Pay It Forward (2000)



Critic 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.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for mature elements: substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Catherine Ryan Hyde, Leslie Dixon
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 15, 2001
Box Office: $32.8M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Pay It Forward

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (40)

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.'

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Less a worthy achievement than a nice try.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 25, 2001
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

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.

June 4, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A bit syrupy, but sentimental teens may enjoy it.

Full Review… | December 27, 2010
Common Sense Media

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

Full Review… | June 23, 2008

Audience Reviews for Pay It Forward

Decent movie.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

want to see it

Anatoliy Dudaev
Anatoliy Dudaev

Super Reviewer


Richard C

Super Reviewer

Pay It Forward Quotes

– Submitted by Sephia R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Ellina S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by JuanYamanda R (2 years ago)

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