Light It Up (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  10 November 1999 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,086 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 39 user | 39 critic | 27 from

A group of teens is bent on improving the run-down conditions of their high-school.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sunset Park (1996)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A white school teacher takes over a talented, but undisciplined black high school basketball team and turns them into a winning team.

Director: Steve Gomer
Stars: Rhea Perlman, Fredro Starr, Carol Kane
Trigger Happy (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A hand gun is passed between 22 loosely connected New Yorkers.

Director: Julian West
Stars: Richard Bright, Willis Burks II, Daniel von Bargen
Side Streets (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Staten Island Cab-driver, Bipin Raj, picks up a passenger, mistakes her for a movie star, but tells her that his brother, Vikram Raj, is a very well-known Bollywood mega-star with millions ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Gerber
Stars: Valeria Golino, Rosario Dawson, Shabana Azmi
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In this politically charged homage to Medium Cool, a photographer covers the urban guerrilla war on New York streets during the RNC.

Director: Stephen Marshall
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Nathan Crooker, Amy Redford
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Myra Paci
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Anna Grace, Herbert Ulrich
Body Count (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A group of thieves attempt to rob an art gallery, but when plans backfire and one of the men winds up dead, the group head down south, running afoul of the law. Along the way, they meet up ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Patton-Spruill
Stars: David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, John Leguizamo
Jason's Lyric (1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a young man, Jason (Allen Payne) who must confront his own insecurities about love as well as a sense of owed responsibility to his mother and troubled younger brother Joshua (... See full summary »

Director: Doug McHenry
Stars: Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Seymour is a mentally challenged young man living in New York. Seymour's happy New York Knicks fan existence comes to a tragic end after he witnesses the assassination of his mother, a ... See full summary »

Director: Seth Zvi Rosenfeld
Stars: Cliff Gorman, John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez
Soul Food (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

One person can keep a family together and, when that one person is gone, a family can be torn apart.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long
The Brothers (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Four friends begin to question women and relationships when one of them announces impending nuptials.

Director: Gary Hardwick
Stars: Morris Chestnut, Shemar Moore, D.L. Hughley
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Three women each claim to be the widow of 1950s doo-wop singer Frankie Lymon, claiming legal rights to his estate.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox, Lela Rochon
Set It Off (1996)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Desperation drives four inner-city women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise) to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting one another.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lester Dewitt
Officer Dante Jackson
Stephanie Williams
Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone
Ken Knowles
Rodney J. Templeton
Lynn Sabatini
Robert 'Rivers' Tremont
Principal Allan Armstrong
Capt. Monroe
Audrey McDonald (as Vanessa L. Williams)
Gaddiel Otero ...
Arturo Orosco
Frank Dominelli ...
Sgt. Tortino
Reggie Theus ...
Intel. Officer #1
Intel. Officer #2


On a winter day in a southside Queens high school, events collide and six students are suddenly in an armed standoff with the NYPD. At the school, classrooms freeze, teachers come and go, resources are scant. When a popular teacher is suspended, a few students protest. Jackson, a new security guard, gets tough. In a scuffle, Jackson's wounded with his own gun and a student takes him hostage. A few kids join in, for various reasons. An ineffective policewoman tries to mediate as the police plan an assault, the kids demand improvements to the school, the media pick up the story, and Jackson turns sympathetic. But are too many forces in motion for the students to stay in control? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


they don't want to be heroes they just want to be heard. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violent content | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Generación perdida  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,408,613 (USA) (12 November 1999)


ESP 1,588,550 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the second time in a movie that Forest Whitaker asks another man to help him urinate. This also occurred in The Crying Game (1992). See more »


While the two students are sitting on the floor talking in the library, the books on the shelf change between shots. See more »


Officer Dante Jackson: Come here, son.
Lester Dewitt: Don't call me son. I'm not your son.
See more »


References South Park (1997) See more »


Catz Don't Know
Written by DMX (as E. Simmons) and Anthony Fields (as A. Fields)
Performed by DMX
Produced by Anthony Fields (as P. Killer Trackz) for Ruff Ryders Productions, Inc.
DMX appears courtesy of Ruff Ryders Entertainment and The Island Def Jam Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A long way from our parents "sit-ins"
31 July 2000 | by (Fresno, CA) – See all my reviews

After watching Light it Up, I remembered how many problems my schools had growing up, and thought to myself, I had it good. Assuming the school could actually have no windows, no textbooks, leaks in the roof, and no heating (in NYC, in the winter, I might add) I can see why the "Lincoln 6" revolted. Lester (Usher), our fearless hero, is drawn into this revolt by circumstances beyond his control. Rodney (Fredro Starr) plays the "thug minded" part of the group who only want to hurt their hostage, Officer Jackson (Forest Whitaker). The group just wants to have their favorite teacher re-hired, and their demands met. Vanessa Williams plays the negotiator Audrey, whom tries to keep the rest of the NYC police force from storming into the school and ending this "crisis".

Overall this movie delivers with it's sentimental value, however it is a little hard to believe that a High School in New York City, in the middle of winter would have few windows, no textbooks, and no heat. Also, it is known that NO school in America that have metro police officers stationed on campus are permitted to carry their firearms with them.

Even with the major mistakes in the preparation for filming, the movie emmits an overall good feeling to the viewer.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Without a doubt, the most terrible movie ever..... madferit1515
SONG? Bryansmiboo
can't wait peanut90
was usher grassmasters
Ziggy's Monologue stpatches07
I was in this m ovie djkilo02
Discuss Light It Up (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: