Pay It Forward
Pay It Forward (2000)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: October 20, 2000
DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001
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Critic Score: 40% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Pay It Forward has strong performances from Spacey, Hunt, and Osment, but the movie itself is too emotionally manipulative and the ending is bad.

Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune

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.'

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

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.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

A bit syrupy, but sentimental teens may enjoy it.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Less a worthy achievement than a nice try.

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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune

An example of how a movie can emotionally blackmail an audience.

Blake French

Ironic, isn't it, that a film about human decency takes place in Vegas?

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

With its smorgasbord of moralizings, Pay It Forward is a confusing welter of sentiment.

Paul Tatara

Has to be the most oppressive 'feel good' picture in movie history.

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Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

The film seems manufactured to furrow a cynic's brow before bringing up their lunch.

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More reviews for Pay It Forward

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
This is one of those heavy-handed liberal "message" films, but the idea of it won't leave you too quickly as the actors do a pretty good job at… More
Richard C
Wildaly M
Decent movie.
Conner Rainwater
A really interesting movie with some great performances, but I feel like it was overly preachy, gimmicky and dramatic. I like the message to a degree, but the… More
Anatoliy Dudaev
want to see it
KJ Proulx
This had a great touchiness to it, but in the end, the characters fall flat, but it doesn't matter, because the story is soo great, that it could hold any… More