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Pay It Forward (2000)

 -  Drama  -  20 October 2000 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 86,374 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 654 user | 157 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ricky McKinney
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Grace
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Woman on Bridge
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Adam
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Bonnie
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Michelle
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Nurse
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Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)
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Storyline

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some favours you are not allowed to pay back. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£357,185 (UK) (26 January 2001)

Gross:

ESP 191,771,560 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eugene Osment, who plays the mustachioed cop giving directions, is Haley Joel Osment's father and acting coach. See more »

Goofs

As Chris Chandler is driving to Las Vegas, we can see a truck approaching on the road behind a road curve - but then the camera changes angles. The truck is gone and so is the curve. See more »

Quotes

Trevor: Were you just being nice?
Eugene: About what?
Trevor: About my idea. Do you think it's good, or were you just being teachery?
Eugene: "Teachery"?
Trevor: Bullshitting.
Eugene: Do I strike you as someone falsely nice?
Trevor: No. You're not even really all that nice.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Family Underground (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Broken Home
(uncredited)
by Papa Roach
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User Reviews

Just the Sort of Treacle I Wrote When I Was Eleven
7 August 2001 | by (Atlanta GA) – See all my reviews

This was not a bad film; in fact, it was fairly well done, for what it was. Unfortunately, what it was was emotionally manipulative. Child abuse survivors, cute kids, recovering alcoholic mom working two jobs, this movie had it all. Above all, the director's vision was muddled. "Life is sh*t," says Trevor (Osment); by the end of the film, we can see that life is not sh*t after all. Or is it? The dramatic twist at the end (I won't spoil it for you) seemed to revoke the entire message of the movie. It had no apparent purpose, other than to lead up to the buy-the-world-a-coke, faux-heartwarming finale. The movie was not a total wash, however, as the genuinely solid performances from everyone involved lifted it above the sappy little mess it could have been. Osment is a gifted actor who manages to be a scared, vulnerable kid, without resorting to overt cuteness; he has a wary toughness which makes his performances very believable. Although I am admittedly ambiguous about Helen Hunt, she did turn in a very strong, thoughtful performance in a role that could easily have been one-sided or overplayed. Final analyss: If you like sentimentality, "Pay it Forward" is worth the effort, but it falls far short of a classic.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
a better ending rutica
now if you got stabbed in the stomach Sensfan1915
Did anyone ever have 7th grade teacher like that? MBasler89
Should be a law... libertess66
Sounds like American Beauty. Thorpe89
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