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Light It Up



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

A group of students protesting the dismissal of their favorite teacher end up holding a wounded police officer hostage and demanding improvements to their run-down inner-city school. With Usher Raymond, Forest Whitaker, Marcello Robinson, Rosario Dawson, Robert Ri'chard, Judd Nelson, Fredro Starr, Sara Gilbert, Clifton Collins Jr., Glynn Turman, Vic Polizos, Vanessa L. Williams, Gaddiel Otero, Frank Dominelli and Reggie Theus. [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - Some sexual innuendo (including a reference to masturbation) and a kiss. A boy simulates masturbation briefly and a boy grabs his crotch. We learn a girl is pregnant.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - In a flashback scene, a man is thrown to the ground by several police officers, kicked, and then shot repeatedly (we don't see any blood). A boy is shot and dies (no blood is visible). A man and boy struggle over a gun and the man is shot in the thigh (we see some blood on his pants and his hand). A man wearing a ski mask and holding a rifle robs people in a diner. A shot is fired at a group of people and shatters a window behind them; a girl has a bloody hand, but it's unclear whether she was grazed by the bullet or cut with shards of glass. A boy knocks another out of a chair and punches him repeatedly before a few other boys pull him away. A man punches another man in the head and knocks him unconscious. A man grabs a boy by the throat and chokes him, then the boy kicks him in the crotch. A man elbows a boy in the face (the boy spits out blood in a later scene). A boy grabs a man from behind and holds him by the neck, a man's face is pressed against a window and a man falls on the floor after being shoved. Lots of scuffles and shoves; also, many people are grabbed by the shirt or held against walls. Lots of threatening with guns; also, we see many police officers holding guns throughout the movie. A man is handcuffed throughout most of the movie. We see a large scar on a boy's stomach and lots of raised scars on a boy's back. A jar filled with gasoline is lit and thrown onto a pile of chairs (we see some large flames).

PROFANITY 10 - At least 60 F-words, a profane finger gesture, many anatomical references, lots of scatological references, lots of mild obscenities, several insults and many racial slurs. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Hostage situations, inner city schools, drug use (we see boys smoking marijuana and a boy making cocaine lines with salt), teen pregnancy, death of a loved one, police brutality, child abuse.

MESSAGE - Violence is never the answer; if you know you're right, stand up for yourself.

Special Keywords: S2 - V5 - P10 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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