MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,441 this week

Light It Up (1999)

 -  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 3,016 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

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 10 Jun 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Mar 2013
 
Old
a list of 21 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 3 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 6.1/10 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
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
Trigger Happy (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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

Director: Julian West
Stars: Richard Bright, Willis Burks II, Daniel von Bargen
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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In the spirit of "Of Mice and Men," John Leguizamo stars in his most dramatic role to date as Seymour, a mentally challenged young man living in New York. Seymour's happy New York Knicks ... See full summary »

Director: Seth Zvi Rosenfeld
Stars: Cliff Gorman, John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Myra Paci
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Anna Grace, Herbert Ulrich
Ripple Effect (2007)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Fashion designer Amer Atrash, perpetually on the verge of success, is undergoing a personal crisis in both his marriage and his business. Attributing his misfortune to bad karma from a ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Caland
Stars: Philippe Caland, Forest Whitaker, Virginia Madsen
Green Dragon (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of some Vietnamese refugees as they first arrive at Camp Pendleton in the United States as the Vietnam war ends in 1975.

Director: Timothy Linh Bui
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Duong Don
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 who must confront his own fears about love as well as his relationships with family and friends. Allen Payne (I) plays Jason, a sales clerk at a T.V. store. He ... See full summary »

Director: Doug McHenry
Stars: Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine
Witness Protection (TV Movie 1999)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Bobby "Bats" Batton, a South Boston mobster, barely escapes a hit man sent by his boss who's learned that Bobby is cooking the books. Bobby goes to the FBI to trade what he knows for a new ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Tom Sizemore, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Shawn Hatosy
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
The Marsh (2006)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A young beautiful but stressed out children's writer seeks out a holiday in the country but becomes the lead character in a supernatural mystery she must solve to save her life

Director: Jordan Barker
Stars: Gabrielle Anwar, Louis Ferreira, Forest Whitaker
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

During and after the scene when Knowles calls Lester from the pay phone it is snowing outside. However, between the call ending and Lester taking the guard to the roof, there is a cutaway shot of a helicopter and two snipers and there is no sign of any snow. See more »

Quotes

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

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:
?