Pay It Forward Reviews

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½ March 28, 2015
Watched this on 28/3/15
"The ending is bad!" seriously "the ending is bad", fucking bullshit. This is why I hate critics, so ignorant and arrogant. Pay it Forward is a film that tries wholeheartedly to avoid itself from being a cloying treacle picture and it succeeds. It's got a sensible emotional story and I find not even a single bad moment or boring instance here. To add fire to all this, it has some great performances from Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt.
½ February 21, 2011
A good, albeit idealistic and naive, idea, very badly executed.

The idea - do good things for others and the world becomes a better place - was a nice one. A touch idealistic and naive, but sentiments to live by, at least.

However, everything else about the movie is ridiculously bad. The plot ends up very syrupy, manipulative and predictable. Cringeworthily trite.

The characters are quite difficult to like: the irritating, whiny yet do-gooder kid (played by Haley Joel Osment), the smug, aloof, pretentious teacher (played by Kevin Spacey). The mom, played by Helen Hunt, was about the only real and believable character in the movie.

The more you get into the movie, the more irritating it becomes. Having made its point early, it just seems to be marking time for the remainder of its two hours. Final straw was when the kid's father turned out to be Jon Bon Jovi... Seemed like he was only there for the audience reaction.

The ending just seemed silly too, and went a long way to contradicting the central theme.

Hard to like the performances, as the characters weren't that likeable. Helen Hunt was solid in her role (and looked pretty good too...). I guess Kevin Spacey did as he was directed for his performance, it was just the character was irritating. Same for Haley Joel Osment.
February 15, 2012
the critics are way off on this movie. i just think the movie hit home to hard for the critics and showed me they like easy going flow movies on the silver screen if you think about it since this movie came out in real life people are paying it forward and even have a web sight....imagine that......
½ September 13, 2008
Optimistic, yet painfully honest, Pay it Forward is an excellent film for those who look for hope amidst the world's seemingly overwhelming bad news. Though the directing is a bit weak, the acting by the veteran cast makes the plot come alive with fantastic character development. All three leads are first-rate. Oscar-winners Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, as well as Oscar-nominee Haley Joel Osment (star of "The Sixth Sense") are possessed of such depth that their individual inner conflicts are visible in every twitch. A fine, honest tale that gives full respect to the pain of yearning and the power of hope. Pay It Forward is a barrage of conflicting emotions. It is a decidedly life-affirming and hopeful film after all is said and done; on the other hand it is sad and somber through most of its running time. There are comic moments, but they too have poignant undertones. The movie ends with the death of one character, giving the film an extra dimension and adding to the film's overall morbid tone. Too high-minded to stoop as low as it does, particularly in its unforgivably manipulative ending. Otherwise, it Works unexpectedly well for its first three quarters. All in all, Pay It Forward is a rich experience, smart, courageous and bracingly powerful. Its message is unabashedly positive but it's not cuddly or cloying.

VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent... (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)
½ February 12, 2013
A great family movie on a cold winters night..
½ January 15, 2008
I agree with the critical consensus here - the film gets a bit manipulative at the end and that kinda spoiled the whole thing.
November 30, 2014
Highly underrated. This film has shaped my entire outlook on life.
November 24, 2014
one of my all-time favourites - so much so, it has become a movement and an expression, to pay it foward
November 13, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
½ October 21, 2014
I don't get the score on this one. I liked this movie a lot and the ending was pretty emotional.
½ September 14, 2014
Worth watching for Kevin Spacey's performance only, otherwise this is sugary, sweet inspirational melodrama with a dumb ending.
September 13, 2014
A fine, honest tale that gives full respect to the pain of yearning and the power of hope!
August 26, 2014
I think Spacey and Osment played great parts that teach life lessons about helping people no matter who they are. Hunt's character I had a little hard time buying but it was still good. Caviezel once again showed moviegoers that he has the acting chops to take on any roll.
½ April 21, 2014
Questioning the film's decisional outcome at the end where it reminds us that the sadness remains along with a little bit of unfinished business; and also questioning a bit on Hunt's praised performance but she'd performed just fine. Spacey's usually seen portraying a tough or little strange guy in his films, but what makes his role in this one more favorable is his nicest character that was greatly performed. Now the child actor Osment performed his usual fine level that'd made him known.

