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Light It Up (1999)

tomatometer

38

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 30

Soon into the student uprising, the story starts to feel like a warmed over after-school special.

47

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 10

Soon into the student uprising, the story starts to feel like a warmed over after-school special.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 6,717

My Rating

Movie Info

Noted R&B artist and producer Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds served as executive producer for this tough urban drama. After a shooting incident in a neglected inner-city school leaves a police officer wounded, a group of students holds the cop hostage, in a desperate effort to force improvements to their school. The cast includes another R&B hitmaker, Usher, as well as Forest Whitaker, Vanessa L. Williams, and Rosario Dawson. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Craig Bolotin

Jun 13, 2000

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (30) | DVD (3)

Vanessa Williams adds marquee value as a police negotiator.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem is the movie is too predictable--so predictable that it keeps it from truly generating suspense.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Craig Bolotin wants to get our motors racing, our minds pondering and our hearts pumping. Laudable goals; shaky results.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Snuff it out!

April 17, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

...isn't so much a bad movie as an unfinished movie

February 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"The Breakfast Club" in the Ghetto

September 19, 2002
Moviehole

Too often writer/directors such as Light It Up's Craig Bolotin don't take the time to create a plausible plot and realistic dialog.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

It begins as a high school comedy romp and then abruptly turns into a TV cop show-caliber thriller.

January 1, 2000
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A laughably disconnected hostage drama.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Never gets beyond stereotypes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The exposition that rushes us into the police standoff is so painfully forced and phony that the only way to keep watching the movie is to take it as either dark comedy or one of those cheap Die Hard knockoffs.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Citysearch
Citysearch

Overblown story.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Usher doesn't have the forceful, charismatic presence needed to convince as the ringleader of a group of such headstrong individuals.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

A well-meaning, yet derivative, film of this sort is basically made or broken by the writing and portrayals of the characters, and both aspects are unsatisfactorily handled.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

Light It Up smolders and spits out some smoke, but no fire.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A sluggish, superficial mess.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Radically dumb.

January 1, 2000
Planet Sick-Boy

Decent, but hardly original, the film has enough moments and decent performances to keep things interesting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Audience Reviews for Light It Up

Usher's "acting" ruined the whole thing for me
January 26, 2010
RemiLogan

Super Reviewer

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