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Light It Up (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  10 November 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,062 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.



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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 »



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 »


When the students are on TV, the windows alternate being open (from the outside) & closed (from the inside) during the scenes. See more »


Lester Dewitt: Assume the position!
See more »


References The Andy Griffith Show (1960) 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 »

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User Reviews

Melodramatic at times but half decent effort
2 January 2001 | by (Toronto, Ont. Canada) – See all my reviews

After a high school teacher (Nelson) is fired on the spot during class, the students of this beat up run down H S take matters into their own hands after one of them (Ziggy) has an altercation with a police officer (Whitaker). Things quickly spiral out of control and the lives and futures of a half dozen students end up in the palm of one young student, Lester (Raymond) as they hold the police officer hostage in the school they have grown to despise. Not bad outing for many of the young actors and although everything plays out like a bad TV movie, the moral of the movie is sent clear and simple. It tends to be a little too melodramatic (very much like AMERICAN HISTORY X with the sappy loud music at the end.) and instead of ending it, it gets worse and worse gradually. But what teen would notice, especially seeing likeable characters such as Lester and Rivers? A good teen movie overall, but anyone older will roll their eyes.

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