6.0/10
3,395
39 user 39 critic

Light It Up (1999)

Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
A group of teens are bent on improving the run-down conditions of their high-school.

Director:

Craig Bolotin

Writer:

Craig Bolotin
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Usher Raymond ... Lester Dewitt
Forest Whitaker ... Officer Dante Jackson
Rosario Dawson ... Stephanie Williams
Robert Ri'chard ... Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone
Judd Nelson ... Ken Knowles
Fredro Starr ... Rodney J. Templeton
Sara Gilbert ... Lynn Sabatini
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Robert 'Rivers' Tremont
Glynn Turman ... Principal Allan Armstrong
Vic Polizos ... Capt. Monroe
Vanessa Williams ... Audrey McDonald (as Vanessa L. Williams)
Gaddiel Otero Gaddiel Otero ... Arturo Orosco
Frank Dominelli Frank Dominelli ... Sgt. Tortino
Reggie Theus Reggie Theus ... Intel. Officer #1
Jennifer Say Gan ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Generación perdida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,408,613, 14 November 1999

Gross USA:

$5,985,690

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,985,690
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 »

Connections

References The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

How Many Wanna
Written by Ja Rule (as Jeffrey Atkins), Irv Gotti (as Irving Lorenzo), Richard Wilson
Performed by Ja Rule
Produced by Rebel and Irv Gotti for Top Dawg Productions, Inc.
Ja Rule appears courtesy of Murder Inc. Records and The Island Def Jam Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
opinions
30 November 2004 | by mo0cowSee 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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