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Selena Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The best thing going for Selena is Selena herself, played with verve, heart, and a great deal of grace by the increasingly busy Jennifer Lopez (Money Train, Jack, Blood & Wine).

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This is a simple story of hope and triumph, of one girl with the drive to succeed defying the odds and following her dream. It's not an original tale -- movies like this abound -- but Nava's point-of-view is fresh.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Selena succeeds, through Lopez's performance, in evoking the magic of a sweet and talented young woman.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

J-Lo hits the right notes in Tejano star's tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is based on the life of Selena, the popular singer who was killed in 1995. Kids may ask questions about the events surrounding her murder. The murder isn't shown, but one character does hold a gun to her own head. At the center of this film is a portrait of a principled and loving Latino family -- something rarely depicted in movies.

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Selena and her father. Why is he so domineering? Does he deny his kids a childhood by forcing them to perform in a musical group? Or is he urging them, especially Selena, to reach their potential? Also, thousands of young girls idolized Selena. How does the movie depict her as a role model through her personality, her ventures in music and fashion, and her ability to succeed despite ethnic and gender challenges? Kids might also have questions about Tejano music, a Tex-Mex genre that blends elements of pop, country, Mexican polka, and other styles.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Overall, a portrait of a principled and very loving Latino family. A character apparently embezzles money. A daughter defies her family to marry her boyfriend. A father, although he has a good heart, is extremely dominating. The movie also depicts instances of ethnic or gender discrimination: A club owner forbids performers to sing at his establishment because they are Mexican-American, and a festival promoter pays a band less because the lead singer is "just a woman."

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: It's not shown, but we learn through news reports that a character has fatally shot someone; she is then shown holding the gun to her own head. We briefly see the victim being carried to an ambulance on a stretcher.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Kissing between two main characters who later get married; an unidentified couple is shown kissing passionately at a fair. Selena wears some skimpy tops on stage.

  • language false3

    Language: A character says "s--t" and "damn" in frustration. Non-Latinos are referred to as "gringos" in a few scenes.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: A bag of Doritos and a can of Coca-Cola are visible in separate scenes.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A hard-rock band is shown trashing a hotel room; empty beer bottles are strewn throughout the room.