Pay It Forward
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A young boy stumbles upon a simple way to change the world in this drama. Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) is a bright 11-year-old boy who comes from a troubled home; his mother Arlene (Helen Hunt) is an alcoholic trying to hold down two jobs to support her son, while Trevor's father Jon Bon Jovi) left his family behind some time ago. At school, Trevor's class is introduced to their new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey), a guarded man with severe facial scars. Simonet gives his class an unusual assignment -- think up a practical way to make the world a better place, and put… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Spacey and Hunt create interestingly layered characters who are hiding parts of themselves from themselves. And come Oscar time, Osment once again may be saying, 'I see tuxedoed people.'"
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Not since Gump has there been such a pandering, faux-virtuous package of populist pap for Hollywood to shove in the faces of electioneering politicos and say: Look, we don't just market unwholesome swill to families, we market wholesome swill, too."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"A bit syrupy, but sentimental teens may enjoy it."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"There is a clear-cut difference between 'Oscar bait' and 'Oscar worthy,' which Mimi Leder's sentimental crock of a drama illustrates all too well."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A fine, honest tale that gives full respect to the pain of yearning and the power of hope."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Less a worthy achievement than a nice try."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"It's carried to an amazing degree by its performances."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"Ironic, isn't it, that a film about human decency takes place in Vegas?"
‑ Blake French,
"Despite a ton of good intentions, the picture is numbingly obvious and crushingly sentimental."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Hopefully, I've now prevented three people from seeing this film, and now they will each prevent three other people from doing the same."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"With its smorgasbord of moralizings, Pay It Forward is a confusing welter of sentiment."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Offers more potential than payoff."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The film seems manufactured to furrow a cynic's brow before bringing up their lunch."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"It is a movie that will not only find but charm -- or should we say con? -- a certain kind of audience."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"There is much to like in this film, not least of which is the positive message."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
More reviews for Pay It Forward on Rotten Tomatoes

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