6.0/10
3,193
39 user 40 critic

Light It Up (1999)

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

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5 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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Robert 'Rivers' Tremont
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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 | Thriller

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:

$5,871,603 (USA) (14 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

At the beginning of the movie, Stephanie is tapping a purple pen on her notebook when the ceiling leaks and a close-up of her hand is shown to let us see the water. In the close-up she has a pink pen, then it cuts back to her holding the purple pen. This was fixed on the DVD but it remains on the VHS version of the movie. See more »

Quotes

Lester Dewitt: Assume the position!
See more »

Connections

Features The Negotiator (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

First One Hit
Written by Bink (as Roosevelt Harrell), Amil (as Amil Whitehead), Solé (as Tonya Johnston)
Performed by Amil & Solé
Produced by Bink for One Shot Deal Entertainment, Inc.
Amil appears courtesy of Roc-A-Fella/Columbia Records
Solé appears courtesy of Red Zone Productions/Dreamworks Records
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.


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