nov 18, 2011
    Even if you don't know who Selena is you can still watch this film. This film presented a week plot with decent acting. If your going to make a film about how a female becomes a pop artist then why not focus mostly on what she had to do to accomplish such success. This film shows unnecessary stuff like her concert performances and dialogue that has nothing to do with the conflict. The most unnecessary part was the two guys in the low rider. It would have been way better if they focused on the romance between Selena and her boyfriend. Then towards the end when Selena dies the audience can connect with her more and feel for her family and boyfriend. They could have made the ending better and more dramatic. If you'r a fan of Selena or Jennifer Lopez then you should watch this.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2011
    Even if you have never listened to her music, you will still appreciate this film.
    Eric A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2011
    Heartbreaking! A must see!
    Bethany M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 17, 2009
    The story of a girl who had the spirit to believe in a dream and the courage to make it come true.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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