Light It Up
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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

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Vanessa Williams adds marquee value as a police negotiator."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"Snuff it out!"
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"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."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"Never gets beyond stereotypes."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"Usher doesn't have the forceful, charismatic presence needed to convince as the ringleader of a group of such headstrong individuals."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"The problem is the movie is too predictable--so predictable that it keeps it from truly generating suspense."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"...isn't so much a bad movie as an unfinished movie"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"It begins as a high school comedy romp and then abruptly turns into a TV cop show-caliber thriller."
‑ Nick Carter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"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."
‑ Steven Boone, Citysearch
"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."
‑ Dustin Putman,
"Writer-director Craig Bolotin wants to get our motors racing, our minds pondering and our hearts pumping. Laudable goals; shaky results."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
""The Breakfast Club" in the Ghetto"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"A laughably disconnected hostage drama."
‑ Wesley Morris, San Francisco Examiner
"Overblown story."
‑ George Meyer, Orlando Weekly
"Light It Up smolders and spits out some smoke, but no fire."
‑ Aileo Weinmann,
More reviews for Light It Up on Rotten Tomatoes