The movie's really good with really good performances and a good idea that may inspire some to "Pay It Forward," but unfortunately it was mostly affected by how it was ended. (B)

(Full review coming soon)
½ February 25, 2010
(First and only viewing - January 2010)
½ August 4, 2014
"Pay It Forward" connected with something in all our hearts and changed the world with a slogan. I hear the title of this movie several times a day as we all try to do what we can to make the world a better place without asking for anything in return. Despite being critically underrated, this will always be one of my favorite movies.
June 28, 2014
Solid performances from the lead cast still fail to carry a dull and preachy story with a shoddy ending.
June 17, 2014
This is somewhat like a nice quote that from Oscar Wilde --" The only thing to do with good advice is to willingly pass it on" :-)
½ June 9, 2014
Well, this was... a movie. Oh god am i annoyed. A lot, you have no idea. The ending... THE FUCKING ENDING, ok ok, I am getting ahead of myself. Lets talk about Pay It Forward.

This movie stars Kevin Spacey, who is pretty good in this movie, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment, a so-so actor. Spacey plays a social studies teacher who tells his class he wants them to do something nice for someone else, then other people will do tne same, setting off a chain reaction of paying it forward. Osment plays a student of Spacey and wants to make this idea work, start a recation, and continue from there. Helen Hunt plays the mother of this kid, who has an alcohol problem. There is also a reporter who is talking to the people who payed it forward.

This movie is just eh. I like Kevin Spacey in his role, and Hunt is ok. But then there is Osment. Oh boy, he is omg bad. He can barely act in this movie, even in his de.. thats for later. But anyway, this movie is hard to take seriously when you have a scene with Hunt in a strip club pole dancing, Hunt and Spacey getting it on in an 11 year olds house, yeah an 11 year old, great idea, and Bon Jovi playing an abusive father. Yeah thats right Jon Bon Jovi is in this movie too. Yeah... great casting choice.

Then, what people do to pay it forward in this movie. Shooting a gun in a hospital and letting a person getting away while robbing something. What the fuck. Those are both ridiculous things. Why does it exist, just WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?

Ok, the ending. Oh my fucking god, the ending. I will give you the basics. Osment's character gets in an interview with Mr. Generic repor... I mean mr. Reporter, and talks about how he is happy yay blah blah blah. Then Hunt and Spacey kiss and stuff. The movie should've ended there. But the problem is there are still 15 minutes left. Then Osment sees some bullies beating some nerd lid up he tries to stop them and gets killed. Here is everything wrong with that scene

1. Osment's acting here is horrible, when he gets stabbed he looks like he is smiling, and he falls to the ground like ahhhhhh. Stupid.

2. A fucking useless attempt to pull at the heartstrings of people everywhere. Stupid manipulative bullshit.

3. Ending rips off Field of Dreams

4. THIS IS A WASTE, I mean yikes, great way to end a movie. What was the point of killing him off anyway. To follow the book, not an excuse. So, no point at all. Grrrrrr.

Final score for Pay It Forward: 5/10 Stars. It had some good moments and Spacey was great as always, but I am getting sick of all of these " Young kid shows mean adults what they are doing wrong and how stupid they are and young kid is always right" movies. This movie had a horrible ending, bad Osment performace, silly moments, and a bland Hunt performance. This movie could've been higher if not for the ending. My advice is to stop the movie after the kissing part at the lockers and pretend thats the end. Saves you the trouble of that bullshit ending.
July 20, 2008
Very good movie. Makes me cry every time. Doesn't follow the book well.
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