Pay It Forward - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pay It Forward Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 29, 2005
It is a movie that will not only find but charm -- or should we say con? -- a certain kind of audience.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
It tells a story that audience members will want to like, but it doesn't tell it strongly and cleanly enough; it puts too many loops into the plot, and its ending is shamelessly soapy for the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Scott Weinberg
October 10, 2001
Sappy, forced, artificial and manipulative--but really well ACTED!
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Bob Grimm
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Christopher Null
January 1, 2000
Sadly, this is a truly excellent story that is told with exceptionally poor ability.
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
June 21, 2002
Filled with calculated sentiment, this is not a movie but a feature-length shill for Academy Awards nominations.
Full Review| Original Score: 1/4
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
January 10, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: C
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
October 18, 2007
The film seems manufactured to furrow a cynic's brow before bringing up their lunch.
Full Review | Original Score: C
David N. Butterworth
January 1, 2000
The heavy-handedness of the direction makes the film a lesser experience than it might otherwise have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
January 1, 2000
A cheaply manipulative film of constructed sentimentality that left me feeling angry at how it tried to jerk my emotions around.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Rob Blackwelder
January 1, 2000
Director Mimi Leder becomes such a manipulatively mawkish emotional puppeteer that it feels as if she's tossing tear gas grenades into the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 1, 2000
An odd mix of good acting talent and an under-achieving script that hampers the overall effort.
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
June 11, 2001
...too unfocused, too uninvolving, and ultimately too cloyingly sweet for my taste.
| Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 1, 2000
So enamored of its own upbeat view of human nature that it expects you to overlook its stick-figure characters, its creaky plot machinery and its remorseless assault on your tear ducts.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2000
An example of how a movie can emotionally blackmail an audience.
Wesley Morris
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
Instead of nuclear weapons or a deadly comet to blow us away, there's the world-alteringly scary possibility that [Leder] might be trying to kill us with a star-studded 'After School Special.'
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 1, 2000
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 1, 2000
Offers more potential than payoff.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
The year's most manipulative movie.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
Unceasingly manipulative.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Emily Blunt
Blunt Review
January 1, 2000
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
December 10, 2001
Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 2, 2002
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
September 10, 2002
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
February 23, 2001
Marc Savlov
Anchorage Press
June 11, 2001
Alexander Walker
London Evening Standard
December 15, 2003
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail (UK)
December 15, 2003
Top Critic
David Ansen
March 31, 2008

News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Ebert & Roeper
January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Toronto Star
January 1, 2000

Empire Magazine
February 7, 2001

Boston Phoenix
March 24, 2002
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