Box art for Filly Brown

Filly Brown

  • Rated R


Filly Brown is an inspiring and gritty portrait of a young artist striving to find her voice and seize her dreams without compromise.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Young hip-hop artist sacrifices her true identity for fame.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Filly Brown -- which marks the first and last big-screen appearance by late singer Jenni Rivera -- is about a young hip-hop artist trying to make it as a recording artist in Los Angeles without abandoning her values. As her star rises, she must make a series of difficult choices; every time, she gets a little closer to fame and a bit further away from her true identity. The film has some graphic beatings, and in one scene, a man comes very close to raping a teenage girl. Several sequences show people (including teens) smoking pot and drinking beer, and there's heavy swearing all throughout the movie ("f--k," "s--t," and much more).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the choices that Majo makes. What motivates her? Do you think she's a relatable character? What would you have done in her position?
  • How do her father's choices parallel Majo's? What does he decide? Is that the right choice?
  • What is the movie saying about fame and those who seek it?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 6
    see all Filly Brown reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: More heartfelt, humanistic, and entertaining than such a clichd showbiz cautionary tale has any right to be.

- Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fresh: Almost despite our will, the cast keeps us invested in Filly's furious resurrection.

- Amy Nicholson, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rotten: Unfortunately, the film is marred by a story, situations and stereotypical characters that strike all-too-familiar chords.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Thursday, April 18, 2013

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Majo (Gina Rodriguez - Go For It!) is a young Los Angelina with flair-to-spare and an unquestionable musical talent for rhythm and rhyming who dreams of making it big in the hip-hop music world so that she can help better provide for her hardworking father and younger sister as her family has struggled to make ends meet following a betrayal they all suffered at the hands of a selfish mother whose addictions and double-dealings with dangerous criminals imperiled her very own family's well-being. A cast of primarily unknown (and primarily Latino) actors stars in the gritty, urban drama Filly Brown. Filly Brown becomes the adopted moniker of Majo -- itself short for Maria Jose -- as she tries to capitalize on the wild success of a heartfelt, single (rather impromptu -- and rather catchy) song after she signs with a hustler of a record producer who promises her the world ... in order to get her signature so that HE can start making some money off of her. Majo begins her "journey" as guileless and nave believing that most people are good and that others are always looking out for the best interests of everyone else. It is unfortunate -- but necessary for this predictable movie -- that Filly Brown does not quickly realize the truth of what is going on around her as she visits her mother in prison (the late banda singer-songwriter, Jenni Rivera in her first-and-only feature film performance) and readily takes her advice over that of her steadfast father (Lou Diamond Phillips - Courage Under Fire) and others who have actually always looked out for Majo. It doesn't make a lot of sense why Majo does some of the things she does -- she's rather contradictory for the sole purpose of adding "layers" to the film. Like the character, Filly Brown would like to be good and respected but it is hard to do so when it is all manipulated. Very little feels as if it is spontaneously happening onscreen (or in the film) as it mostly all comes across as scripted. The film's best moments are Filly's few spontaneous bits of musical outburst and some of the scenes featuring Rivera as a frightening mother figure you would not want watching over you at night.

- ThomasJayWilliams, Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2 stars

It is not the most original of stories, but it is worth a watch. Everyone got exactly the ending that they deserved and there is something very satisfying about that.

- Hamee, Wednesday, October 29, 2014