Light It Up (1999)



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

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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 (for language and violent content)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Usher Raymond
as Lester
Forest Whitaker
as Off. Dante Jackson
Rosario Dawson
as Stephanie
Judd Nelson
as Ken Knowles
Fredro Starr
as Rodney
Vanessa L. Williams
as Audrey McDonald
Glynn E. Turman
as Principal Armstrong
Vic Polizos
as Capt. Monroe
Gaddiel Otero
as Arturo Orosco
Frank Dominelli
as Sgt. Tortino
Reggie Theus
as Intelligence Officer #1
Jennifer Say Gan
as Intelligence Officer #2
Kevin Morrow
as Gangbanger
Erica Hubbard
as Girl One in Bathroom
Melissa Gonzalez
as Girl Two in Bathroom
Patrick Nugent
as Police Officer Kelly
Sharif Atkins
as Gunman
Stephen R. Key
as Rookie Cop
Eric Aviles
as Vernon
Shawn Isom
as Straggler #1
Deborah J. Crable
as WPIX Anchor
Amy Landecker
as Reporter #2
Rengin Altay
as New York Post Reporter #3
Sam Samuelson
as New York Post Reporter #4
Rhomeyn Johnson
as SWAT Spotter
Llou Johnson
as Radio DJ
Daren Flam
as Cop Shooting at Kids
Rick Johnson
as Paul Miller/Sniper #1
Erick García
as Armondo
Olumiji Aina Olawumi
as Student Council Secretary
Dan De Casual
as Mr. Miller
Liza Cruzat
as MTV Employee
Charles Brougham
as Team Leader
Eddie Fernandez
as Tactical Cop #2
Donna Hanover
as Fox News Anchor
Tara Hickey
as Secretary
Darlene Komar
as Principal Armstrong's Secretary
Velma Austin Massey
as Lester's Mom
Robert Minor
as Lester's Dad
Marvin E. Nelson
as SWAT Team Member
Eriq F. Prince
as Security Officer
Gary Anthony Ramsay
as News Anchor #1
Sue Simmons
as NBC Anchor
Adam G.
as Cop #2
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Critic Reviews for Light It Up

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (19)

The dialogue is ridiculous and condescending.

December 31, 1999
New York Post
Top Critic

Painfully obvious and cliched.

December 31, 1999
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

December 31, 1999
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Bolotin repeatedly reminds the viewer of his lack of imagination.

December 31, 1999
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Nelson, Whitaker and their talented, young co-stars give this film most of whatever juice it has.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Crackling dialogue, surprising intelligence and an emotional wallop.

December 31, 1999
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Light It Up


terrible script for a workable premise, it's over-thinking and bad acting that sinks this Titanic full of high-voltage names..

Thomas Porter
Thomas Porter

Even thought very cliched I thought this movie was surprisingly great. It featured believable performances and it kept me wanting to see what was going to happen throughout. Also I think Robert Ri'chard gives a breakthrough performance here.

Jake Peffer
Jake Peffer

Usher's "acting" ruined the whole thing for me

Remi Logan
Remi Logan

Super Reviewer

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