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Light It Up (1999)

 -  Drama  -  10 November 1999 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,995 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 41 user | 40 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Light It Up (1999)

Light It Up (1999) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Generación perdida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

ESP 1,588,550 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

Connections

Features The Negotiator (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Burgundy
performed by Shya
Written by John E. Rhone, Ontario Haynes, Kandice Love
Produced by John E. Rhone and Ontario Haynes for The Whole 9
See more »

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User Reviews

 
opinions
30 November 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Everyone seems to be putting this film down, but I honestly cannot get enough of it. Not only does this film have a strong message behind it, but it also strips away every defense that people can possibly have for inner-city life (some city areas, not all), and shows the unbearably real lives of teenagers today. The characters are real. Usher Raymond (Lester) gives a believable performance of a young adult, simply doing whatever it takes for Ziggy (Robert Ri'chard), a perfectly portrayed teen, escaping from his father and himself through his talents. Forest Whitaker (Officer Dante Jackson) seems to have captured the confusing officer, who was only out for himself at first. Sara Gilbert (Lynn) is without a doubt perfect in her role as an outcast teen who only wants to be wanted, and silently begs for understanding. Stephanie and Rivers (Rosio Dawson and Clifton Collins, Jr.) are well played and well rounded characters. Stephanie, counting the days until graduation and Rivers, who's motto is "the rules are meant to be broken". The only character flaw in my opinion was Rodney (Fredro Starr), a painful stereotype. As the movie goes on and the plot becomes more intense, we are slowly exposed to the raw lives of the teens. Ziggy (Ri'chard) is severely abused by his father and has taken refuge in the attic of the school. Lynn (Gilbert) only wanted a kiss from the jerk who got her pregnant. He never kissed her or talked to her after. Lester (Raymond) witnessed police officers shoot his innocent father to death. And Officer Jackson (Whitaker) lost his wife and son. The messages in this movie are clear. Stand up for what you believe in. Give everyone a fighting chance despite their age or race. The darkest people have the darkest secrets. These are messages our country desperately needs to hear, especially now.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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