MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 4,359 this week

Light It Up (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  10 November 1999 (USA)
6.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,045 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 39 user | 39 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 10 Jun 2011
 
a list of 748 titles
created 11 Dec 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 04 Dec 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Light It Up" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Light It Up (1999)

Light It Up (1999) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Light It Up.
5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Side Streets (1998)
Comedy
    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
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Myra Paci
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Anna Grace, Herbert Ulrich
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
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
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A US criminal profiler (of sorts) is sent over to Queensland to help catch a serial slayer, who leaves biblical scriptures behind at the scene of his crimes.

Director: Ian Barry
Stars: Judd Nelson, Dee Smart, Mark Lee
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
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

"Slice of life" take on life of international porn celebrity, Moon, and her musings on modern life, love and loss.

Director: Ash Baron-Cohen
Stars: Juliette Marquis, James Woods, Kip Pardue
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Four friends steal a valuable statuette for a dangerous black market art dealer, lose it and are forced to play a deadly bluffing game to save their lives.

Director: Paul Rachman
Stars: Olivia Williams, Balthazar Getty, Arly Jover
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

New York serves as a backdrop for a cast of characters in search of love, lust or lucre including a woman who makes awkward moves on the man renovating her SoHo loft, an embezzler, a sleazy... See full summary »

Director: Peter Mattei
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Domenick Lombardozzi, Jill Hennessy
Chelsea Walls (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

This movie tells five stories set in a single day at the famed Chelsea Hotel in New York City, involving an ensemble cast of some 30-35 characters.

Director: Ethan Hawke
Stars: Paz de la Huerta, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bianca Hunter
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The interlocking lives and loves of six New Yorkers.

Director: Edward Burns
Stars: Edward Burns, Heather Graham, Penny Balfour
Edit

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
Edit

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:

In the biggest situation in your life, How Far will you go to resist it? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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  »
Edit

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

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

Quotes

Lester Dewitt: Assume the position!
See more »

Connections

Features The Negotiator (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Real
Written by Bink (as Roosevelt Harrell), Beanie Sigel (as Dwight Grant), Az (as Anthony Cruz)
Performed by Az (as AZ) & Beanie Sigel
Produced by Bink for One Shot Deal Entertainment, Inc.
AZ appears courtesy of Yab Yum Records/Elektra
Beanie Sigel appears courtesy of Roc-A-Fella Records and The Island Def Jam Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Actually, there is some very good material here, but the plot is just too predictable. **1/2 (out of four)

LIGHT IT UP / (1999) **1/2 (out of four)

By Blake French:

"I thought it would be interesting to make a film about inner-city high school students from their point of view," explains "Light It Up" writer-director Craig Bolotin. "In most films set in a high school, the adult is the protagonist – a principal or teacher would come into a troubled school and change the students' lives. In ‘Light It Up' the students take responsibility for their actions, and I thought that would make an interesting story."

It is an interesting story, Craig, but unfortunately, it is one riddled with problems and predictable circumstances. "Light It Up" about a group of rebellious teenagers taking charge of their troubled school in New York, shines an intriguing light on the controversy involving poverty-stricken public schools-but the movies style makes for an awkward, disjointed picture that does good things with its material, but could have done so much more.

I hate it when a movie develops its characters through brief voice over narration during the first five minutes, all while their names appear on screen. "Light It Up" portrays its main characters as stereotypical people we feel like we already know. There is an overachiever, a punk-rocker, a hustler, a basketball player, a gang member, and a talented artist. These characters are played convincingly well by some welcome young actors, including pop singer Usher Raymond, Rosario Dawson, Nickelodeon's Robert Ri'chard, the fast-rising Clifton Collins, Jr., Rap musician Fredro Starr, and Sara Gilbert, best known for her role in the TV comedy "Roseanne."

The students barricade themselves in side of their school after a uncommonly unfair day. First, the school's only decent teacher is fired. Second, an accident occurs that leaves a police officer wounded, but not because of the students, because of his own bias judgments. The police officer is played effectively by veteran film actor and director Forest Whitaker, who brings an involving motivation to the story. Of course, the authorities blame the students for the injury, so they take justice into their own hands and hold the officer hostage.

The middle of the movie doesn't really know where to go. The story seems to hit a place where it simply becomes idle. There are interesting relationships that develop, and the more we watch, the more we care about the characters. But every time we start to feel for someone, or when the plot hits an emotional connection with the audience, the film changes its mood so abruptly we couldn't absorb the power it has even if we really wanted to. The film's often overzealous style clearly gets in the way of an otherwise mature script. Rap music plays as highly stylized montage is displayed on screen-"Light It Up" obviously tries way too hard to be hip.

Some of the angles are played on enough, and the story takes several wrong turns. It has a nice setup, respectable issues, and the situation is understood and well developed. There are rational character motives, an intriguing premise, but at the same time the plot often injects necessary informational nuggets when needed. The ending is right on money, but parts are obligatory. The concluding shoot-out and the character's final "promise" speech is involving, but we spot it coming an hour away.

I liked a lot of "Light It Up" including its themes and performances. For producer Tracey E. Edmonds and executive producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, the film's message was a major draw. "It deals with the importance of education, the disparity of the educational system, and says that kids should not have to fight to get a decent education, quotes Tracey. "The script covers a lot of important issues." Unfortunately we have already seen the issues covered in better movies.






1 of 5 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:
?