Pay It Forward

40% of critics liked it

78% of users liked it

In theaters Oct 20, 2000
PG-13, 2 hr. 3 min.

Movie Info

Director: Mimi Leder
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hr. 3 min.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Theater Release: Oct 20, 2000
DVD Release: May 15, 2001
Synopsis: 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

Critic Reviews

  • 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.' More...
  • Less a worthy achievement than a nice try. More...
  • With its smorgasbord of moralizings, Pay It Forward is a confusing welter of sentiment. More...
  • 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. More...
  • Has to be the most oppressive 'feel good' picture in movie history. More...
  • It's carried to an amazing degree by its performances. More...
  • Osment truly is as good as it gets where kid thesps are concerned. More...
  • Wants so badly for us to feel something -- inspired, teary, shocked -- that it leaves us merely numb. More...
  • If a movie can coax tears out of me, touch me in a way that the tears flow naturally, more power to it. But stealing my tears by beating me over the head with manipulated schmaltz is a cheat. More...
  • The combination of restrained writing and direction and top-of-the-line acting is enough to make even confirmed agnostics want to believe in this unashamed fairy tale. More...