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Selena Quintanilla was a major figure in Tejano music, a Grammy-winning recording artist, a beloved star in the American Southwest and Mexico, and seemed poised to cross over into mainstream popularity on the U.S. pop charts when she was murdered on March 31, 1995 by the president of her fan club. Written and directed by Gregory Nava, this biopic concentrates on Selena's relationship with her family and her rise to fame, dealing only briefly with her tragic death. Abraham Quintanilla (Edward James Olmos) is a veteran musician who leads a family-based singing group, The Dinos. At a young… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Selena surmounts its connect-the-dots approach to its heroine's life to create an appealing, energetic look at a too-briefly soaring musical star."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Missing is a sense of the interior life behind the smiling face that Selena showed the world. What of the drive that led her to music? What comfort did she find in it? What pain?"
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Jennifer Lopez ... elevates the film immensely with her radiant and energetic performance."
‑ Felix Gonzalez Jr., DVD Review
"Even in its sappiest moments, Jennifer Lopez's performance and Selena's music shine through."
‑ Felix Gonzalez Jr., DVD Review
"Lopez's commanding presence makes up for any of the script's shortcomings."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"By the end of the film, Selena has been all but canonized."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"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."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"A well-meaning but bland and shallow salute to Selena."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"In spite of Jennifer Lopez' strong performance, it doesn't save an incomplete story that only covers some of Selena's life."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Film Threat
"Jennifer Lopez is outstanding as Selena, lending ability and grace to the stage numbers, in particular, but throughout the film, in general."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Nava, who started his feature-film career with El Norte, is a good director who invariably finds a strong rapport with his actors. He's not much of a writer, though, and he should think twice about creating dialogue for his future projects."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Selena Quintanilla Perez's life was too short to fill a screen bio with traditional dramatic components, yet Selena infectiously salutes the Tejano singer who had a rapturous fan base when she was slain in 1995."
‑ Mike Clark, USA Today
"What a biography. And what a screenplay."
‑ Don Willmott,
"In her first major, star-making role, Jennifer Lopez is compelling, but the rest of this showbiz biopic is shallow and excessively melodramatic, like most of Gregory Nava's films."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Beautiful movie, Lopez's best work"
‑ Fred Topel,
More reviews for Selena on Rotten Tomatoes

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