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Detention: The Siege at Johnson High (1997)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  19 May 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 443 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

A former high school student, Jason Copeland, returns to his school to take his revenge on the teachers for failing him out of school.


(as Michael Watkins)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Copeland (as Rick Schroder)
Aaron Sullivan
Samantha Eckert
Frankie Rodriguez
Travis McGill
Mr. Kroft
Troy Bryant ...
Matt Eckert
Mrs. McGill (as Ren Woods)
Skip Fine
Sheriff Randall
Kip Niven ...
FBI Agent Brown
Curly Green ...
SWAT Commander Hansen
Christy Summerhays ...
Margaret Fine
Mrs. Sullivan
Greg Kean ...
Deputy Manners


A former high school student, Jason Copeland, returns to his school to take his revenge on the teachers for failing him out of school.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A true story See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hostage High  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Detention: The Siege at Johnson High (1997)(TV) was produced in the same city where Ryan Mouritsen was born and and raised, Sandy, Utah. See more »


Referenced in The Dirties (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent film
6 June 2003 | by (Jersey shore, USA) – See all my reviews

I'm not one for the movie-of-the-week genre, but this film was surprisingly good, and it's not only for the reason that Freddie Prinze Jr. is one of my favorie actors.

Shortly before Christmas, Jason Copeland (Rick Schroeder) decides to take out his pent-up revenge on Johnson High School, which he failed out of a year earlier. He enters the school heavily armed and begins firing shots, with no intention to kill anyone, and takes 80 students hostage in the music room. One of them Aaron Sullivan, is a troubled student, much like Jason, who soon becomes the middleman to Jason and makeshift hostage negotiator/small town cop/unlikely hero Skip Fine (Henry Winkler, in one of his many great performances). Aaron must speak to Skip on the phone, explain Jason's demands, and keep his classmates alive. He'll be a hero if he can accomplish these tasks, but can Skip help him to break through to Jason?

The performances in this film are exceptional for a TV-movie. At times, I found myself huddling up, especially the part when Jason puts the gun to a crying Samantha's (Katie Wright) head. He forces lookouts into the hallway, and insists that a cop entering the school or a student fleeing will result in bloodshed. I was so scared every time a student fled going to the bathroom. I was particularly freaked out when Darren, the sole African-American student, was killed being selfless by protecting a classmate. My heart skipped a beat as his determined, hysterical mother tried to find out of Darren was alive. We also saw glimpses of Aaron's scared mother, hoping that her son stays one step ahead of Jason to keep himself and his classmates alive. Freddie Prinze Jr. puts on an incredible performance, and looked so young (he still does). He was only about 20 years old then (my age), and I'm glad a better hairstyle was forthcoming for him. Henry Winkler is a great actor, and he's just the kind of unlikely hero you'd expect. In my opinion, casting on his part was a great decision.

If you like true-life dramas (this was based on reality), and like to see an unlikely individual prevail, then this is a great movie for you. It's well-written and smart, and you'll be left cheering for Prinze and Winkler. Rick Schroeder also puts on a great performance, and can scare and shake up the most unnerved person (myself included). If you can find this movie at your video store, definitely pick it up.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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